These Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies are packed with pumpkin puree and graham cracker crumbs with a sweet cream cheese filling. They taste just like pumpkin cheesecake in cookie form and are the perfect way to celebrate fall!
In my mind, it's not fall until I've had a slice of fresh baked pumpkin pie. The pumpkin puree and the seasonal spices make me so happy and immediately bring major autumn vibes into my life.
But now I've discovered that it's not just pumpkin pie that puts me in the fall spirit. It's all kinds of pumpkin pie-based treats. Give me all those flavors and I'm a happy girl!
I made these strawberry cheesecake cookies over the summer and fell so in love with them, I knew I needed a new version for pumpkin season.
These pumpkin cheesecake cookies are packed with the flavor of the season and are perfect for parties and gatherings where you want to bring a handheld portable treat instead of a whole pie.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you're a fan of pumpkin pie and love cheesecake, you're going to love these cookies! They taste like pumpkin cheesecake, but in cookie form.
The cookies are soft and tender with a deliciously creamy cream cheese filling.
They're easier to make than they look and your friends and family will be so impressed by these fall cookies that are packed with fall spices.
The ingredient list for these pumpkin cheesecake cookies may seem a bit lengthy, but most of them are spices that you likely already have in your pantry.
Here's everything what you need (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Cream cheese
- Confectioners' sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground ginger
- Ground cloves
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- Large egg
- Vanilla extract
🥣 How to make cream cheese filling
You'll want to prep the cream cheese filling for the cookies first since it will need time to chill before you can add it to the cookies.
Add softened cream cheese and confectioners' sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl (with hand mixer or spatula). Beat mixture until smooth and well combined.
Now, use your hands to roll the cream cheese mixture into about 28 little balls, roughly 2 teaspoon sized, and place on a large platter or baking sheet.
The cream cheese will probably be a bit sticky, so don't worry about rolling it into perfect balls. See how mine are kind of wonky?
Put the baking sheet in the freezer so the cream cheese balls can chill while you prepare the cookie dough.
You just want them to firm up enough that you can roll them into the cookie dough when it's ready.
🎃 How to make pumpkin cheesecake cookies
While the cream cheese balls are chilling, make the cookie dough!
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, half of the graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer or spatula (you can use the same bowl you mixed the cream cheese in as long as you clean it out), cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the pureed pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated, taking care not to over-mix.
Put remaining graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl. You'll be using these to coat the cookies.
And remove the cream cheese balls from the freezer.
Take about 1 ½ Tablespoons of the cookie dough (I use a #40 cookie scoop) and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place a ball of chilled cream cheese in the center of the flattened dough and fold the cookie dough over it, completely covering the cream cheese and rolling the dough into a ball.
The cookie dough is also a bit sticky, so it might get a little messy. You can certainly chill your cookie dough before forming the balls if you prefer.
Now, roll cookie dough balls in graham cracker crumbs and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Put baking sheet in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. It's really important that you chill them at this point since your hands likely warmed everything up.
Right before you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
And bake the cookies for 18-20 minutes, until edges are just turning golden brown.
Let cookies cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
OMG your kitchen is going to smell absolutely delicious! Pumpkin spice season is officially here!
Honestly, these pumpkin cheesecake cookies would be incredible with just that pumpkin cookie dough. But when you take a bite and hit that sweet cream cheese filling, you will be in fall heaven.
There's something about pumpkin and cheesecake that just work so well together.
I want to make these cookies for all my fall gatherings! And Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving and just any opportunity I can.
⏲️ How to store
You should note that these pumpkin cheesecake cookies are really best when they're enjoyed fresh and I encourage you to make them right before wherever you're bringing or serving them.
However, if you make them ahead of time, you'll want to be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge since there's cream cheese in them.
You can also feel free to freeze the cookies after baking and cooling them. I recommend freezing them on a cookie sheet first and then putting them into a ziplock freezer bag to prevent freezer burn and to keep the cookies from sticking to each other.
