My soft chewy pumpkin spice cookies are made without eggs and are full of the warming flavours and spices of autumn. Who can resist a beautifully spiced cookie that is crisp on the outside and wonderfully moist and chewy in the middle? Not me!
A very versatile ingredient
Baking without eggs certainly comes with its own set of challenges. In different settings, eggs can play a variety of roles. They affect the structure, texture and flavour of a bake. Eggs can provide stability and structure in a batter, or be a thickener and an emulsifier in sauces and custards. They can bring moisture to cakes and other bakes and are also brilliant as a glaze, to give pastry a beautiful golden colour, or even as a glue!
Who knew the humble egg was so versatile in baked goodies?
In a cookie, eggs provide structure by bonding with the protein and starch in the flour. And the protein in the eggs itself is one of the things that helps make the cookies chewy. As you can see, eggs are pretty vital in the creation of the perfect cookie!
However, you are reading this because you are looking for an eggless cookies recipe. Luckily for us, did you know that pumpkin is actually one of the ingredients often used in place of eggs in baking? It brings moisture and tenderness to the cookie, and is just beautiful for its subtle flavour too. Winner!
What is the difference between cookies and biscuits?
Cookies are generally made from a dough that is a lot softer than biscuit dough. When baked, cookies tend to be softer than biscuits, often with a bit of chewiness too. This means your cookies will be denser and feel almost like they are slightly underbaked. Biscuits on the other hand will be much firmer when baked and will have a more delicate texture to them. In other words, they can snap or be broken and are not as soft as cookies. Biscuits tend to be used more often when a filling is required after baking, or if decorating with icing art. However, cookies can be “stuffed” resulting in the filling being baked within the cookie itself.
Having said all this, I am well aware the word “biscuits” are used in parts of the world to also mean a tender baked dough not dissimilar to what we in the UK call “scones”. They are both made in a very similar way, but served differently. Equally, “cookies” can encompass biscuits too in certain parts of the world, as in the US.
So really what I should say is language can be a rather confusing thing!
What ingredients do I need to make these pumpkin spice cookie recipe?
- Unsalted butter: as with all my recipes, I like to use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt is in the bake. For best results, use butter at room temperature.
- Brown sugar: for sweetness, but also chewiness, in the eggless pumpkin cookies.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness, and a little crisp, in the cookies.
- Pumpkin puree: the main flavour in these cookies, but also gives moisture and structure to the egg free pumpkin cookies.
- Flour: I use plain (all purpose) flour in my cookies. Other flours will result in different textures, so please be mindful of this if you decide to swap it with another type of flour.
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda: the raising agents used in these pumpkin pie cookies recipe.
- Salt: enhances the flavour of the bake, but it will not be so much that you taste it in the cookies.
- Cornflour/corn starch: keeps the cookies really light and tender.
- Spices: I use a few spices in this bake to give the beautiful autumnal spice pumpkin cookies flavour I adore.
What tools do I need to make eggless pumpkin spice cookies?
- Baking tray*: to bake the cookies on. Having a few baking trays means you can bake a few trays of cookies at the same time.
- Digital kitchen scales*: my recommended method of measuring ingredients is to weigh them out using grams rather than cups. I do, however, provide cup measures too, if you prefer working with this method.
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantities such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp). A set of dedicated measuring spoons are far more accurate than using everyday eating spoons, so is a small investment well worth making.
- Mixing bowl*: used to mix up the cookie batter in before baking. I like to use a large bowl to give me plenty of room to work with.
- Electric handheld mixer*: investing in a good electric mixer is a brilliant help with all baking, and will make baking mostly anything a total breeze!
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from the dry ingredients, ensuring it all mixes together evenly.
- Spatula*: for mixing and smoothing the eggless pumpkin cookie batter, plus scraping down the bowl as you mix.
- Cookie scoop*: my preferred method to get even amounts of cookie dough so I can bake evenly sized cookies.
How to make pumpkin spice cookies
Cookies are one of my favourite bakes ever, because they actually come together so quickly and easily! The hardest part is the waiting: for the baking itself and for them to firm up after baking. Once you get the hang of the method I use, making these eggless cookies will be totally effortless!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper, then set them aside.
Step 2: Cream the butter until soft and spreadable. This can be done by hand, of course, but a handheld mixer will make it much easier and quicker. Add both brown sugar and caster sugar, mixing to combine completely with the butter. Once combined, beat it all together until slightly paler and fluffy.
Step 3: Add in the pumpkin puree and beat the mixture again for a couple of minutes until completely combined. If the mixture looks like it is splitting at this stage, no need to worry, just give it a good mix and it will all be good in the end.
Step 4: Sift in the plain (all purpose) flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), salt and powdered spices. Grate the nutmeg directly into the mixing bowl. Beat all the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until fully combined. Scrape the bowl down, then give the cookie dough one final mix.
Step 5: Using an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons, place equal portions of the cookie dough on the prepared baking tray. Make sure to leave space in between the cookies for a little spreading. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look a little puffed into the middle and have a gently set outside but will give a little when gently pressed. Cool for five minutes on the baking tray, to allow the cookies to firm up a little. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Enjoy!
There are a few factors that can affect your cookies and how they turn out. I will try to answer as many questions as I can, however I may miss something, so please ask away in the comments below!
How do I make my eggless pumpkin spice cookies chewy?
