It’s fall time, and that means all things pumpkin and sweets. This recipe for iced pumpkin cookies with sourdough discard has delicious notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, and is loaded with fresh pumpkin. Top with homemade cream cheese frosting for a delicious and festive holiday dessert idea.
These iced pumpkin cookies with sourdough discard are the best pumpkin spice recipe to have on hand when fall comes around! They are the perfect option for a fall or holiday dessert using fresh pumpkin.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
PUMPKIN COOKIES FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN ALIKE
This year I joined a group called MOPS. I’m sure if you’re a mother you’ve heard of MOPS. It’s basically a “moms of preschoolers” group where moms get together and have playdates, etc.
Anyway, it’s pretty fun! It’s also an organized group around the country, and they have special events every year. One thing that makes MOPS special is we have breakfast together twice a month and alternate bringing food for the breakfast.
For example, last week a woman brought a huge beef roast (for breakfast!). I actually loved it.
But it was my turn to bring a “sweet item” for dessert. And since it’s fall, I knew the item had to have pumpkin in it.
These iced pumpkin cookies with sourdough discard are the perfect fall dessert staple. Serve them with homemade cream cheese frosting and bring them to your next playdate. Okay, who am I kidding, adults devour these too!
This recipe originally came from my friend, Lauren. Who, by the way, also happens to be the editor of each blog post you read!
I tweaked a few things for the recipe I’m sharing in this post, but the original recipe came from her. So, I’m going to let her explain how she got the recipe, why she loves it, and her tips for baking and/or serving them!
Excerpt from Lauren below:
I received this recipe from a dear friend over ten years ago and look forward to baking them every fall. I love seeing the look on someone’s face when they try one for the first time – it is always sheer bliss. My favorite thing to do is get out the cake decorating tips to make the frosting look really fancy and add a light sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice over the top. But usually, I barely have time to smear some icing on before half the cookies have disappeared!
Years back, a friend organized a recipe exchange party. I agonized over what to make – what could I possibly bring that would measure up to everyone else’s delicious recipes? I decided on these cookies and was floored (and pleased!) when they won first prize! Fast forward to this fall, when my son’s senior class organized a bake sale to raise money for graduation festivities. It was going to be held at our local pumpkin patch, so of course I contributed a batch of these crowd-pleasing chewy pumpkin cookies! The cookies had to be individually packaged, so I ordered small cookie boxes, designed pumpkin-themed labels in Canva, and printed them on round stickers to seal the boxes. They were a hit!
WHY WE LOVE THIS RECIPE
First, these cookies are fluffy and flavorful. The pumpkin, with the nutmeg and cinnamon, create such a festive and delightful flavor bomb. Also, the sourdough discard adds a little bit of fluff; not a dry fluff, but more of a moist and chewy fluff. I always like my cookies moist and chewy!
Second, this recipe uses sourdough starter which is always a plus. I don’t have much sourdough discard in my kitchen because I never discard it, I just use it, but I know many people who use the discard method. And it’s hard to throw beautiful sourdough starter away. So this is a great recipe to use up that precious discard! And, the sourdough discard adds a buttery flavor to the cookies. There is so much to love about sourdough discard!
Third, any time I can make cream cheese frosting, it’s a yes for me. I absolutely love the flavor of cream cheese frosting, and it’s slightly healthier for you than a buttercream frosting. At least cream cheese has some protein!
MORE FALL RECIPES FROM THE HOMESTEAD
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Large mixing bowl or stand up mixer
Small mixing bowl
2 baking trays
Ziplock bag (optional, for use when frosting the cookies)
PUMPKIN COOKIE INGREDIENTS
Makes 14-16 cookies
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sourdough discard (unfed sourdough starter)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (homemade is best!)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp each of baking soda and salt
1 tbsp each of nutmeg and cinnamon
Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH SOURDOUGH DISCARD
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Start by combing all the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You can use a hand beater or a stand-up mixer to combine.
Then add all the dry ingredients to a separate small bowl and combine with a wooden spoon.
Next slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, about 1/3 at a time, and mix on low until fully combined. Batter will be thick.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Scoop the batter onto the baking trays, in about 1 inch diameter size balls.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. They should look firm on top but not browned. Then let the cookies sit on the baking tray 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Let cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the cream cheese icing, combine all the icing ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until the frosting comes together. For a runnier icing, use more milk. For a thicker icing, use less!
Serve up on a cool fall day by the fire and enjoy!
Is pumpkin puree the same as canned pumpkin?
Yes, you can make your own pumpkin puree or simply buy canned pumpkin. Just make sure you’re not buying canned “pumpkin pie” mixture, which would include spices and other ingredients. Just buy pure canned pumpkin. Either canned or homemade will work in this pumpkin cookie recipe!
Why are my pumpkin cookies wet?
You may be using too much pumpkin or not enough flour. When I first started experimenting with adding sourdough discard to this recipe, I had pretty wet cookies. So you do have to watch your proportions of wet versus dry ingredients. I finally settled on the right ratios of wet and dry to create a chewy, fluffy cookie that comes together nicely.
What can be made from discarded sourdough starter?
Since sourdough starter is a mixture of flour and water, you can use the discard for any recipe with flour in it. However, because the starter is “unfed” or “discarded”, it won’t be able to make bread rise like a fed, active sourdough starter would. So, you can use your sourdough discard in recipes like pancakes, biscuits, pizza crust, cookies, or anything that doesn’t need a big rise.
How long are pumpkin cookies good for?
Pumpkin cookies are good at room temperature for 3-5 days, or in the fridge for 5-7 days.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sourdough discard (unfed sourdough starter)
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (homemade is best!)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Start by combing all the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. You can use a hand beater or a stand-up mixer to combine.
- Then add all the dry ingredients to a separate small bowl and combine with a wooden spoon.
- Next slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, about 1/3 at a time, and mix on low until fully combined. Batter will be thick.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Scoop the batter onto the baking trays, in about 1 inch diameter size balls.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. They should look firm on top but not browned. Then let the cookies sit on the baking tray 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
- To prepare the cream cheese icing, combine all the icing ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until the frosting comes together. For a runnier icing, use more milk. For a thicker icing, use less!
- Serve up on a cool fall day by the fire and enjoy!