These babies are soft-baked! Little puffy vegan pumpkin cookies w/ cream cheese glaze all flecked with vanilla bean seeds. They lie at the intersection of cake and cookie, but the glaze (made with my secret pleasure: Tofutti brand better-than-cream-cheese) really pushes that cake-like indulgence aspect. I tend to get my fill of pumpkin pretty quickly after Canadian Thanksgiving passes, so these little dream puffs are right on time, marking that slow descent to a less pumpkin-obsessed existence. Just in case you were worried about things getting a little tooooo basic ’round here. But can we cool it with the #PSL parade for real? We can do better than that.
I think these cookies could be made into a fine whoopie pie situation (do people still make those?), and would be just as delicious with a smear of chocolate ganache on top in place of the cream cheese glaze. I use canned purée because the organic one I buy is pretty great and dang if I didn’t want cookies like, yesterday. Also, if you have leftover purée, I’ve got some hot tips on using that up: a cookie-ish bar scene, an airy loaf cake (with optional bacon, babes), a delicious shake, pancakes!, or perhaps even a waffle if you’re so inclined. Make with the autumnal treats!
Vegan Pumpkin Cookies w/ Cream Cheese Glaze Recipe
very lightly adapted from Nestlé
Serves: Makes 25-30 cookies
Time: 10 minutes active, 30-ish minutes total
Notes: If you’re baking these ahead of time, the cookies themselves are good for a day or two sealed in a container at room temperature. I would apply the glaze right before you plan to serve them up, if the option is available.
2 cups light spelt flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour (or all light spelt)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or just a rough mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger + cloves)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups evaporated cane sugar
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening OR 1/2 cup MINUS 2 tbsp unscented coconut oil, room temperature
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese
1 cup unrefined powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
2-3 tbsp almond/coconut milk to thin the glaze a bit
squeeze of orange juice (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour(s), baking soda, baking powder, spices, and sea salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar and shortening/coconut oil on medium speed. Once thoroughly mixed, add the apple sauce, ground flaxseed, pumpkin purée, and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture. Mix until all of the flour is just absorbed. Remove the bowl and paddle from the mixer and give both a good scrape with the spatula, just to make sure it’s all mixed.
Drop heaped tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, about an inch and a half apart from each other. I rolled my bits of dough into balls just to get a nicer shape, but this isn’t necessary. Once you’ve dropped all the dough, slide the baking sheets into the oven and bake for 16-20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway. Remove cookies when lightly brown on the bottom and cool thoroughly, either on the baking sheets or cooling racks if you want to get the job done faster.
Whisk all of the cream cheese glaze ingredients except for the almond milk together until you have a smooth mix. Be cautious when adding the almond milk, going a teaspoon at a time. Once you have enough in there to form thick ribbons when you drag a spoon out, you’re good. Apply 1-2 teaspoons of glaze to the top of each cookie. I like to grate some fresh nutmeg on top at this point. Some toasty pumpkin seeds stuck to the tops might be nice and festive as well.
If you make these love puffs, tag us on Instagram @baked_theblog + use #bakedtheblog so we can see it! ***thumbs up and sunglasses smily face emojis***