These Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cookies are soft and fluffy, seriously moist and covered in a silky "cream cheese" frosting. They're also refined sugar free and the dough comes together in one bowl. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
How to make these Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mix together the ingredients for the cookie dough in a glass mixing bowl.
Tip: Add the plant-based milk a small amount at a time (to make sure you don't add too much), until you get a soft dough that's firm enough to mould. If the dough looks too wet, place it in the fridge for an hour to help it firm up.
- Use your hands to shape the cookie dough into patties - you should be able to make 8 large cookies.
Tip: To make super fluffy cookies, I like to make sure the centre part of the cookie is slightly thicker than the rest, like in a dome shape. And don't worry, unlike traditional cookies, these ones won't spread as they bake.
- Place the cookies on a rectangular baking tray.
Tip: Line the baking tray with greased baking paper to make sure the cookies don't stick.
- Bake in oven for around 15-20 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean - be careful not to over-bake!
- They will be slightly soft when you remove them from the oven - leave to cool completely to let them harden before applying the frosting.
- Don't worry about the cracks on top - I found it was impossible to make these vegan and gluten-free pumpkin cookies without the cracks forming on top. The cracks don't affect the taste or the texture at all, and the frosting will cover them up!
How to make the vegan cream cheese frosting
- Place the ingredients for the frosting in a food processor or blender.
- Whizz until completely smooth, adding some plant-based milk or water to thin out if necessary.
- Taste and add extra lemon juice and/or maple syrup if necessary.
- Use a knife to spread a bit of frosting over each of the cookies.
How long do these Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cookies keep for?
These Pumpkin Cookies do taste best when fresh, but keep covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
Substitutions you can make to this recipe:
- You can replace the coconut oil with coconut butter.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc.
- You can replace the gluten-free flour with rice flour.
- If you don't need the cookies to be gluten-free, you can replace the gluten-free flour with plain flour.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
- The ground almonds can be replaced with ground walnuts, ground pecan nuts or ground sunflower seeds.
- The pumpkin purée can be replaced with sweet potato purée.
- You can use store-bought pumpkin purée or make your own.
More gluten-free vegan cookie recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Cookies
- Carrot Cake Cookies
- Millionaire Shortbread
- Orange Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
- Lemon Blueberry Cookies
- Thumbprint Cookies
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
For the cookies:
- 30 g (⅛ cup) coconut oil (or sub coconut butter)
- 10 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other similar sweetener)
- 225 g (1 cup) pumpkin purée (shop-bought or make your own)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice to taste (or sub pumpkin pie spice or a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves)
- 60 ml unsweetened almond milk (or sub any other plant-based milk)
For the frosting:
- 75 g (½ cup) cashew nuts soaked in cold water overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or sub any other plant-based milk)
To decorate (optional):
- Ground cinnamon
- Pumpkin seeds
For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave
- Add the maple syrup, pumpkin purée, vanilla, ground almonds, gluten-free flour, baking powder and mixed spice
- Add the milk a small amount at a time (to make sure you don't add too much), until you get a soft dough that's firm enough to mould
- If the dough looks too wet, placing it in the fridge for an hour will help it firm up. If it looks too dry, add an extra splash of milk
- Use your hands to shape the cookie dough into patties – you should be able to make 8 large cookies. To make super fluffy cookies, I like to make sure the centre part of the cookie is slightly thicker than the rest. And don't worry, unlike traditional cookies, these ones won't spread as they bake
- Place the cookies on a baking tray/baking sheet lined with greased baking paper
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean – be careful not to over-bake!
- They will be slightly soft when you remove them from the oven – leave to cool completely to let them harden before applying the frosting
For the frosting:
- Drain the soaked cashews and add to a food processor or blender with the maple syrup and lemon juice
- Whizz until completely smooth, adding some plant-based milk or water to thin out if necessary
- Taste and add extra lemon juice and/or maple syrup if necessary
- Use a knife to spread a bit of frosting over each of the cookies
- Sprinkle over ground cinnamon and/or pumpkin seeds to decorate, if desired
- Taste best when fresh, but keep covered in the fridge for up to a few days
Disclosure: This posts contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any of these products, a small percentage will come to me with no extra cost to you! This income will go towards the running of this blog – thank you.
Can applesauce substitute for the coconut oil/butter? Thanks!
Yes - I'd use a few tablespoons!
Cheryl Jean Dowler
Is there a replacement for the cashew nuts, we are allergic to them? Thank you fro your help.
Other than that this sounds wonderful.
You can use the coconut-based frosting recipe instead: https://www.rhiansrecipes.com/cream-cheese-frosting/
These look so thick and soft compared to most gluten-free cookies! Can't wait to make!
Thank you so much!
Interesting little cookie--more like a pumpkin brownie bite than a cookie due to the fluffy nature of the final product. I made about sixteen cookies, approx 2" diameter. The recipe notes are correct, these do not spread as they bake. I'm in the US so I used pumpkin pie spice instead of mixed spice. I did not need any additional milk alternative for the dough, it was wet enough. Did not want to wait to let it chill, so another trick is to keep your hands slightly wet as you handle the dough and it will not stick to you as you shape the cookies. I rinsed my hands every few cookies, shook them off in the sink, then went back to the dough. Baked on a silpat and they did not stick. Did not want to soak my cashews, so I mixed up a little powdered sugar, vanilla, and water and dipped the tops of the cookies, then sprinkled with cinnamon. The cookies themselves did not blow me away flavor-wise; they're a bit bland. However, I do like the texture, and with the little pop of extra sweet with the frosting they're quite nice. I wouldn't serve them at a party, but for snacking at home they're great. Thank you for posting a vegan cookie recipe that actually works! I'm looking forward to trying some of your other creations. Thanks!!
Thank you so much for sharing your feedback!