Soft Pumpkin Cookies (vegan w/ gluten and sugar-free options)


Looking for a Healthy Gluten Free Treat?  These Soft Pumpkin Cookies are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, and Sugar Free - They remind us of Enjoy Life Cookies, but without all the sugar and very little sweetener at that!  Great not just for fall, but all year round.Although pumpkin is typically a fall food, I personally think it should be eaten year round. We love these Pumpkin Snickerdoodles and this Pumpkin Spiced Creamer, but today I am sharing a favorite pumpkin cookie recipe that we’ve been making for years.

These cookies are amazingly low in sugar (which is great if you are on a candida diet) and yet they still taste great.  The pumpkin adds a natural sweetness and the orange flavor adds a nice hint of orange.

Often when you add flavors or extracts you can get away with less sweetener.

They are soft and moist and my whole family loved them.

My oldest was walking around the kitchen, nibbling on them and saying, “Now these really remind me of something.”  And then he remembered what, and my youngest agreed.  They reminded him of Enjoy Life’s Gingerbread Spice cookies.

Now mind you, even in my sugar-aholic days, I never really bought those, mainly because they’re expensive.  We’d sample them at Gluten-Free fairs and then feel plenty sick afterwards.  Not that there is anything technically wrong with Enjoy Life.  We just couldn’t handle all of the sugar and white flour.

Well, he was sure right.  These soft little bites are like Enjoy Life’s yummy treats, minus the white flour and all the sugar. Healthy.  Yum

I adapted this recipe ever so slightly from one on Whole Approach’s Forum.  I basically lived in this forum when I first started learning about candidiasis – that’s for another post.

We made the cookies four different ways – with and without nuts and with and without rolling them in sweetener. Hubby likes nuts in his cookies and oldest son does not like crunchies in his cookies. In my opinion, rolled in sweetener, either with or without nuts, is the best option :-).

When you roll them in sugar, you get a nice punch of sweetness without a bunch of added sweetener to the whole recipe.

The top photo shows the plain version and here is a photo of the nut-filled version with walnuts.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies - These gluten free cookies are vegan and sugar free too! They taste like Enjoy Life Cookies!

Please note there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

If you are using stevia for this recipe, you will for sure want these spoons since you’ll be measuring out such teensy amounts.  The 2nd smallest size is the one that you will use, but I am finding that stevia powders are now greatly varying in their strengths, so sweeten to taste.  Either way, you will find these spoons to be a huge help.

Norpro Mini Measuring Spoons

I think you are just going to love these and love how good they are for you.  It’s a great way to have healthy sweets around as the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays get closer and closer so you are less tempted to eat the “other” stuff.

Here are more “Pumpkin Treats” from my blog:

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Creamer (DF & SF)
Pumpkin Pie Spice – DIY for use in your own recipes!

How about you?  Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe that needs “healthifying”? 

I am always (almost always) up for a challenge!

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may be compensated with a small percentage of your purchase.  Your price will remain the same.  This compensation helps to support the ongoing work of this blog.  Thank you!

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  1. do you think I could make these w/ oat or coconut flour? We’re going wheat and most other flours free, egg, soy, peanut and dairy free for 3 weeks. YIKES! I’ve gotta look through your recipes for some snack ideas.

    • Hi Beth!

      Coconut soaks up way too much liquid so you really need to be creative using that. Oat would work for sure I think. I typically mix flours but oat tastes great. :). What’s going on dietary-wise? Do you have other grains – millet, quinoa, etc?? I need to buy teff, speaking of that. Haven’t had it in years!!! If you’d like to be on our mailing list for stuff like that shoot me an email :).

      • Thanks. I might try oat. I could probably use quinoa. My son had 2 back to back ear infections, which we treated w/ antibiotics b/c they were quite bad :( So in trying to boost his immune system, we went to a chiropractor who approaches things from a wellness/nutritional aspect as well. She did some testing and said he was sensitive to those things, which were causing inflammation. She said to go off them for 3 weeks to hopefully heal the inflammation and boost his immune system. She’ll test again and hopefully those sensitivities will be gone (praying, praying, praying!!) But for now I’m trying to come up with some things that he can have and not feel terribly left out. I found gluten free oats, but then they say they may have been processed on equipment that processed soy, dairy, etc!!?! What in the world? I’m at a loss as to what to buy. I have some gluten free oats coming from vitacost, I hope they don’t say that too :(

        • Are they using kinesiology to test your son? Or what kind of testing? Country Life’s oats are pretty close to GF and they are on a dedicated line – the ones from Natural Way Mills (I think that’s the name). I don’t know that I’d worry about cross contamination, but then that’s just me. I think the stress is much more of a problem than any teeny little bit of possible allergen. Is your son off sugar? I would say that is a much bigger deal than most other foods. Anyway, I am starting a nutritionist training program in ortho molecular nutrition. I am considering adding a consulting service to my blog but I have some opinions about testing and the like – not all conclusive but it’s something to think about in any case. Gotta run – take care!

