This Vegan Pumpkin Cookie Recipe is light and oil-free but full of amazing pumpkin spice flavors. You just need 1 bowl and 30 minutes to whip up this healthy fall dessert. Top them with a Cashew Maple Glaze for a truly delicious treat.
You know it's fall when the Pumpkin Spice memes come out! But whether you love or loathe all things pumpkin spice, these Vegan Pumpkin Cookies are sure to please. Soft and chewy with all the delicious flavors of fall rolled into one bite, these cookies are the perfect autumn treat.
One of the things I love about canned pumpkin is how easy it is to use. Just open the can and it's ready to go. Canned pumpkin is great for all sorts of baked goods including pancakes, muffins, and brownies. However, most recipes on the internet call for 1 cup of pumpkin. What are you supposed to do with the rest of the can? This has always bothered me, so when I set out to create this recipe, I made sure to use the whole can of pumpkin. You're welcome.
Looking for more recipes that use the whole can of pumpkin? Check out my recipe for Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins.
You'll love these Pumpkin Cookies because they're:
- Soft & Chewy
- Quick & Easy
- Healthy & Oil-Free
- Made with Whole Wheat Flour
- Vegan and WFPB
- Great for using up extra canned pumpkin
- The Perfect Fall Treat!
- Absolutely Delicious!
Is Canned Pumpkin really Pumpkin?
There are a lot of articles circulating on the internet claiming that canned pumpkin has no actual pumpkin but is composed primarily of butternut squash. Honestly, it doesn't bother me either way. But I did a little digging, and it turns out the answer is rather complicated. In short, most contain a variety of pumpkin called Dickinson, which resembles but is not butternut squash. Nor is the bright orange pumpkins we place on our porch each Halloween. You can read more about it here.
Can I use Whole Pumpkins to make this recipe?
See the above question. Whole pumpkins of the sort that you carve into jack-o-lanterns are a different variety of squash than what you find in canned pumpkin. They have a tendency to be very tough and fibrous. That said, if you are up for a challenge or have experience using whole pumpkins for baked goods, then go for it!
How to Make this Recipe Gluten-Free
You can make these spiced pumpkin cookies gluten-free by substituting regular whole wheat flour for an all-purpose gluten-free flour. Depending on whether or not the brand already contains a binder, you might also be able to omit the flaxseed. Here is some more useful info about swapping regular for gluten-free flour.
Can I make this without the Icing?
Yes! These healthy cookies are soft, chewy, and flavorful enough that they taste delicious even without the glaze. The glaze just gives them a little something extra, but if you want to cut back on calories or sugar then omitting the icing is an easy way to do that.
Cookie Dry Ingredients
- 2 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp pumpkin spice mix
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground flaxseed
- ¼ tsp salt
Cookie Wet Ingredients
- ½ cup raw, unsalted cashews
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 5 to 6 tsp unsweetened plant milk of choice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cookies
This recipe requires just one bowl. Simply add your dry ingredients, whisk to combine (this is important for even distribution of the baking powder and baking soda). Then add your wet ingredients. Use a wooden spoon, spatula, or hand mixer and mix until combined (until there is no flour left at the bottom of the bowl). DO NOT OVERMIX! This can cause the gluten in the flour to become tough and unappetizing.
Once the batter is ready, use a medium-sized ice cream scoop or two spoons to transfer the batter to the cookie tray. This recipe should make about 24 medium-sized cookies.
For a flatter cookie, use a bit of parchment, a nonstick spatula, or your fingers to press the cookies down. When the cookies are done be sure to let cool completely before glazing.
How to Make the Cashew Maple Glaze
While the cookies are in the oven, get started on the glaze. Boil the cashews for ten minutes (or soak overnight). Then add all of the glaze ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. You might need to add another teaspoon of plant milk to reach the right consistency.
After the cookies have cooled you can either glaze right away or store the cookies and glaze separately to serve later. This glaze will not harden, so if you apply the glaze before storing, you will want to store the cookies on a flat tray.
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
If you don't have pumpkin pie spice mix at home, fear not. You can make your own simply with what you have on hand. You just need a combination of the following: ground ginger, ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. Some people also include allspice. If you don't have one of those spices, just skip it. (The only ingredient that I wouldn't skip is the cinnamon since that tends to be the most dominant flavor.) Here is a simple recipe by About Annella you can follow to make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Looking for more healthy vegan dessert recipes? Be sure to check out:
- Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Zucchini Muffins
- No-Bake Pretzel Brownie Bites
- No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites
- Strawberry Citrus Popsicles
Vegan Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Glaze (Healthy & Oil-Free)
Cookie Dry Ingredients
Cookie Wet Ingredients
For the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or 170°C. Line two cookie trays with parchment paper or silicone mats. Do not use aluminum foil.
- Add all of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon, spatula, or hand mixer until just combined. Don't Overmix!
- Use a medium-sized ice cream scoop or two soup spoons to transfer the batter to the lined trays. Each cookie will be about 2 to 3 tablespoons, or the size of a golfball.
- If you want flat cookies, use a piece of parchment, a nonstick spatula, or your fingers to press the cookies down.
- Place the cookie sheets side by side in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. (Cooking times may vary depending on your oven). If your oven is too small to place the trays side by side, you can place one above the other and swap positions halfway or bake the cookies in two separate batches.
- Let cool completely before storing or applying the glaze.
For the Glaze
- Boil the cashews for 10 minutes (or soak overnight). Drain and rinse. Add to a high-speed blender.
- Add the other glaze ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Test the consistency of the glaze. You might need to add another tablespoon of plant milk to thin out the glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cookies to eat right away or store the glaze in a separate airtight container to drizzle later. This glaze does not harden. If you apply it to the cookies and then store them, try to keep them on a flat tray.
- In order to use the whole can of pumpkin, this recipe makes 2 batches (24) cookies. If you want to halve the recipe, you can weigh 7.5 oz of canned pumpkin or use about 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon of pumpkin.
- If you are allergic to cashews, substitute sunflower seeds or almonds.
- For Gluten-Free, scroll up and read the instructions in the blog post.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.
- If you follow a low-sugar diet you can cut the amount of maple syrup in half (you might need to add a tablespoon or two of water to replace the liquid) and omit the cashew glaze.