Pumpkin cheesecake cookies are the ultimate fall cookie for anyone who loves pumpkin. The cozy flavors of pumpkin spice and creamy cheesecake are in every single bite. You’ll love the soft and tender cookie, not to mention that creamy filling!
We all know that fall is the most magical time of year. It’s the season that brings me the most joy with all those oranges, reds, browns, and yellows. But the true star of the season for me?
If you love pumpkin and pumpkin spice, these pumpkin cheesecake cookies are for you.
They combine the rich, creamy goodness of cheesecake with the comforting flavors of pumpkin and spices. The cookies are tender and soft, with a creamy center that makes them incredible indulgent. It’s kind of like each cookie is filled with a spiced cream cheese frosting, and what’s not to love about that?!
this is the cookie for all occasions
I love a cookie that can be served for any occasion. These cookies are versatile enough to be a snack alongside a cup of hot apple cider, packed in a lunchbox for a sweet surprise, or served as dessert at Thanksgiving.
Of course, you don’t need a special occasion to enjoy these cookies – any day is a good day for a pumpkin cheesecake cookie! Each bite is like a mini pumpkin pie, but with a cheesecake surprise waiting inside!
First of all, they combine two of the best flavors in one cookie – pumpkin spice and cheesecake. The thing that really sets these cookies apart from other recipes out there is the texture and the flavor.
The cookies are just the right combination of soft, fluffy, and tender. They melt in your mouth without being so soft that they fall apart in your hands.
Not only does the dough pack in the pumpkin flavor, the cheesecake filling is flavored with vanilla and ground cinnamon for an extra burst of warmth in the center. It’s this extra punch of flavor that really sends them over the edge!
Finally, the ratio. Some cheesecake cookies are there are packed to the brim with cheesecake filling. While I love cheesecake, I want more cookie than filling in my cheesecake cookie. The creamy center should be the bonus to a truly standout baked goodie, in my opinion.
If you want more fall cooking inspiration, don’t miss out on my new cookbook!
flour. All you need is all-purpose flour for this recipe.
baking soda. Baking soda is the only leavener you need for this baking recipe. This will help the cookies rise.
salt. I recommend using fine kosher salt. Never skip the salt in baked goods! This is what enhances the flavors of all the ingredients. Without it, your cookies will taste bland.
spices. You will need a combination of ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg for the cookie dough and the cheesecake filling.
butter. Use unsalted butter in this recipe. If you use salted butter, be sure to omit the salt called for in the recipe.
sugars. For the cookie dough, you will need a combination of light brown sugar and granulated sugar. For the cheesecake filling, you will need powdered sugar (confectioners sugar).
pumpkin. Make sure to use 100% canned pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling for this recipe. If you can’t get your hands on pumpkin puree for some reason, I’ve been told that sweet potato puree works well too!
vanilla. A high-quality vanilla extract is always best for any baking you have planned. This Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is delicious, but you can also make your own at home!
graham crackers. Use your favorite kind of graham crackers for this recipe! You will need about 4 to 5 crackers total.
cream cheese. I prefer to use full-fat cream cheese, but you could also use light cream cheese if you prefer.
this recipe’s must haves
A stand mixer makes it very easy to pull together the cream cheese filling and the dough. You can also use bowls from a set of mixing bowls and a handheld electric mixer if that’s what you have on hand.
I like to use a rimmed half sheet baking pan for all the cookies I make. You will need a few for this recipe.
make cheesecake filling
To make the cheesecake filling, beat together cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Once smooth, add vanilla extract and cinnamon, beating until combined.
Use a teaspoon to measure out the filling and form 15 to 20 balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until frozen solid, about 2 to 3 hours.
After the cheesecake balls are in the refrigerator, make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin puree and vanilla until combined. Note that the consistency will almost look curdled, but that’s ok!
Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Slowly stir in graham cracker pieces.
Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out the dough. Form into cookie dough balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Chill for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven the 325˚F. Take one ball of dough and use your knuckle to make in indent into the center. Place one frozen cheesecake ball in the center and fold the dough up and over to cover the cream cheese completely. Place seam side down on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and cheesecake balls.
Bake cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are set. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire cooling rack to cool. Enjoy!
tips and tricks
do not skip the chilling steps. Do not skip any of the chilling steps in this recipe. I know that it requires more time commitment to complete the cookies from start to finish. However, the chilling of the filling and the dough is crucial to getting the ideal texture and filling.
make sure the cheesecake balls are completely frozen. Give your cheesecake balls enough time to completely freeze before stuffing them into the dough balls. This is how you can guarantee that the cheesecake filling won’t leak out of the cookies when they bake. Keep them in the freezer until you are ready to assemble and bake.
let them cool. Once the cookies come out of the oven, allow them time to cool on the baking trays before consuming or cooling on wire racks. They will be very soft when they first come out of the oven, so you want to give them time to cool and firm up.
make sure your spices are fresh! If you haven’t refreshed your warming spices since last fall, it’s time to replace them. Spices need to be replaced every 6 months, so make sure your cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg are fresh to ensure the best flavor.
do not over mix. When you are mixing in the ingredients, make sure that you beat them in until just combined. Over mixing will cause the texture of the cookies to be off, and they will lose some of that tender fluffiness which makes them so delicious!
