Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (2024)


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Pecan Pie Cookies - these unique cookies are full of great pecan flavour, have a great texture, and are so pretty to look at. What more could you want in a cookie?

Originally published September 22, 2011, Updated on 11/23/22

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (1)

Today’s pecan pie cookie recipe is a favorite dessert of mine, and just might be the perfect cookie.

It brings the flavor of a traditional pecan pie into a soft cookie form, featuring a picture-perfect pecan filling.

It’s a relatively easy cookie recipe, with a fairly basic brown sugar cookie dough coming together in just minutes.

The nutty filling takes literal seconds to whip up, and just may be my favorite thing to ever top a cookie base with!

I’ve been making this recipe for almost 20 years now, and it’s inspired a few variations in that time:

Gluten Free Pecan Pie Cookies came along in .. 2012? Keto Pecan Pie Cookies followed in late 2023.

This year - a decade later - I came up with a fun twist on the original, with apples taking the place of the pecan pie filling:

Apple Pie Cookies.

THOSE buttery cookies looked and smelled too good, so I then had to come up with a combination of the two variations, with my Gluten Free Apple Pie Cookies.

SO good!

Anyway, today we’re here talking about the OG: Pecan Pie cookies.

These are fabulous cookies for your holiday dessert tray, cookie gift boxes, and bake sales. They definitely stand out, and are always a huge hit!

A Note on the Dough

Over the years, a few people have mentioned the dough being “runny” for them, while most people have no trouble at all.

I’m assuming it’s either a matter of too-warm butter, or not enough flour - or both.

The dough shouldn’t be really sticky after it’s mixed together. If yours is, just add a little extra flour.

Also, when in doubt?

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for 30 minutes or so, before rolling the dough into the balls and “pie shells”.

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (2)

Pecan Pie Cookie Origin

As I originally posted, I was a bit conflicted over posting this Pecan Pie Cookies recipe.

Generally speaking, every recipe I post is something that I’ve either developed completely from scratch, or a family recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years.

Sometimes, it’ll be a “Frankenstein” recipe, utilizing bits and pieces of ingredients and techniques of several of my recipes.

This pecan pie cookies recipe?

At the point I posted it, I’d had it for years, but almost NO idea where it originally came from.

I’m pretty sure it came from one of the posters on a cake forum I used to frequent. A bunch of us used to swap cookie recipes to expand our holiday season dessert tray offerings in our own businesses.

... but who specifically gave it to me, or where SHE got it from?

No idea.

It looks like it’s since become a popular recipe out there on the interwebs, though!

Anyway - way back when - I asked for permission to use this recipe as a holiday offering through Celebration Generation... and the cookies always got rave reviews. (I know this much, at least, because I asked permission for any not-my-own recipes, when starting out!)

I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked for the recipe! What with the weather cooling down, I figure it’s cookie making season, and time to share it!

I don’t think I have contributed any major changes to the recipe (It’s been too long to remember!), but I like to add a couple pinches of spice to the filling, as noted.

Hope I’m not losing any baker’s cred by posting this, but I know it’ll make a bunch of people happy.

Plus, I think the photos are just too pretty to NOT share.

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This is a fairly simple cookie recipe that uses super basic ingredients. You should have no trouble finding them in any grocery store.

You will need:

All purpose flour
Unsalted butter
Light Brown Sugar
Chopped Pecans
Heavy whipping cream
Large Egg
Pure Vanilla Extract
Baking Powder

The only real note I have for you is that you want the chopped pecans to be relatively small. If you have Pecan Halves or “pecan pieces” - which tend to be bigger chunks - just blitz them in a mini food processor a few times to get the chopped up.

Optional Spices

While optional - and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in the original recipe - I like to add a few spices to the filling.

Specifically, a pinch each of:

Ground Cinnamon
Ground Cloves
Ground Ginger

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How to Make Pecan Pie Cookies

The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is the pictorial walk through.

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Add baking powder, salt, and flour, continue beating until mixture is uniform, with everything incorporated. Set dough aside.

Note: You can mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl before adding them *together*.

I’ll be honest, I get lazy and just dump it all in, scattering the baking powder and salt over the wet ingredients before adding the flour.

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In a separate, small bowl mix pecans and brown sugar with spices, if using.

Add in heavy cream and vanilla to the rest of the filling ingredients, mix until well combined.

Note: This makes a lot of filling. You can overfill the cookies a bit, or just snack on it. SUPER tasty!

