Let’s get spooky with these super easy Halloween Pumpkin Cookies adorned with a frightening Butterfinger peanut butter skull. They are the perfect Halloween treats that you’ll want to make over and over again even after Halloween, just use regular peanut butter cup instead! This post was sponsored by Butterfinger, all opinions are my own.
I’m taking a page from this Valentine’s Day Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie recipe and turning them into easy Halloween cookies. These are soft pumpkin cookies, made with real pumpkin puree, and just a hint of pumpkin pie spice. Each cookie is decorated with a Butterfinger peanut butter skull pressed into the middle for that subtle Halloween flare.
You’ll be surprised how well these soft and creamy peanut butter skulls go with the pillowy pumpkin cookies. Each bite is filled with just a hint of that perfect Autumn spice, creamy chocolate, and delicious peanut butter filling, all combined into a flavor wonderland.
How to make soft Pumpkin Cookies for Halloween
- Start with beating together the wet ingredients including the brown sugar.
- Stir in dry ingredients to form the cookie dough.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour before dividing it into 13 dough balls.
- Flatten dough balls, sprinkle with some sugar mixed with pumpkin pie spice and bake for 13 minutes at 375°F.
- Let the cookies cool slightly before pressing a candy in the middle, freeze the cookies to stop the candy from melting completely.
Tips for perfect soft pumpkin cookies
These cookies are made with real pumpkin puree, so the dough will be a wet dough, don’t be alarmed by this. They will bake up super soft and pillowy, almost cake-like.
Shaping the dough balls:
Method 1 – dust your hands and the dough with flour
Using extra flour while rolling works perfectly fine, and the cookies baked up super soft and delicious inside. But aesthetically, they look a bit dull and dry on the outside. However, using the flour method keeps the dough ball dry on the outside which means you can flatten them easily before baking.
Method 2 – grease your hands with melted butter or oil
This works even better without having to add extra flour to the dough. But with a wetter dough ball, flattening them is now trickier. You’ll need to grease the bottom of the measuring cup used for flattening the dough as well so the dough doesn’t stick to it. Don’t lift the measuring cup straight up when removing them after you have flattened the dough. You’ll need to slide the measuring cup out and off to the side to keep the surface of the cookie dough flat.
I personally like the second method better because it produces more vibrant cookies in the end, even though it’s a bit more work. But if you aren’t too worried about the look, the flour method is a lot quicker and easier.
Pumpkin cookie variations for every day
The peanut butter skulls are only available during Halloween time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make these cookies for everyday occasions.
- Use peanut butter cups instead of peanut butter skulls to decorate the cookies for the same effect and taste without the Halloween factor.
- You could also skip the peanut butter cups altogether and just make plain soft pumpkin cookies. I suggest increasing the pumpkin pie spice in the recipe to 1 teaspoon for more flavor in this case.
- For plain pumpkin cookies, add cream cheese frosting if desired.
More Pumpkin Treats You’ll Love
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Pie Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Pie Bars
These easy Halloween Pumpkin Cookies are also the perfect way to use leftover candies if you end up with enough peanut butter skulls or peanut butter cups. It’s also a great way to get the kids into the kitchen baking with you.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
📖 Recipe card
Halloween Pumpkin Cookies
- 2 oz unsalted butter (room temperature, 57 g)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar (134 g)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (120 g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (195 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 13 Butterfinger peanut butter skulls
- Extra melted butter
- Add brown sugar and softened butter to a medium mixing bowl and beat with the paddle attachment until combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add pumpkin puree, egg, vanilla, and beat for another minute until thoroughly combined.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until evenly distributed. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture with the mixer on low speed, and mix until just combined.
- Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is well mixed. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and divide into 13 portions, about 1 ½ oz each. For precise measurement, use a kitchen scale. Grease your hands with melted butter and roll the dough into balls. Set them on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Place the baking sheet back into the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375°Mix granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice together for topping and set aside.
- When the oven is ready, take a baking sheet with the cookie dough out of the fridge. Grease the bottom of a measuring cup with melted butter and flatten the dough balls. It may be a little sticky still, slide the measuring cup from side to side to remove it from the cookie dough instead of lifting straight up. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over each cookie generously and bake for 13 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 8 minutes. Press a Butterfinger skull into the middle of the slightly cooled cookies. Place the cookie tray in the freezer immediately to stop the candy from melting further.
- Flattening the dough ball will help the cookies spread and bake more evenly. However, this is optional. You can bake the dough balls as is without flattening them, they will dome just a little more.
- Use extra flour or grease your hands with melted butter/oil when forming the dough balls to keep them from sticking.