Halloween Pumpkin Cookies

It is coming to the end of October, and all things pumpkin are coming out of people’s kitchens, all thanks to Halloween. Here in Melbourne pumpkins are available all year around, thanks to the great Aussie climate, so if you are reading this in July, February or October you may still want to give this recipe a go. The pumpkin adds a special flavour to the cookie, and as there are no eggs in this recipe, it could easily be your newest vegan favourite.

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Pumpkin preparation

The recipe requires 75g of cooked pumpkin, which is only about ½ a cup. If you have some leftover cooked pumpkin, say from a previous side dish you may use it, but me mindful of the salt. I would say that it is better to make fresh however to ensure the taste and texture is not compromised.

There is no particular type of pumpkin this calls for, but I personally prefer Butternut. It has not too thick a skin that is easily removed with a knife; a nice large section of vegetable at one end full of the yummy orange flesh; the seeds are easily removed; and they appear to be available all year around. If you have any other preferred squash I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

As I was working this recipe out, I found that a roughly 100g raw piece of Butternut, would be sufficient for our needs, any excess was quickly gobbled up by my four-legged friend when mixed with his dinner.

The pumpkin was peeled and diced quite small, then added to a flat dish with a couple of tablespoons of water. I zapped it in the microwave for a minute, stirred and zapped again for a second minute. The pumpkin was soft enough to mash with a fork, but not overly cooked. Once cooled was perfect for the recipe.

Cooked Fresh Pumpkin

“Pumpkin Spice”

I have a full post on Pumpkin spice here See recipe but essentially it is Cinnamon, Allspice and Ginger with options on a few other things too. I would recommend making a batch up, as once you taste it you will want to use in all manner of things from coffee to fruit pies to Christmas treats and more.


Makes 20-25 cookies


  • For the biscuits
    • 200g Self-Raising Flour
    • 25g Cornflour
    • 100g Unsalted Butter (or suitable vegan/plant based ‘butter’)
    • 100g Light Brown Sugar
    • 75g Pumpkin – cooked (see note)
    • 10g “Pumpkin spice” (See note)
    • Pinch Salt
  • For the decoration
    • 200g Icing Sugar
    • Orange food colouring – I used a mix of red and yellow
    • Halloween inspired sprinkles (optional)

Method – Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 175°C, 350°F Gas mark 4
  • Line at least 2 cookie baking trays with greaseproof or silicone mats.
  • Combine the flours, butter, salt and pumpkin spice in your mixer on slow speed, or by hand, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add the sugar and pumpkin and mix until forms a dough.
  • On a well flour-dusted surface, lightly knead the dough into a ball and roll out to about ½ cm or ¼ inch thickness
  • Use a round cookie cutter (I have a pumpkin shaped one!) Cut the biscuits and place on the first lined tray. Allow a gap around each of at least a finger width.
  • Gather trimmings of dough, reform and repeat from step 5 until all the dough is used
  • Mark the surface of each biscuit either using a fork or as per the video with the cutter and then a knife. Ensure to go at least half way but not all the way through, so to allow steam from the centre to escape.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 14-15 minutes until golden.
  • Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Method – Decorating

You may wish to leave plain, as they are both sweet and, if you take care to mark as above, will look good as they are. If however you want to then add icing to the top here is how I did it for mine. Note I’m no cake decorator, but this seemed to work for even my clumsy pastry skills.

  1. Sieve the icing sugar to remove all lumps into a mixing bowl,
  2. Remove about a quarter and have to one side.
  3. Add cold water a few drops at a time and mix well with a spoon or spatula by hand. Aiming for a stiff liquid.
  4. Add a few drops of orange food colouring and beat into the mix, check the colour and add a little more until the desired colour is achieved.
  5. If too runny, add some of the reserved icing sugar, and mix again.
  6. Coat each cookie or make the icing a little thicker and pipe onto the cookies and allow to set for about 30 minutes.
  7. Store in a sealed container at room temperature, these will last about a week.


Happy Halloween

Published by VinceHomeMade

With a decade of experience in the commercial kitchens of London and more than three times that cooking with my family, I am now going to share what I have learned along the way. Whether it's a recipe for shortcrust pastry; a pro-tip on buying or using chef's knives; a review of a new ingredient or a new take on an old one. It will be all here as I start this blog journey, in text, pictures and video links to my Instagram and YouTube page. If you would like to help me on this journey perhaps you would click on the link to "Buy me a coffee"

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