Eat Skinny Be Skinny: 42 Calorie Pumpkin Cookies

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No, I’m not lying friends or playing tricks on you. Each one of these fabulous pumpkin cookies has a mere 42 calories. I know, mind boggling. And no to your next question, they don’t taste like cardboard, chalk or a foot! In fact, they are really good (albeit a bit chewy) and very flavorful. There’s just the right amount of pumpkin & spice. Plus, I love the taste and texture you get when you swap out butter, eggs and oil for applesauce.

When I first found this recipe, I was VERY skeptical. How on the earth could a cookie with just 42 calories, less than 1 gram of fat and NO eggs or butter taste good? It was sort of the same skepticism I had when I made my peanut butter chocolate cookies (oil and butter free). I was, once again, pleasantly surprised. They don’t taste like a typical cookie, though, and they have a bit, springier, of a texture because of the applesauce. You could easily eat a few of these for breakfast (yes, I’m advising you to eat cookies for breakfast) or dunk them in apple cider (so much better than the Oreo). Oh and guys, EACH ONE ONLY HAS 42 calories. Did I say that yet?

This stack of 5 would only set you back about 200 calories and 1 gram of fat. Some cookies can have that many calories IN JUST ONE. However, I am once agian, not advising you to eat, say, 10 of them.

Hopping off the calorie bandwagon, these really are great cookies. I’d been inching to whip out my canned pumpkin and organic applesauce ( I sort of blacked out in Whole Foods, can’t talk about it).

It is apple and pumpkin season, after all! After seeing countless pumpkin recipes from y’all, I had a mean craving for the orange stuff! However, I did have to hit up 4 DIFFERENT GROCERY STORES (including Wegmen’s, foodie heaven) to find it. Apparently stores in NOVA don’t sell Libby anymore so I had to upgrade to the fancy stuff.

It tasted fine, but at $4 a can, it kinda hurt the pocket book. (Which was a little low anyway thanks to previously mentioned Whole Foods blackout). These little cookies made it worth it though. Even though my wallet was pissed, my waistline (and jeggings, don’t judge me) were happy.

Skinny Pumpkin Cookies


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15-18 minutes
Yields: About 32 cookies


  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract (you can use vanilla if you prefer)
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie  mix)
  • Cooking spray

How to Make Them:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Cream sugars, applesauce, pumpkin and almond extract together.

  • In another bowl, mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spice. Once mixed, add to the wet stff. (Yep, that’s what she said).

  • Form little blobs and bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until browned.

  • Enjoy with cider, a pumpkin spice lattee or on their own!

Like I said, they aren’t as rich or moist as a cookie made with butter or oil, but are still delicious. Plus, who doesn’t love pumpkin flavored anything? If you don’t, I would advise not comin’ back round these parts until December. Or January. Or July? I’m sort of obsessed with it.

Nutritional information per cookie: 42 calories, >1 gram of fat, 9 grams of carbs and >1 gram of protein.

