Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (dairy, egg, gluten and sugar-free options)

recipe snickerdoodles pumpkin cookies

Today’s guest post comes from Adrienne from the lovely blog, Whole New Mom. She shares a season appropriate recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. They are gluten and dairy-free. One note, feel free to use sprouted flour (whether wheat or gluten-free) in this recipe for even better nutritional value. -Kimi

Ever since the cooler fall breezes blew into town, I have been enthusiastically (a little too enthusiastically, perhaps) on a baking spree.

I have also found myself more and more drawn to pumpkin recipes.

I am not sure why that is, but from what I have seen on other foodie blogs, the Pumpkin Fever has hit a lot of us.

Well, the latest and greatest pumpkin treat in our home is Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!

I found this recipe on the web one day while looking for pumpkin desserts. I hadn’t had snickerdoodles in so long – and while I thought that the idea of “pumpkin snickerdoodles” sounded a bit unusual, the picture of them looked great. And when you think about it, if snickerdoodles are cookies coated with cinnamon and sugar, then pumpkin fits right in.

And these taste great too! Right after I modified and healthified the recipe and baked a batch, my husband tasted one two some and asked, “So, are you putting these on your blog?”

That’s how I know that I’ve got a winner :-).

But before we get to the recipe, I have some snickerdoodle trivia to share with you.

I personally didn’t know that what makes snickerdoodle cookies special is that they are rolled in cinnamon and sugar, whereas traditional sugar cookies are rolled simply in sugar.

And am I the only one who has wondered where that name comes from? Well, Joy of Cooking states that the cookies are probably of German origin with their name coming from the German word Schneckennudeln (which means “snail noodles,” which is a kind of German pastry. The Food Timeline author thinks that “snicker” comes from the Dutch snekrad or the German Schnecke, which means snail shape. Still other hypotheses are that there is no real meaning to the name, except to be whimsical.

Well, now that you have been brought up to speed on Snickerdoodle facts, on with this healthy, special-diet friendly recipe:

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (dairy, egg, gluten and sugar-free options)


1/2 cup coconut oil (or healthy fat alternative like butter)
3/4 cup granulated sweetener (the healthiest possible)
1 large egg or equivalent substitute
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups flour (whole grain preferred. I used a gluten free flour home-ground blend)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (natural salt preferred)
Cinnamon Coating:
1/2 cup granulated sweetener (as healthy as possible)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine sweetener and spices for cinnamon coating and set aside.

3. Add flour, spices, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Melt coconut oil in a pan over low heat (not necessary possibly in warmer months or if using another fat that is not so hard at room temperature). Place in a bowl.

3. Add sweetener and egg (or substitute) to the oil and beat well. Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix well again.

4. Add dries to wets and mix ’til combined. Do not over mix.

5. Make balls of dough (I use a small cookie scoop for this process), roll into balls, drop in cinnamon sugar topping, and roll to coat.

6. Place on cookie sheet / baking stone (I love my stones) about 2 inches apart. Flatten a bit with your hand.

7. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.

8. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before removing from tray and placing on a cooling rack.

9. Try not to eat them all :-).

Notes and Tips:

1. If using gluten-free flour, you will want to make your cookies a bit smaller as gluten free baked goods tend to crumble easily.

2. For my gluten-free blend, I tend to use a majority of sweet brown rice. It has the sticky texture that you lost by taking out the gluten. I tend to bake all my gluten-free baked good with all whole grains. If you must, you can add some gluten free starch to help hold the cookies together, but if you make them small enough I don’t think it’s necessary.

3. You can use either a granulated or liquid sweetener in the cookie part. Read my tips on Substituting Sweeteners for Cooking and Baking.

4. Instead of the spices, you could also substitute 2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice.

For more healthy recipes to fill your home with the fragrance of fall, how about:

And I promise that there will be more coming, including a Pumpkin Chia Pudding and hopefully a Pumpkin Custard, and of course, Pumpkin Pie:-)!

Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?

Snickerdoodle Info Source: Wikipedia.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. Kurt says

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I’ve been looking for good recipes for pumpkin cookies using whole grains. What was in the gluten-free flour mix you used?

