Kirbie's Cravings

Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies

These buttery shortbread cookies with a hint of pumpkin are sandwiched together with dulce de leche sauce.

photo of Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies lined up on a board

My mind has been in pumpkin overload so I wanted to make some sort of pumpkin cookies. I’ve made Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies before so I wanted to switch things up and try a pumpkin shortbread instead.

Notes About This Recipe

Shortbread dough needs to be quite dry so I stayed away from using regular pumpkin. Instead, I used some pumpkin butter. The pumpkin butter gives the cookies a nice hint of pumpkin and spice without ruining the buttery melt-in-your-mouth nature of a shortbread cookie.

I have a cute pumpkin-shaped cutter, but you can use any cutter that you like. Or, you can slice and bake the cookies.

To make these a little more interesting, I also spread some salted caramel onto the backs of the cookies and then sandwiched them together. They were so good!

If you’ve never made shortbread cookies before, I think you will like this recipe. It’s not hard to do and the cookies have the best crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

photo of Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies on a baking rack

Shortbread is often associated with the holiday season, but I think it’s a great cookie to make all year. I really loved how these pumpkin shortbread sandwich cookies came out and I will definitely make them again next fall.


  • Softened unsalted butter
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Pumpkin butter
  • Thick dulce de leche or salted caramel sauce

How to Make Them

Cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin butter and then reduce the speed to low. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together.

photo collage showing how to make the cookie batter in a stand mixer

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour to two hours or until it’s cold and firm.

Roll the dough out to a thickness of ¼”. Cut out the shapes and place them on a baking sheet.

photo collage showing how to make the sandwich cookies with filling

Bake the cookies for 18 minutes or until they are lightly golden around the edges. Once the cookies are cooled, spread the caramel sauce on one and top it with another cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat this process with the rest of the cookies.

photo of the cookie spatula that reads "be a good cookie"

Can I use pumpkin puree instead?

I use pumpkin butter instead because pumpkin puree is very wet and will change the texture of the cookies. It also has a stronger flavor. Trader Joe’s has pumpkin butter or you can find it on Amazon.

Why did my cookies spread?

There can be a couple of reasons. Did you measure the flour accurately? If you don’t have enough flour the cookies won’t have enough structure and will spread. Also, did you chill the dough? Don’t skip this step because the butter needs to be very cold and firm. If it’s too warm when the cookies go in the oven they will spread.

Why is my shortbread tough?

If you overwork the flour your cookies will be tough. When you mix in the flour, only mix long enough to incorporate it. Don’t overmix. Also, when you roll out the cookies, try to cut as many cookies out as you can before you reroll the dough. Rolling the dough too many times will make the cookies tough, too.

Do I have to use a cookie-cutter?

No, you can roll the dough out and cut it into rectangles. You can also chill the dough in the shape of a log and then slice the cookies. Just make sure they are ¼” thick.

How long will they keep?

Pumpkin shortbread will keep well for up to a week in an airtight container.

close-up photo of the finished cookies

More Shortbread Cookies

photo of pumpkin spice shortbread cookies

Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
These buttery shortbread cookies with a hint of pumpkin are sandwiched together with dulce de leche sauce.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin butter
  • thick dulce de leche sauce or salted caramel sauce


  • In a stand mixer, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in pumpkin butter. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in flour, mixing until dough comes together. Gather dough and refrigerate for 1-2 hours so or until the dough is firm.
  • Once the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 325°F. Flour surface and rolling pin and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Flour cookie cutter and carefully cut out cookies. This dough is a little sticky once it comes to room temperature so you will need to flour the cookie cutter before each cut so the dough doesn't stick. Cut as many cookies as possible, then re-roll dough and repeat until all dough is used up. 
  • Bake for about 18 minutes, until the cookies turn brown at the edges. Let cookies cool. When cool, spread dulce de leche on one side and then place another cookie to make cookie sandwiches. 

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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2 comments on “Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies”

  1. Where did you get the cookie cutter!!