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  1. Posted by RavieNomNoms on
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    ooo nomnom!! Look at those things! Love that you used applesauce too
  2. Posted by Kimberly on
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    I am so in! These look great! I have done some 'clean' baking and I need to extend that to all my pumpkin recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!
  3. Posted by Jessica Trimble on
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    These sound amazing!
  4. Posted by Lauren Hayward on
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    These look so great! I am definetly giving these a try :)
  5. Posted by Jennifer B on
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    Those look pretty heavenly.
  6. Posted by Beth Michelle on
    Monday, September 26th, 2011
    42 calories for a pumpkin cookie? Im sold! Cannot wait to try them!
  7. Monday, September 26th, 2011
    Yes, please and with that few of calories, I can have 3!
  8. Posted by Steph C on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    OH MUH GAH. Don't be surprised if you see pretty much everything you post on pinterest. Nom freaking nom.
  9. Posted by Bake Your Day on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    a-ma-zing! I would eat all of them which would negate the fact that they are healthy!
  10. Posted by Ann on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    Well, these look pretty darn good!  I'm allergic to pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon and allspice) so I can't indulge, but wowza - I'd LOVE about 168 calories worth!
  11. Posted by Christine on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    These sound amazing! Can't go wrong with 42 calories a cookie. Yum factor!
  12. Posted by Lindsey@Lindselicious on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    Oh skinny pumpkin desserts are my favorite!  Cause then I can eat more than 1, or 2... Yummmm!
  13. Posted by Grubarazzi on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    These are so great. I'm loving all of these pumpkin recipes popping up lately. So many healthy things to do with pumpkin! 
  14. Posted by Kara on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    I love pumpkin cookies and definitely love that these ones are so much healthier.  Great recipe!
  15. Posted by Heywhocutthecheese? on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    I want one of these in my mouth right now.  Thanks for sharing!  I have a pumpkin obsession lately, but am also trying to watch my weight.  So these should be perfect!
  16. Posted by eliotseats on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    What a great fall outdoor pic of your cookies.   I love fall and pumpkin!   Bonus:   These are actually healthy?  :)
  17. Posted by Sarah on
    Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
    Yum! These look delicious and healthy too!
  18. Posted by Brg44 on
    Friday, October 21st, 2011
    I LOVE THESE COOKIES!!!!!!! I have made these multiple times the last time (Since Im really bad at portioning, I had some dough left over) I made a cupcake and wedge a piece of chocolate in it, it was so good. Also I have found to make them even sweeter, I quickly mixed up some caramel mousse sauce to dunk them in (One of the quickest recipes). Next time, I am only going to bake off half of the recipe and try freezing the other half (with chocolate chips in them) to have a pumpkin version of those little cookie dough bites you pay outrageous money for at the movie theatre, I'll let you know how they turn out
    • Posted by claire on
      Friday, October 21st, 2011
    • Posted by michelle on
      Monday, February 11th, 2013
      yum did you ever try making the frozen cookie dough bites??
  19. Posted by FoodFaithFitness on
    Monday, October 24th, 2011
    I am soooo making these ASAP!!! Thank you!!
  20. Posted by Anonymous on
    Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
    I am doing a series on my blog for the month of November
    called 30
    days of desserts.  I came across your
    blog and would love to feature one of your recipes!  You can choose the recipe and I will post it
    on my blog with links back to your blog. 
    If you have a button, etsy page or fb fan page I can link it up too!  Just email me and let me know if you would
    like to be featured! 
    • Posted by claire on
      Monday, November 7th, 2011
