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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts

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These easy to make pumpkin oatmeal cookies are chewy, nutty and delicious. Works well with a variety of flour types, including gluten free flour blends. The biggest problem with these cookies is that I want to eat the entire batch!

These cookies were even a hit with the boys, who normally aren't big on oatmeal cookies. They definitely go on the “keeper” list.

pumpkin oatmeal cookies with small pumpkin

I use homemade pumpkin puree, but canned is fine, too. (See note below about “pumpkin” recipes. When I make up puree, I use some of right away and freeze the rest in recipe sized portions to use for other pumpkin recipes.

This recipe adapts well to make gluten free pumpkin oatmeal cookies, or cookies with fresh ground soft wheat flour. My favorite off the shelf all-purpose wheat flour is King Arthur brand, and my favorite gluten free option is Namaste.

Use quick cooking oatmeal for a softer cookie, old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal for a chewier pumpkin cookie.

You can substitute more cinnamon if you don't have cardamom, and raisins if you don't have dried cranberries.

To prepare homemade pumpkin puree:

  • Cut winter squash in half, scoop out seeds
  • Place squash cut side down in large pan. Add about an inch of water.
  • Cook at 350°F for about an hour, until a fork easily penetrates the skin and flesh
  • Cool and scoop out flesh. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Note: With extremely dry winter squash like Red Kuri, you made need to add a little water to get a smooth puree. If you can't cut the squash in half before baking, you can bake it whole and separate the skin and seeds after it cools.

pumpkin oatmeal cookies with small pumpkin

Why I don't use Pumpkin in my Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I know the recipe says “pumpkin oatmeal cookies”, but I don't typically use pumpkins for baking. When I say “pumpkins”, I mean the big, orange winter squash that we associate with jack o'lanterns.

Jack o' lantern pumpkins are edible, but the flesh tends to be watery and bland in flavor. Instead, I cook with heirloom pumpkins such as Galeux d'eysines, or other winter squash with darker, sweeter flesh.

Libby's canned pumpkin (which is around 90% of the pumpkin sold in the U.S.) is made from Dickenson pumpkins.

These are big – up to 40 pounds and pale skinned (not bright orange). They are a Cucurbita moschata species, whereas jack o' lanterns are usually Cucurbita maxima species.

The five domesticated squash species are Cucurbita  maxima, C. moschata, C. pepo, C. argyrosperma, and C. ficifolia, with maxima, moshata and pepo being the most commonly cultivated in the United States.

Note: See “How to Cook Pumpkin or Winter Squash – 3 Easy Methods” for different options to cook your pumpkin or squash.

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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Walnuts

These easy to make soft Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies are chewy, nutty and delicious. Works well with a variety of flour types, including gluten free flour blends

  • Author: Laurie Neverman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 dozen 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free flour blend
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal – quick cooking for a softer cookie, old fashioned or steel cut for a chewier cookie
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Wet mix ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large chicken egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin (squash) puree or 1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin

Ingredients to add last

  • 1 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper or reusable parchment sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients and set aside. (If you don’t want to dirty a bowl for this, you can dump them straight onto the top of your wet mixture, but this ensures they are thoroughly mixed.)
  3. Cream the butter and sugars in a large bowl until well blended. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir gently until blended. Stir in cranberries or tart cherries and chopped nuts.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and set. These are tender cookies, so you’ll need to let them cool for a few minutes on the pan to set up before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

You can substitute more cinnamon if you don’t have cardamom.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cookies

Keywords: cookies, pumpkin, pumpkin oatmeal cookies

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Pumpkin oatmeal cookies with cranberries and walnuts.

Baking tips:

Reusable parchment paper saves time and makes getting your pumpkin oatmeal cookies off the pan crazy easy. You can use Airbake pans if you're nervous about burning the cookies.

I love my big grid-style cooling rack – nothing falls through it.

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Pins, Shares and Likes always appreciated!

Originally posted in 2012, last updated in 2018.

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30 Comments

  1. I have a question for you about your crispy walnuts. I have soaked & dehydrated almonds and walnuts so far…the almonds ROCK! They are superior to the plain ones. But…the walnuts, both times I’ve tried, taste…um…kinda fishy. I did not prefer them over the raw at all. Do you have this problem with walnuts, and if not, what is your secret??? the recipe looks wonderful, by the way…I’m pinning it!

    1. What kind of walnuts did you use? When I used fresh shelled walnuts, they were amazing. They tasted almost like toffee nuts. When I brought preshelled nuts from the store, even with soaking and drying, I couldn’t get close to that flavor. Walnut oil oxidizes very quickly, so I hate to say it, but I suspect most shelled walnuts are somewhat rancid.

