Fall into the season with the BEST Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling! We’ve perfected this recipe to have a soft and sweetly spiced cookie with a creamy cheesecake-like center that requires zero chilling!
They are totally drool-worthy and impressive! These are the pumpkin cookies people will be asking you to make them again and again!
Why They’re The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- No chilling of filling or dough – in your belly faster. 😉
- Thick cream cheese center – great ratio of filling to cookie.
- Sweetened cream cheese center – nobody actually wants to bite into plain cream cheese.
- Cinnamon spice coating – creates an added layer of texture to balance the soft center.
- More intense pumpkin flavor – pumpkin puree, pudding mix, and spices bring the seasonal flavor to the forefront!
Cozy Up To Fall With Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Fill up your mug with a warm cup of tea or coffee, grab your softest blanket, and cozy up with one (or three) of these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies! Their cozy flavor, sweet taste, and bakery-level goodness make for a treat you’ll think about year-round!
To make the best pumpkin cookies, I stuffed them with an easy cheesecake filling! The combination of sweetly spiced pumpkin flavor and creamy cheesecake is a decadent pair that can’t be beaten.
And you know I couldn’t stop there! So, to finish them off, I melted white chocolate and then drizzled it on top of the cookies! This pushes the gourmet-style cookie over the top both in flavor and appearance!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cookies Ingredients
- Salted butter
- Dark brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Large egg
- Large egg yolk
- 100% Pumpkin
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Instant cheesecake pudding mix
- Powdered milk
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Ground cinnamon
- Baking soda
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- White chocolate melting wafers optional
- Sprinkles optional
This Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling recipe turns ordinary ingredients into gourmet cookies that everyone will love! To start giving these cookies their fall flavor, 100% pumpkin is used. This can be store-bought or homemade if you prefer.
If you opt for store-bought, be sure to grab 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, as the two are very different yet are typically found near each other in the store. Pumpkin pie filling is made with added sweeteners and spices, whereas 100% pumpkin is pure pumpkin puree without anything added.
From there, the flavor builds with pumpkin pie spice! If you don’t have any on hand, you can make homemade pumpkin pie spice using nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.
Once the soft pumpkin cookie dough is made, it’s filled with a 3-ingredient cheesecake filling, making it one of the best pumpkin desserts you’ll ever have!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Variations
- Pudding Flavor – Feel free to try making this cookie recipe with white chocolate pudding mix or pumpkin spice pudding mix instead of cheesecake-flavored pudding mix.
- Cinnamon Sugar Topping – These Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling can be rolled in a cinnamon sugar coating instead of pumpkin pie spice sugar coating.
- Cream Cheese Frosting – You can skip filling these pumpkin cookies with cream cheese and instead frost them with cream cheese frosting!
- Fancy Finish – Though the white chocolate melting wafers and sprinkles are optional, they do make for a fun finish! The chocolate drizzle and fall-themed sprinkles make for a fancy finish that makes these cookies even more pleasing to the eye!
How To Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Step 1: Cream the salted butter, dark brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. An electric hand mixer would also work. Cream on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl down halfway through.
Step 2: Spread the 100% pumpkin onto paper towels and then cover it with more paper towels. Press down on the top paper towel to absorb the liquid from the 100% pumpkin. Then add the dried pumpkin to the creamed butter.
Step 3: Mix in a large egg and then the additional large egg yolk and vanilla extract. Mixing only until the yolk is streaky throughout the dough.
Step 4: Whisk the all-purpose flour, box of instant cheesecake pudding mix, powdered milk, pumpkin pie spice, salt, ground cinnamon, and baking soda together in a separate bowl.
Step 5: Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients with the mixer at low speed. Once all of the flour mixture has been added, increase the spread of the mixer to medium and mix just until combined.
Step 6: Finish mixing the cookie dough by hand using a rubber spatula.
Step 7: Prepare the cream cheese filling by beating the cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Then, set it aside.
Step 8: Begin assembling the cookies by portioning out the dough and flattening each cookie ball into a circle.
Step 9: Place a tablespoon of cream cheese filling onto the center of the cookie dough circle. Then, carefully fold the sides of the dough up and around the filling, sealing the cracks.