      Oh how fun!! I'll email you, what's your email?
      • Posted by Anonymous on
        Monday, November 7th, 2011
        sorry... I should have left that... believingboldly@gmail:disqus .com
  21. Posted by Turtle-speed Runner on
    Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011
    They look delicious, but a bit more cakey than cookie-ish! Not that that's a problem ;)
  22. Posted by Wyndsong41 on
    Monday, November 7th, 2011
    These look yummy! By the way... I just bought Libby's pumpkin at Target in Gainesville for $1.69 per can. They are right inside the front door, to the right, before the registers start if you go in on the food entrance side.
  23. Posted by J H on
    Sunday, December 4th, 2011
    I had mistakenly opened a large can of pumpkin instead of sweet potatoes and was searching for a healthy recipe to turn-around my mistake.  I stumbled on your site and found the recipe easy to follow.  The cookies are very tasty, and I like the old-timey cakelike consistency. Thank you,   [Judy in Tennessee]
  24. Posted by Yoopergma on
    Monday, March 12th, 2012
    I can't wait to male these, I love pumpkin anything!! 
  25. Posted by Yoopergma on
    Monday, March 12th, 2012
    ooops that should be make these!!! 
  26. Posted by Ana on
    Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
    These look incredible! Do you think you could substitute Stevia for the regular sugar? I might have to try it tonight with a smaller batch of cookies. Can't wait!
    • Posted by claire on
      Friday, September 14th, 2012
  27. Posted by Jessica on
    Monday, May 7th, 2012
    I am making these tonight!!  I'm a Vegan so I will be using a sugar substitute and trying it with more of the whole wheat flour instead of the AP flour!  Yum!
    • Posted by claire on
      Friday, September 14th, 2012
      Oh yay!!
  28. Posted by Montana on
    Friday, July 27th, 2012
    Just made these. Had no whole wheat flour so I used regular. They came out very moist and spongey. Not your ordinary cookie! So delicious.
  29. Posted by reginajfk on
    Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
    If they are cakey , I will try and bake them in a madeleine pan.
  30. Posted by latty on
    Friday, September 14th, 2012
    I used 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar. I also did a half tsp. vanilla and a half tsp. almond extract. No other big changes. These cookies tasted great!
    • Posted by claire on
      Friday, September 14th, 2012
      I'm so glad to hear that!! :)
  31. Posted by Whitney on
    Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
    I added about 2 tbsp of sugar free maple syrup. Oh, and I used banana puree mixed with a tiny splash of almond milk to make it the consistency of applesauce...because I had bananas, and I'm too sick to go to the store. I'm self medicating with cookies. They were fantastic!
  32. Posted by Grace on
    Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
    do you think i could use lentil puree instead of apple sauce
  33. Posted by Ashley on
    Thursday, September 27th, 2012
    Made these with only white self-rising flour, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and canned pumpkin pie filling (couldn't find plain pumpkin!). Omitted salt, baking soda & powder (since I used self-rising flour) and spices (since spices were in the canned filling.) Frosted while still warm with about 1/2 tbspn whipped cream cheese frosting - so a little more than 42 cal each - but they are wonderful and cakey! 1 is perfect for dessert, or 1-2 for an afternoon sweet snack with tea! I've only tried them warm, but couldn't wait to post my review!
  34. Posted by My on
    Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
    Eww looks nasty
  35. Posted by Paperbutterfly on
    Friday, October 5th, 2012
    I replaced the white flour with rolled oats and added chocolate chips. These are so absolutely delicious that after eating 5, I only stopped because I want these to last as long as possible!
  36. Posted by Micaela on
    Friday, October 5th, 2012
    Have you tried these with brown sugar? Just curious since your directions say "cream sugars". I almost never bake with only white sugar, and brown sugar really puts these cookies over the top! I also added walnuts and raisins.
  37. Posted by Chrissy on
    Sunday, October 7th, 2012
    I put the recipet in the my fitness app for calorie count and it was 56 cal not 42?
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Monday, October 8th, 2012

