Pumpkin Biscotti

Please welcome Garrett McCord who is kicking off a series of cookie recipes as a guest author on Simply Recipes. ~Elise

It’s early fall here in Sacramento, and outside the proof is irrefutable. Low grey clouds crawl across the sky and with them brings chilly winds that shiver the leaves right off their branches. It’s the kind of weather where pulling down an extra blanket and sitting on the couch with a warm cup of chai or espresso, and a plate of crunchy biscotti is the only sensible thing to do.

Biscotti have become quite popular as a coffee house cookie. Flavorful, crunchy, and meant for dipping, they’re cookies that every home cook should have a recipe for in my opinion. With fall around the corner these pumpkin biscotti with hints of warm winter spices just seem so appropriate. They’re warming, rustic, and not too sweet. Plus, baking these will fill your home with an aroma reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

This recipe is adaptable and welcomes the addition of toasted pecans or dried cranberries. I sometimes like adding a bit of chopped white or dark chocolate as well, if I feel like spoiling myself just a little.

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Pumpkin Biscotti Recipe

  • Yield: Makes approximately 15 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and spices into a large bowl.

2 In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Give it a rough stir to generally incorporate the ingredients, the dough will be crumbly.

3 Flour your hands and a clean kitchen surface and lightly knead the dough. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Form the dough into a large log, roughly about 15-20 inches by 6-7 inches. The loaves should be relatively flat, only about 1/2 inch high. Bake for 22-30 minutes at 350 F, until the center is firm to the touch. (Feel free to also form two smaller logs for cute two-bite biscotti; just cut the baking time to 18-24 minutes.)

4 Let biscotti cool for 15 minutes and then using a serrated knife cut into 1 inch wide pieces. Turn the oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Biscotti may be still a tad moist and chewy, so if you prefer it crisp let it sit uncovered overnight in a dry space. Serve and enjoy.

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58 Comments

  1. Carol

    Welcome Garrett! Where I live, there is pumpkin but no puree. Can you add a link for making it? I love pumpkin and cloves and cinnamon and the smell in the house at this time of year. The recipe seems very inviting. Can you help out?

  2. Sophie

    I’m amazed that these don’t have any butter! I love baking with apples and pumpkin, but now that I know this doesn’t call for any butter, I definitely have an added incentive to try it out! Looks great!

    Note from Elise: Hi Sophie, traditional biscotti do not have butter, just a base of flour, eggs, baking soda, and sugar.

  3. jonathan

    Awwww…….go ahead and spoil yourself, Elise. Melting a little chocolate in a double-boiler and dipping half the pumpkin biscotti in it wouldn’t be such a terrible thing, would it?

    I anxiously await a killer carrot cake cupcake recipe from Garrett.

    Cream cheese frosting, natch.

  4. Louis Doench

    “It’s early fall here in Sacramento, and outside the proof is irrefutable. Low grey clouds crawl across the sky and with them brings chilly winds that shiver the leaves right off their branches. It’s the kind of weather where pulling down an extra blanket and sitting on the couch with a warm cup of chai or espresso, and a plate of crunchy biscotti is the only sensible thing to do.”

    It’s 90 degrees here in Cincinnati, I hate you…

    Really, lovely recipe that I’d love to try sometime this December or so…

  5. Garrett

    Carol, usually stores will hold it in the baking aisle rather than the canned veggies. Elise covered making puree in her Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika recipe. Here are the instructions:

    To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar or Kabocha pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff (an ice cream scoop works well for this purpose), lie face down on a foil or Silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Puree with food processor.

  6. Lee

    I tried these, followed the instructions to a T, and unfortunately, didn’t turn out…they were stll fairly liquid inside after the 22 minutes at 350, and well…they didn’t fare much better after the 15 at 300.

    I will try again, though. Too bad, because it’s been rainy and cool in Vancouver since the beginning of the month, and these would have perked us all up nicely.

  7. chigiy

    Elise, I love your writing style. It is so warm and inviting. I want to make pumpkin biscotti right now, but I have to put my kids to bed.

    Note from Elise: Hi Chigiy! Hey, thank you but I can’t take any credit for the writing on this one; it’s all Garrett. He da man.

  8. Garrett

    Hey Lee, the logs may have been to thick or high when baked. Try flattening them out a bit more to prevent it.

