These pillowy soft, cake-like pumpkin cookies combine teff flour and gluten-free flour for a moist cinnamon spiced autumn treat.
Is Teff Gluten-Free?
Yes! Teff actually comes from a seed and gluten is only found in grains, so teff is 100% gluten free. If you are super sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, I recommend using a certified gluten-free option like Anthony’s Teff flour which is batch tested.
Why Teff Flour?
Why bother adding another flour to your crowded pantry? Those of us on a gluten-free diet tend to eat a lot of rice. Rice flour is often the base for gluten-free flours, crackers, breads, pasta and many other gf products. So it’s a great idea to add some variety.
Teff works so well in baked goods and as a bonus is a powerhouse of nutrition. Teff is rich in B vitamins and is a great source of minerals.
Teff Flour – Teff has a wonderful sweet and nutty flavor which is perfect in baked goods and goes well with the pumpkin and warm spices. Teff flour comes in white and brown but I prefer the flavor of brown teff flour. The recipe was tested using only brown flour.
Pumpkin Spice Blend – a pumpkin spice blend adds the zing of warm spices to these cookies. If you don’t have a blend, you can easily combine a few spices to make your own. Cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves and nutmeg are all good options. Instructions for a DIY pumpkin spice are included in the recipe card below.
Pumpkin Puree – Canned pumpkin puree makes these cookies super moist and pumpkin flavored. Be sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend – King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour is my preferred gluten-free flour blend for baking. It works well in almost all of my recipes and is sold in most grocery stores. It is also the most affordable of the gf flours I’ve tested.
Cup4Cup and Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan Blend usually work in my recipes as well although I have not tested them specifically in this recipe. Namaste flour requires a different combination of ingredients and will not work well in this recipe.
If you use a gluten-free flour blend that does not contain xanthan gum, guar gum or inulin, add 1/2 tsp xanthin gum to the recipe.
These cookies are sweetened with a combination of light brown sugar and white sugar. I also tested the recipe using coconut sugar. Since coconut sugar is a little less sweet, use 1/2 cup of coconut sugar with 1/2 cup sugar.
The rest of the ingredients are just the basics – an egg, baking soda, vanilla and salt. Be sure that your egg is at room temperature. Because the cookie dough contains butter, it’s important that the egg is not cold. If it is, it will cause the butter to curdle. So place the egg in a bowl of warm water as your first step. It should be warm enough by the time you’re ready to use it.
There are so many yummy ways you can top these cookies. To be perfectly honest, they are not the most attractive on their own. So a little something extra makes a big difference.
Take these cookies to another level with cream cheese frosting-one of my personal favorites. The warm spices with a sweet and tangy frosting are a great combo.
Personally, I’m a sucker for a pretty icing drizzle on cookies. This icing is super simple but will add a little visual appeal to these brown cookies. Combine:
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp water, milk or dairy-free milk sub
- 1 tsp light corn syrup
- ¼ tsp of salt
Stir it until it is smooth. Immediately drizzle or coat the cookies.
A cinnamon sugar dusting is a super simple option. Mix two tablespoons of coarse sugar with 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle over cookies right before baking.
Soft Teff Pumpkin Cookies (Gluten-Free)
- 1 c teff flour (brown)
- ⅔ c gluten-free flour blend, King Arthur Measure for Measure recommended¹
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice blend OR ¾ tsp cinnamon + ⅛ tsp ground cloves + ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- ⅔ c brown sugar see coconut sugar option below²
- ⅓ c granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature³
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, powder or bean paste
- ⅔ c pumpkin puree
Cookie Icing (optional)
- 1 c powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp light corn syrup (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
Make the Cookies
- If your egg is cold, place it in a bowl of warm water,
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
- Combine the teff flour, gluten-free flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Use an electric mixer or stand mixer to cream the butter with the brown and white sugars.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium high until they are incorporated.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low for 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Use two spoons or a scoop (see scoop linked above) to drop about 2½ tablespoons batter per cookie onto the lined pan. Leave about 2 in between.
- These cookies do not spread much, so it's best to flatten them a bit. Fill a small bowl or cup with water. Dip fingertips into the water and press the dough to a disk.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the tops are set and bounce back from a gentle tap.
- Cool the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Ice or top with my cream cheese frosting.
Ice the Cookies
- The corn syrup will make this icing a little more firm. It is optional.
- Place 1 tablespoon water, the powdered sugar, corn syrup and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- Mix with a fork or wire whisk until smooth. If it is too thick add more water a teaspoon at a time until it is the right consistency.
- Drizzle or coat the cookies.
- To store these cookies, place in a sealed container with parchment paper or between layers of the cookies. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days.