Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies

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Thick and chewy, these Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies will remind you of graham crackers. But these are soft and tender, with extra fall flavor from real pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. The kids will love this healthy snack, especially when they dunk them in a glass of milk.

a glass jar fill of gluten free pumpkin cookies on a black and white cloth napkin with two cookies leaning against the jar

Healthy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies

My kids, like most, love snacking on graham crackers. Their namesake, Sylvester Graham, created them as a healthier snack that aligned with his beliefs in a vegetarian diet that includes lots of whole grains. So, as a mom, I’ve always felt this honey-sweetened, lightly cinnamon-spiced snack, while yes, still essentially a cookie, was a more wholesome option for a sweet treat.

On a gluten free diet, whole wheat flour is not an ingredient that we can add to our baked goods. But there is something about the earthy flavors of fall – pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and maple – that can make even a cookie without whle wheat still have that graham cracker-like flavor. And that pumpkin spice might make them even better! Plus the pumpkin puree gives these a soft, tender texture that is easy for even little ones to eat.

gluten free pumpkin graham crackers stacked on a white plate with more on plates and in a jar in the background

Do These Pumpkin Cookies Taste Like Graham Crackers?

As I mentioned, these Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies obviously don’t exactly qualify as graham crackers since they aren’t made with graham flour or whole wheat flour. But they are still sweet and delicious.

You also get some of that graham-cracker like flavor. The combination of the whole grain flavor of the brown rice flour, plus pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup give you that subtle earthiness balanced by a sweetness that is deeper and richer than cookies made with just white sugar. And while the pumpkin spice blend includes more than just cinnamon, you get that cozy warmth from the combination of cinnamon with ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

If gluten isn’t an issue for you, try my similar recipe for Pumpkin Graham Crackers that are made with whole wheat flour!

closeup of a gluten free pumpkin cookie that is shaped like a rectangle and has eight small holes like graham crackers sitting on a cooling rack

You’ll Need

While I often use a 1-to-1 gluten free blend in my recipes, I think this one benefits from using the individual flours and starches. Plus it only has a few other simple pantry ingredients.

  • Gluten Free Flours: This uses the common combination of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. You can try using a 1:1 gluten free baking blend like Pillsbury Multipurpoese Baking Blend or Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, but I haven’t tested it.
  • Xanthan gum: Helps hold the dough together and give it the right texture.
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt: You always need a pinch in baked desserts to balance the sweetness and make the flavors pop.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: By now everyone knows this mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and allspice that is the ultimate in fall flavors. You can mix the individual spices yourself or buy it already made. Just be sure the brand you uae is gluten free, such as McCormick.
  • Butter: You’ll need unsalted butter that is well-chilled.
  • Maple Syrup: Make sure to use real maple syrup for a healthier sweetener option that also adds rich, robust flavor.
  • Pumpkin Puree: Just pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vanilla
  • Optional: Maple sugar, cinnamon sugar, or coarse sugar for sprinkling over the crackers before baking.
bowls of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, salt, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cubed butter plus a bottle of maple syrup and a measuring spoon of vanilla

How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies

Make the Dough

Sift the brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice into a large bowl. Add the chilled cubed butter and cut it in using a pastry cutter or fork until you have small, crumbly bits.

Work in the maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla with a wooden spoon or spatula. Give it some time to absorb the moisture, but knead in extra flour if you notice the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is smooth, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge. I leave mine in for at least 30 minutes.

Roll and Cut the Cookies

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F, and prepare the baking sheets by lining them with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Lightly dust gluten free flour over a countertop or another flat surface and remove your dough from the fridge. Placing your dough onto the surface, roll it to about 1/4-1/2 inch in thickness. Using a small knife, cut out about 1 1/2 inch squares or rectangles. Using a chopstick or thin skewer, prick holes in the tops and sprinkle with one of the optional sugars, if desired.

pumpkin cookie dough that has been rolled out and cut into rectangles with small holes poked in each one

Bake and Cool

Bake the cookies until they’re set, about 16-18 minutes. To make them more like soft and chewy graham crackers, bake them until they’re lightly browned. Keep them in slightly longer if you’re going for more traditional crispy crackers.

Once the gluten free pumpkin cookies are out of the oven, allow them to cool on baking sheets for about two or three minutes. Transfer them to racks to cool completely and then serve or store them!

Tips for Success

Sift the Dry Ingredients: Sifting is import to allow the flours and spices to distribute evenly and blend more uniformly later on.

Chill the Dough: To make it easier to roll out and handle the dough and to allow the gluten free flour to fully absorb the moisture, be sure to chill it well. It needs at least 30 minutes, but you can also leave it overnight.

Make them Crispy: If you prefer a more crunchy cookie, roll them thinner. I would check them after about 15 minutes or so to make sure they aren’t getting too dry or burnt.

Make them Ahead: These gluten free pumpkin cookies freeze well, as does the dough. You can make a batch of dough, wrap it tightly, place it in a place it in a plastic freezer storage bag, and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

rectangluar gluten free pumpkin cookies on plates and in a jar with a black and white checked cloth napkin

How to Store

Store your Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies in an airtight container or cookie jar for up to 4-5 days, perfect to have on hand for snacking! Or freeze for longer storage.

Ways to Use Them

While it doesn’t get much better than dunking homemade pumpkin cookies in milk or enjoying with a cup of tea, I love using them in other recipes, too! Here are some ideas:

gluten free pumpkin cookies on plates and in a jar with a bite taken out of one cookie

Get What You Need

Brianne Recommends
  • GLUTEN FREE FLOURS: You’ll need brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch plus xanthan gum for this recipe.
  • PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: I trust McCormick with their labeling, and this is a blend I feel confident they don’t add any fillers that could introduce hidden gluten, at least at the time of writing this. Always check updated information though!
gluten free pumpkin cookies on plates and in a jar with a bite taken out of one cookie

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies

Thick and chewy, these Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies will remind you of graham crackers. But these are soft and tender, with extra fall flavor from real pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. The kids will love this healthy snack, especially when they dunk them in a glass of milk.
Servings: 42 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups brown rice flour plus more for flouring your work surface
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree , not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional maple sugar, cinnamon sugar, turbinado or coarse sugar

Instructions

  • Sift the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, xanthan gum, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt together into a large bowl.
  • Add the cold, cubed butter to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until you have small crumbly bits.
  • Add the maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula giving time for the gluten free flour to absorb the moisture.
  • Roll dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut into about 1 1/2 inch squares or rectangles. Prick holes in the top (I used a chopstick). Sprinkle with your choice of sugar, if desired.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until set and lightly browned (longer if you would like the crispier).
  • Cool on baking sheets for about two or three minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 56 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 55mg2%
Potassium 19mg1%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 749IU15%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Gluten Free Pumpkin Recipes

Just because you can’t have gluten doesn’t mean you can’t enjoyamazing pumpkin spice treats like these.

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