  9. Rosie

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe but I too had an extremely under-cooked biscotti. The middle pieces had significant amounts of raw dough in the middle and that was even I had expanded the baking time only because I felt as though it wasn’t long enough. The end pieces were delicious however; I prefer the crunchy, drier ends of the biscotti anyway-all the better for dipping.

  10. Chris T

    Thank you for the recipe. I was really looking forward to this recipe but they came out very underdone for me too. I also extended the baking time and still had two-thirds of the loaf almost raw. The ends were good but still very chewy.

  11. Elise

    Many things can affect the baking time, including your particular oven, the color of the baking sheet (dark baking sheets cook their contents faster), the amount of humidity in the air, and the shape of the loaves. I’ve extended the range of baking time in the recipe; the first bake should result in a loaf that is firm to the touch in the center of the loaf. As Garrett mentioned earlier in the comments, the loaves should also be fairly flat, so they cook quickly.

  12. Judy

    I tried these twice – they sounded so good, but had similar problems – undercooked the first time (never hardened), and with the smaller ones on the second batch were dry but not crunchy – this may have been my fault as I baked them a little longer – still, the smell was delicious and I am looking forward to more cookie recipes.

    Note from Elise: If you want them crunchy, you’ll need to keep them out overnight, in a dry area. Don’t attempt this on a humid day.

  13. Caroline

    I made these over the weekend. I was skeptical about the 1 cup of sugar but put it in anyway. I think the biscotti did come out too sweet and I’d recommend cutting the sugar in half.

    Also, did anyone else have a problem with the dough being way too sticky? It took so much flour to get it right that I ran out of white flour and had to start using whole wheat. Not that this was a problem– the wheat flour gave it a nuttiness that complemented the pumpkin nicely.

    I also had issues with mine not crisping up, even after I left them in the turned-off oven for a few hours, but I suspect this has to do with the high humidity where I live.

    Nevertheless, it is a good recipe. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pumpkin flavor and spices remained strong. I think it would be a crime to add chocolate or dried fruit to these, though nuts might be ok. I’ve been having one for breakfast with my coffee every morning, and it’s really getting me in the fall spirit!

  14. Lisa

    I love anything pumpkin…muffins, pancakes, everything! I will definitely be trying these yummy-sounding goodies! Oh and by the way…I’m in Central Florida and it’s still 90 degrees here, but it’s Autumn in my heart!! :)

  15. Marte

    We made these this afternoon. It was our first attempt at anything biscotti…they came out really good! And Garrett was right, the house smelled wonderful! We plan to make a second batch tomorrow.

  16. patti

    I can’t wait to try this recipe this weekend but was wondering about the pumpkin puree-can I use the canned pumpkin pie filling? Same stuff?

    Note from Elise: Check the ingredients on the canned pumpkin pie filling. If all it is is pumpkin, then you are fine. Sometimes they put extra stuff in the canned filling like spices and sugar, which you don’t want, so check.

  17. Debbie Malin

    Being an Italian, we didn’t have cookies in the house, we had biscotti, all kinds. Never pumpkin. I made this simple recipe and they will now become a holiday staple in our family gatherings. Easy and so fabulous.

  18. Garrett

    Patti – Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are different. The pie filling has sugar and spices added to it, plus a few other preservatives, all this will change the flavor of the biscotti.

  19. Karin

    This recipe is missing an ingredent. I made 2x and it came out soft and unedible. I have made biscotti 1000’s of times and I never had one without butter in it.

    Note from Elise: The recipe is not missing an ingredient. Biscotti are traditionally made with flour, sugar, eggs, and baking powder. According to JoyofBaking.com, “Recipes containing butter or oil will have a softer texture and will not keep as long as the traditional recipes that only use eggs”. If your dough was too soft, butter would only have made it softer. I suggest adding a bit more flour to your dough.

  20. Karin

    I completly disagree. I tried this receipe again and it truly missing something or has too much pumpkin in it. Baking this biscotti took forever too. I us a special biscotti pan and never had such difficult.

  21. Garrett

    Janet – Many cookies, including biscotti, can be frozen. Place them in an air tight container, label them with a date and freeze away. While some say they can be kept for months, I would avoid anything over 30 days as by then the flavors will begin to degenerate and risk becoming freezer burnt.

