Looking for an easy healthy pumpkin dessert? Pumpkin, crunchy pecans, and just the right amount of spice make the perfect combination in these oh so good and not-too-sweet Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Cookies.
They taste great, are naturally gluten-free, and also vegan with a low-carb option, so you can feel good about serving them all year round.
I love making cookies anytime of year, but especially in fall.
The air turns crisp and well, it’s time to turn on the oven.
What better cookie to make in the fall than these Gluten-free Pumpkin Pecan Cookies, a tasty adaptation of these oh so yummy Soft Pumpkin Cookies.
Here’s a quick list of the things you’ll need to make these delicious cookies. For the amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
- unsweetened canned pumpkin puree
- coconut oil (or butter)
- vanilla extract
- gluten-free flour
- stevia extract
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground nutmeg
- chopped pecans
Here are basic directions for making these cookies. For full details, scroll down to the recipe card.
Combine the sweetener and cinnamon in a small bowl (Photo 1)
Combine pumpkin, oil, sweetener, vanilla and water in a medium bowl (Photo 2)
Add wet ingredients to dry (Photo 3)
Fold the pecans into the batter (Photo 4)
Roll 1-2 tablespoon scoops of dough into balls (Photo 5)
Roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture (Photo 6)
Place the rolled balls on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart (Photo 7)
Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned (Photo 8)
Canned Pumpkin vs Pumpkin Pie Filling
When making these cookies (or truly any pumpkin recipe on my site), make sure to use canned pumpkin without any additives, as opposed to canned pumpkin pie filling.
Canned pumpkin is just that–canned pumpkin only.
Canned Pumpkin Pie Filling is pre-made pumpkin pie filling, which includes squash, sweetener and spices and sometimes natural flavors.
So make sure to read the label before you buy!
Should You Mix These Pumpkin Pecan Cookies by Hand Or With an Electric Mixer?
You can do either. Your results might vary a little per recipe, but really you can do whatever you like.
The benefit of mixing by hand is that you are less likely to over mix, which can make your cookies fall–so they’ll be flatter and crispier.
More Pumpkin Recipes
Looking for more healthy delicious recipes that feature the nutrition powerhouse of pumpkin? Here are a few to try out. We love all of them and I so hope that you do too!
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles – the perfect twist on a classic favorite
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding – great for breakfast, snack, or dessert!
- Healthy Pumpkin Custard – a simple treat that tastes like pumpkin pie but without the crust.
Storing: You will want to store these Pumpkin Pecan Cookies in an airtight container–that is, if you have any left. My taste tester sure didn’t have that issue, so I don’t think that you will either :). The cookies freeze well too.
Topping Options: You can either roll the dough in plain sweetener or in the cinnamon sweetener mix in the recipe card. The cookies in the images were rolled in plain sweetener. You could also use pumpkin spice in place of the cinnamon for the topping. Topping each cookie with a pecan half before baking is another great option.
Spice Alternative: If you’d like, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in place of the seasonings in the recipe.
Special Diet Notes
- GF & Vegan: These cookies are naturally gluten-free and vegan.
- Keto: I haven’t tried this yet, but you could make this keto by using 2 1/4 cups almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda.
- AIP: I haven’t tried this yet, but you could use tiger nut flour instead of the GF flour, skip the pecans or use coconut flakes or chopped tiger nuts instead, omit the nutmeg, and use coconut sugar in place of the low-carb sweetener. For the stevia, use 2 T of coconut sugar. Honey and maple syrup can be used as well, following the recommendations in this post on substituting sweeteners.
- Sweetener Options: Instead of the low-carb sweetener, you can use whatever granulated sweetener you like. As noted in the AIP option, coconut sugar or other sweeteners should work. Xylitol would work as well.
Pumpkin Pecan Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (use almond flour for low-carb, tiger nut flour for AIP – see recipe notes for conversion information)
- 1/8 teaspoon stevia extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Lightly grease cookie sheet.
- If desired, once the oven is preheated, toast the chopped pecans in the oven for 5-10 minutes before adding them to the cookies.
- Combine the sweetener and cinnamon in a small bowl for the Cinnamon Sugar Topping and set aside.
- Combine pumpkin, oil, sweetener, vanilla and water in a medium bowl.
- Place all dry ingredients except nuts in a large mixing bowl. Mix well until combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry.
- Fold the pecans into the batter. Stir but do not use an electric mixer.
- Roll 1-2 tablespoon scoops of dough into balls. Roll each ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Continue until all the dough has been used.
- Place the rolled balls on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. They will harden a bit as they cool, but will still be nice and soft.
- Let the cookies cool for at least 3 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet, then transfer them to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.