Step 10: Prepare the spiced sugar coating for the cookies by whisking the granulated sugar with pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set this aside as well. Roll the filled cookie dough balls into the pumpkin spice sugar coating, being sure to fully coat the dough ball.
Step 11: Transfer the filled and coated cookie dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets, allowing space between each so that they bake without running into each other.
Step 12: Bake the Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling one cookie sheet at a time until the edges are just turning light brown. Then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan before transferring them onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Step 13: As an optional step, melt the white chocolate melting wafers in a microwave-safe bowl until smooth and fully melted. Afterward, transfer the melted chocolate into a small piping bag and then drizzle it over the tops of the cookies and let set. If desired, add sprinkles to the wet chocolate before it sets!
Step 14: Allow the finished cookies to set at room temperature before enjoying!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Pro Tips
Pumpkin Moisture Reduction – This cookie recipe is tailored to drying the canned pumpkin to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Therefore, I don’t recommend skipping this step as it would alter the final outcome. I found that drying the pumpkin worked best by starting with 2 of the select-a-size sheets on the bottom or one regular-sized sheet folded over.
Then, I press the pumpkin down with another two sheets. Then, I replace the top paper towel with three select-a-size sheets and flip them so that they’re on the bottom of the pumpkin. I then discard the original bottom towels, replace them with three more, and continue pressing any moisture out.
At the end of pressing the pumpkin, you want to have 100 grams. To be sure you have the correct amount, you can use a kitchen scale to weigh it.
Creaming The Butter – Creaming the butter with the sugar for two full minutes is important to the final structure of the cookie. Do not shortcut or skip this step, as the structure of the cookie won’t turn out the way it’s supposed to.
The best way to measure ingredients is by using a kitchen scale! For this reason, I included the weighed measurements on the recipe card. If you prefer using measuring cups instead of a kitchen scale, then I highly recommend learning how to measure flour correctly, as it’s easy to measure it wrong accidentally.
Finish Mixing By Hand – As the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients to create the cookie dough, it’s likely that some of the flour mixture will settle on the bottom of the bowl. To be sure the ingredients are fully incorporated, finish mixing the dough by hand using a rubber spatula.
This will prevent the dough from being overworked by the mixer while also ensuring the bottom of the bowl gets scraped. If you skip mixing the dough by hand and start cooking off the dough from the top, you’ll end up with dry cookies near the end.
Two Baking Sheets – This recipe and the size of the cookies will require four to five batches, so it’s best to use two cookie sheets. This way, you can keep the baking process moving since the cookies need to cool on the cookie sheet before being transferred to the wire rack.
Using two cookie sheets will also prevent the cookie dough from being dropped on a hot baking sheet, which would alter the structure of the cookie.
How To Store Pumpkin Cookies With Cream Cheese Filling
Since these cookies have a cream cheese filling, they’re best stored in the fridge in an airtight container. Pumpkin cookies are moister than traditional chocolate chip cookies. Therefore, they don’t become hard in the fridge. If you prefer a warm cookie, you can pop one in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to give it that freshly baked cookie warmth!
For longer storage, you can also freeze these cookies! This would help you get ahead of your holiday baking since Thanksgiving is right around the corner. After all, these Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling are exactly what your dessert table needs!
To freeze these cookies, once they’re completely cooled, transfer them onto a cooled, clean baking sheet. Then, place the sheet in the freezer to flash freeze the cookies; this should take about an hour.
Afterward, transfer the cookies into a freezer-safe container with parchment paper separating the layers or into a Ziploc bag with the excess air squeezed out of it. Then, transfer the cookies back into the freezer to store and enjoy for up to 3 months.
How Long Do Pumpkin Cookies Last In The Fridge?
Pumpkin cookies will last for up to one week when stored in the fridge. But since these cookies are so good, they won’t even make it a week!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Recipe FAQs
Why Are My Pumpkin Cookies Sticky After Baking?
Pumpkin cookies generally have a high moisture content from the pumpkin, causing them to feel a bit sticky. However, if you find that the cookies are extremely sticky, the cause could be not drying the pumpkin out enough.