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Roll cookie batter into balls that are about 1.25″ in diameter, and place each on a prepared baking sheet – leave about 2″ between the cookies.

Gently use thumb to press down in the center of each ball, making an indentation.

Roll thumb slightly to stretch the indentation out a little, and shape the dough into a little “pie crust”..

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Fill the center of each cookie with about 1 teaspoon of pecan mixture

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Allow to cool on baking pan for 5 minutes or so, before gently transferring to a wire rack to fully cool.

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After fully cooling, cookies can be transferred to an airtight container - or large freezer bag - and stored for a week or so at room temperature.

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (10)

More Cookie Recipes!

This recipe is great on its own, but also shines as part of a larger cookie spread. Looking for more ideas? I've got you...

Apple Pie Cookies
Black Forest Cookies
Chai Shortbread
Chewy Chocolate White Chip Cookies
Chocolate Haystack Cookies
Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
Cookie Decorating
Cut-Out Sugar Cookies
Fruitcake Cookies
Hoppy Citrus Macarons
Malted Milk Meringue Cookies
Nightmare Before Christmas Cookies
Peppermint Swirl Meringues
Pistachio Macarons
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Sweet Ecstasy Cookies

Also, be sure to check our section, for more options!

Looking for my Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes? They're now over on my gluten-free blog, Beyond Flour!

Need gluten-free, AND sugar free? Check out my Keto Cookie Recipes over on my low carb blog, Low Carb Hoser!

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Share the Love!

Before you chow down, be sure to take some pics of your handiwork! If you Instagram it, be sure to tag me - @CelebrationGenerationCA - or post it to My Facebook Page - so I can cheer you on!

Also, be sure to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense. Well, the published nonsense, anyway!

Finally, if you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and/or a comment below, and maybe even sharing this post on social media!

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (12)

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe

These unique cookies are full of great pecan flavour, have a great texture, and are so pretty to look at. What more could you want in a cookie?

Prep Time15 minutes mins

Cook Time12 minutes mins

Total Time27 minutes mins

Course: Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: American, Holiday

Servings: 20 Cookies

Calories: 222kcal

Author: Marie Porter


  • 2 Baking Sheets

  • Parchment Paper



  • ¾ Cup Butter Room temperature
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar Firmly packed
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt


  • 1 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar Firmly packed
  • ¼ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Ginger, Cinnamon, and/or Cloves Optional*


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until egg is fully incorporated and mixture is once again smooth and fluffy.

  • Add baking powder, salt, and flour, continue beating until mixture is uniform, with everything incorporated. Set dough aside.

  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix pecans and brown sugar with spices, if using. Add in heavy cream and vanilla, mix until well combined.

  • Roll cookie dough into balls that are about 1.25″ in diameter, and place them on cookie sheets – leave about 2″ between the cookies.

  • Gently use thumb to press down in the middle of each cookie, making an indentation. Roll thumb slightly to stretch the indentation out a little.

  • Fill each indentation with about 1 teaspoon of pecan filling

  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned.

  • Allow to cool on sheets for 5 minutes or so, before gently transferring to a rack to fully cool.



* If you’re looking to make these exactly as we did for our cookie trays, I used a pinch each of all 3 spices in the filling


Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 271IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

Older Photos

(A note on the photos below: I redeveloped this recipe for inclusion in Beyond Flour, as a gluten-free Pecan Pie Cookie... and those are the photos now shown below.

They were WAY better photos than my older, original photography of this recipe, so I used them in this post with a disclaimer that they were the GF version, and looked exactly the same.

I finally got around to making and shooting a batch of the full-gluten cookies for the photos, and those are the photos throughout the rest of this post!

I’m leaving these ones here to keep Google happy!)

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (14)

Older Photos

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (15)

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (16)

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (17)

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (18)

Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (19)

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Reader Interactions


  1. Adrienne Skaggs

    Oh. My. Gawd!! These look so darn yummy I can't stand it! I'll have to make them for the next business pot luck just so I can have some. Thanks for posting.


  2. Deborrah

    I was so excited to see this recipe on Pinterest. My husband loves pecan pie. I attempted to make the cookies but found the dough just ran when baking. I thought it looked too wet (like it needed more flour) after mixing it, but since it was my first time making it, decided to follow the recipe. Any suggestions?


    • admin

      Hi Deborrah.