      Hmm. I used My Fitness Pal too. I'll do a triple check to see if there's a change in that. Thank you!
  38. Posted by avoss on
    Monday, October 8th, 2012
    Love the way this is narrated. I have black outs in whole foods too lol. Gonna try this thanks!
  39. Posted by Dani Petrucci on
    Friday, October 12th, 2012
    Thank you for this recipe! I am trying to eat healthier without sacrificing desserts/taste, so this is perfect! =)
  40. Posted by VeganMe on
    Friday, October 12th, 2012
    Okay, they're baking. I loved how light the dough was, and can hardly wait to taste them baked. I added chocolate chips just for fun. I have a LOT of pumpkin, since I just baked and processed two big ones for using this Fall.
  41. Posted by Maritza on
    Thursday, October 18th, 2012
    Can't wait to try this recipe!
  42. Posted by Maria D. on
    Friday, November 2nd, 2012
    Hi Claire!

    I typed in pumpkin cookies in google and your site came up. I'm speechless at how good these cookies look! I can't wait to make these next week :)
    I love your site!

    Maria D. @rainyday_woman
  43. Posted by Pricilla Howell on
    Sunday, November 18th, 2012
    Love this recipe.... I have a daughter with PW which need low cal foods... it is hard to tell a child at Christmas time they can not have a cookie 42 cal love it .... let you know how it works thank you
  44. Posted by Dani on
    Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
    I did 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 regular sugar and I don't know if I missed something or what, but these aren't sweet. Like at all! I might have to try again... I even added chocolate chips and unless you get one of the chips, it's like I'm eating a sponge.
  45. Posted by Donna Irelan on
    Thursday, December 13th, 2012
    I am going to try these as I just bought 12 cans of Libbys pumpkin in Adrian, Mi for 50 cents a can !!!!
  46. Posted by Liriope on
    Monday, December 24th, 2012
    I just made these...yum! I don't have to be left out of Christmas baking:)
  47. Posted by Sally Seaver on
    Friday, March 8th, 2013
    I'm curious, making your skinny pumpkin cookies, why can't you use pumpkin that is for pumpkin pie? I don't know the difference. I don't know that I've ever seen the kind you're talking about but then again I've never had reason to look!
    I'd like to try them but I'm also gluten free & I have a special mix of flour I use for baking so hopefully it'll work. Still 1st I'd like to get an answer on the pumpkin.
    Thank you, Sally
  48. Posted by Julianne on
    Sunday, March 17th, 2013
    Just made these with a few of my own tweaks and the are awesome! Replaced one cup of flour with a cup of rolled oats. Added an extra 1/2 cup applesauce along with dried cranberries and pecans. Baked 19 minutes. It's likes pumpkin muffin in a cookie!!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Monday, March 18th, 2013
      Yay! So glad to hear that!
  49. Posted by Julie Berendt on
    Thursday, April 11th, 2013
    Delicious I too love pumpkin a hint of almond good too.
  50. Posted by loba on
    Thursday, August 8th, 2013
    Don't know how this affects the calories, but I removed all processed sugar. Took out two tablespoons of the apple sauce and instead of sugar added a cup of maple syrup and a quarter cup of molasses. Also added more pumpkin pie spice, but didn't measure that. Wanted to try and make cookies without added sugar for my 11 month old twins and this is delicious! Thank you.
  51. Posted by Lori Korzen on
    Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
    Excellent Recipe! I swapped Splenda for the sugar and added walnuts and a bit of protein powder. Tasted great! I have a new favorite dessert!
  52. Posted by susan albright on
    Friday, September 6th, 2013
    I so needed to find this. thank you
  53. Posted by Kristi on
    Thursday, September 12th, 2013
    Made these last night! Substituted whole wheat flour with buckwheat flour. Tasted very moist and lots of spice and pumpkin flavor to go around! I think of them more like muffin consistency which I like so they were a hit for me especially the fact that they are butter and egg free!! Thanks for the recipe!!
  54. Posted by Gail on
    Friday, September 13th, 2013
    I too am a pumpkin fanatic and look forward to this time of year - always! I have the pumpkin (always replace when used) but I need a few other ingredients so going shopping. I can't wait! Let the pumpkin begin!!!!
  55. Posted by linda on
    Friday, September 20th, 2013
    Don't take this the wrong way, but I used your recipe to make dog treats. Omitting sugar and salt, doubled up on applesauce, and all whole wheat flour, they love them. I'm going to make it for us humans next with sugar, but wanted to find a 'dog approved' treat that I know would be healthy, simple, and safe! Five dogs, all but 1 finicky eater, loves them. The finicky one too picky lol. Thanks so much.
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
      Hahah! No offense taken AT ALL.
  56. Posted by Sirena on
    Monday, September 23rd, 2013
    I wonder what the calories would be like with Stevia or another 0-cal sugar substitute. Do you think it'd bake the same?
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
      They would probably be less!
  57. Posted by Amylynn on
    Friday, October 4th, 2013
    This recipe was easy and fast but you weren't kidding about chewy. I added dried cranberries and raisins to give it better texture.
  58. Posted by Tracey on
    Friday, October 11th, 2013
    These sound fantastic, I love pumpkin. A few years back, when I wasn't health conscious, I ate pumpkin carrot bagels everyday that they where available. Can't wait to try these AND add grated carrots....sure they will be the best.
