Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies
Do you like pumpkin spice latte? If you do, you are going to be over the moon for these Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies.
These Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies scream fall and are perfect for sharing with friends at book club, a school function, and most importantly, make a perfect little ‘hit the spot’ dessert.
My love for pumpkin cookies goes all the way back to my early days at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Every November, an extravagant recreation of the greatest feast ever celebrated by the Native Americans and the Pilgrims was shared by every first grader in the school.
Moms stayed home with the kids in those days, while the daddies went to work. Entire families turned out for the local football and Little League games whether they had a child playing or not. And as kids, we had charge of every other kids’ backyard, running from house to house, our moms without a concern for our safety or whereabouts. It was 1977. The world was safer back then. It was my hometown, and it was my whole world.
And it seems that when the leaves begin to turn and the nights grow a tad chillier, I start channeling the best memories from my childhood. And I cannot help but to go back to that school luncheon with my little Pilgrim hat and somebody’s mom’s home baked pumpkin spice cookies. September, October, and November baking recipes in my house involve everything from chocolate chip cookies and apple cake to homemade pie and Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies.
Cookies are my favorite treat, and I have never met a cookie I did not like. Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies are at the tippy top of my favorites list. What is YOUR favorite pumpkin spice fall recipe and why do you love it so much?
Fall cookies, especially fall spice cookies, bust out of the annual fall recipe gate in mid-August. They take over many food blogs and the big foodie search sites such as Foodgawker and Yum Goggle. Why so early you ask? Well, we can thank the powers that be at Starbucks for this.
When Starbucks unveiled their pumpkin spice latte beverage in January 2003 following the successful introduction of winter seasonal drinks such as the Peppermint Mocha and Eggnog Latte, it propelled other companies to launch foods featuring pumpkin spice as the leading flavorant.
What is the hype behind the pumpkin spice latte I ask? Well, just about everything…
It wasn’t long before the copycat recipe bloggers were cracking the ingredient code so to speak for many popular Starbucks treats such as the Starbucks pumpkin sugar cookie recipe, the Starbucks peanut butter cookie recipe, and the myriad of their fall latte recipes to include the revered pumpkin spice latte. The majority of pumpkin spice cookies, and more specifically pumpkin spice cookies with icing, were all the rage. Hey, the Starbucks sugar cookie recipe was one of the first cookies I ever baked, so you will not get an argument from me.
There had always been peanut butter cookie recipes and easy pumpkin spice cookies recipe, but none infused with instant coffee, instant espresso, or espresso powder right in the cookie and its frosting. Click HERE to purchase the instant espresso powder I am using for this cookie. One single serve packet is the exact measure for this recipe, but I super like the coffee notes, so I use two 🙂 I use the rest for the dry rub on my Dixie Pot Roast. When you stop to consider what an easy addition it really was, it is almost ‘silly genius.’ Pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and pie spice combined with espresso powder? NO BRAINER. And it was about time.
What does the start of pumpkin spice latte season mean to you? For me, it screams nesting, good reads on chilly nights, and lighting some cider-scented candles to “warm” the house.
Now, I am certain there are pumpkin spice cookies without pumpkin puree out there, and while I am thinking another winter squash could be substituted, I have personally never tried it. I have experimented with pumpkin spice latte chocolate chip cookies, and they were fabulous. Also, pumpkin spice latte sugar cookies where you make a stiffer batter and roll the raw cookie dough in granulated sugar prior to baking – amazing. Today though, we are channeling the Pilgrims and the Native Americans and going for that old school moist pumpkin cookie.
I kid you not, I am typing an eating one of these big guys…I cannot talk about them in vivid description and not get hungry for one.
The frosting for pumpkin spice cookies is typically a simple glaze of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of milk. Pumpkin spice cookies with coffee glaze were along the same lines, the addition of that espresso powder idea popping up again. My Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies bump up the old frosting a notch and begin with a block of cream cheese, espresso powder, and some sweet cream butter.
After they have cooled, each cookie is mounded high with a generous schmere of this luscious latte-laden frosting. The notes of coffee are subtle though, so do not think you will sink your teeth into a coffee cookie. No, this is moist pumpkin all the way, just like those pumpkin cookies at the Oak Street School when I was small.
I fooled around with this cookie about two years ago, and I received many great reviews. I was still going for two qualities when I baked up a batch for this post – more coffee flavor and more pumpkin for a moister cookie.
This final recipe for pumpkin spice cookies with frosting is complete ONLY after Dad says they meet with his approval. He says we are good! I make them colossal because you can never just eat one of the little guys. Why not check all the boxes and offer a giant, moist, pumpkiny and coffee-laden cookie for somebody to enjoy all on their own? Picture this: you, a huge cup of piping hot coffee or tea, a Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookie, and a cozy chair in a quiet corner where you can take 5 to relax and enjoy autumn’s simple pleasures. Yeah, I figured you would like that picture you painted in your mind!
If colossal is simply too big, or you need to bake a bunch for the school bake sale, this recipe will yield approximately 50 small cookies. Colossal yields about 18 cookies. Only the bake times vary and I have listed them in the **NOTES in the recipe card. I recommend baking up your cookies on parchment paper fitted atop large, rimmed cookie sheets. The parchment paper makes them non-stick and prevents any real burn to the bottoms. Click HERE for a link to purchase sheets of 12 x 16 parchment paper. I find these reliable and they save time. I also recommend a good quality vanilla extract or vanilla paste. Click HERE to view the brand of vanilla extract that I am using and am over the moon about. It counts in this recipe because its helping to flavor unflavored pumpkin puree.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies
- parchment paper
- handheld mixer or stand mixer
- large rimmed cookie sheet(s)
Ingredients for Colossal Pumpkin Spice Latte Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 15 ounce can unflavored pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie canned pumpkin
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons cream can substitute whole milk
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice divided
- 3 to 4 teaspoons espresso powder divided, 3 for a lighter coffee flavor, 4 for more
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
- 4 teaspoons butter softened
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream can substitute whole milk
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Beat eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, and oil with a hand mixer or until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cream, 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin pie spice, 2 teaspoons of the espresso powder, and the vanilla. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, mixing until just combined after each addition.
- Using a medium-sized ice cream scoop, drop 6 mounds of the dough onto each prepared cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake the cookies until firm and dry to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Beat cream cheese, butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric hand mixer until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, and teaspoon espresso powder in a small bowl; beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Spread the frosting on the cookies.
- Because these cookies have a cream cheese frosting, they must be kept refrigerated. The chill honestly makes them AMAZING! Enjoy 🙂
I’m about to bake these for teachers….all who love coffee!!
What did you dust on the tops of yours?
Sheri, I cannot wait to hear the feedback from the teachers you’ll be spreading all this cheer to! I am going to email you as soon as I reply here so I can know if you mean to say what did I use to dust my board, or if you are referring to the cream cheese frosting or something else. Watch for me message coming at you now 🙂 Jenny
What is the cream (can whole milk substitute)?
Erin, you may use heavy cream as specified or you may substitute whole milk in equal measure in lieu of the cream. Is this what you are asking or are you looking for a dairy substitute all the way around? Jenny