  22. M Hundley

    Wonderful recipe! I made these yesterday with mini chocolate chips, and half are gone already…

  23. Keith

    I made these biscotti last night. I enjoy making different kinds of biscotti. The recipe worked really well, although I was surprised at how ‘sticky’ it was. But it was a really easy recipe. I brought them into work, and my coworkers seemed to enjoy them. Thanks! :)

  24. beyonduplication

    I made these last night, and they turned out just fine. I baked them for exactly 28 minutes the first time, and then 15 minutes after slicing. I just turned the oven off and left them in there awhile, because I’m leery of leaving things “uncovered” overnight. They are perfectly crisp and ready for dipping…
    It seemed a small amount of pumpkin, and I was tempted to use more, but they turned out great. I am making another batch tonight, with almonds and possibly white chocolate drizzle. Mmmmm

  25. kati

    I live in Tuscany and I have pumpkins in my backyard. I was just looking for a bread recipe when I came across this biscotti and I’m going to try it as it has a better chance of being eaten by my in-laws who do not take kindly to non regional food.

  26. fishstick 26.2

    I made this recipe today as written, except for the baking time, and my ten-year-old son and I are eating them now with some chai tea. We think they are heavenly. The spices are perfect. We did need to bake them longer than the recipe called for in both stages (approximately 30 mins. in the first stage, and approximately 20 mins. in the second stage). However, we’re in Oregon, where a low humidity day is not likely to occur this time of year. The cookies are now sitting in the oven while it cools down, and will hopefully get a little bit crunchier that way. Even if they don’t, they are very good. Thank you for the recipe!

  27. Caitlin

    I made these today with the plan of sending them to a friend for her birthday. I had already sifted the dry ingredients together when I read the wide-ranging comments that have been posted. Given the comments, I was nervous about the final product. However, I decided to plod ahead anyway. The results are wonderful!! I heeded Garrett’s advice of making the log very thin. I even broke out my ruler :) In terms of the baking time, I’m not sure because I tend to be more of a watcher than a timer. The flavor and texture is perfect. I am really looking forward to sending these as a gift to my friend. Thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Andrea

    Made these this morning, making a double batch. I used 3c white flour and the other 2c white. They came out perfectly and were really easy. I ended up with about 32 cookies and they are beautiful! I’ll be watching for more recipes from Garrett.

  29. S

    I made these and veganized them. They turned out fabulously!!!!

  30. erin

    I finally just got around to making these, and I had been looking forward to them for the past couple of weeks since the recipe was posted. I feel a little let down! I did substitute kamut and maple syrup for wheat flour and sugar, but it’s not that so much as it’s just a lack of flavor. The texture and sweetness are right, but they don’t taste very pumpkin-y and they aren’t nearly spiced enough. If I make pumpkin biscotti again I think I’ll improvise instead of following this recipe. I seriously don’t taste pumpkin or spices AT ALL. Bummer.

  31. Sabrina

    I made this last night and it turned out wonderfully. I made chai tea and dipped them into that and it was a perfect match. Thanks for the recipe.

  32. Drsues

    Just finished making these – they are delicious! I will hand them out as a parting gifts after my Pumpkin Party!

  33. Michele

    Re: Freezing biscotti. Biscotti are the ideal cookie to freeze. I do the first baking, slice and cool them, then tightly wrap them in plastic & foil, then put them in freezer bags. When I want to eat them, I do the second bake straight out of the freezer, just adding a few minutes to the baking time. If you seal them airtight (I suck the air out of the ziploc bags) they will keep in the freezer for months — I have baked off biscotti that I found hidden in the freezer a year later and they were great.

    To those who found the biscotti underdone — particularly if you have a stiff or “sticky” dough, you have to be sure to press down the logs into very flat, even planks of dough and leave plenty of space between the planks if you do two on one sheet. As the recipe states — no more than 1/2 inch high. Making the smaller biscotti, maybe three inches long, also helps.

  34. Carol

    I made these this past weekend with pureed pumpkin I had roasted myself. I made no adjustment to the recipe other than the baking times. I left some plain, dipped others in melted dark chocolate and chopped pecans or chopped dried cranberries. Fabulous and delicious!!!!!!! Great recipe for this time of year.