      Hrm.. no idea what to suggest, I've never had that happen before, or heard from anyone who has. After the flour is mixed in, it should definitely be dry enough to roll balls from - if it happens again, I'd add more flour.


    • Nancy Davis

      Make sure the butter for the dough is room temperature, and NOT melted. I made this mistake years ago, when making chocolate chip cookes, and they turned out like pancakes, not cookies! lol


    • Mary

      I made these today! I had some problems with rolling the dough into balls (it was too sticky), so I tried two methods to combat the problem:

      1. Half of the dough I used two spoons to scoop the ball into ball shapes, then refrigerated the dough so it would tighten up a bit. Then I used the back of the teaspoon, dipped in flour to make the dent in the middle. They turned out well!

      2. To the half of the dough I had left I added 1/3 cup of flour, which made the dough more manageable. I still couldn't roll the dough, so I used the spoons again. This did make the cookies a little drier.

      In the end, they were yummy! Taste like a homemade pecan sandy mixed with pecan pie!


    • Lois

      Possibly Cut the butter down from 3/4 cup to 3/4 stick. To much butter thins the dough as it cooks.


    • Kelly

      I think your issue is definitely the flour. Measuring flour by volume (ie cups) isn't ideal because it all depends how much you pack it into the cups. However since most recipes don't give you the weight you need to feel it out on your own. My suggestion would be to make the dough, then add flour until it is ok to work with (personally I like my cookies very flour-y). I do this with chocolate chip cookies too. Here is a link that helped me a lot with my cookies about half way down the page is says "problems" and shows cookies that are messed up and their solutions. Hope that helps!


  3. Tifany

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (28)
    I made these cookies a couple of weeks ago for the first time -- my husband informed me I never needed to make pecan pie again. 😉 I am now on my third round of making these cookies, this time for a bake sale benefiting a local family whose home burned down. What a DELICIOUS recipe. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Steph

    I saw these on Pinterest and just made these today, and I must say that they are fabulous! The only change I made was to add 1/2 tsp. salt to the dough. I was a little skeptical and didn't think they would taste like pecan pie, but holy smokes they do! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Katrina

    I had the same problem as Deborrah 🙁 Followed the recipe exactly as well, no problem rolling the dough into balls.


  6. RuthAnn

    Can these be made a few days ahead?


    • Marie Porter

      Definitely, but they may not last 🙂


  7. Linda Brown

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (29)
    OMG ... Just pulled these out of the oven! Heavenly and you need a tall glass of milk with just one cookie. But of course, I did not stop with one!!!!!


  8. Penny Wolf

    After reading the posts and before I make this recipe I would like to know the egg size used.
    Perhaps that made a softer dough.


    • Marie Porter



  9. Nancy Davis

    These sound so good, I am going to double the recipe when I make them. 20 cookies does not seem like enough. 🙂 Thank you so much for the recipe!


  10. Kris

    The first time I made these following the recipe minus the spices, the cookies spread quite a bit but were super yummy. I made them again today, and chilled the dough for about 10 minutes and they came out like the picture. The only problem was that the cookies were a little more like a shortbread and a little bit dry. Conclusion, loose dough makes loose cookies that are crispy, cold dough makes firm cookies that a a little dry


  11. Peggy Saucier

    Would like to try these.


  12. Kristina

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (30)
    These turned out perfect and delicious! I did chill the dough a little but found then they cracked more when I made the thumbprint. Excellent recipe!


  13. Sara T

    Are you suppose to add cream to the dough too? That's the very first thing it says to add (cream butter and sugar for the dough) ... Maybe that's why others cookies are runny?


    • Lynda H

      no Sara by creaming butter they mean to mix it well do not add cream to dough just filling


  14. Lynda H

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (31)
    made these today soooo good going to serve them to family later today if I can keep my hand out of cookie jar doubled the recipe worked perfect was thinking they would also be yummy with dab of pumpkin pie filling and cream cheese icing


  15. Chase

    if short on time could a premade sugar cookie or snickerdoodle cookie dough be used instead?


  16. Cassidy

    Made these for the first time today thinking I would take a batch to my son's class at school for their Thanksgiving feast. (Easier and less messy than pecan pie!) They are delicious! Fairly easy to make, and I had all the ingredients on hand. I too had the problem with the dough being super sticky, which made the cookies spread a LOT in the oven. I did not melt the butter. Just left it out on the counter for an hour or so this morning. Followed the directions to a T as well. Next time, I will omit the baking powder and add more flour until the dough seems firmer. I will definitely make them again because they are really yummy!