  2. Ha! Look at that post right above me. Doh.

  3. Thanks. It was kinesiology (sp?) testing, I believe. We would probably confirm w/ main stream testing if these sensitivities persist with the Kinesiology testing. I’m hoping they won’t. He has never seemed to have any visible adverse effects to these things that I know of.
    Another question…Is white rice flour ok? I mean, not all the time. But in a pinch? I’m assuming it’s just pretty nutrient lacking, like white flour. I have some stuff on order, but it’s not here yet and I’d like to make something for my son. I know I can get my hands on white rice flour, millet and tapioca starch at the bulk foods store, but I called and they didn’t have brown rice flour :( I kind of feel like I’ve been blindsided w/ this.

    • Yes, I have really mixed feeling on the kinesiology testing. Mainstream testing via IgG is mixed at best as well from what I know. IgE will test for anaphylactic. If you don’t see the effects, personally I wouldn’t stress right now. But that’s not a dr’s opinion, right :-)? I never use white rice flour basically for the same reason I stay away almost entirely from starches. They are just not good for the gut. How about grinding your own flours? I have a grinder I might be willing to sell and it has saved me a TON of money -and space. You don’t need to keep flours and grain around – just the grain and it’s much more stable.

  4. Wondering how much almond flour you would use in these?
    Also, I got all the ingredients to make your egg substitute. My little guy had such bad excema and after removing eggs and wheat like two months ago it is nearly gone. I am wondering if you have a grain free pancake recipe using the egg substitute? I eat grain free.

    • From what I’ve read you can try 1:1 almond flour in recipes as a sub. Hmm…I don’t have a grain free recipe for pancakes unless you think buckwheat is OK since it technically isn’t a grain, but I did see a few recipes recently that looked great. I will try to feature on my FB page later today :-).

  5. Oh, thanks! I appreciate it! I am no stranger to grain free cooking but egg free I am!

  6. Have you tried these replacing pumpkin with sweet potato?

  7. When you say: “3-4 scoops stevia extract, or approx 4-8 T additional sweetener” Do you mean mini scoops of stevia powder? If I want to do a 1:1 sweetness ratio of Stevia and any additional natural sweetener, how much of each?? Thanx. (Oh, my new devotional blog is up)

  8. How many cookies does this recipe make?

    • Hi. It really depends on how big you make them :). I keep forgetting to do serving sizes. Sorry – but I’ll just have to make them again to figure it out :). If you do try them please let me know.

  9. You can eliminate the added sweetner entirely if you use fresh Japanese pumpkin, also called Kabocha. It’s naturally very sweet.

    Another great naturally sweet Japanese foodstuff to use in healthy baking is Satsuma Imo, a Japanese kind of sweet potato.

    With either of these added sweetner is totally unnecessary for a mildly sweet cookie, and for a very sweet cookie I’ve never had to add more than a tablespoon of sweetner to a batch.

    Both are probably hard to find but I’ve heard from friends that Kabocha is sold in specialty and health-food grocery stores. Check it out!

  10. Do you think almond flour would work for this recipe? My daughter was just put on the SCD, and I am overwhelmed trying to figure out what she can eat. She battles yeast and sugar and bread are her favorite foods! Thanks!

    • I think it will work out OK – just try it! It won’t behave exactly the same since there is no “stickiness” to almond flour – maybe you could add some gelatin to it – about 1 tsp for each batch – and see how it goes? Did you see my no bake coconut cookies? They are really good! I hope to do more grain free in the future!

  11. Tanja F says:

    The cookies sound delicious, except that I do not use stevia. Would I just use more honey? Or a combination of honey & maple syrup? Thanks!

  12. I made these tonight and I must say, they are amazingly delicious! I was a little bad and added a handfull of white chocolate chips. I’m definitely making them again and want to try them with some chopped dried apricots or cranberries. A picture of the ones I made, along with some strawberry banana ice cream we had. Soo good! Thank you!

  13. I love the flavor of these cookies! I used just half the amt of orange extract, though. But my problem was, they were all crumbly. Did I do something wrong?

    • What kind of flour did you use?

      • Pam Fischer says:

        Yeah, I thought that might be part of the problem. I used a combination of almond flour and coconut flour (it’s what I had on hand!). I was reading through some of your blogs, is brown rice flour best for baking?

        • Coconut soaks up water like crazy so you can’t sub that easily. I think sweet brown works the best personally but I use a mix. Search GF Baking tips on my site and you can see more of what I do.

  14. These look great! How do I substitute sugar for the stevia?

  15. Please consider removing ‘allergy friendly’ from your post about this recipe if you are using coconut and nuts in it. These two ingredients are known allergens. I clicked on the recipe hoping to find something that I didn’t have to modify because you wrote allergy friendly and was disappointed. I love cookies and will probably try a modified version of your recipe that i can eat.

    • Hi again, Sabrina. I am not clear what you are asking for – where are you thinking I shouldn’t write “allergy friendly”? And of course, the nuts are optional. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.