    • says

      Hello Kurt. I just use a sort of “fly by the seat of my pants” mix, however this is what I usually do. 2 parts sweet brown rice, 1 part millet, and one part GF oats or brown rice (I use long grain). I usually keep the sweet brown pretty constant but will vary the other 2 parts depending on what I have available for grinding and will sometimes include some buckwheat.

      I almost never use starches in my GF baking since they aren’t good for intestinal health. The time when I will make an exception is when making a cake or cupcakes and the recipe just won’t cooperate.

      Hope that helps- let me know if you need anything more!

      • Lisa says

        Adrienne, do you not sprout your GF grains before grinding? I either soak or sprout my grains–soaking for muffins, biscuits, etc, and sprouting for cookies or yeasted English muffins. I almost never use rice flour anymore. I don’t like the grittiness. We prefer a mixture of sprouted millet and sprouted sorghum with arrowroot. It makes an exceptionally light tasting baked good. I agree that most baking starches aren’t good for health (or waistline–empty calories), but according to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, arrowroot contains nutrients not readily available in other foods, so I do use it in small amounts to lighten the heavy whole grains. I also use ground chia seeds in nearly all my baking products. They are a double-edged sword of highly nutritious and very sticky/binding. My four-year old and I just made some fabulous GF salted caramel whoopie pies (okay, not a health food, but they were GF, mostly organic, and hey, it’s Christmas!) and I added ground chia seeds to the batter. I could make the cookies nice and big and they didn’t spread too much or crumble at all. I highly recommend adding chia meal to any GF mix.

        • says

          Good question about the sprouting. I actually have to admit that this is an arena that I am not that well versed in. I had only been soaking my flour whenever I did it and honestly I had not been doing it as much recently as I seemed to be having an allergic reaction to the soaked grains and my practitioner said to try backing off of the soaking to see if it made any difference. I now am soaking almost everything that I bake, but I have not sprouted grains and honestly could use a tutorial on it myself. I have soaked some whole grains overnight and then ground them after drying, but that was for quinoa due to the saponin on it that would not make for tasty baked goods :-(.

          I just recently read a tutorial on sprouting grains, and I have a sprouter for seeds so this is the next arena of whole foods that I need to dive into. Whew- -I sure feel like the learning curve is never ending, especially when one throws special diets into the mix and the never ending thoughts of what is healthy.

          I would love to hear how you sprout your grains and how many you do at a time. I am excited to try this – and I am especially glad to hear about arrowroot – now I can feel good about using that when I am making a cake or cupcakes – yippee for intelligent readers! I love learning when I write a post!

          And would you also mind sharing about the chia meal and the proportions that you used. And the whoopie pie recipe would be a bonus too if you can include a link or more info – thank you in advance! I am guessing it has dairy which is touch for me. I can have some, but my son has a life-threatening allergy to it.

          Look forward to hearing back from you!

    • says

      Jen, have you done a lot of baking with almond flour? I have not – and it seems to me there would be a difference due to the flours having such a different make up. However, maybe not. I would think it would be easier to substitute almond flour in something like this than in a cake. Would you be willing to try it and let us all know how it turns out perhaps :-)?

  2. says

    Sounds AMAZING!!! Too bad I just made gingerbread men, otherwise I would have given these a try…possibly for Christmas Eve!! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. says

    These look fantastic! Have you tried to make them with a liquid sweetener such as honey or maple syrup? I wonder how different the texture would be. Which sugar did you decide to use?
    I’m co-hosting the #cookielove blog hop on my site all this month – would you consider linking this recipe there? I think it would be a great addition!

    • says

      I forgot to answer your other question. For my personally, I know that it is not a “whole foods choice”, but I had to use as natural of a xylitol as I could find. I am in a hard place with sweeteners now as I have adrenal burnout (actually I am on my way out and it appears that this is healed), and I have sensitivity to simple carbohydrates that is quite bad. It’s a long story, but I am doing a natural metal detox and I just can’t have any sugars, no matter how healthy. I can use stevia and vegetable glycerine and yacon, but yacon is a real fortune to use. So I try to develop recipes that people can use no matter where they are in the “sweetener” camp (if they are still using white sugar, they hopefully are using whole grains. If they are sensitive like me, they can choose a sweetener that allows them to enjoy a sweet food without harming their systems). I personally do not recommend that people use white sugar and think Sucanat, honey and maple syrup and stevia are the way to go. But there are folks like me who can’t even do the others. I think this recipe would work with stevia, but typically when you do a stevia only dessert, the flavor is quite bitter, regardless of the brand. It’s usually important to mix stevia with another sweetener to get a nice taste.

