Dairy Free/ Egg free/ Vegan/Vegetarian

Vegan Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey Pumpkin Cookies with Optional Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey Icing

Although my yard is not very large, I garden- a lot. If you have seen my other posts, such as Vegan Peach Cupcakes with Peaches and Coconut Mousse Filling and Peach Frosting with Raspberry Jam Icing, Gluten Free Vegan Caramelized Apple Scones, or Green Tomato and Dried Apple Pie, among many other recipes, you know I love gardening and I incorporate a lot of the fruit and vegetables that I grow into my baking. Among the many vegetables I grow are pumpkins. I prefer home-cooked pumpkins because of their intense flavor, plus I can control the amount of water in the cooked pumpkin.

My pumpkins did very well this year, so it was time to start baking with pumpkins! Pumpkin pies, pumpkin penuche cookies, gluten free pumpkin penuche cookies- these recipes will be appearing soon. But how to make a VEGAN pumpkin cookie that will have your friends and family demanding more? That posed a bit of a problem. I can’t use butter, and I want the flavor to be exceptional. The solution: Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.

I suspect that since the mid-1980s, everyone who was a college student or had a child in college knew about Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey. It has become popular at bars and restaurants. I was introduced to it at my daughter’s wedding. Although Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is usually consumed as shots or in mixed drinks, it lent a wonderful “red hot” cinnamon flavor to these pumpkin cookies. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

See also: Penuche Pumpkin Cookies with optional Penuche Icing, Diabetic Friendly Pumpkin Spiced Cookies, and Gluten Free Penuche Pumpkin Cookies with Optional Penuche Icing.

Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey Pumpkin Cookies with cinnamon added to the Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey Icing.

The Inside Scoop

Most canned pumpkin is rather watery. To make these cookies, the pumpkin should be thick enough to hold a shape. To drain the excess water, place the pumpkin puree in a jelly bag and let the excess water drain. You can also line a sieve with cheesecloth, place the pumpkin in the cheesecloth, and let the water drain. Excess water will create a more cake-like cookie.

When both volumetric and weight measures are provided, the volumetric measures should be considered approximations. The standard measure for a cup of sugar is 192 grams. By volume, this measure will be less than 1 cup.

Don’t Go Stir Crazy! This is a very easy cookie to make. However, avoid over-stirring the cookie dough. Too much stirring will cause gluten to develop and will make a tough cookie. Excessive stirring will also incorporate too much air. Stir gently just until ingredients are combined and cookie dough is fairly smooth.

Chill Out! This cookie dough, when first combined, is too sticky to shape into a ball. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least one hour or overnight until the cookie dough is chilled and firm. If you find the cookie dough is still too sticky to easily roll into a ball, place some powdered sugar on a plate. Dust your hands with powdered sugar before rolling each cookie into a ball, or as often as needed. After the cookie dough is formed into balls, flatten the cookies SLIGHTLY so that the cookies bake with an even thickness.

Cookies ready to bake….

Be sure to allow 3″ of space between cookies so that cookies have room to rise while baking. Bake until the cookies feel firm.

…and fully baked.

No Nautical Nonsense Here. You’ll notice the recipe includes a small amount of kelp powder. Eggs are a source of protein which serves as a binder for baked goods. Without eggs, it is necessary to replace the protein without adding gluten, because extra gluten will make the cookie tough. Kelp powder adds protein without adding gluten. (And kelp has a number of health benefits.) I use kelp powder in much of my vegan baking because it is almost pure protein and small amounts do not alter the appearance or taste of the baked goods. I have tried other protein powders, such as spirulina and maca powder, but I have found the change in color and flavor very unpleasant. Recently, I have noticed other high protein powders in grocery stores made from peas and other vegetables. If you use one of these protein powders, please let me know how the cookies came out! But be sure the protein powder does not contain sugar or dairy products.

To Ice or Not to Ice: That Is the Question. If you intend to frost the cookies, be sure to let them bake until firm to the touch. The icing will cause the cookies to soften slightly.

Once the cookies have all been baked and placed on cooling racks, slip the parchment paper from the baking sheets under the cooling racks. This will simplify clean-up as the parchment paper will catch the icing drips. I chose to pipe the icing onto the cookies. However, if you prefer, you can also dip the top of the cookies into the icing.


The icing can be made without added cinnamon for a beautiful contrasting color. However, if you want even more of a cinnamon punch, feel free to add cinnamon to the icing.

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By Connie Teunis Serves: Makes 30 1-ounce cookies


  • 192 g./ 1 c. Butter-Flavored or Plain All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 288 g./ 1 ½ c. Vegan Sugar
  • 244 g./ 1 c. Pumpkin Puree, drained of excess water
  • 20 g./ 1 T. Molasses
  • ¼ c. Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey
  • 240 g./ 2 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Baking Powder
  • 1-2 t. Ground Cinnamon, to taste
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1 t. Kelp or other High Protein Powder
  • Icing:
  • 210 g./ 1 ¾ c. Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 t. Cinnamon (opt.)
  • 5-6 T. Total of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and/or Coconut Milk or other non-dairy milk



In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and kelp or other high-protein food powder; set aside.


In a medium bowl by hand, or in the bowl of a stand mixer on slow speed, beat together the shortening and sugar until creamy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and the beater frequently. Add the pumpkin puree (see Note 1), molasses and Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey; beat on slow speed until smooth, scraping sides and bottom of bowl and beaters often.


By hand, stir together the pumpkin and flour mixtures until no dry flour remains. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.


When Ready to Bake:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.


Measure out 1 oz./ 28 grams of cookie dough (about the size of a walnut), or your preferred size, for each cookie. Roll into a ball (see NOTE 2), place on prepared cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.


Bake in 350 degree oven for 19-22 minutes (See Note 3). Cookies will be slightly firm to the touch but will become crisper as they cool. Place baking sheets on cooling racks.


Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies from the baking sheets to the cooling racks.


Repeat until all cookie dough has been baked and cooled.


If you plan to ice the cookies, place the parchment paper that was on the baking sheets under the cooling racks to catch any icing drips.


To Make the Icing:


In a medium bowl, stir together all icing ingredients until there is no dry powdered sugar. Begin with 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk and 2 tablespoons Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.


With an electric mixer, beat the icing until smooth and free of any lumps. Taste and add more Whiskey or coconut milk, depending on your taste preference, to achieve your desired spreading consistency. A thinner icing is better if you plan to dip the tops of your cookies into the icing.




Makes 3 dozen 1-ounce cookies.


Note 1: If the pumpkin is watery, line a sieve with cheesecloth and let the excess water drain out. Note 2: To make it easier to roll the cookie dough into a ball, place some powdered sugar on a plate. Dust your hands with the powdered sugar; repeat as needed. Note 3: Bake cookies for 19 minutes for a softer, more cakey texture. Bake cookies for 22 minutes for a crisper texture.


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 1, 2021 at 9:29 am

    I Loves these Cinnamon Whiskey Pumpkin cookies anytime, but , in the morning with a hot cup tea it will start the day.

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