Vegan pumpkin cookies (~2 dozen)


It's the first weekend of October and also the second day of Vegan MoFo. What better way to celebrate than with cookies? Earlier this week, I made a batch of moist, dense pumpkin cookies from the Post-Punk Kitchen (best blog name ever). Bryan and I enjoyed them, and they impressed my new vegan friend Lisa, which seems like a good sign to me.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped candied ginger (opt.)
  • coarse sugar for topping (opt.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, using a spoonula or wooden spoon. Chill the dough in the fridge for one hour.
  3. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sugar if using.
  4. Bake cookies 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool on sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

Is that the longest list of ingredients I've published thus far? I'm thinking it must be. It's a lot of ingredients, but it's really not a lot of work at all.

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, but I didn't have any and I'm also not thrilled by the idea of it. Instead, I replaced that ingredient with a combination of applesauce and canola oil. If you've ever baked with applesauce, you know it has a tendency to make your baked goods come out really dense. It also makes them moist, which is great! This cookie was already dense because of the pumpkin, but the applesauce made it even more so. Don't make this recipe expecting the fluffy or crispy texture of a traditional cookie; what you end up with feels more like a muffin than a cookie. They also don't spread out the way traditional cookies do.

The flavor, however, is unbelievable. I highly recommend throwing in the candied ginger if you have it. All the spices in this recipe work so well together to capture the essence of autumn. With flavors this enticing, who the hell needs eggs?

One quick note: Some vegans avoid regular sugar because of the way it's processed. If you're one of those vegans, make sure you substitute an appropriate sweetener. And if you do, please let me know! I'd love to know what you used instead.

(Do you like how I classify cookies as both dessert and snacks with my tags?)