Paleo Pumpkin Cookies (Grain Free)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist Grain Free, Recipes, Snacks and TreatsComments: 80
pumpkin cookies
Pumpkins Are Not Just for Decoration!

When I make pumpkin cookies for my kids, I prefer to make them grain free to mix things up.

While we are fortunate not to have any grain allergies in our home, I still try to limit the grain based foods because our culture is so super saturated with grain foods everywhere you turn and this is not in any way how Traditional Cultures consumed their grains!

Most folks do not realize how incredibly dependent their diet is on grain based foods until they try to cut them out or simply cut them down. I know I was shocked when I first tried to reduce grains down to a moderate level such as how they were traditionally consumed.

I love this particular pumpkin cookies recipe not only because it is grain free, but also because it includes a vegetable!

As we all know, all those wonderful minerals in veggies are not absorbed that well without the presence of a healthy fat, so these pumpkin cookies also include plenty of butter and coconut oil as well.

Gorgeous pumpkins are everywhere this time of year, so take advantage of the local bounty in your neighborhood and make a batch of delicious pumpkin cookies for your family that will both nourish and delight their tastebuds!

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies (Grain Free)

Makes about 2 dozen pumpkin cookies


1 1/2 cups baked pumpkin or sweet potato (or a combination if you would like to get 2 veggies into your kids at once!)  Make sure the flesh is firm and not too runny else your dough will be too wet!

1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder, almond flour, pecan flour or a combination (where to find)
1/4 cup softened grassfed butter or ghee (where to find)
1/4 cup coconut oil (where to find)
3/4 cup sucanat or sustainably sourced palm sugar (where to find)
1 egg
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt


Process all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.  Form ping pong sized balls on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.   Bake at 350F/177 C for about 20 minutes.   After 5 minutes in the oven, press down each pumpkin cookie with a fork and then finish baking.

You can also get really creative and use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutout for making these cookies.

Cool and serve.   Store pumpkin cookies in airtight containers in the refrigerator.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

Comments (80)

  • Ariel

    Mmmm… I love pumpkins! Best part of fall!

    Thanks for the recipe! I think I’ll see if I can make these for break fast sometime this week.

    October 18th, 2011 8:28 am Reply
  • HealthyHomeEconomist (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon)

    Pumpkin Cookies (Grain Free) – The Healthy Home Economist

    October 18th, 2011 9:40 am Reply
  • Stephanie Sorensen via Facebook

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to make these cookies! I love pumpkin…nothing says fall like pumpkin flavors and scents!

    October 18th, 2011 9:48 am Reply
  • Amber Stoffer via Facebook

    YUM! Thanks for the recipe! :)

    October 18th, 2011 9:49 am Reply
  • Kelley Stone Williams via Facebook

    what is the easiest way to cook a pumpkin??

    October 18th, 2011 9:59 am Reply
    • Melissa

      I cut the pumpkin in half, discard the seeds and place it open-side-down on a cookie sheet.
      Bake it at 325 F for about an hour, then scoop out the meat. You can compost the skin :)

      October 18th, 2011 11:09 am Reply
  • Deb R.

    These sound great. Do you think I could make them with butternut squash and no baking soda for the gaps diet? Deb

    October 18th, 2011 10:05 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Baking soda is allowed on GAPS last time I checked .. not on SCD though.

      The arrowroot flour is starch though and not permitted on GAPS. I haven’t tried these using just almond or pecan flour so not sure how that would turn out.

      October 18th, 2011 10:29 am Reply
      • Rebecca in Abu Dhabi

        I don’t think maple syrup is not allowed on GAPS. Does honey work okay?

        October 18th, 2011 11:54 am Reply
        • Magda

          You are correct – maple syrup is not allowed. Honey will work fine as a sub.

          October 18th, 2011 2:55 pm Reply
      • Amber

        Hi Sarah,
        I was so excited to try these cookies this morning for our daughter on GAPS to take to our church Fall Festival tonight! They are delicious and she is excited. Thanks!

