Pumpkin Seed Cookies
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Pumpkin Seed Cookies



Halloween is quickly approaching and finding healthy treats (did I just use the words "healthy" and "Halloween" in the same sentence?) kids will get excited about can feel like a hopeless endeavor for many parents. No matter how vigilant I am most of the time, on Halloween night I'm not about to start to depriving my son of all the junky candy that goes with the fun of the holiday. However, with all of the school parties and events that also come with Halloween, I strive to make recipes for the little ones that will be viewed by them as a treat (but lean towards the healthier, more nutritious side of the fence).

These Pumpkin Seed Cookies are like a cross between a cookie and a bread. They're super soft and moist and have a delicious spice aroma from the cinnamon and nutmeg that makes them perfect for this time of year. Before popping them in the oven, Kenya went through and decorated all the cookies with pumpkin seeds. He got quite creative along the way -- maybe the cookie with 25 pumpkin seeds on top went a bit too far -- but he had a great time doing it....and eating them too!

Pumpkin Seed Cookies  (makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size you make them)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 12 mins,
  • Rating:
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Halloween is quickly approaching and finding healthy treats (did I just use the words "healthy" and "Halloween" in the same sentence?) kids will get excited about can feel like a hopeless endeavor for many parents. No matter how vigilant I am most of...


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw plus more for decorating (you could also use chopped walnuts)


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2. Combine the first 7 dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. 3. In a mixer (or in a bowl using a hand beater) cream the butter for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy then add honey and continue to beat for another minute.
  4. 4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 minute then add in pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
  5. 5. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and slowly fold in pumpkin seeds.
  6. 6. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop about 1 1/2 tbsp of the dough onto a Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet and using your finger or the back of a spoon, gently pat down to flatten the tops of the cookies slightly.
  7. 7. Use the extra pumpkin seeds to decorate the tops of the cookies (your little one can help you with this step!)
  8. 8. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
  9. 9. Cool and serve.
  10. * The cookies should have a fluffy consistency.
  11. ** To Freeze: After step 6, freeze for 30 minutes then place par-frozen cookies in a Ziploc bag, label and freeze for up to 4 months. When ready, pop them on a Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet, bring to room temperature, pat them down a bit so they flatten slightly, and follow steps 8-9.
Pumpkin Seed Cookies

Nutrition Information

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  1. Lou

    May 5, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Do you think I can replace butter for oil? How should I proceed?

    • C. McCord

      May 9, 2016 at 9:17 am

      The butter in this recipe is used as a solid, but oil is a liquid. If you want to replace the butter you can try something like vegetable shortening or a butter alternative that will be the same consistency of butter.

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  3. Helen

    February 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    How necessary is the honey? Our son is only 13 months old so we’re still avoiding honey.

    • catherine

      February 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      The honey is for sweetness! I like using it instead of sugar. You can replace with agave at a 1:1 ratio. You could also use 1 Cup Sugar instead of the honey, and increase the pumpkin puree by about 1/4 Cup.

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    January 30, 2012 at 6:40 am

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  6. Michelle

    November 7, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    just made these this Halloween and they were sooo good. Many curiosities peaked when they saw these in my kids lunchboxes!

  7. Laura

    September 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I am getting ready to make them this year-I’m sooo ready for fall that I am getting it going early, lol.

    I am wondering about the pumpkin seeds also….So, just clean them from the pumpkin and put them right on the cookie before baking?

  8. Liz

    March 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    My entire family loves these cookies! I add a 1/4 cup of flax seed and a 1/4 cup wheat germ, substitute apple sauce for the butter, up the vanilla to 1 tablespoon and add a handful (maybe 1/4 cup) of chocolate chips to entice my husband to eat them. These are so yummy we’ve made two batches in 3 days!

  9. Susan G

    January 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

    YUM! I just made these and they are great! I adapted them only slightly by using 1/4 cup butter and 1/3 cup natural applesauce (or however much an individual size cup is) instead of the 1/2 cup butter to cut down on the calories (more for mommy than my little one!). also I didn’t have any honey today so I used agave. They are fantastic! Very moist and fluffy. Exactly like a muffin top as one of the previous posts described!

