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The Softest Protein Pumpkin Cookies (Keto-Friendly & Gluten-Free)

Pumpkin lovers, rejoice. I have the perfect Fall treat for you.

These protein pumpkin cookies are soft, chewy, and surprisingly low in calories!

Protein pumpkin cookies

Crunchy cookies have their place, but there’s nothing quite like a soft, gooey cookie center, and that’s exactly what these cookies deliver.

These soft pumpkin protein cookies have only 60 calories each, pack in 4g of protein, and have only 1 gram of carbs.

They’re keto-friendly, high-protein, gluten-free, and safe to under-bake (or even eat as raw dough). In other words: they check all the boxes.

And with all the pumpkin pie flavor you could want during pumpkin season, there’s no reason to not make these beauties.

Pumpkin cookies on table

 

How to Make Protein Pumpkin Cookies

Much like my regular keto-friendly cookies, these cookies are very simple to make.

The only “difficult” thing about these cookies is the wait time. Since these are virtually carb-free, the dough is going to be rather sticky, so it requires an hour in the fridge to thicken up.

But trust me: it’s worth the wait.

If you skip this step, the sticky dough is going to be very difficult to work with, and your cookies will also end up being a bit cakier.

Pumpkin protein cookie dough

After one hour in the fridge, the dough will be thick enough that you can use a cookie scoop to form your cookies.

Pumpkin protein cookies scooper

If you don’t have a small cookie scoop, a spoon works just fine!

I chose to make 12 small cookies here, but you can use larger scoops to make larger cookies if you prefer. I personally prefer smaller cookies, so I tend to stick with 9-12 cookies total for this recipe.

Roll the cookies in circles using your palms, then space them out on a baking sheet.

Bake the pumpkin cookies for 8 minutes.

They’re going to be very soft when they come out of the oven, but since all of the ingredients are safe to eat raw, it’s perfectly okay to underbake these a bit.

Pumpkin protein cookies out of oven

And while these pumpkin cookies might seem cakey right out of the oven, they will sink down and firm up as they cool.

If you want your cookies to have a crackly top, like my Molasses Crackle Cookies or Healthy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, you can use your hands to press the tops of these cookies down lightly while they’re still hot.

Crackly pumpkin cookies

When you do this, it will create a beautifully crackly top, but this step is completely optional!

Crackly top or not, just 10-15 minutes is all these cookies need to firm up inside and be ready to eat.

Protein pumpkin cookies

The insides of these protein pumpkin cookies are still going to be very soft, but that’s exactly what we’re after.

If you want to add another layer of flavor to these cookies, be sure to check out my Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies. We’re taking this same recipe but stuffing the inside with cheesecake filling for an extra high-protein dessert!

 

More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes to Enjoy this Fall

While I prefer apple to pumpkin when it comes to Fall recipes, I can’t fight the popularity of pumpkin this time of year! If you’re a pumpkin spice fan, I’ve got plenty of healthy recipes for ya…

 

Protein pumpkin cookies

Protein Pumpkin Cookies (Keto-Friendly & Gluten-Free)

Yield: 9-12 Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Incredibly soft and gooey as all cookies should be- these pumpkin protein cookies have only 60 calories and 4g of protein each!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  2. Microwave the butter (or coconut oil) for 20-30 seconds to soften it enough to mix- it doesn't need to be hot, just soft. Mix it into your dry ingredients along with the pumpkin.
  3. Mix until a sticky cookie dough forms, then add to the fridge for one hour to allow the dough to thicken.
  4. After one hour, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and remove the dough from the fridge.
  5. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, scoop out 9 to 12 cookies depending on how large you would like each to be.
  6. Roll the scoops into balls in your palms, then space them out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let your pumpkin cookies cool for 10-15 minutes to fully cool and firm up, then enjoy.

Notes

  • I use PEScience protein, which is a blend of whey & casein protein powder. When I first developed this recipe I used 100% whey protein and can confirm it works well! The only difference is that you'll likely want to use slightly less pumpkin, as whey protein requires less liquid. Start with 40g of pumpkin and only add more if needed.
  • PEScience protein has a pumpkin pie flavor, which works extremely well in this recipe and I highly recommend using it if you can.
  • I typically use "light butter" in my recipes to save calories, but these cookies require full-fat butter or coconut oil. Since they are virtually carb-free, the extra fat gets us the texture we want.
  • If your pumpkin cookies are too puffed up right out of the oven, they can be lightly flattened while hot to create “crackle” cookies.
  • I do not count sugar substitutes in my carb totals. If you are very strict about carbs, be sure to count those.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1 Cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 60Total Fat 4.5gCarbohydrates 1gProtein 4g

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Share The Love

Laurie

Friday 1st of September 2023

How should these be stored?

Laurie

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

@Matt, they seem to dry out a little in the refrigerator. I may have over cooked them a tad. I was nervous at the 8 minute mark.

Matt

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

I like keeping them stored in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible, but they're OK at room temperature for a few days! Just make sure they're in a sealed container.

Ashlee

Thursday 31st of August 2023

Could you use the PEscience gourmet vanilla and just add extra pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon?

Matt

Thursday 31st of August 2023

@Ashlee, You sure can! Vanilla is a safe bet for pretty much any recipe so it'll always work, you just don't get quite as much flavor. But adding a little extra spice will make up for it for sure.

Auxilia

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Hi there! Thanks, first off, for your refreshing content--I love your approach to guilt-free eating. It opened my eyes to some of my own insidious beliefs about eating and body image. You're doing great work. :)

As someone who is NOT keto/low-sugar and is unfamiliar with sugar substitutes, I'm wondering if I can use regular sugar 1:1 when a sugar substitute is called for (in this and other recipes), or if there's a chemical reason to adjust the ratio...?

Thank you again! Have an awesome week. :)

Matt

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Thank you so much :) Yes, you can absolutely use regular sugar! I use a sugar substitute that is a 1:1 replacement, so any time you see a granular sugar, brown sugar, or powdered sugar, you can use the real-deal in the same quantities!

Tracy

Sunday 3rd of October 2021

Can wheat flour be used as I cannot eat tree nuts ?

Matt

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

I didn't test it, but that should work just fine!

William D Kneip

Thursday 18th of March 2021

I had to add a lot of almond milk to the batter because it was to dry. I used vegan protein powder

Matt

Thursday 18th of March 2021

Yeah, vegan protein is very dry compared to dairy! 1:1 substitutions like that typically will not work in recipes.

About Matt Rosenman

With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Cheatdaydesign.com. Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More

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