  35. PParsons

    Fall has finally returned to southeastern PA and the chilly weather is perfect for warming the kitchen with the welcome smells of good baking.

    I added 1/3 cup of finely chopped candied ginger (instead of the stated pinch of ginger) to my 2nd batch of these lovely treats. They tasted wonderful and the exposed flecks of candied ginger made the slices look even prettier that the original plain ones. Both batches were best after they had hardened up and were “reborn” by being dunked in my hot coffee. YUM!

  36. MaryJane

    Mmmm…great for breakfast as they are not too sweet. I didn’t have any trouble with a doughy middle, though I made sure I rolled it out no more than a half inch high-break out the ruler if you have too! I replaced a 1/4 cup of sugar with a 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar and added walnuts and candied ginger (not crystallized). I thought it could have used a little more spice but still good and surprisingly pumpkin-y. I ended up doing 1 1/2 times the recipe and divided it into two logs and it fit my cookie sheets perfectly. Great recipe and I like the fact that there is NO butter but they taste buttery! I’ve been making biscotti for years and have never used butter but it seems hard to find a biscotti recipe without it now. Thanks!

  37. Cherie

    These are sitting in my oven cooling as I write – Did make a few adjustments based on what was in the pantry at the time. Substituted sweet potato for pumpkin, also added some chopped pecans & some golden syrup (maple syrup). Also halved the sugar, due to adding the syrup.

    Did need to add a few dashes of water whilst kneading the dough, as it was incredibly dry & crumbly, but did come together nicely.

    All times & temperatures were adjusted to Celsius and for a fan-forced oven. After both baking sessions, biscotti are still quite nicely moist looking, but I do prefer mine with the extra crunch, so will leave them overnight.

    Thanks for a great inspiration!

  38. samiya

    I loved this! It was so good and I will make it again! LOL

  39. CKS

    Had no trouble when making these. Used half white and half brown sugar and the cinnamon was upped a 1/4 teaspoon but I’m going to bump it up again for a total of 1-1/2 teaspoons. I added 1/2 teaspoon of ginger and decreased the nutmeg to 1/2 teaspoon. I wet my hands instead of flour while forming it into a log and the log came out great. I baked them a second time on an unused oven rack so I didn’t have to turn them over halfway through the baking. My reason for making these was to turn them into Boo-scotti for Halloween. I’m going to ice one cut side with white chocolate and place two mini chocolate chips for the eyes. I’ve made over 10 dozen of Boo-scotti for my husband’s math classes over the years but I like your recipe better. Thank you.

  40. elizabeth wickland

    I just made these for the first time today. They are SO VERY GOOD. I followed the recipe exactly and then for baking times did 30 minutes before slicing (we live at high altitude, so I pretty much always have to bake things a little longer, this was normal) and then after slicing I laid the pieces on their sides and baked each side for 10 minutes. They came out of the oven beautiful and crisp. I just ate one (wasn’t even completely cool yet!) and it was nice and crunchy. I didn’t have any problems with the inside being raw or the biscotti being too soft. It was just perfect! Thank you for this recipe! I will be serving it in a couple days when some friends and I get together for coffee!

  41. Inger Jimenez

    Can this Pumpkin Biscotti recipe be doubled and frozen for Christmas giving later? This would be such a wonderful alternative to my pumpkin bread! But I have ALOT of family/friends, so I need volume!

    You can def. freeze these in an air tight container. ~Garrett

  42. CJW

    I can’t believe how easy this was… and how good! I had to add some time to both cooking times as many others did. Great recipe!

  43. Inger Jimenez

    Thanks Garrett! But can I double the recipe to get 30 biscotti a batch?

    Should be fine. Just make more than two “logs” when you make it so they bake evenly. ~Garrett

  44. Inger Jimenez

    Ok…..YUM!! I made my first batch last night and we’re having it this morning with our coffee. This will be the perfect thing to give at Christmas. I bumped up the spice just a little in the batches I’ve started today. What an easy, unique and tasty recipe this is! I LOVE IT…

  45. Kirsten

    I am going to make these with kabocha very shortly. I’m looking forward to it.

  46. Taryn

    Can anyone who made a vegan version of this tell me what you used to substitute for the eggs, and how the biscotti turned out? Thanks!

