Pumpkin Cookies, Frosted

Abingdon Cookie Time Jar

Abingdon Cookie Time Jar

By Cat, Oct 2007 (photo, right from Wikipedia, but the link has been lost)

There is just something warm and soothing about a frosted, slightly spicy cookie. This recipe, which reminds me of the cookies I got at the Lake Cafe when I was a kid, is adapted from a recipe in the Daily InterLake newspaper, 10/3/07 issue (1). One of the changes I suggest in my adaptation is to use date ‘sugar’ (dehydrated & ground dates) for part of the brown sugar. If you are not familiar with this sweetener, give it a try (it is available in most natural food stores), or use brown sugar.

The original frosting has way too much sugar for my taste, so I substitute stevia extract powder for part of the sugar. However, my preference would be to use my alternate recipe, using cream cheese.

Pumpkin Cookies

Giant pumpkin on the vine

Giant pumpkin on the vine

(Photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons)

The original recipe called for all white flour and brown sugar in the cookies; powdered white sugar and orange food coloring in the frosting.  In a desire to create a more healthful cookie, I have made the following substitutions in sweeteners (but also indicate the original sweeteners and amounts, should you choose to use them):

  • part whole wheat pastry flour and high-fiber coconut flour for the white flour;
  • part stevia, part maple syrup, and part date sugar for the brown sugar in the cookies;
  • part stevia, part unrefined powdered sugar for the white powdered sugar in the original frosting;

Another change I made is not to use the food coloring, because I object to putting questionable chemicals in my food.  But you may not be as picky as I am, so I include the food coloring as ‘optional.’

Date sugar is simply ground, dried dates; Rapdura sugar is simply dried sugar cane juice. Both are usually available in natural food stores.  Powdered Rapadura may be harder to find; fortunately, it is easy to make from regular Rapadura: see Unrefined Powdered Sugar: Make Your Own.

Powdered stevia extract is available in most natural food stores; stevia herb may be harder to find, although you can grow it in your garden.

For all of these substitutions, I provide instructions on how to modify the recipe back to the original, if any of these ingredients are not available to you or you choose not to use them.

This recipe makes 2 dozen frosted cookies.

Ingredients & Equipment for Cookies

  • Dry Ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour (or omit, and increase white flour to 2 cups)
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each nutmeg and cloves)
  • Moist ingredients: 1/2 tsp ground stevia herb or powdered extract (or eliminate this, and increase maple syrup and date sugar, below, each to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup  baked fresh pumpkin, pureed (or canned pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or 1/4 cup brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup date sugar (or 1/4 cup brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup softened coconut oil or butter
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • Equipment: 
  • small and large bowls
  • flour sifter
  • electric mixer
  • cookie sheet


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Measure flours, baking powder, soda, salt and spices into a flour sifter, and sift into small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Stir stevia into pumpkin in the measuring cup.
  4. Combine softened oil or butter with sugars in large bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add pumpkin/stevia mixture, egg, milk, and vanilla, and mix well.
  5. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients and mix well, then mix in the remainder of the dry ingredients.
  6. Scoop batter, 1 Tbsp at a time, and drop onto cookie sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.  Bake 12 – 14 minutes, until golden and tests ‘done’ with a toothpick, rotating sheets midway through the baking period.
  7. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to a wire rack to cook thoroughly.

Original Frosting

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Grade-B maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp canned pumpkin (or baked fresh pumpkin, pureed)
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each nutmeg and cloves)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp powdered stevia extract (or eliminate this and increase powdered sugar by up to 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 cups Unrefined Powdered Sugar: Make Your Own (or white powdered cane sugar), to taste
  • orange food coloring (optional), added 1 drop at a time to get the desired color.
  1. Combine butter and maple syrup and beat until smooth.
  2. Combine pumpkin puree, spices, stevia and vanilla, stirring well so the stevia and spices are evenly distributed. Then beat into butter mixture.
  3. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  4. Add food coloring to desired shade (if using)

Alternate, Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 Tbsp canned pumpkin (or baked fresh pumpkin, pureed)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp powdered stevia extract, to taste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • small and medium bowls
  • spatula or piping bag and tip
  1. Stir stevia and maple syrup into pumpkin puree in small bowl.
  2. Mix pumpkin mixture into cream cheese in medium bowl.
  3. Adjust sweetening with more stevia as necessary.

Assembly or Serving Suggestions

  • Pipe frosting (either recipe) onto each cooled cookie (or spread with spatula).

Cookie batter presoak-flour suggestions

This recipe could be converted to a soaked flour recipe, using 2 Tbsp yogurt and 2 Tbsp boiling water, to soak 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour overnight (this will be a bit stiff).  Increase white flour to 1 cup and eliminate the 1/3 cup milk.


  1. Daily InterLake newspaper, 10/3/07 issue (Sorry, I didn’t make note of their source)

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