Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
If a pumpkin cookie and a snickerdoodle cookie had a baby, these pumpkin snickerdoodles would be it. Except they’re taken to the next level with the addition of life-changing brown butter, which adds caramel notes to every single bite. Trust me, you’re in for a TREAT.
Most pumpkin cookies on the internet turn out incredibly soft due to the moisture that pumpkin puree adds to the cookie, but these pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies boast crispy edges, a chewy middle and a crispy cinnamon-sugar coating that truly take the cookie to the next level.
The secret is these chewy pumpkin snickerdoodles: using only a little pumpkin puree (too much can make the cookies too soft!) and only an egg white (no egg yolk!). Trust me, you’re going to love.
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Ingredients in pumpkin snickerdoodles
These homemade pumpkin snickerdoodles use the real deal butter and sugar to give them that classic snickerdoodle flavor. We’re putting a fall spin on them with cozy pumpkin pie spices and pure pumpkin puree. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Salted butter: yes, I recommend using salted butter in this recipe because it brings out the flavor in the brown butter.
- Brown sugar: good old brown sugar to give the cookies that delicious molasses flavor. I love using dark brown sugar but either dark or light brown sugar will work.
- Granulated sugar: we’re also using regular, granulated white sugar in these pumpkin snickerdoodles.
- Vanilla: for a boost of flavor. Learn how to make your own vanilla extract here!
- Egg white: you’ll just be using one egg white, not a full egg, to give these cookies the right consistency.
- Pumpkin puree: because they’re pumpkin snickerdoodles, of course! Feel free to use canned pumpkin puree or make your own with this tutorial. We only use a little bit because we don’t want these cookies to bake up soft like most pumpkin cookies.
- All purpose flour: these snickerdoodles are baked up with regular all purpose flour.
- Pumpkin pie spice: the ultimate combo of cozy spices. If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice you can also use a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves or allspice. See the notes section for how to do so.
- Cream of tartar: you’ll need cream of tarter to help activate the ingredients and create the perfect texture in these snickerdoodles.
- Baking soda & salt: to allow these cookies to bake up properly.
- For rolling: give them that true snickerdoodle look and taste by rolling the dough balls in sugar and ground cinnamon (or more pumpkin pie spice!)
Can I make them gluten free?
I have not tried making them gluten free, so I cannot recommend a sub here. Feel free to try my gluten free snickerdoodles if you’d like!
DIY pumpkin pie spice
If you don’t have pumpkin spice, you can make your own by using the following spices in the dough:
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves or allspice
How to brown butter
Feel free to follow my step by step tutorial or simply follow these instructions:
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process.
- After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to crackle and foam, and then brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.
- Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning (make sure you scrape all of it out of the pan – every last drop!). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. It is important that your butter cools off before adding it to the cookie recipe.
How to make the best pumpkin snickerdoodles
- Brown your butter. Start by browning the butter so it’s nice and fragrant. Let it cool before using it in these pumpkin snickerdoodles.
- Mix the wet ingredients. Use a stand mixer, electric mixer or hand mixer to combine the cooled brown butter, brown sugar and regular sugar until nice and creamy. Then beat in the egg white, vanilla & pumpkin puree.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Make the dough. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix them together on low until they’re just combined.
- Chill the dough. Before rolling the dough into balls & baking, be sure to chill the dough for 1-2 hours. While they’re chilling you can mix up the cinnamon-sugar mixture into a small bowl for rolling.
- Make the dough balls. After chilling, preheat your oven and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough, roll it into a ball, and roll each ball in your cinnamon-sugar mixture.
- Bake & devour. Place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on your baking sheet, bake until slightly golden on the edges and then let them cool. Once cool, it’s time to devour!
Don’t forget these cookie baking tips
- Do not use substitutes. Please be sure to follow the recipe as written unless substitutes are noted in the notes section of the recipe. Changing the flour will greatly affect the taste and texture of these cookies.
- Make sure your ingredients are room temp. After you brown your butter you’ll want to make sure that it is cool so that it doesn’t coagulate the other ingredients. The same goes for your egg white — simply run an egg under warm water for about a minute (or place an egg in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes) before cracking your egg and separating your egg white.
- Use fresh baking soda. Make sure your baking soda is fresh to ensure that these snickerdoodles bake up properly.
- Measure your flour correctly. Do you know the best way to measure flour without a scale? Get my tips & tricks in this video!
- Don’t skip the chill time. Be sure to refrigerate the cookie dough for 1-2 hours before rolling the cookies up and baking them. This helps the butter solidify a little and ensures that the cookies have the best texture!
Freeze the dough for later
This option is great if you’re planning for the holidays! Store the dough in your freezer for up to 3 months until you’re ready to get baking:
- Roll your cookie dough into balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. This is known as a flash freeze.
- Once the cookie dough balls firm up, you can transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container. Cookie dough will keep well for up to 3 months.
- When ready to bake, simply bake the cookies as directed in the recipe. You’ll likely just need to add a few extra minutes of baking time!
How to freeze baked pumpkin snickerdoodles
If you want to freeze the already baked pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies for later, simply wait for them to cool completely, then transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container lined with wax or parchment paper. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Cookies will keep well for up to 2 months. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy.
More pumpkin recipes to try
Get all of our delicious pumpkin recipes here!
I hope you love these delicious brown butter pumpkin snickerdoodles! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
Brown Butter Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 42 minutes
Wonderful pumpkin snickerdoodles with hints of brown butter and pumpkin pie spice in every bite. These easy pumpkin snickerdoodles are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and have pumpkin puree baked right inside. An incredible fall take on traditional snickerdoodles!
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg white (NOT THE FULL EGG)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For rolling:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Make your brown butter: melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to crackle and foam, and then brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma.
Immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning (make sure you scrape all of it out of the pan – every last drop!). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. It is important that your butter cools off.
With an electric mixer (or you can mix by hand), mix the cooled brown butter, brown sugar and regular sugar until well combined and creamy. Beat in the egg white, vanilla and pumpkin puree until well combined.
In a separate medium bowl whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. With an electric mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Place plastic wrap over the bowl and refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours so that the flavors meld together and the butter has a chance to solidify a bit. This is extremely important. You want the dough to be fairly cold so that it’s easier to work with and so the cookies bake up properly.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once dough is chilled, make your dough balls: measure about 1 ½-2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. If dough is too hard to roll into a ball, you may need to let it sit out at room temperature for 10-20 minutes while your oven preheats.
Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a bowl. Roll dough balls in cinnamon-sugar mixture, then place on the cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until cookies are just slightly golden brown around the edges. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes then remove and transfer to a wire rack. Makes about 14 cookies.
If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own by using the following spices in the dough: 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves or allspice.
See the full post for tips, tricks & freezing instructions!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on October 16, 2020, republished on September 27, 2021, and republished on October 20th, 2022.