This post for gluten-free pumpkin thumbprint cookies contains affiliate links. It was last updated on November 6, 2019.
Pumpkin is everywhere… and I wanted in on the action.
The truth is, I made some pumpkin spice waffles using the Birch Benders pumpkin spice paleo pancake mix. I opened a can of pumpkin and used only 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree for the waffles, leaving me with a lot of extra pumpkin that I did NOT want to waste.
So what do you do when life gives you pumpkin puree? You make a pumpkin recipe, right?
Not wanting to let the pumpkin puree go to waste, I decided to whip up some grain-free and gluten-free pumpkin thumbprint cookies.
I found a recipe that I could work with from the Food Network. Of course, it’s not gluten-free, but I found it easy to work around with my gluten-free baking tricks.
I decided to use cassava flour to make these cookies grain-free.
What is Cassava Flour?
Cassava flour is a flour made from the yucca root (which is a starchy root vegetable). It is totally gluten-free and grain-free because the flour comes from a root vegetable vs. a grain.
The amazing thing is when you bake with cassava flour, you simply measure it, by weight, as a one-to-one swap with wheat flour. If your recipe calls for 100 grams of wheat flour, you simply use 100 grams of cassava flour and go about your baking business!
How to Make Gluten-Free Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies
The recipe I was working from calls for one cup of all-purpose wheat flour. I know that one cup of all-purpose wheat is about 130 grams. (You can Google it if you’re unsure.)
I measured out 130 grams of cassava flour (I highly recommend this kitchen scale – it’s so cheap and worth the investment if you like to bake) and set forth on making these grain-free and gluten-free pumpkin thumbprint cookies.
The results: INCREDIBLE!
To make them I simply combined all the ingredients and mixed everything well. Then, using wet hands, I rolled the dough into little balls and baked it for a few minutes to set the dough.
Then I removed them from the oven and used my thumb to create a thumbprint in the center of each. You could also use the back of a tablespoon measuring spoon to create the thumbprint. I baked them for a bit longer until they were full set.
I allowed them ample time to cool, then added a delicious pumpkin spiced cream frosting into the center of each cookie. Yum!
The best way to fill the thumbprint center is by using a piping bag or just add a dollop with your spoon. The pumpkin-spiced frosting truly elevates these cookies into the pumpkin spice hall of fame (if there is such a thing). Just look at those bits of pumpkin pie spice in the frosting!
How Does It Taste?
This cookie is one moist, delicious soft-baked cookie that will melt in your mouth. It tastes almost like a cookie muffin – soft and yummy!
Best of all, it’s filled with good for you ingredients (well, except for the sugar, shhh!). In fact, the cookies are loaded with fiber thanks to the pumpkin puree (1/2 cup of pumpkin puree is about 3-4 grams of fiber).
The cookies lasted less than 24 hours (they were gone after breakfast the next morning). We ate them all. Fast. Gone. Delic!
On my next go round of making these gluten-free pumpkin thumbprint cookies, I plan on doubling the recipe. I highly recommend you do, too.
Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies
- 1/2 stick butter 4 Tbsp. softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Tbsp. milk or milk substitute
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, egg and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract until well combined.
- Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together until everything is just incorporated.
- Drop rounded tablespoons full of dough onto baking sheet, using wet fingers to help shape the dough into round mounds about 2" apart.
- Bake for 6 minutes, then remove from oven and use your thumb or the bottom of a tablespoon to press an indent into the center of each cookie.
- Bake cookies for another 5-6 minutes until done. Cookies are soft when done. Do not overcook.
- Allow cookies ample time to cool before frosting.
- To make frosting, combine butter, sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and milk in the bowl of your standing mixer and mix until well combined.
- Add frosting to a piping bag and then pipe frosting into the center of each thumbprint cookie.