These gluten-free pumpkin cookies are soft, tasty, and not too sweet. Made with nutritious, whole food ingredients, they are the perfect snack to keep on hand 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 recipe for pumpkin cookies that we’ve been making for years.
These Gluten-Free Pumpkin 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 Pumpkin Cookies 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.
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies – 4 Ways
We made these Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cookies four different ways – with and without nuts and with and without rolling them in this Homemade Cinnamon Sugar. 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.
If you end up 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.
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 to help you avoid eating the junk.
Particularly if it’s around the fall and winter Holiday season when those kinds of sugar-laden treats are everywhere.
Here are more “Pumpkin Treats” to enjoy:
Recipe Notes and Substitutions for Gluten-free Pumpkin Cookies
- Sweetener: You could substitute any healthy sweetener for the xylitol, although if you use a liquid sweetener you may need to use a different amount, so read this post for tips on substituting sweeteners. Although xylitol is a good low-carb option, vegetable glycerin and stevia (use 2-4 scoops) are as well. So is erythritol, but you will need about 25% more sweetener if using erythritol. If using a granulated sweetener, use coconut sugar, sucanat, or this Bocha Sweet sugar substitute for AIP, and if using a liquid, use honey, maple syrup (read Choosing Maple Syrup), or yacon for AIP. Omit the water if using a liquid.
- Stevia: Stevia is much stronger than other sweeteners. Read What Stevia Is and How to Use it for more tips. Here is a great brand of stevia scoops. If using pourable stevia, use 3-5 tsp, to taste. You can substitute approx. 4-8 Tbsp additional sweetener, to taste, for the stevia. If using stevia, add it to either wets or dries.
- Nuts: For nuts, we used walnuts. Almonds, macadamias, or even pumpkin or sunflower seeds would be great. Please use soaked and dried nuts if possible.
Both the nut-filled and plain versions were great, but my boys and I much preferred the plain version (my husband simply loves nuts in just about anything.)
- Flour: Try whatever gluten-free flour blend, or individual flour, that you have on hand. Each will give the final cookies a bit of a different result, but they will be delicious! These are pretty forgiving little treats :-)!
If you make them with a nut or seed flour, they will have to bake longer. Add on at least an additional 5 minutes but keep an eye on them.
For almond flour or any other nut or seed flour, increase the baking soda by 50%, using 3 cups almond flour, and 1/4 cup coconut oil.
- THM: For those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, this recipe will be a crossover.
Soft Gluten-free Pumpkin Cookies (vegan w/ gluten and sugar-free options)
- Preheat oven to 375. Combine pumpkin, oil, sweetener, and orange flavoring in a medium bowl.
- Add flour, baking soda, & seasonings. Mix just 'til combined.
- Fold in nuts if using.
- Make spoonfuls or scoops with a 2 Tbsp muffin scoop. If desired, roll in a bit of granulated sweetener before baking. You get a really nice "punch" of sweetness without adding a lot of sweetener when you coat cookies rather than adding more to the batter. :-P.
- Place spoonfuls or scoops on a baking sheet (the scoops result in a cookie that really resembles the Enjoy Life ones :-)).
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. They will harden a bit as they cool, but will still be nice and soft.
What is YOUR favorite pumpkin recipe?