Storing these cookies in the refrigerator will help them last longer, so that’s what I recommend. They will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
If you store them at room temperature, they will last up to 3 days. However, I recommend the refrigerator. See the next question for why.
do I have to store these in the refrigerator?
I recommend storing these cookies in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese filling. Since it is dairy, it’s better to keep them chilled so they last longer.
If you store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they will keep for up to 1 week.
should I use pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling?
Be sure to use 100% pumpkin puree and not the pumpkin pie filling. If you get pumpkin pie filling, the texture and the flavor of the cookies will be off.
can I use homemade pumpkin puree?
While I love making homemade pumpkin puree, it tends to be much more liquid-y than the canned pumpkin puree. Therefore I recommend using canned pumpkin puree for this particular baking recipe.
can I freeze the dough before baking?
Yes, these cookies are great for freezing before baking! Simply assemble through stuffing the dough balls, then place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze until frozen solid, about 3 to 4 hours.
Store the frozen dough balls in a resealable bag or airtight container. They will keep for up to 2 months. Thaw the dough balls before baking in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as instructed once they have thawed.
help! my cream cheese filling is runny!
If your filling comes out runny after baking, that’s because you didn’t give the cheesecake balls enough time to firm up in the freezer. The key is to make sure those balls are frozen and this will take at least a couple of hours. However, since the dough has to chill for awhile too, if you make the balls before starting the dough you should give them plenty of time to freeze before baking.
If the filling seeps out of the bottom of the cookie, you did not completely cover the cheesecake ball with enough dough. Make sure that there is enough dough on the bottom of each cookie so you don’t see any cream cheese peeking through.
No, do not leave the cookies in the oven for so long that they brown on the edges. You should remove the cookies once they look set (i.e. the dough does not look wet and they are not jiggly/runny). The cookies will continue to cook on the baking sheets when you remove them from the oven. This is why it is important to let them sit on the sheets for at least 10 to 15 minutes before removing them to cool completely on wire cooling racks.
Since we are using pumpkin puree in this recipe, there is no need to add in egg. The pumpkin acts as the binder in the recipe.
If you don’t have enough baking sheets to bake the cookies in one shot, that’s ok! Not everyone has 10 cookie sheets like me (a cookie obsessed food blogger). Therefore, you can bake these in batches. Make sure that the uncooked dough balls are stored in the refrigerator until it is their turn to bake.
Need more inspiration for dessert? Check out my desserts recipe page!
When it comes to serving these pumpkin cheesecake cookies, go with a classic big old glass of milk! You could also make a glass of hot chocolate if it happens to be chilly outside.
Honestly, these cookies make the ideal treat for after dinner or even an afternoon snack.
If you are looking for a fall-inspired meal to whip up, try any of these recipes:
Pumpkin and pasta go together hand-in-hand, and this one skillet cheesy pumpkin gnocchi bake is the epitome of fall comfort food.
how to store
Store. I recommend storing these cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese filling. Therefore, it’s safer to store them chilled. This also means they will last up to a week! If you prefer storing them at room temperature, do so in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
Reheat. If you don’t like eating a cold cookie, pop one in the microwave for about 15 seconds to warm it up.
Freeze. Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap before freezing in an airtight freezer bag or container. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Thaw. Thaw cookies in the refrigerator overnight until thawed. You can reheat them if you prefer them warmed, or consume them chilled.
Chai snickerdoodle cookies are a fall-spiced spin on the classic chewy cookie.
If you love oatmeal cookies, you have to try these peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!
Soft and chewy vanilla bean cardamom cookies are a classic.
Finally, if you make this pumpkin cheesecake cookie recipe, please be sure to give this recipe a rating and/or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment.
Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! I love being able to see these recipes come to life in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
cream cheese filling
- 3/4 cup cream cheese (6 oz), room temperature
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers (about 4 to 5 graham crackers)
- In a medium bowl, add cream cheese and powdered sugar. Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla and ground cinnamon for filling, beating until just combined.
- Form the cream cheese filling into 1 tsp balls (you should end up with at least 15) and place on a parchment paper lined plate. Freeze until solid, about 1 to 2 hours.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg until combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin and vanilla, mixing until just combined. It will look a little curdled and this is ok.
- Add in dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Make sure not to over mix. Gently fold in graham cracker pieces.
- Scoop out 1/3 cup of the dough and form it into a ball. Place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough to get at least 15 cookies. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 to 2 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. You can use the ones you used to chill the dough!
- Remove dough from the fridge. Take one ball and use your knuckle to form a deep indent in the center. Place a frozen cheesecake ball in the indent. Cover up the cheesecake ball with the dough, making sure it is completely covered. Place seam side down on baking sheets.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are set and no longer wet-looking. Remove cookies and let them cool on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before cooling completely on a wire cooling rack.
- Store in the refrigerator once cooled, in an airtight container, for up to 1 week. They will also last for 3 days at room temperature.