        For GAPS, I substituted 1 c. almond meal + 1/2 coconut flour for the arrowroot and honey for the maple syrup. The batter was really wet–I think it would have worked OK for drop cookies, but my girl really wanted to use cookie cutters. So, with the processor running I added another 1/2 c. almond meal and probably about 1/2 c. coconut flour (I just added it by the tablespoon). This gave a stiff enough dough to roll into balls, but not roll out/cut into shapes.

        Do you have any suggestions for making a stiff enough dough to roll out? I thought about adding the butter and all other ingredients and holding the coconut oil until the end and adding it as needed. I also wondered if the fact I used home made almond meal was a factor. Any thoughts?

        Thank you so much for the work you put into educating others!

        October 21st, 2011 4:08 pm Reply
        • Lisa Guinn

          I made them also and it was more of a batter rather than something to be formed??? Any suggestions would be very appreciated!
          Thank you

          November 19th, 2011 5:04 pm Reply
        • Sandi

          Were your almonds blanched? That makes a difference.

          March 29th, 2012 2:44 pm Reply
  • Polly Smock

    Looks wonderful; thank you. I’m wondering, since I can’t do eggs, whether there is anything that could substitute for the egg.

    October 18th, 2011 10:26 am Reply
    • Beth

      Good egg replacer in baking: Simmer 1/4 cup flax seeds in 3/4 cup water for 5-7 mins, till thick. Strain the seeds out in a cheesecloth lined strainer –you’ll need to squeeze it. Use 4 tablespoons for 1 egg. For extra lightness, whip the “gel” and fold through at the end of mixing.


      October 18th, 2011 11:33 am Reply
      • Anna@GreenTalk

        I use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it gels. Also, I have used a ripe banana instead of an egg.

        October 18th, 2011 11:05 pm Reply
    • Jodi

      My daughter is allergic to eggs and I’ve always substituted 1/4c apple sauce for 1 egg in recipes. Makes the most moist and delicious cake!

      June 5th, 2012 3:38 am Reply
  • Polly Smock via Facebook

    Thank you, it looks great. Any ideas for an egg substitute? (My body doesn’t tolerate them.)

    October 18th, 2011 10:28 am Reply
    • Beth

      see above

      October 18th, 2011 11:33 am Reply
  • Kelley Stone Williams via Facebook

    temp? do I have to stab it so it doesn’t explode? :)

    October 18th, 2011 10:40 am Reply
  • Green Earth, Green Home via Facebook

    mmmmmm totally makes these tonight. Thx.

    October 18th, 2011 10:55 am Reply
  • Sherril Weiss via Facebook

    You can also cook it in the crock pot.

    October 18th, 2011 10:55 am Reply
  • Carina

    Can’t wait to try making these. Is there a reason for the arrowroot powder? I’ve never baked with it yet…

    October 18th, 2011 10:59 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Arrowroot is a sub for a grain based flour like wheat or rice.

      October 18th, 2011 11:28 am Reply
  • Melynda Fitt (@sostinkinhappy)

    The Professor and I *LOVE* all things pumpkin. Can’t wait to try this recipe:

    October 18th, 2011 11:44 am Reply
  • Rachel

    Sounds good, I’m going to try these. Can I just grind almonds/pecans in the blender to make ‘flour’?

    October 18th, 2011 11:48 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, make sure you soak the raw nuts in salted water/dehydrate before grinding to significantly improve digestibility and nutrient absorption.

      October 18th, 2011 12:12 pm Reply
      • Anna@GreenTalk

        Sarah, is this almond flour (ie finely grounded blanched almonds) or regular old almonds grounded for the recipe?

        October 18th, 2011 11:08 pm Reply
  • Brenda

    I was just thinking about trying to find a recipe for grain free pumpkin cookies……….THANKS!!!!! I used to like making a conventional recipe for Halloween but can’t anymore so this solves the problem.

