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The Best Soft Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies

Just in time for fall baking, these deliciously spiced sourdough pumpkin cookies will fill your home with the comforting aromas of autumn. I recommend blotting the pumpkin puree to ensure a chewy and soft texture.

stack of sourdough pumpkin cookies with a cookie with a bite taken out of it

The leaves have started turning that blazing orange color and the scarves and sweaters are adorning the walls of the mudroom. You know it’s time to break out the pumpkin pie spice.

When the kitchen counters are covered with treats packed with warm fall flavors, my heart soars, and all things pumpkin take over our home. These sourdough pumpkin cookies are a delightful treat to enjoy when pumpkin flavors dominate the kitchen.

With simple ingredients and fresh pumpkin flavor, these cookies will be your new go-to recipe for fall baking traditions.

Watch my video to see how to bake these sourdough pumpkin cookies.

Whether you enjoy them plain, dipped in a sweet cream cheese frosting, or studded with chocolate chips, these sourdough cookies are full of that pumpkin spice flavor that everyone loves. You can even roll the cookie dough balls in cinnamon sugar for sourdough snickerdoodles!

sourdough chocolate chip pumpkin cookies on a wire rack

Why You’ll Love These Cookies

Texture: These cookies are soft and cakey like a delicious pumpkin spice muffin, only in cookie form. They are not dense and chewy like a classic chocolate chip cookie. They are more like a puff of soft, sweet sourdough pumpkin bread.

Flavor: The warm, spicy flavors of fall are packed into these scrumptious little cookies. With cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves, the cookie jar will be empty in a flash. By soaking up the extra moisture in the pumpkin puree, we get a much richer flavor.

Easy: This cookie batter whips up in no time. Only 30 minutes of chilling is required, which makes these a delicious and quick treat to mix up for unexpected company or last-minute events. The recipe is so easy that kids can enjoy helping with the process.

New Tradition: I love adding pumpkin recipes to my recipe box for annual baking traditions. These cookies are something our family loves to make together and enjoy every fall.

batch of sourdough chocolate chip pumpkin cookies on a counter

Tips For Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies

  • Use a combination of brown sugar and white sugar for the best results.
  • An optional step is to use browned butter to take the flavor up another notch.
  • Only use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. The pie filling is much thinner and will result in a different texture.
  • Use a cookie scoop to ensure cookies are the same size and bake evenly.
  • Use active sourdough starter or sourdough starter discard. Both work great!
  • Try a maple cream cheese icing for a phenomenal variation.

Ingredients:

Butter – Melted butter imparts a rich and delicious flavor.

Brown and white sugar – We like a combination of both brown and white sugar.

Vanilla extract – A classic robust flavor of fall. What cookie recipe would be complete without it?

Pumpkin puree – The star of the show. Be sure to blot the extra moisture out of the pumpkin.

Sourdough starter – Baking these cookies is a great way to use up any sourdough discard.

Flour – The best practice is to spoon and level the flour.

Salt – To enhance those sweet and spicy flavors.

Baking powder and baking soda – Our leavening agent.

​Fall spices – All the best warm spices for pumpkin lovers everywhere. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger come together in these cookies.

batch of sourdough pumpkin cookies on a wire rack

How To Make Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies

Blot the pumpkin. Start by scooping your pumpkin puree into a small dish lined with paper towels. Use another paper towel to blot the top of the puree. Get as much moisture out as you can. Measure off the 6 tablespoons of puree that you’ll need in this recipe.

Line cookie sheet. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. You can also use silicone baking mats. These are seriously the best baking tools to have in your kitchen.

Mix wet ingredients. In a medium bowl whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and sourdough starter together. Whisk in the vanilla and blotted pumpkin puree. Set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be a bit sticky and soft.

Fold in chocolate chips. For sourdough pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Chill the dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator or up to 3 days for a long-fermented version. Yes, you must chill the dough.

Preheat oven. Remove the dough from the fridge and get the oven preheated.

Scoop and shape. Using a cookie scoop, shape the dough into balls, about 1.5 tablespoons each. Place cookie dough balls about 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Use the back of a spoon to gently press each ball into a slightly flattened disc. These cookies do not spread much.

Bake. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges look set. They do not develop much color and will still look quite soft in the center.

Cool cookies. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely. The longer you allow the cookies to rest, the better they will taste. We usually can’t wait but these cookies taste best after sitting, uncovered, for a couple of hours. They taste even better the next day, but chances are they will all be gone by then!

Cover and store. These sourdough cookies will keep fresh for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.


More favorite recipes from Rooted Deep Home:

Chew, Easy Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

Best Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cupcakes

Chewy, Homemade Sourdough Granola Bars

Yield: 18 cookies

The Best Soft Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies

stack of sourdough pumpkin cookies with a cookie with a bite taken out of it and some chocolate chips on the counter

You're going to love these soft sourdough pumpkin cookies. Full of that beloved pumpkin spice flavor, these cookies are like sweet little edible puffs of Autumn.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup sourdough starter (discard or active)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and sourdough starter together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and blotted pumpkin puree until smooth. Set aside
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be soft. Fold in chocolate chips if using.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days.
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge and get the oven preheated to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. Scoop the dough, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and roll into balls. Line the cookie dough balls on the sheets, spacing each ball about 3 inches apart. Use the back of a spoon to slightly press each ball down into a disc shape.
  6. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until the edges look set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks to finish cooling completely.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.

Notes

Make ahead and freezing instructions:

You can make the dough up ahead of time and store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days prior to baking. Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake the frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute. You don't need to thaw them before baking.

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