Be sure to press the pumpkin firmly to push out any moisture for the paper towels to absorb!
Why Did My Pumpkin Cookies Turn Green?
If your pumpkin cookies turn green, the root cause is a chemical reaction between the pumpkin and the baking soda.
How Do You Keep Pumpkin Cookies From Getting Soggy?
First, be sure to remove all the moisture from the 100% pumpkin! Second, you can place a paper towel under the cookies in the storage container to absorb any excess moisture the cookies may give off.
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Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookie Recipe
- 1 cup salted butter 227g, softened
- 1 cup dark brown sugar 225g, packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk additional
- ¾ cup 100% pumpkin 172g
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour 455g, spooned and leveled
- 1 (3.4oz.) box instant cheesecake pudding mix 96g, unprepared
- 2 tablespoons powdered milk 10g
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup white chocolate melting wafers
- Preheat oven to 375°F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer (I highly recommend a stand mixer for this recipe) fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the 1 cup salted butter, 1 cup dark brown sugar, and 1 cup granulated sugar on medium speed (speed 4 on a stand mixer) for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
- Measure and spread the ¾ cup 100% pumpkin out in paper towels. I usually star with 2 of the select-a-size sheets on the bottom or 1 regular folded over, then press the pumpkin with another two sheets. Replace the top paper towel with 3 select a size sheets and flip so they are no on the bottom of the pumpkin. Discard the original bottom towels and replace with 3 more, pressing to 100g pumpkin after squeezing
- Add 1 large egg, mix then add 1 large egg yolk and 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract and mix just until the yolk is streaky throughout the dough.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the 3½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 (3.4oz.) box instant cheesecake pudding mix, 2 tablespoons powdered milk, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon baking soda. With the mixing beating at low (stir) speed, slowly add the flour mixture a cup at a time. If you have a flour shield for your mixer, I recommend using it as this recipe creates a lot of dough. Increase to medium speed and mix just until combined, then remove from the mixer to finish mixing with a rubber spatula or with your hands until the dough is fully combined and there's no more loose flour on the bottom of the bowl.
- Add 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to a medium bowl and beat together until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
- Use a large #16 cookie scoop to make 2.7-ounce portions of dough. Flatten the ball of dough into a circle.
- Add 1 level tablespoon of cream cheese filling to the center of the dough. Fold the sides of the dough up and around the cream cheese filling, sealing all the cracks. There may be some small cracks on the exterior of the dough, which is fine.
- Roll the cookie balls in the cinnamon sugar until fully coated.
- Place the balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each (9 cookies will fit on a 12×17-inch cookie sheet slightly offset from each other).
- Bake the cookies one cookie sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are just turning light brown. The centers should still be very soft and look slightly puffy and underdone. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- (OPTIONAL) Once cooled, melt the ½ cup white chocolate melting wafers in a microwave-safe bowl at 30-second intervals, stirring after each one, until fully melted. Transfer to a small piping bag or Ziploc bag with the corner cut off, then drizzle over the top of the cookies and let set. If adding sprinkles, make sure to add them before the chocolate sets.
- Let cookies sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before enjoying. This lets the cookie finish cooking internally and set up properly.
- This recipe will require 2 to 3 batches. I recommend using two cookie sheets so that you can keep things moving since the cookies need to cool on the cookie sheet.
- The powdered milk can be left out as it won’t impact the texture. However, it adds so much in terms of flavor, even though it seems like a small amount.
- Creaming the butter and sugar for 2 minutes is important to the final structure of the cookie; do not shortcut this.
- There will likely be some flour that settles in the bottom of the bowl; make sure you get this all mixed in. Do not just start cooking off the dough from the top, or you’ll end up with a couple of dry cookies near the end. Use a rubber spatula or your hands to work the drier bits into the dough. Do not just keep mixing in the mixer; this will overwork the dough and won’t be as effective. This was my experience with a stand Artisan 4.5 qt mixer; it may come together just fine with a larger size.
- A ¼ cup measuring cup can also be used to portion out the dough.