I find I need a mix of white and brown sugar in my cookies to result in a beautiful chew. The white sugar adds to the crispiness of the cookies. But it is the brown sugar that is key for a wonderfully chewy cookie. The molasses in brown sugar helps retain more moisture in the cookies, making them thicker, softer and deliciously chewier.
Can I use oil instead of butter in my eggless pumpkin cookie?
Oil and butter are unfortunately not interchangeable in this cookie recipe, as oil is liquid at room temperature. This means the cookies will spread more when baked, even if they are chilled, so you will not have the same final results.
What if my eggless cookie dough is too soft?
If your cookie dough feels too soft, it is most likely because you did not use a block butter when making the cookies, so they will remain soft and not firm up. I always use block butter, the kind you get in a foil wrapper, in my cookies. Using butter should result in the cookie dough being soft and scoopable once mixed ahead of baking.
How do I know if my cookies are baked?
You will know these soft pumpkin spice cookies are done when the edges are lightly golden and the cracks on top have only just found their way to the middle of the cookie. When this has happened, remove them from the oven, but do not move them off the baking tray. They will continue to bake in the residual heat from within the cookie and from the baking tray. Leaving them on the tray to cool for 10-15 minutes and firm up is super important for beautiful chewy cookies.
Why did my cookies come out flat?
This is very likely down to the ingredients used when making the cookies, especially if you substituted oil for butter in the cookie dough. If you measured up the recipe using cups rather than grams too, there could be inaccuracies with the quantities of ingredients measured out.
Why are my cookies puffy and cakey?
The most likely reason for this is down to the flour in the recipe. Measuring out too much flour (especially if using volume measures rather than weighing out ingredients) can result in drier or cakier cookies.
Why are my cookies so crumbly?
There are a few reasons why baked cookies turn out crumbly, but two likely culprits. If the cookies were baked too long, they could have dried out. It could also be that too much flour was used when making the cookie dough, leading to drier cookies once baked.
How long will these pumpkin spice cookies last? And how should I store them?
These easy pumpkin spice cookies are at their best if enjoyed within 3-4 days from baking, if they last that long! Store them in an airtight container, in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
Can I freeze these eggless pumpkin cookies?
Yes! You can freeze them both before and after baking. Keep reading for how to freeze both unbaked and baked cookies.
For unbaked cookies, freeze the cookie dough in individual cookie balls on a baking tray for a few hours, as per the recipe. Once they are firm, transfer the cookie balls into a lidded container suitable for the freezer. These dough balls will keep for up to two months in the freezer.
For baked cookies, cool completely, then wrap individually snugly in cling film and place in a lidded container before freezing. Baked cookies will be good for two months in the freezer.
How do I thaw my eggless pumpkin cookies?
If you froze the cookies as unbaked cookie dough, simply remove the frozen cookies and place them on a lined baking tray. Remember to leave about a few inches in between each cookie for them to spread as they bake. Pop them in a hot oven straight from frozen and bake, adding a couple of minutes extra to the baking time according to the recipe.
If you baked the cookies before freezing, you can just defrost them fully at room temperature and enjoy! However, if you want to get that “just baked” texture to the cookies, pop them on a baking tray (no need to spread out too much, you are just heating them up again). Reheat in the oven at 180C/350F for about 3-5 minutes, then pop on a cooling rack for a few minutes before enjoying.
Additional tips for making this pumpkin spice cookie recipe
- Make sure you have prepared all tools and ingredients before you start mixing. Line the baking tray and get the ingredients out ready to use.
- Take time to read through the recipe so you are familiar with what steps come next. Remember: skipping details and instructions or swapping ingredients given could affect the results of your final bake.
- Use butter at room temperature to make life easier when beating.
- If the mixture looks a little curdled after mixing in the pumpkin puree, no need to panic! Once you have added in the dry ingredients and blended it all together, the whole cookie mixture will come together just fine.
- Invest in a good cookie scoop, if you plan to make lots of cookies in the future. The one I like to below is the best by far I have tried, and I have used a lot! Spending a little more on a good quality cookie scoop will make it a pleasure to bake and will last you for a lot longer.
- The cookies will not be completely firm all through when removed from the oven but will continue to cook and firm up as they cool down.
- These cookies are great enjoyed as they are, but can also be sprinkled with icing sugar or topped with a simple icing glaze.
If you have any questions about this easy pumpkin spice cookies recipe, please leave me a comment below, I will do my best to help you. And if you do make this recipe for pumpkin spice cookies, please leave a rating and review below. I would really love to know how you enjoy making them, it helps me enormously AND it really helps others looking for a recipe too! You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world, you already know I would love to see!
More eggless recipes for you to enjoy
If you enjoyed these eggless pumpkin cookies, please check out these other delicious eggless recipes on my blog too:
Eggless cinnamon sugar donuts: these donuts are so quick and easy to make, they are ready in under an hour. They are light, moist and wonderfully cakey, and are dredged in the most glorious cinnamon sugar.
Rose pistachio and cardamom loaf cake: this loaf cake is inspired by the stunning flavours of India. Here, earthy pistachio, fragrant cardamom, and floral rose come together in an eggless bake to create an incredible stunning cake that is truly out of this world.
Eggless chocolate chip cookies: these eggless chocolate chips cookies are chunky, chewy and a total treat! Add that they are super easy to bake and can be made ahead of time, and you have an all round winner!
Thanks for joining me today, my friends! Enjoy and happy baking! x