Paleo Pumpkin Cookies (Grain Free)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
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)

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  2. Kieran Donnelly via Facebook October 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm

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

  3. 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. :(

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  9. 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.

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  11. 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.

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  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

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  18. 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?

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  20. 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!

  21. 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!

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  23. Jennifer Eldred Sinclair via Facebook October 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm

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

  24. Jennifer Eldred Sinclair via Facebook October 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm

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

      • 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.

  25. 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.

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

    What is arrowroot powder and where can I get it?

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

    • 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? :)

  29. 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.

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

      • 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!

    • 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 :)

  31. Stephanie Sorensen via Facebook October 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

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

  32. 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.


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