      I am sure that is more than you bargained for. And it is fodder for another post. The sweetener issue is a loaded one and I think it’s important to choose the healthiest option that you can.

      Take care!

  4. says

    This recipe comes at a perfect time for me. I roasted a pumpkin yesterday and am still trying to find ways to use up the leftover pure. I’ve had pumpkin pancakes for three days straight and have hardly made a dent. These cookies may have to be my afternoon project today. Thanks!

  5. Charlotte Moore says

    There is a GF four by Jules. Does anyone know if it is whole grain or if it would work for these cookies?

    I have experimented a little with GF flour and some things have not been so great. I have made muffins with coconut flour and cookies with almond flour. They were good.

    We are nit on a GF diet. I just wanted to try some things.

    • says

      Hello Tara,

      Hmmm…I haven’t ever made millet only baked goods. Have you done that before? Are you dealing with allergies that would prevent you from using the sweet rice or are you just on a rotation diet? You could possibly add in some ground chia or flax to add to the “stickiness” of the final product.

      Let me know what you decide to do and how it works out!

  6. danielle says

    this looks delicious! how many cookies approximately does this recipe yield? I’m planning on baking these for christmas eve for about 14 people…should i double it?

    • says

      Hello Danielle,
      Sorry about the delay in answering you. There is no notification function for guest bloggers to know that there are comments, and I hadn’t checked back in awhile :-). Anyway, it of course, depends on how large you make them. I typically haven’t counted cookies when I make them – maybe I should :-). I often make them small since GF flours work best w/ smaller things (smaller cookies, loaves of bread, etc.).

      I would count on about 2 – 2 1/2 dozen and make at least one batch extra than you think you need. Then you can always have extra for your family! Hope you enjoy them!

  7. Jenny says

    I just made these with Bob Mills gluten free flour and granulated xylitol for the sweetener. I used real butter rather than coconut oil. They came out very ‘cakey.’ Any ideas?

    • says

      Hello, Jenny.

      I am not sure why that happened. They are not super crisp – snickerdoodles aren’t supposed to be that way….but I don’t know. I have never used Bob’s Red Mill. I have read mixed reviews for it and I don’t care for it because of the bean flours. I am concerned that I would have digestive issues since the beans aren’t treated prior to making them into flour. What has your experience been?

  8. Tara says

    This recipe came at a perfect time for me, as we recently took wheat out of my daughter’s diet, and I’m trying to make the transition as smooth as possible by keeping our kitchen stocked with nourishing gluten-free treats. I used a home-made blend for the g/f flour, and I used 1/4 c. sucanat + 1/4 c. honey for the sweetener and they were absolutely yummy!

  9. Annette says

    These are very delicious. Will be great for my gf husband and son tomorrow. I used butternut squash purée instead of pumpkin. Yum!

  10. says

    i tried this recipe( using whole wheat white flour,turbinado sugar,1/2 cup butter and pumpkin spice )like you guidelined..i liked the taste,cracked on the top but it is puffy and not flat like yours.Is this expected?what did i miss?

  11. says

    I’ve finally gotten around to making these tonight. My house smells delicious – mmmm.
    I used wholemeal flour and Rapadura as sweetener. The cookies do not taste like pumpkin at all. But they are delicious. I upped the cinnamon a bit, too, as we adore it.
    Word of warning: Don’t make them too big. I underestimated how much they would rise and now each cookie is a meal on its one. Not that I have a problem with that 😉
    Next time I will make them smaller however as the outside crispy crust is the most delicious bit about this cookies.

  12. says

    These were delish. I have made them in the past with regular wholemeal flour and rapadura. My son is at the moment on a gluten-free and dairy free diet so I made them again. This time with a commercial gluten free flour mix. again they were yummy. They taste almost like gingerbread. I make them quite thin as we like crunchy cookies. I had to bake them quite a bit longer and turn them to dry out the bottoms. My main issue is that my son might not get any of them as his older sister keeps sneaking into the kitchen to get more 😉
    Thanks for the recipe.

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