Filled with cheesecake and rolled in cinnamon sugar, these pumpkin cheesecake cookies are incredibly gourmet and perfect for fall! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Pumpkin Cheesecake in Cookie Form
So far I’ve shared pumpkin cheesecake in classic form, as mini no-bake cheesecakes, and most recently, as cheesecake bars. Today, I’m taking things one step further and sharing pumpkin cheesecake cookies!
Another addition to my gourmet cookie collection, these cookies are as decadent as their predecessors, but with a fun fall flair. The cookie part itself is moist and richly flavored, while the cheesecake filling is creamy and decadent. Add a dash of cinnamon sugar and some white chocolate chips, and you’ve got out-of-this-world fall cookies!
If you’re worried this recipe might be too complicated, know that the technique is actually quite simple. I first used it in my cheesecake stuffed chocolate chip cookies recipe (another must-try!). Honestly, it’s much easier than making an entire cheesecake too, which means these pumpkin cheesecake cookies are the perfect thing to make when the craving strikes and you’re short on time 🧡
What You Need
While we will be using quite a few ingredients to make these cookies, most are pantry basics. Here are a few worth mentioning before we begin:
- Canned pumpkin puree. Make sure you grab plain, 100% pumpkin puree and not canned “pumpkin pie filling”. They are sold right next to each other and look very similar, but they are not the same thing! As with my pumpkin cookies, we will blot the pumpkin before using it; this keeps the cookies from being too cakey.
- Pumpkin spice. Also known as pumpkin pie spice, this is a blend of warm spices that go *perfectly* with pumpkin recipes (not just pumpkin pie!). If you don’t have any on hand, I have a quick and easy recipe for homemade pumpkin spice.
- Egg yolks. We’ll use just the egg yolks, since including the whites would add too much moisture and make these pumpkin cheesecake cookies cakey. Save your egg whites for candied pecans or meringue cookies!
- Cream cheese. Use full fat, block style cream cheese and let it soften before mixing. The spreadable kind that’s sold in tubs will be too soft here, so I do not recommend you use that.
- Sour cream. If you’ve been hanging around here a while (thank you, by the way), you know that anytime I’m sharing a cheesecake recipe, I use sour cream for a rounded out, true cheesecake flavor. The filling layer of my pumpkin cheesecake cookies was no exception, it’s just a small amount but it adds that signature tang!
SAM’S TIP: The white chocolate chips in this recipe are technically optional and admittedly a little extra, but this is a decadent, “gourmet” cookie and I think they add a nice touch. Feel free to skip them if you prefer though!
As always, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Make and Freeze the Cheesecake Filling
- Stir together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth, then add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Portion 2-teaspoon sized dollops onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer.
Make the Pumpkin Cookie Dough
- Melt the butter, then immediately stir in the pumpkin spice. this step helps bloom the spices a bit, giving you a deeply pumpkin spiced flavor. Let this mixture cool to the touch before proceeding (otherwise you’ll melt your sugars!)
- Blot the pumpkin by first spreading it onto a plate and then dabbing with folded up paper towels. Do this until you’ve absorbed the excess moisture (it should weigh 130 grams after blotting).
- Add the sugars and blotted pumpkin puree to the melted butter, then stir in the egg yolks and vanilla.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients until the dough is uniform and combined.
- Stir in the white chocolate chips until incorporated. If you’re using them, that is.
- Scoop and roll a 3-tablespoon sized ball of dough between your palms, then use your thumb to make a large indent in the center. Press one of your frozen cream cheese dollops in the indentation, then fold the dough over to cover it entirely. If you need a bit more dough, use it, it’s important the cheesecake layer is totally covered or it will leak out on your baking sheet as the cookies bake.
- Roll the dough between your palms once more, then roll through cinnamon sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, then repeat with the remaining dough/cream cheese dollops, spacing at least 2″ apart.
- Bake the cookies for 11 minutes at 350F (175C). Remove from the oven, add additional white chocolate chips on top if desired, and let cool completely before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: I’ve never needed to chill this dough, but if for any reason your dough is too sticky, just cover it and chill for 30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pumpkin contains a lot of water, which in turn can make for very cakey cookies. To keep these cookies soft, chewy, and cookie-like in texture, we need to remove some of the moisture from the dough. Blotting the pumpkin (and removing the egg whites!) is the easiest way to do this.
Since they contain cream cheese, these pumpkin cheesecake cookies will need to be refrigerated if they aren’t all eaten with the day they are made (honestly, sometimes that happens in my house). Similarly to my strawberry cheesecake cookies, I do personally prefer eating the cookies at room temperature though, so let them warm up a bit outside the fridge before diving in (unless you like them cold, then feel free to indulge right away!).
These cookies are extremely fragile while they are warm, so if you try to handle them before they’ve had time to cool, they will fall apart on you. To avoid this, let them cool completely on the baking sheet before enjoying.
If you like cheesecake stuffed cookies, try my Oreo cheesecake cookies next!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
Cream Cheese Filling
- 6 oz (170 g) cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons sour cream
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup (140 g) light brown sugar firmly packed
- ⅔ cup (194 g) pumpkin puree
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ¾ cups (468 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (170 g) white chocolate chips plus additional for topping, if desired
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar and stir until smooth and creamy.6 oz (170 g) cream cheese, ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- Add sour cream and vanilla extract and stir until well-combined.1 ½ Tablespoons sour cream, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a small baking sheet or large plate with wax paper. Dollop cream cheese mixture by 2-teaspoon sized portions onto baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer while you prepare the cookie dough.
Prepare cookie dough
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place butter in a large mixing bowl and heat in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter
- Immediately add pumpkin spice to melted butter and stir until well-combined. Allow butter mixture to cool until no longer warm to the touch before proceeding. Meanwhile, blot the pumpkin:4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Blot the pumpkin: Spread pumpkin puree onto a plate. Use several folded up paper towels or napkins to blot the excess moisture from the pumpkin (after blotting the pumpkin it usually weighs 130 grams).⅔ cup (194 g) pumpkin puree
- Once butter has cooled, add sugars and pumpkin puree and stir until well combined.1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, ⅔ cup (140 g) light brown sugar
- Stir in egg yolks and vanilla extract.2 large egg yolks, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.3 ¾ cups (468 g) all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until they are completely combined and dough is uniform.
- Stir in white chocolate chips.1 cup (170 g) white chocolate chips
- Scoop a 3 Tablespoon-sized portion of cookie dough and roll into a ball using the palms of your hands. Use your thumb to make a large crater in the center. Remove a dollop of cream cheese from the freezer and press into the crater. Fold the cookie dough over the crater to completely conceal the cream cheese and roll between your palms to make a smooth ball with no cream cheese showing. (Note: If dough is sticky or difficult to manage, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before trying again).
- Whisk together granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for topping. Roll ball of cookie dough through mixture, completely coating all sides.¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- Place on baking sheet and bake in 350F (175C) for 11 minutes. If desired, immediately nestle additional white chocolate chips on top of each cookie within 2 minutes of baking.
- Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.
StoringAfter baking and cooling, cookies should be stored either tightly wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 5 days. Cookies may also be frozen (tightly wrapped) for several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.