    October 18th, 2011 11:56 am Reply
  • chanelle

    Just out of curiosity – not trying to create a debate here- but are arrowroot powder and nut flours traditional foods, that were traditionally eaten that way?

    October 18th, 2011 3:16 pm Reply
    • Tami

      Many natives people mashed/crushed nuts to make a base for other recipes. The Native Americans here in So. Cal. used acorns and processed them until they were edible. So, while the nut flours that you buy might not be a perfect replication of traditional nut pastes, it is a good modern way to go grainless. Plus, you can make your own. :)
      Arrowroot is the powdered form of a tuber and has traditional medicinal purposes. It has been used in food prep for several hundred years, so I guess the question is, how do you define traditional and how close to ancient practices do you want to be? :)

      October 18th, 2011 3:37 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Arrowroot has been cultivated for over 7,000 years as a food.

      October 18th, 2011 4:38 pm Reply
      • Ann

        I love using Arrowroot powder. From what I’ve read, it’s a powerhouse of nutrients.

        October 19th, 2011 8:50 am Reply
  • Melynda

    Just made them this afternoon:

    They are lovely and delicious, too. Thanks for another great recipe, Sarah.

    October 18th, 2011 3:33 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Wow! You are amazing to get them done that quickly! :)

      So glad you like them. We love them too.

      October 18th, 2011 4:08 pm Reply
      • Melynda

        I made them while I was talking on the phone with my mom. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. :)

        October 18th, 2011 4:25 pm Reply
  • Meagan

    These look great. I would definitely play with the type of flour though… not sure I want to eat cookies that are pure starch?? Coconut with a balance of almond will work well.

    October 18th, 2011 8:06 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Feel free to use as much nut flour as you like although arrowroot is very easily digested by most.

      October 18th, 2011 8:47 pm Reply
  • LilMissMom

    we have family members with nut/dairy allergies, which makes things more difficult

    What is arrowroot powder and where can I get it?

    October 18th, 2011 11:09 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Healthfood stores have arrowroot flour. It is a starch made from a root of the arrowroot plant.

      October 19th, 2011 6:37 am Reply
  • Susan Duprey (@sattvatarian)

    Pumpkin Cookies (Grain Free) – The Healthy Home Economist

    October 19th, 2011 12:31 am Reply
  • Brandi B

    Can I use butternut squash as a substitute for the pumpkin? I have 2 very large squashes from my farmer’s market and I am looking something fun to make my friends at our get together.

    October 19th, 2011 5:25 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I think that would work. I haven’t tried it myself though.

      October 19th, 2011 6:36 am Reply
  • Patricia

    I’m a little confused. Is arrowroot powder (used in place of cornstarch) the same as arrowroot flour?

    October 19th, 2011 12:01 pm Reply
    • Meagan

      i would appreciate clarification on this as well.

      October 21st, 2011 4:56 am Reply
      • Patricia

        I went online and googled this question. The answer I got was that they are the same. Just the flour is sold in bigger bags, the powder in smaller or a box. They suggest storing in the freezer. I only have the powder at home now but it looks like enough to bake a batch of these cookies. If they turn out, I’ll buy the bigger bag labeled as flour next time.

        October 22nd, 2011 1:01 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Eldred Sinclair via Facebook

    In cookie recipes, I’ve been subbing applesauce for the eggs for years and years, with great success. It’s a great binder.

    October 19th, 2011 4:05 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Eldred Sinclair via Facebook

    I should add that I use about 3 ounces of applesauce in place of two whole eggs. This also works in cakes.

    October 19th, 2011 4:06 pm Reply
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  • Paul Hardiman via Facebook

    Cookies are much better use of pumpkins than jack-o-lanterns. Signed, Cookie Monster

    October 20th, 2011 11:53 am Reply
  • Andrea Huehnerhoff via Facebook


    October 20th, 2011 5:41 pm Reply
  • France

    I love grain free baking. It’s always great to be introduced to more of them. Thank you for sharing it. We’ll give it a go!