  59. Posted by Tammy Westendorf on
    Monday, October 21st, 2013
  60. Posted by julia on
    Saturday, November 16th, 2013
    could the flour be substituted for oatmeal?
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
      I don't think so. You could possibly use another flour.
  61. Posted by Amanda on
    Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
    OMG! Delish! Just what I was looking for! Thank You!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
      I hope you make and enjoy them!
  62. Posted by Alie on
    Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
    Oh my goodness, these are amazing! I just made them for Thanksgiving tomorrow! I even licked the bowl clean so no batter went to waste ;) Thanks for sharing!
    • Posted by Haley on
      Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
      I decided to make these tonight in honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow. I unfortunately have to work, but thought I could bring them to share with everyone else who has to work tomorrow! If they taste as good baked as the batter tastes, I know they'll be a hit! These were so easy to make and you really do get the 32 cookies out of the recipe unlike a lot of low cal recipes that claim they make a large amount. I also added chocolate chips and used only about 3/4 cup of sugar rather than a cup and as I said, the batter tastes great! Thanks for sharing this! Happy Thanksgiving! :)
      • Posted by cgallam10 on
        Thursday, November 28th, 2013
        Yay I hope you like them!
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
      AHH!! Fantastic!! I sometimes make them just so I can have the batter :)
  63. Posted by W on
    Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
    The numbers don't add up for the calories. One gram of fat would be 9 calories, 1 gram of protein would be 4 calories and 9 grams of carbs would be 36 calories, that would be 49 calories per cookie.
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
      Oh let me look into it :) It's honestly only a few calories off, but I'll take a look.
  64. Posted by Audrey on
    Saturday, December 7th, 2013
    Would making these into cookie bars work or would it not cook evenly?
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Monday, December 9th, 2013
      I'm not sure!
  65. Posted by Christina on
    Friday, December 20th, 2013
    Wow is all I can say. I've had this recipe saved for weeks and am making them right now. I've eaten 3 so far....yummy! Thanks for the recipe
  66. Posted by Disgusting on
    Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
    Nope, these are disgusting! What a great way to ruin perfectly good ingredients!
  67. Posted by Grace on
    Thursday, March 27th, 2014
    Just made these tonight, they came out great! For the last few cookies of the batch I sprinkled some sesame seeds on top before putting them in the oven but they're good on their own too. Thanks for the recipe!
  68. Posted by toni campbell on
    Saturday, October 25th, 2014
    I am going to buy today thank you Love..................toni
  69. Posted by toni campbell on
    Saturday, October 25th, 2014
    I left out I am going to order your cookbook today .again thanks
  70. Posted by Lisa on
    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
    I have been looking for soft cookie recipes for my father since he can no longer eat the crisper cookies. These look like they will be really soft. Can't wait to try them out :)
  71. Posted by Maggie on
    Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
    These are some of my favorites. I made them for work last year. This year I am adding dark chocolate chips to half the batch. I hope they are just as yummy.
  72. Posted by Mystic on
    Monday, January 19th, 2015
    Question... These sound good but how can they be 42 calories and 1 gram of fat if there is 1 cup of sugar in the receipt and sugar turns to fat?
    • Posted by Deborah L Lewis on
      Saturday, April 28th, 2018
      Sugar may turn to fat in your body if you don't get enough exercise, but as an ingredient itself it is not a fat like butter or oils.
  73. Posted by Jenny on
    Monday, November 9th, 2015
    Anyone ever try using rice flour or almond flour? I wanted to make them for Thanksgiving, but we have someone who is gluten free and I want them to be able to eat them too!
  74. Posted by Bettina Lucivero on
    Sunday, July 3rd, 2016
    Gotta try these, love pumpkin, and like that you use applesauce. I find applesauce great for baking, healthy and moist, yummy!
  75. Posted by Deborah L Lewis on
    Saturday, April 28th, 2018
    We LOVED these! Going to be a year-round staple at my house! WOW!
  76. Posted by Jessie on
    Monday, June 11th, 2018
    These are so good. I've made these several times and they never disappoint. <3
  77. Posted by Erika on
    Tuesday, February 18th, 2020
    I used AP GF flour and coconut oil. These came out delicious! Love the small batch size. Will make again…probably soon
  78. Posted by Amy on
    Thursday, March 12th, 2020
    I’ve made this twice now and both times turned out fabulously! Everyone who has tried them has loved them, thank you for the recipe!
  79. Posted by Susan Dubose on
    Tuesday, May 19th, 2020
    Very good, very easy, cook time perfect, moist, keep well.
  80. Posted by Avery Picken on
    Sunday, July 12th, 2020
    My cookies didnt turn out Im in the middle of baking them and they just wont cook they are super doughy I follwed everything perfectly and dont know what todo?
  81. Posted by Lori on
    Sunday, July 12th, 2020
    My husband and I made these yesterday and they turned out perfectly Thank you for the delicious recipe!
  82. Posted by Emily Stimpson on
    Thursday, August 27th, 2020
    So easy àn beautiful