      1. Yeah… Preshelled from Costco. Out of the bag they’re great ( ) but soaked… Blech. You’re probably right on the rancid thing. 🙁 thanks!

  2. Is there an easy way to save this recipe? When I try to copy it, I seem to get all the advertising on the sides. I am trying to put it in word.
    I don’t see a print key either.

    1. I usually just left click at the start of a section I want to copy, then use the scroll wheel to slide down the page and highlight the text, then right click and select “copy”. Then I paste into Word. Sorry I don’t have an easy print option. Only so many hours in the day and I haven’t figured that out yet.

    2. This is THE best thing I’ve found on the internet this year: http://www.printfriendly.com/. It’s in my bookmarks, so when I find a recipe or post or whatever that I want to print, I open my bookmarks, click on the “Print Friendly” option, and it makes it into a PDF for me with a couple of clicks from me. You can save it or print it; fabulous! Hope this helps!
      Shani

  3. You’ve got these filled with all kinds of goodies! A touch of cardamon is always welcome along with the more usual warm spices like cinnamon, and I’m sure the pumpkin itself makes these cookies nice and soft. I see you have a small duck egg as an option: I just baked with duck eggs for the first time a couple of weeks ago, I was amazed at how much loft they gave the cookies I made. Clearly superior to a hen’s egg for baking.

  4. These cookies look wonderful! and what timing! A couple of my banana squashes have begun to have soft spots–probably due to squash bug damage. So, today I’ve been cooking up, pureeing and freezing the pulp for fall recipes-especially pumpkin pie. But this twist on pumpkin cookies looks yummy. I think I’ll save back a cup or two of squash pulp and try the recipe. Thanks!

  5. Have you tried the cookies with no flour at all. I have done a banana and quick oats cookie that is perfect with no flour and I’m curious if these would turn out the same way. I would hate to throw out the whole batch if it won’t work. Thanks!!

    1. I’d hate to throw out a whole batch of cookies, too, so let me know if you try it. These are a very moist cookie already, so if the flour was dropped you’d definitely need to add more dry ingredients.

  6. I was wondering about the calorie / carb/ etc. information. Do you have that available for these delicious sounding pumpkin-oatmeal cookies?

    1. Sorry, these are not low carb, low sugar or low fat, that much I’m sure of. I’m afraid if you feel the need to ask, they’ll be outside your acceptable parameters. I’m not a number cruncher when it comes to food. I believe in aiming to consume mostly nutrient dense food, with some allowances for food that is simply a pleasure to eat.

  7. Add white chocolate chips to it and use pecans and almonds, and that would be almost the perfect cookie! The PERFECT one would be if you added all the aforementioned, plus chocolate chips! 🙂

  8. I use Pamela’s baking mix. I used to have to buy at the health food store but now my supermarket carries it. Unlike coconut mix etc you can just measure out just as you would with flour. This is gluten free and I have loved it in everything from cookies to pancakes. It is a bit on the expensive side but still worth it.

  9. I use King Arthur Flour too, as well as many of their recipes. Do you measure your flour like they do in this recipe or do you dip and level?

  10. Hi Laurie,
    This comment is the only way I could find to send a message. I got here from the newsletter email I signed up from you. On this one, you mentioned “counts” and links and stuff. i would love to help you and I love your site. You are the reason I bought 20 pounds of flour and 3 bread pans!:) However, I am not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. How can us old fogies help???
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Deb.

      Thank you so much for taking time to reach out. All you have to do to make contact is hit “reply” to the email. I need to make that more clear in the future.

      I hope the bread baking is going well. It seems we’ve finally hit baking weather here in Northeast Wisconsin – so cool and damp today!

      If you’d like to help but aren’t on social media, the simplest thing is to just let your friends know about the site or a specific recipe the old fashioned way – tell them about it. 🙂 All the social media stuff changes from day to day, but personal recommendations never go out of style.

      Thank you, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question or topic that you would like covered.

    2. Like Laurie said, word of mouth. Sharing info about CommonSenseHome works as good, if not better than the online stuff. Tell friends, family and your community about the website and how it helps.
      Thanks for the kind words!

    1. LOVE THIS RECIPE!
      -We have used kabocha squash to replace pumpkin. Very good!
      -Also, we use monk fruit instead of white sugar to reduce GI level a little. It’s great!
      -We always use orange-flavored cranberries, which add a subtle fruity tang.

  11. These cookies look like something my family and I would really enjoy. I love pumpkin but I don’t cook or bake with it enough. I also like the fact that you can use squash over pumpkin, I’m sure the different varieties would change the flavor just a bit. I’m going to have to give these a try ad see how we like them, though I am sure we will love them.

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