Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted on: September 19, 2022. Updated on: July 12, 2023.

by Carolina Gelen

These tender, frosted cookies are inspired by the popular pumpkin spice latte. The cookie dough is flavored with pumpkin spice butter, espresso powder and warm spices.

Water and cookie dough don’t go too well together, that’s why the recipe starts by cooking down most of the water in pumpkin purée. We’re aiming to concentrate the pumpkin flavor, and reduce the weight of the purée in half. This is a simple step that will have a huge impact on the final result.

The latte aspect comes from the presence of instant espresso powder in the cookies. The rich, dark, bitterness balances out the sweetness of the cookie. Instant coffee will do the job as well, but the coffee taste will be milder in flavor. I always keep a jar of instant espresso powder in my pantry, and I suggest you do so too. Adding a teaspoon of espresso powder to your chocolaty baked goods is a simple method to enrich that dark, rich flavor profile. Ground coffee beans won’t do the job in this case.

These cookies are tender, fluffy, soft, and tend to be a part of the cake-cookie genre of this dessert. This is my favorite type of cookie to pair with frosting, contrary to a fudgy, gooey one. Moist, delicate, and good-looking, these cookies will be a crowd pleaser at your next gathering.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.5 / 5. from 40

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4.5 / 5. from 40

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Servings: 10 to 12 cookies
Prep: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour cooling time
Cook: 25 minutes



  • 1/2 can (7.5 oz or 212 g) pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons or 168 g) room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (2 sticks or 226 g) room temperature cream cheese
  • 2 oz (1/4 stick or 56 g) room-temperature butter
  • 5 oz (1 1/3 cup or 150 g) powdered sugar
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Add the pumpkin purée, espresso powder, salt, vanilla extract and spices to a pan over medium heat (I prefer a stainless steel pan for this). Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin purée turns into a thicker dark brown paste. Set aside to cool.
  2. In the meantime, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix using a stand mixer, electric hand mixer or by hand using a spatula, 3 to 5 minutes, until most of the sugar has been incorporated. Add the cooled spiced pumpkin paste, sour cream, egg, baking soda and vinegar to the bowl. Mix until combined. Lastly, add the flour and baking powder. Mix everything until there are no more dry flour spots.
  3. Place the cookie dough in the fridge to harden, for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  4. Heat the oven at 375°F or 190°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Once hardened, scoop out the cold cookie dough using an ice cream scoop (I used a 3 tablespoon-sized scoop). Place the cookie dough on the baking sheet. Create a well in the middle of the cookie dough using your finger (similar technique to making thumbprint cookies). This will encourage the cookie to rise flat, rather than in a dome shape. Leave a 2 inch, or 5 cm space in between cookies.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes in the oven, until golden brown on top. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. To make the cream cheese frosting, combine the butter, small pinch of salt, cream cheese, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix using a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or whisk, until smooth and most of the sugar had dissolved.
  8. Once the cookies are cool enough (room temperature), frost each with a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top.
  9. Store in the fridge, and bring them to room temperature when serving.

Carolina Gelen

I speak 5 languages, but my favorite way to communicate is through the universal language of food. I translate food to be more approachable and accessible for the everyday cook. I didn't grow up with a lot, so I’ve always loved thrifting and finding a good sale. That also shapes my approach to cooking: I try to make most of my recipes as affordable as possible, and that is what my SCRAPS newsletter is about. Every two weeks I will send an exclusive recipe to your inbox. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website.

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19 thoughts on "Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting"

  1. Jackie says:

    I swear, do you EVER come up with a bad recipe? I’m not a huge sweet eater (gimme the breads!), but you’re changing my mind! Thanks for another winner 🏆

  2. Brittany says:

    I am not a fan of pumpkin spice flavored stuff, but I decided to make this recipe on 9/22/22 to celebrate the first day of autumn. These cookies are soooo delicious! They’re light, fluffy, and the perfect vessel to kick start the best season!

  3. Alexis says:

    Hi! Do you recommend letting the butter or creme cheese to hit room temperature before using them?

    1. Carolina says:


  4. Theresa says:

    Crying tears of joy over how delicious these cookies are. Thank you for the spectacular recipe!!

  5. Pheaba says:

    A little bit of backstory here: I went gluten free a few months ago and haven’t really found a cookie recipe where it wasn’t grainy in texture. I came across Carolina’s recipe and bought everything to make the PSL cookies for my husband who isn’t GF. I ended up making a double batch of the pumpkin butter so I decided to make a batch with normal flour and one with GF flour (Bob’s red mill 1:1). My husband LOVED the normal ones and I loved the GF one. I have never indulged in cookies as much ever until this recipe!

    1. Carolina says:

      That makes me SO happy, I’m glad to hear both versions were a success 🙂

  6. Pina says:

    Can i make these ahead of time (2 days before event) and how do i store them? Or will chreamcheese make it soggy.

    1. Carolina says:

      You can definitely make these ahead, the frosting won’t get them soggy if you refrigerate them. I would store them on a covered baking tray, in the fridge, and pull them out a couple of hours before serving to come to room temperature. They’re easier to store without any frosting on top, so you could just make the cookies ahead, store them in the fridge or at room temperature, covered, and frost them a couple of hours before serving. Hope this helps 🙂

    2. Danielle says:

      The store didn’t have pumpkin puree…it did have pie filling, which already has spices. Should I just skip the cooking part and add the espresso powder? Thanks

      1. Carolina says:

        Hi Danielle, great question! It really depends on the ingredients in the pie filling, but I’d still try to cook it down as much as possible. Depending on the taste of it, you can omit the spices in the recipe and add the remaining espresso powder 🙂

  7. Evan says:

    I made these for my family and they were all gone within the night! The cookie itself was more mild than I expected considering all the spices used but it paired really well with the frosting (and another PSL on the side). I will definitely be making it again, only doubling the recipe next time.

  8. Linda says:

    Trying this recipe but it says to add salt to the batter but I don’t see how much? Thank you!

    1. Carolina says:

      About a 1/4 teaspoon will do the job 🙂

  9. Avni says:

    Does distilled white vinegar work? Or is it another vinegar?

    1. Carolina says:

      distilled white vinegar will work.

  10. Hayley says:

    Can I refrigerate the dough overnight before baking? Thank you!!!

    1. Carolina says:


  11. Rebeca Koch says:

    If I dont have espresso powder, can I sub for a shot of espresso?