  10. Jessica

    October 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Can I substitute Agave for the Honey?

    • catherine

      November 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Yes :)

  11. Whitney

    October 24, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Curious to hear if anyone with an egg-allergic child tries these without the egg. My pumpkin muffin recipe is egg-free and very similar, minus the seeds, so I’m thinking that the texture might not suffer too much.

  12. Holly

    October 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    These are great! My 5yr old and I made a test batch today because her class is having a ‘pumpkin party’ and I volunteered to make the cookies so she (dairy allergy) could eat them too…we shared them w/ all our neighbors’ kids and everyone loved them. Even the ones who do not like pumpkin! Great recipe, very soft and moist. They aren’t too sweet!

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  14. Lori

    October 14, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Just made these today. I have a gluten free child, so substituted teff and sorghum flour for the AP and wheat. They have the perfect texture & are delicious! Thanks!

    • Stefani

      September 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Did you use one cup of teff and one cup of sorghum? Thanks!

  15. Holly

    October 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Are there any modifications for high altitudes?

    • catherine

      October 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      Unfortunately, I don’t know. I would say leave them in a little longer? Do you find that you have to bake longer or less with high altitudes?

      • Holly

        October 20, 2010 at 11:56 am

        Usually I have to cook items for longer. I cannot even make banana bread without the middle being raw and the outside burnt. So I switched to banana muffins!

        • Karissa

          October 27, 2010 at 5:28 pm

          Holly – I live at 9,300 ft and actually baked for 11 minutes and they were perfect. I find that if I over-mix, I have trouble baking at high altitude, so I just tried not to overwork the dough and they were great.

  16. Karissa

    October 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

    We LOVE the texture of this cakey cookie! So yummy! I doubled the recipe, which made a ton, and handed little bags out to friends. They were a HUGE hit, even among the friends who profess to dislike pumpkin. Thanks!

  17. Naz

    October 8, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Just made these for my 23 month old……she loved them! I made them without the pumpkin seeds though……they were kind of like muffin tops. Perfect snack for her. Thanks!!!

  18. Tiffany

    October 5, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I just read a recipe for pumpkin cookies that includes butterscotch chips… yummy… I know it’s not healthy but I’m looking forward to adding it in:)

  19. M

    October 5, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    These are great!!! They are like little bite size pumpkin breads. I left out the seeds because I was afraid my 18 month old might choke. I did put them on top of half of them but don’t feel like they cooked enough. Was I suppose to do anything with them before putting them on?

    My family loves pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips so I think I might try adding some to these cookies next time.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

  20. OhanaMama

    October 5, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try them. I love the idea of seeds-as-decorations.

    If your kids like pumpkiny things, try these smoothies:

    My 2-year-old is not yet a fan of pumpkin, but I am!

    Thanks for sharing!


    October 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    This recipe just might be great for my class cook book for math

  22. Sara

    October 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Too funny, I was just searching for a recipe to use my pumpkin seeds (leftover from my turkey pumpkin chili–yum!) in when I saw this. Can’t wait to try it!

  23. Erin

    October 4, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I happen to have a can of pumpkin puree on hand, but it’s approximately as large as my toddler’s head (29 oz). Is that the correct size?

    • catherine

      October 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

      SO sorry for the typo – its 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

  24. Tiffany

    October 4, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Can we use two cups of AP flour if we don’t have Whole wheat flour?

    • catherine

      October 4, 2010 at 6:20 pm

      yes you can :)

  25. Jess

    October 4, 2010 at 7:01 am

    The only pumpkin cookies I’ve ever tried were large and flat and a little strange texture-wise; I didn’t love them. But your description of these cookies as a cross between a cookie and a bread has me intrigued. (Also, they’re adorable!) I’m going to have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for the inspiration, Catherine!