I enjoy sharing traditional recipes that have been modified ro meet the health requirements of those who are gluten-sensitive and vegan!
Gluten-Free and Vegan Pumpkin Cookies
Pumpkin treats—squares, cakes, muffins, cookies—are a switch-up dessert for the various holidays that we associate with pumpkin pie, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. But with cans of organic pumpkin on the store shelves all year long you can whip up these delicious, healthy pumpkin cookie recipes any time!
The four great pumpkin cookie recipes in this article are all vegan (no eggs, dairy or honey) and three are gluten-free (no wheat, rye, barley, or corn), with an option for gluten-free with the fourth. We have tried various recipes from books and off the internet and made adjustments so that they taste as great as (or better than) the wheat, egg, and dairy varieties. Please, make your own adaptations if you want to try that (I'm all for experimenting with your food!).
No Xanthan Gum or Guar
I have skipped xanthan or guar gum in these recipes because these gums create some discomfort for me. Allergy? I'm not sure, but I have heard the same from others. The gums thicken and add some of the mouth-feel of gluten. For the same effect, I use a chia egg (see below to see how to make one), and find that it makes a slightly spongy texture that I enjoy, and that it is mildly nutty in flavour and doesn't cause me any tummy issues. But if you have no problems with xanthan or guar gum, please use the alternate method. You could also make a flax egg (same instructions, substitute flaxseed) although I find that there is a definite flax taste/scent that I don't really like. Flax and chia both contain Omega-3 essential fatty acids that you don't find in the gums.
Great Pumpkin Medley
The "Great Pumpkin Medley" is a composite of World War I era songs (i.e., public domain) familiar to anyone who watches It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (starring Snoopy).
Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe
Several of the cookie recipes below call for pumpkin pie spice mix.
- 8 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 tsp. allspice
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. 100% stevia leaf (optional)
Instructions: Mix well to combine. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
1. Great Pumpkin Hermits
- 4 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, extra virgin, melted
- 3 cups coconut palm sugar or packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 2 cups / 15 oz. tin pumpkin puree
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flax meal mixed well into 5 tablespoons warm water)
- 2 cups chopped dates
- 2 cups chopped walnuts (or use 1 3/4 cups walnuts, 1/4 cup hemp seed)
- In a small dish, mix up the flax egg. Stir until it is a smooth glutenous texture and put aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Line cookies sheets with silicone mats or parchment. Alternatively, spray with oil
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt
- In another large mixing bowl, whisk to combine melted coconut oil, flax egg, sugar, pumpkin puree, and molasses (you may also whirl these ingredients up in a blender)
- Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Fold in dates and walnuts.
- Drop rounded teaspoons full of cookie batter onto the pans, leaving about 1.5 to 2 inches between cookies.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, checking around the 10-minute mark. Cool completely on racks. They are good warm, but even better on day 2 or 3. Store in a tin or in the fridge. Beyond a couple of days, freeze.
My GF Cookie Flour Mix
This is pretty complicated but the flours in this mix give the finished product a very nice taste.
- 6 c. white rice flour
- 4 c. brown rice flour
- 3.5 c. tapioca starch
- 2.5 c. coconut flour
- 2.5 c. potato starch
- 1.5 C. oat flour (GF)
Measure into a large bowl and whisk until completely mixed. This gives you 20 cups of flour for a variety of Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes.
Read More From Delishably
2. Great Pumpkin Pecan Slices
For the crust:
- 1 2/3 cup pecan pieces
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cup pitted dates
For the pumpkin "custard":
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup organic granulated cane sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix (scroll above for DIY recipe)
- 2 tsp. agar agar powder (powder not flakes)
- Put pecans, dates, coconut and cinnamon into a food processor and process until it is finely chopped. Press into a 8 x 8 pan.
- Combine all other ingredients (except agar agar) over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth.
- Add in agar agar and whisk for a full minute until completely dissolved and mixed in.
- Remove topping from heat and carefully pour over 8 x 8 crust, gently smoothing into place with the broad base of a large flat spoon.
- When somewhat cooler, cover with lid or plastic and put in the fridge.
- Cut into squares and serve up when fully cold and set. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!
3. Great Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup organic granulated cane sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup blackstrap (unsulphured) molasses
- 1 small, very ripe banana, peeled and cut in pieces
- 1 chia egg (1 T. ground chia seed mixed well in 4 T. water)
- 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour Mix (see sidebar or use ready-made)
- 4-5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (scroll above or use ready-made)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- extra organic granulated cane sugar to roll cookies in prior to baking
- In a food processor bowl or with electric beater, mix the coconut oil and sugar until creamed.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, molasses, banana, chia egg and mix until combined.
- Add in GF flour, pumpkin pie spices, and sea salt.
- Put the batter in the fridge for 1+ hours to firm up.
- After the batter has chilled, preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- Make small bite-sized balls and roll them in sugar. Place them on mat and push down to flatten with thumb or back of spoon. Use silicone baking sheet, parchment paper or foil to prevent sticking.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes (depending on how hot your oven is). Don't over-bake.
- Let sit on the pan when removed from the oven for a few minutes.
- Carefully place on cooling racks to cool down completely.
4. Great Pumpkin Oatmeal Walnut Muffin Tops
I call these 'muffin tops' because of their nice, fullsome and spongy texture, but some call them "breakfast cookies". They are full of omega essential fatty acids (chia seed, walnuts) and other great nutrients to start your day.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 small very ripe banana, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 chia egg (1 T. ground chia seed well mixed into 4 T. warm water)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats (if you are celiac or sensitive to oats, get GF oatmeal)
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour fix (scroll above or use ready-made / your choice)
- 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix (scroll above)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit of choice)
- chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine coconut oil, ripe banana, and maple syrup. Mix.
- Add in chia egg, pumpkin puree, quick oats, GF flour, pumpkin spices (see recipe above), and salt. Pulsate until well mixed.
- Gently mix in chopped walnuts and dried fruit (and chips, if you have opted for them).
- Drop by 2" mound onto silicone bake sheet, parchment, or foil on baking pan.
- Smooth the mound down.
- Bake for about 17-20 minutes until golden.
- Leave on pan for a few minutes after removing from the oven, and then cool down completely on cooling racks.
I think a couple of these makes a pretty good start to a good breakfast. Enjoy!
I want to personally thank Eunice and Ken who grew the Great Pumpkin that I had a chunk of and that I used for ALL of the recipes in this article. And thanks to my great neighbour, Iris, who is so thoughtful and brought the hunk of pumpkin over. Every year a group of our neighbours compete to grow the largest pumpkin—and because they are so generous, everybody wins!