If you want to keep them even fresher in the freezer, wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
☀️ How to prep ahead
Since we don't always have time to go through all the steps of baking cookies immediately before attending a gathering, you may want to know how you can prep the cookies ahead of time.
While they are best served fresh, you can complete some of the steps in advance and then bake them right before you go.
To prep in advance, you can make the cookie dough and roll it into balls with the cream cheese (work through step #8, but don't coat the cookie dough balls in graham cracker crumbs yet). Then, let the balls of dough chill in the fridge for about an hour before putting in a large Ziplock bag and freezing.
I recommend thawing the cookie dough balls overnight in the fridge and then when you're ready to bake them, let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, roll them in the graham cracker crumbs, and bake as directed.
They should keep in freezer for 2-3 months, so you can prep them far in advance if you want!
🎉 Variations on recipe
I think these pumpkin cheesecake cookies are pretty perfect as is, but there's also a lot you can do to them to change the flavor profile a bit. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Use pumpkin cream cheese for filling: I left my cream cheese filling plain, but you could add pumpkin pie spice or you could mix a little pumpkin puree into it.
- Add caramel into the cream cheese mixture.
- Add chocolate chips or white chocolate chips into the cookie dough.
- Mix nuts like pecans or walnuts into the cookie dough.
- Add toffee bits to the cookie dough or the cream cheese filling (toffee and pumpkin are so good together!).
- Drizzle the cookies with a caramel sauce.
- Add a homemade cream cheese frosting to the tops of the cookies.
- Instead of rolling in graham cracker crumbs, you can dust the chewy pumpkin cookies with a cinnamon sugar mixture instead.
- If you prefer a traditional pie crust over a graham cracker crust, you can roll the cookie dough balls in crushed pie crust instead.
🥧 Can I use pumpkin pie spice instead?
You can! If you don't have all the spices listed in this recipe, but you happen to have pumpkin pie spice, you can use it instead.
Use about 2 ¼ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in the recipe.
🍪 More fall cookie recipes
Obviously cookies know no season and can (and should) be enjoyed year-round, but I love making special seasonal cookies, especially in the fall!
Here are some of my favorite fall cookie recipes:
Give me all the pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon flavors when it comes to cookies!
And these pumpkin spice cookies packed with delicious cream cheese are my new favorites.
And trust that I have MANY more pumpkin recipes on my blog.
If you really just want an entire pumpkin cheesecake, I highly recommend this caramel pecan pumpkin cheesecake.
These pumpkin cheesecake cookies have the perfect amount of pumpkin spice flavor to them and are a fun twist on classic pumpkin cheesecake.
I think they're best served with pumpkin spice lattes to truly get into the autumn spirit! They also make great Thanksgiving cookies if you don't want to make a full pie.
Now, should I make an apple pie cookie or a pecan pie cookie next?
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full sheets), divided
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 stick + 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer or spatula, beat the softened cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth and well combined.
- Use your hands to roll the cream cheese mixture into about 28 little balls, roughly 2 teaspoon sized, and place on a large platter or baking sheet. Cream cheese will likely be sticky, so they don't have to be perfect balls. Put baking sheet in the freezer so cream cheese balls can chill while you prepare the cookie dough.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, half of the graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer or spatula (can be the same bowl you mixed the cream cheese in, cleaned out), cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and continue to beat until well combined.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just incorporated, taking care not to over-mix.
- Put remaining graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl.
- Remove cream cheese balls from freezer. Take about 1 ½ Tablespoons of the cookie dough (I use a #40 cookie scoop) and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place a ball of chilled cream cheese in the center of the flattened dough and fold the cookie dough over it, completely covering the cream cheese and rolling the dough into a ball. Now, roll cookie dough balls in graham cracker crumbs and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Put baking sheet in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
- Right before you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes, until edges are just turning golden.
- Let cookies cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
- These cookies taste best fresh, but if you have leftovers, be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge as they have cream cheese filling.
- See body of post for notes on storing, freezing, and making dough ahead.
- If dough is too sticky as you're rolling into balls, you can chill it in the fridge for a bit.