    October 20th, 2011 10:56 pm Reply
  • marina

    I just made these with sweet potato pure and arrowroot powder.
    Sarah, how did you form them into balls? My batter was smooth but runny, I had to use a spoon to put the cookies on the cookie sheet. They did turn out verrrrry tasty though!

    October 25th, 2011 10:02 pm Reply
  • cindy L.

    Sarah, I’ve been meaning to write about one thing: I have the Grade B syrup and it makes everything taste sulfur-y/molasses-y. I made your recipe for vanilla egg custard and then turned it into ice cream and it tastes like dulce de leche. Am I doing something wrong? It turns everything beige too!

    October 27th, 2011 12:35 am Reply
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  • Carol

    Just made these and the batter is really runny. More of a cake batter. I even added more almond flour and tapioca and only 1/2 of maple syrup was used and used some stevia. I had to put the batter into a 8×8 dish and bake. Its still baking. Any ideas to why?

    December 8th, 2011 1:58 pm Reply
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  • Jasmine

    I can’t wait to try out this recipe! Most of the grain free baking recipes I’ve found so far include nut flour which is fine at home, but my children’s school has a strict nut-free policy. Now I’ll be able to send them with an occasional healthy home baked treat in their lunch box :)
    I learn something new everytime I visit here!

    February 1st, 2012 9:23 pm Reply
  • anna

    How would these freeze?

    February 2nd, 2012 5:43 pm Reply
  • jeana

    Yummy, but I too had a pourable batter not a cookie dough. I baked it in a bread pan and the texture is sort of gelatinous.

    March 31st, 2012 4:01 pm Reply
  • Kerri

    I made this tonight! But I tweaked it a little. :-) I used 2 cups of pumpkin (that is the amount I froze the pumpkin I baked and froze last year) so, it was too runny to make cookies (trust me I tried). So, I poured the batter into a 9×9 glass pan and made a bar/cake type snack out of it. Oh, and I did a little chocolate chips to it too. It is DELISH!!!!! Thanks for the recipe!

    June 11th, 2012 11:51 pm Reply
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  • T

    I hate oil in my baked goods. What would you suggest I use instead? Butter? melted or soft? how much?

    October 25th, 2012 2:27 pm Reply
  • Nicole

    I just made these for a treat tonight but my “dough” was also more like a cake batter. Sarah, is there a chance that there might be a TYPO in the recipe? I went ahead a nd added almond flour and coconut flour as someone else mentioned and its better but not able to roll the dough.

    October 31st, 2012 12:47 pm Reply
    • Betty

      Mine too – disappointing.

      November 15th, 2012 8:42 pm Reply
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  • Betty

    I tried these tonight and was disappointed. I could tell right away that the dough was too thin to “form into ping-pong ball size”. They came out more like small pancakes. Question – does almond flour need to be packed into the cup or just spooned in like regular flour? The remaining batter I put into a baking dish with the hopes that it will come out like quick bread. Almond flour is expensive – don’t like poor results.

    November 15th, 2012 8:41 pm Reply
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  • Kelli Warren via Facebook

    At my daughters last school we had a girl who was allergic to a few things so I always made somethjng that she could eat. Now at this school we aren’t allowed to make anything it all has to be store bought so it’s mostly garbage. :(

    October 2nd, 2014 11:08 am Reply
  • Ian Taylor via Facebook

    If no one wants them…..send them to me!!!!! Yum Yum

    October 2nd, 2014 11:36 am Reply
  • Kieran Donnelly via Facebook

    I bet they taste great but that photo rather reminds me of something other than a pile of cookies 😉

    October 2nd, 2014 5:55 pm Reply
  • Chrystal Chacon via Facebook

    Can you substitute the sucanat for raw honey?

    October 2nd, 2014 8:13 pm Reply
    • Mary Jo

      I’d like to know too. That would make these GAPS-legal.

      November 30th, 2014 3:25 pm Reply
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