  17. Lana

    I really want to make these, they look delicious. One question though, all purpose flour or self-rising flour??


    • Marie Porter

      All purpose!


  18. AlisonKF

    In the listing of ingredients, I presume the first listing is the cookie part and the second half the there really a cup of brown sugar in the dough? Only wondering because it doesn't mention mixing it in, in the directions section, except for the topping with the pecans....


  19. AlisonKF

    Never mind, I must be tired, lol.


  20. Amber

    These cookies are a HUGE hit among my friends/family. No problems whatsoever!


  21. Audrey

    My first batch is out of the oven and they look and smell amazing. Recipe was for 20 cookies, but I got 42 good sized cookies from this recipe. If you substitute dark brown sugar in the dough as I did, you will have a darker cookie than the photo. But, oh yum!


  22. Bev

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (32)
    Found from pinterest! These turned out great for me! Taking them to a work Christmas party tomorrow! They are really good should be a crowd pleaser!!


    • Karla

      Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (33)
      I got quite a few more than 20 out of my batch. More than than double that and I stuck right to the recipe.. I found this incredibly easy. 5 *****!!


  23. funkyraspberryripple

    Just a thought for those that are having trouble with a 'runny' dough, sometimes it can make a huge difference where abouts in the oven you place the baking tray. I always cook one tray at a time in the middle of the oven, allowing the air to circulate the tray on both sides.


  24. Heather Arner

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (34)
    Made them, no problems, turned out great. Everyone raved !


  25. Lauren

    Made these this evening and got 26 mid-sized cookies. Did not have any problems with the dough. I made sure when creaming the butter and sugar, that it was fluffy, and then used my hand mixer again to combine the final ingredients until light and fluffy. The egg acts as a binding agent (I think) so it really needs to be beaten in good! Good flavor, though I wish the filling was a bit richer. Will play around with this recipe!


  26. KG

    I bake all the time but my cookies did not come out like the picture....I will try to refrigerate the dough if I try them again.


  27. Al

    Recipe needs salt. Also, they spread less if chilled after forming the little cups. Other than that, these are great. Thanks for sharing.


  28. Victoria

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (35)
    I just made these and they were amazing!!!!! I didnt have any problems with my dough and they formed perfectly! Loved them!


  29. Carol Meyer

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (36)
    Thank you so much for this recipe, will add this to my Christmas cookies.


  30. Andi May

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (37)
    I placed a whole pecan on top of the cookies after I added the chopped pecan/spice mix (my family LOVES pecans). It made for a beautiful presentation!


  31. Sandy

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (38)
    I just made these today and....OMG! They are wonderful!!!!! Thank you!


  32. Pam

    How long will these cookies last for? Since there's cream in the filling do they need to be refrigerated?


    • Marie Porter

      They don't last long, but it's not because of the cream! (No need to refrigerate).

      Honestly, I'm not sure, We've never had a batch hang around for more than a couple of days, so it's been hard to test that.


  33. Brandie

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (39)
    Made these for thanksgiving instead of my usual pecan pie and they are amazing. Only thing
    I did differently was mix about 1/4 cup chopped pecans into the dough (saw this in another recipe) and they turned out great. I chilled the dough while making the filling and used a cookie scoop to form the balls. Thanks for sharing this recipe!


  34. Kristyn

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (40)
    My 4 year old and I just finished baking a double batch of these. They are pretty darn good! I will definitely make these again, and will add a pinch of salt to the dough, as suggested by someone else. My son was VERY generous with the cinnamon (which he put in both the dough and the filling) and we did not add the other spices. We love cinnamon, so they are to our liking. Easy, fun for a 4 year old, and delicious. Thanks for posting!


  35. Autumn Brooke

    This looks phenomenal! I'm pinning to make this on Thanksgiving.


  36. Suzanne Oamil

    Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (41)
    My bf's new favorite cookie! Even better than Pecan pie he says!! Brought some in to work and they were a hit! I made 4 batches in 2 days! I did add a little maple extract ( aling with the vanilla) to the topping!


  37. Maryland Girl

    I just made a double batch. Husband and I loved them! I am not an expert baker, but I did not have trouble rolling the balls.
    I had some leftover filling, so I l scooped it onto the parchment paper to bake, and yum! It’s like candy!


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Pecan Pie Cookies Recipe - Celebration Generation (2024)


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