  47. Chef Dan

    I made this recipe and it turned out fine. You must make sure the loaf is 1/2 thick and quickly work the dough with well floured hands and surface.
    I recommend using a convection oven at 325 for 20 minutes for the first bake.

    Dan

  48. diane s

    I just made these and followed the recipe exactly. I went the whole 30 minutes on the first baking, even with a convection oven. The middle of the logs were still gooey. I baked the slices, standing up, spaced apart with convection for 30 minutes as well. The gooiness dried out pretty much by the second baking.
    I am a little disappointed… but not discouraged. I may have to improvise with less white sugar (a one-dimensional too sweetness), more spice and add nuts. I think nuts would help break up the density of the cookie a bit, as well. Also, next I time will make a very flat “plank” instead of a log and that should help the gooey middle issue. I would not make this recipe again, however, “as is”.

  49. Jessica

    for TARYN: I made vegan pumpkin biscotti via katie marggraf on the everyday dish website. I use “cellimix” egg replacer, its a powder. I use it for all my baking and it works perfect. I made the biscotti and it smelled like heaven! But it was very doughy inside. It’s actually still in the oven, I’m googling biscotti gone wrong, lol. I’m going to try what CHEF DAN said and cook THINNER logs.

  50. Erika

    I made mini biscotti and they were tasty (and cooked fine, no problems with stickiness) but are a little too sweet for me. I would cut the sugar to 3/4 cup. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and next time might add an additional 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.

  51. Felicia

    These tasted fantastic but a little too sweet for me. I would reduce the sugar next time I’ll make these.

  52. Lauren

    I was wondering if you could replace egg whites for the whole eggs in this recipe and what the outcome would be. I too like a crunchier biscotti and was wondering if the substitution would make them crunchier?

    I suggest trying that out and seeing how it works. =) ~Garrett

  53. ranae

    Thanks for the freezing tip Michelle – I plan on trying it soon! Also, I’ve been baking biscotti for a long time and never used a recipe that called for butter! olive oil, yes but never butter and pumpkin, like applesauce, is often used as a fat substitute, so if your batch isn’t turning out, lack of butter is not to blame. I make the cranberry pistachio recipe from allrecipes.com A LOT and though I’ve been successful with many flavor variations it will be nice to add this to my biscotti recipe to my repertoire! Thanks!

  54. Andrea

    I made these this afternoon and they came out of the first baking time still gooey inside. They needed over an extra hour in the oven (after they were supposed to be done) to fully cook during the second baking time. The taste is great, but I think something is off on the cooking time/temperature. I did reduce the sugar slightly because I plan to partially coat them in chocolate.

    Changing the recipe changes how it will cook. However, an extra hour is excessive. I would check if your oven is running cold by getting an oven thermometer (almost all ovens run hot or cold). ~Garrett

  55. Jill

    I too had to bake longer and I did flatten the loaf out to around 1/2-3/4inch. That wasn’t the problem for me — too sweet! I found another recipe with 1/4c more pumpkin and more spices and half the sugar . We’ll see how it goes. may try this one again with 1/2 the sugar. I made 2 batches already today — I’m done!

  56. Susan

    I found this recipe easy to make. The texture was perfect. I did make a few adjustments, though. First, I added a little more baking powder and a little less sugar. I also added dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and white chocolate chips. YUM!

  57. Leslie

    I am trying out your recipe this afternoon, while hubby watches the football playoff. I have made some creative tweeks to the recipe. I reduced the sugar by 2 tablespoons and substituted 1 and 1/2 teaspoonful of molasses. I then used 2 teaspoonsful of pumpkin pie spice. I then added 1/2 cup of chopped unsalted pumpkin seeds(pepitas). I shaped two smaller loaves and coated them with lightly with granulated sugar. I did not add the vanilla extract( I actually forgot). They look good so far. I haven’t done the second bake, yet. I believe they will turn out just fine. The house smells great….who needs scented candles! Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe….I love the internet!

  58. Pat F.

    Everyone is right about it needing to be pretty flat, but if you keep it around 1/2 – 3/4 in, it should turn out fine. I also found that baking it at 300 dgrs for 12 minutes with cut side down followed by flipping it and cooking for another 12 minutes worked well. Great biscotti!

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