Sugar-free treats for Halloween – soft pumpkin cookies

-Oct 12, Jenny Paul , Nutrition -

If you’re planning a healthy Halloween party, that doesn’t revolve around piles of sugary candy and chocolates, we’ve got the perfect treat – the only trick is we’ve left out the refined sugar! 

Halloween is almost upon us – the annual candy-fest which anyone who is looking to limit the amount of sugar in their or their family’s diet dreads! But there’s a great trick to having a healthy treat this Halloween, harness the natural sweetness of pumpkins. But adding this seasonal vegetable not only will you increase the nutritional value of your cookie but also mean no refined sugars are needed.

These vegan, gluten-free (and free from refined sugar!) Soft Pumpkin Cookies are a cross between a biscuit and a cake. The agave nectar makes these sweet enough and you can always leave out the cacao nibs if you wish.

A word on the puree. It can be made with other tasty seasonal squashes, like butternut squash, which are readily available at this time of year. Simply cut one in half and roast it on a baking tray until it’s soft, then blitz it to a puree. You can use canned pumpkin puree if you would like too. If you are making your puree from pumpkin make sure you use eating pumpkins rather than those grow for carving ones which can be quite tasteless.

You’ll need: 

125g oats, ground into a flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼  tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp baking powder

25g coconut oil melted – you could also use butter if you’re not worried about them being vegan.

180g butternut squash or pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g agave nectar

40g raw cacao nibs 


Blitz your oats to create a flour. Add all the dry ingredients and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the oil, puree, agave nectar and vanilla.

Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until all mixed. Add the chocolate chips.

Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes or longer.

Preheat the oven to 150°C Fan/ 180°C / 325°F, and line a baking sheet with baking paper or a silicone mat.

Scoop 12 spoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray (they don’t spread too much) and shape them into circles, flatten the tops.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Cool on the baking sheet for 15mins or more before picking up.


If you liked the look of this delicious pumpkin cookies, why not try these energy balls? (Also often called ‘vegan candy’). And, these kale chips would make the perfect savoury snack if you’re planning a healthy Halloween party. 


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