You won't need any canned pumpkin to make this pumpkin spice almond cookie recipe! These gluten-free pumpkin spice shortbread cookies are made with almond flour and they're delicately flavoured with warm fall spices! Make them and bake them right away, or use this slice-and-bake cookie recipe to make them ahead of time.
An easy gluten-free pumpkin cookie to make for fall treats, Hallowe'en or Thanksgiving!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- These Pumpkin Spice Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies are full of buttery goodness! They have warm fall flavours from cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, a mild nutty flavour from almonds and a hint of chocolate on top!
- They're a delicious twist on traditional shortbread cookies, made gluten-free using almond flour.
- These grain-free cookies have a crisp bite and they're soft and tender inside.
- Believe it or not, these are pumpkin cookies without canned pumpkin!
- They're gluten-free and they'll be a favourite for Thanksgiving!
This recipe is an adaptation of one of my favourite holiday cookie recipes: Orange Cardamom Almond Flour Cookies. It's a reliable, basic gluten-free shortbread recipe that you can adapt to add your favourite spices or add-ins. For example, I used the same base to make these Cranberry Lemon Almond Shortbread Cookies. So good!
Before we get to the full recipe for pumpkin spice almond cookies, here are a few notes about some of the ingredients you'll need.
almond flour: blanched, finely ground almond flour. I use either the Kirkland Brand from Costco or Bob's Red Mill Superfine Almond Flour.
butter: unsalted is best for baking. It must be softened, but not melted, as I've explained below. Read on to find my hack for softening butter in a hurry!
confectioner's sugar: also known as icing sugar or powdered sugar. Using confectioner's sugar makes a light, melt-in-your-mouth cookie.
pumpkin spice mix: you'll find the recipe for making your own spice mix below, or you can use a store-bought mix.
vanilla extract: pure
chocolate: (optional) for melting and drizzling or dipping! While I usually use dark chocolate for decorating cookies, I like the more mellow flavour of milk chocolate with the pumpkin spices.
You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll do to make these oh-so-tasty pumpkin spice cookies.
- In a medium bowl, cream softened butter and confectioner's sugar together.
- Add all the remaining ingredients (except chocolate) and stir or beat until well combined.
- At this point, if you're in a hurry to bake these right away, you can roll small balls of dough in the palm of your hand, then flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Cookies made this way will spread a little more than those made using the slice-and-bake method. If you want to prevent them from spreading, you can chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- To make slice-and-bake cookies, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a log approximately 8 inches long. Roll the log in the wrap to make it round. Chill for 2 hours or longer. (You can freeze the dough at this point. Have cookie dough in the freezer, ready to bake into warm cookies at a moment's notice!)
- Next, slice the chilled log into cookies ¼ inch thick. Transfer them to a prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 9 - 11 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes until firm, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt chocolate over, not in, hot water. To make tempered chocolate, melt 2 oz. of the chocolate, then remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ounce. Add ½ teaspoon coconut oil or butter and stir.
- Using a decorating bag and frosting tip, drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate, or dip the cookies, one by one, part way into the melted chocolate.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
- Remember that this recipe can be used in two ways: as a roll-and-press cookie or as a slice-and-bake cookie.
- Make sure to use softened butter so that it will combine properly with the sugar to make a light and fluffy texture. If you've forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge, you can use this quick hack: Heat a glass measuring jug or bowl of water to boiling in the microwave. Pour out the water, then invert the jug or bowl over the butter. Let it sit for a few minutes to soften the butter.
- To get the best melt-in-you-mouth shortbread texture, you'll want to sift the almond flour. I know it's a job that no one wants to do, but if you take the time, it will pay off in a lighter, more delicate cookie!
- Since almond flour can become packed, it's always best to weigh it. Two cups of almond flour weigh 192 grams or 6.8 ounces. I use a digital scale like this one. (affiliate link)
🔁 Possible Variations
Decorate these cookies with a Hallowe'en them! Frost them to look like jack-o-lanterns, or keep things simple and sprinkle them with a dusting of cinamon sugar before baking.
You could also sprinkle with turbinado sugar and press a pecan half into the center of each cookie before baking.
🥶 Storage and Freezing Instructions
Store these pumpkin spice cookies at room temperature for 3 to 5 days in a container. For longer storage, it's best to refrigerate or freeze them.
These gluten-free pumpkin spice shortbread cookies freeze beautifully! Cool them completely on a wire rack, then pack into an airtight freezer container. They will last for 3 months or more.
I like to freeze them before I decorate them so the chocolate doesn't break. However, if you store them carefully in layers with a sheet of parchment paper in between, you can freeze them decorated.
If you'd like, you can also freeze the dough before baking. Form the dough into a log, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Then thaw, slice, bake and have fresh warm pumpkin spice cookies in just a few minutes!
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Serve these as one item on a fall-themed cookie platter! Add any or all of the following for a fun cookie grazing board. Add squares of dark or milk chocolate and fresh strawberries for an easy dessert board.
🥄 How to Make Pumpkin Spice Mix at home
While you can buy Pumpkin Spice Mix ready-made, it’s ridiculously easy to make your own and you can be sure that the spices you’re using are fresh. Mix the following spices, store them in a small jar, and label it.
To make your own Pumpkin Spice Mix, combine:
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground allspice
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cloves
Then you'll have it ready to make other pumpkin recipes, like these Low-Carb Roasted Pumpkin Spice Pecans, Maple Nut Pumpkin Spice Granola, Creamy Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats, Pumpkin Spice Bread, or my favourite Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal.
When you make these almond flour pumpkin spice cookies, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing how my recipes turned out for you, or how you adapted them. Thanks in advance!
🗒 More gluten-free cookies and bars
Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies with Almond Flour
- 2 cups almond flour, blanched, superfine ground
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 ounces milk chocolate, or dark chocolate
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil, or butter
- If you plan to bake the cookies right away, preheat your oven to 350° F. If using the slice-and-bake method, wait until the dough has been chilled before preheating the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, cream softened butter and sugar together.
- Add remaining ingredients (except chocolate) and stir until well combined.
- At this point, you can roll small balls of dough in the palm of your hand, then flatten slightly on the baking sheet. Cookies made this way will spread a little more than those made using the slice-and-bake method.
- To make slice-and-bake cookies, place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Form into a log approximately 8 inches long. Roll the log in the wrap to make it round. Chill for 2 hours or longer. You can freeze the dough at this point.
- Slice the chilled log into cookies ¼ inch thick. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 9 - 11 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes until firm, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Melt chocolate over, not in, hot water. To make tempered chocolate, melt 2 ounces of the chocolate then remove from heat and stir in the remaining ounce. Add ½ teaspoon coconut oil or butter and stir.
- Using a decorating bag and frosting tip, drizzle the cookies with melted chocolate., or dip the cookies, one by one, part way into the melted chocolate.
- Return to the baking sheet to set. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.