Dense and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies – Gluten Free & Vegan

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Dense & Chewy Pumpkin Cookies - Gluten Free & VeganThese cookies are nothing short of amazing…in my humble opinion that is!

Here we are with a dollop of creamy icing!

I had a discovered the original recipe in “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar,” I just love his book and I learned a lot about vegan baking from these ladies (Isa Moskowitz and Terry Romero).  If you have never enjoyed one of their vegan cookbooks, you’re missing out!!

I needed to make these gluten free, and in doing so, I succeeded in keeping the same dense cookie texture that I love.  Many pumpkin cookies are very cakey because there is so much moisture in the pumpkin: it makes a cakey result inevitable.  By cooking some of that water out, you get dense cookie goodness…so worth the extra step!

If you love pumpkin as much as we do, dive in….these are worth the extra step!

**If you would like to try making your own pumpkin or squash puree, please refer to this post for how to bake your own squash or pumpkin.

Dense & Chewy Pumpkin Cookies - Gluten Free & Vegan

5.0 from 2 reviews
Dense and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies - Gluten Free & Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
  • 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup Spectrum Palm Shortening
  • ½ cup granulated sugar or xylitol
  • ½ cup brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • ¾ cup tapicoa flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum (the original gluten recipe calls for 1½ cups all purpose flour, ¼ cup oat flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch if you are not gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Optional add in's: raisins, cranberries, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips (for those who can do dairy), pumpkin seeds, or chopped & toasted nuts.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the canned pumpkin over a low simmer until reduced to about a ½ cup, about 20 minutes or more. The pumpkin should be steaming and bubbling lightly as you gently heat it to evaporate some of the water to condense it, stir it occasionally. Cool.
  3. Cream the shortening and the sugars in a mixer until creamy.
  4. Beat in vanilla and the cooled pumpkin.
  5. Sprinkle in the flours, guar gum, cinnamon, and salt and beat until well blended.
  6. Mix in any additional add in's at this point if desired. The dough should be very stiff and dry feeling. You should be able to easily pick up a chunk and gently roll it into a ball without it sticking to your hands. If you need to, add in some more flour to make this happen, 2 tablespoons at a time, any of the flours from above will do!
  7. Place golf-ball size balls of dough on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Use your hand to gently press the tops down slightly, these do not rise or fall much!
  8. Bake for 12 minutes until turning just golden around the edges. You want to just lightly under-bake these, and let them cool and set out of the oven to keep the texture perfect! The texture is best with these when there are completely cool!
  9. If you'd like to top with icing, mix ½ cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon melted Earth Balance. Add just enough milk (1-3 teaspoons) of any variety to make a thick icing to dollop on top of the cookies, it should not be thin, and should stay put when placed on top of the cookie!

Dense & Chewy Pumpkin Cookies - Gluten Free & Vegan

This recipe was shared on Hearth & Soul, GF Wednesday,  Pennywise Platter, Natural Living Mondays, Mostly Homemade MondaysTasty Tuesday, Totally Talented TuesdaysFat Tuesday, GF TUesday,

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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32 comments on “Dense and Chewy Pumpkin Cookies – Gluten Free & Vegan
  1. Linda says:

    I haven't used oat flour much, but I do have a little on hand. These cookies look lovely, and I do enjoy a chewy cookie. Thanks for participating in Gluten-Free Wednesdays!

  2. vintagemom says:

    These look delicious — I'm afraid to make them because I suspect I'll eat the whole batch in one sitting :) Thanks for coming to the Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love Party. Can't wait to see what you bring for lunch tomorrow!

    Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery

  3. laurelvb says:

    Isa and Terry are evil. All their recipes translate to GF without a hitch. You are evil too for doing all my GF work for me. Now they're way, way too easy to make. :-) Yum!

  4. Tessa says:

    I agree..they ARE dangerous! Enjoy!

  5. these sound great- my son can't have oat flour, but I'm going to play with it a little bit & I'm sure they'll still taste great!!

  6. Tessa says:

    @ Allergic Adventures: brown rice flour or millet would be good substitutes! Please let us know, it would be good for other readers as I know oats can be hard for many!

  7. Laura W says:

    I used millet flour instead of oat, doubled the cinnamon to cover the "millety" flavor & they were fabulous. I also subbed chia gel (1 1/2 tsp ground chia + 3 tsp hot water) for the guar gum as we're trying to get rid of gums. They were delicious. I brought them to church & EVERYONE (even the non-GF folks) devoured them.

  8. Tessa says:

    @ Laura, I am so glad all the tweaks worked out so well! It's nice to know i am not the only one who likes my recipes and that others can use them successfully! Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Kim Edgar says:

    Bought my pumpkin, I'm making these this weekend! :-)Yumm!

  10. These look delicious! I love pumpkin cookies. I can already taste them! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday!

  11. Shirley @ gfe says:

    Tessa, these cookies will be made in the gfe house and soon!! Love the oat flour in these. It’s perfect to balance the moisture of the pumpkin. Yummy on all the ingredients really!


  12. Shari Reeves says:

    Hi, I’m stopping in from the Healthy 2day Wednesday link up and I think these sounds awesome! We’re GF and mostly DF (my son) so I don’t have very many great cookie recipes. Thanks!

  13. April @ The 21st Century Housewife says:

    Your pumpkin cookies look so delicious. What a lovely fall treat! It’s fantastic they are suitable for gluten free and vegan diets as well.

  14. Anne @ Authentic Simplicity says:

    You always have such amazing recipes! Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday, and come back next week to see if you were featured.

  15. Lauren @ Oatmeal With A Fork says:

    Tessa, these look delicious! I imagine they are just as you described, dense and chewy…my favorite! I’ll have to try the ‘with gluten’ version though, as I do not tolerate gums well. :-/ Thank you for posting!

  16. Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says:

    These look so good. They would be perfect for my nephews upcoming birthday party. He is on a gluten-free diet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) says:

    This combination sounds amazing!!! :) I have it tweeted and pinned!

  18. Gabriela @ Renaissance Woman says:

    Oooo these are makin’ my mouth water… I REALLY love pumpkin anything. These cookies are as good as baked. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  19. Katie Drane says:

    Yum, great recipe!!


  20. Angie@ConsciousEatery says:

    These look so amazing! I have pinned it to make later! Thank you!

  21. Gabby @ the veggie nook says:

    Hey Tessa! This was one of the most popular submissions on HVF this week, congrats! Hope you’ll join us again tomorrow :)

  22. Megan @ Allergy Free Alaska says:

    This is such a great recipe, Tessa! I’m featuring this at Whole Food Fridays this week!

  23. Katie @ Mexican Wildflower says:

    Tess, once again you have made an amazing treat! Thanks for sharing with Natural Living Monday! I hope you join us again this week!

  24. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says:

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  25. Sarah says:

    I tried these yesterday – good flavour, but almost hockey puck dense, not chewy. I noticed there wasn’t any baking powder / soda in these either – is that correct?

    • Hi Sarah, no, no leavening, that’s what gets them dense. I am guessing maybe yours were cooked a bit long if the were hockey pucks (bummer, so sorry!). These cannot be over-baked…sometimes gf baking is really particular like that. Let me know if I can help or answer any more questions for you….did you use canned pumpkin or fresh?

  26. These cookies look amazing! Love chewy and dense cookies – they’re my favorite :)

  27. swathi says:

    Delicious chewy pumpkin cookies, yes pumpkin and chocolate chips does wonders thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop. pinning.
    swathi recently posted…Kadalai sundal/ Brown chickpea saladMy Profile

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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