Pumpkin Banana Spice Cookies

The pumpkin saga continues. It’s just that time of year when there’s literally pumpkin everything (I even tried pumpkin burgers last night, compliments of Civilized Caveman — they were awesome!). Being the pumpkin lover that I am, I’m okay with that. Sometimes I don’t know why I decide to do stuff at the last second. Like yesterday evening, about 30 minutes before I had to be at the gym to help coach class, I decided to whip together these cookies. I didn’t think they’d bake as long as they did, and literally walked out the door one or two minutes after taking them out of the oven. Yes, I ate one on my way out the door too because I can’t resist a warm cookie, fresh from the oven. My kind self even grabbed one for Jesse since he was at the gym (we coached together last night). He was pleasantly surprised when I handed him a warm cookie upon my arrival. What’s even better is that he enjoyed it, despite the fact that it didn’t contain chocolate (have I told you that he’s a dark chocoholic? Well, he is. Hardcore). *Inspiration for this recipe came from What Runs Lori.


  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp water, coconut or almond milk (start w/ 1 Tbsp & add more if batter needs it, omit if batter is moist enough)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp raw honey, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-slip baking mat.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. (Note: mine took 20 minutes).
  4. Remove pan from oven once done and let cookies sit on the baking sheet for a couple minutes. Then, carefully remove with a spatula and place on a cooling rack.

Yields: 12-16 cookies


34 thoughts on “Pumpkin Banana Spice Cookies

  1. Cinnamoneats November 13, 2012 / 9:39 am

    Alisa you’re killing me with this recipes! I’m still recovering from those muffins of yours and now this lol. Anything with the word pumpkin in it and I’m there! Thank goodness for this country and it’s endless bounty of pumpkin and squash varieties hahaha! I’m planning on making squash burgers tonight with my can of butternut squash πŸ™‚

    • paleoinpdx November 13, 2012 / 9:46 am

      Haha, I have total weakness for anything with pumpkin too! I guess we’re both suckers in that regard πŸ˜‰ I agree, I’m very grateful for all the plentiful squash and pumpkin too. I bet the burgers will be tasty with squash … they were awesome with the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. In fact, they were even better than I expected.

      • Cinnamoneats November 13, 2012 / 10:08 am

        Where the burgers on the sweet side though because of the honey and pumpkin spice? I’ve made squash burgers before and they are delicious πŸ™‚ Might change up my seasonings this time round.

      • paleoinpdx November 13, 2012 / 10:11 am

        No, they weren’t sweet, even with a tiny drizzle of raw honey on top. They had a nice spiciness from the pumpkin pie spices and the honey garnish proved to be a nice compliment. We ate our burgers on top of steamed kale. Also, I made them as full-sized patties instead of sliders. They’re a bit more delicate and don’t hold together as well because of the puree, so be careful when flipping them! Very tasty though.

      • Cinnamoneats November 13, 2012 / 10:39 am

        Ok good to know thanks πŸ™‚

  2. Kristen Bridge November 13, 2012 / 10:02 am

    Ha, before I saw this post I was thinking of what pumpkin meat balls would taste like – now you’re talking about pumpkin burgers. I might have to try these pumplin banana spice cookies – I just pureed a ton of pumpkin over the weekend. ❀ it.

  3. paleoinpdx November 13, 2012 / 10:03 am

    Sounds like a mighty good way to use up that puree πŸ˜‰

  4. Megan November 13, 2012 / 11:03 am

    Yum! They look delicious! I’m so happy I hhave practically everything on your baking ingredient lists now!!

  5. Lemons 'n Lyme November 13, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    These are currently in the oven. I doubled the recipe, although I’m not so sure the second batch will make it into the oven… I can’t stop dipping my finger into the batter!

    • paleoinpdx November 13, 2012 / 7:42 pm

      Haha! Good luck with that and thanks for trying out the recipe! I hope you enjoy the baked version of the cookies too πŸ˜‰ I agree though, the batter is tasty.

  6. myfoodreligion November 17, 2012 / 4:23 pm

    Omg pumpkin & banana…. There is a heaven! I cannot wait to try these!

    • paleoinpdx November 17, 2012 / 4:48 pm

      The combo works very well and the cookies are so moist and tasty! They kind of remind me of a spiced banana bread, actually. I tasted the banana a bit more than the pumpkin in mine, but this will depend on how ripe your banana is.

  7. disasterjuice November 19, 2012 / 7:44 am

    These look awesome! Can’t wait to try them

    • paleoinpdx November 19, 2012 / 9:17 am

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚ Thanks for the follow too!

  8. Brandyn Miller November 28, 2012 / 11:36 am

    How did I miss this recipe? I am so glad I’ve got some free time to browse your site! I love your posts! Think I might pop these in the over with the bacon cookies I’m making tonight!!!

    • paleoinpdx November 28, 2012 / 4:29 pm

      I don’t know, but I’m glad you found it πŸ˜‰ Mmm…bacon cookies. I still need to do that. Thanks for your kind words too.

  9. (what runs) Lori December 16, 2012 / 9:06 am

    I’m so glad you tried these, liked them, and shared them!! I’d be stoked to find these waiting for me at the gym too. πŸ™‚


    • paleoinpdx December 16, 2012 / 10:53 am

      Me too! Thanks for inspiring me with your recipe πŸ™‚

  10. Rachel June 23, 2013 / 11:31 pm

    At last! A pumpkin and banana recipes that’s gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free! A Google search for “pumpkin banana Paleo” was turning up all sorts of recipes that call for like 4 eggs and dairy products.

    One of my sons has SIBO (the result is ADHD symptoms) and the other has a little bit of candida (the result is extremely stunted growth). Both have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and a “leaky gut.” This is a genetic condition, so it’s quite likely the rest of our immediate family has it as well, but we just haven’t paid for the testing yet. All of us are eating the same diet, to support the boys.

    Btw, for anyone out there who thinks they might have a problem/reaction to gluten, despite previous tests being inconclusive, I highly recommend they find someone who can order some new labs tests from Cyrex Labs. These tests have only been available about 2 1/2 years now and are are result of cutting-edge scientific research. Their “Array 4” test, in particular, will tell you not only whether you have a sensitivity to gluten, but it tests for 24 other foods that are potentially associated with gluten-sensitivity. Some of these include potato, dairy, corn, rice, oats, tapioca, etc. In my opinion, this is critical information to help put a stop to the internal inflammation. Yes, Paleo and SCD are very good diet options, but it’s still possible that you could be continuing to eat some foods without realizing your body is attacking the proteins they contain.

    In the case of my boys, we’ve had to remove all gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, millet, and oats from our diets. We’re limiting fruit to 2-3 pieces a day and staying away from all refined sugar, preservatives, food coloring, etc. Basically it’s a Paleo diet, except without eggs (this particular food intolerance is temporary, until we’ve healed their small intestines), absolutely no dairy, and we do consume a limited amount of the grains their Cyrex tests showed are not a problem for them.

    Anyway, I’m going to try these cookies. Unfortunately, I think I figured out that coconut and almonds are giving me stomachaches and/or headaches, so I might not be eating them myself. However, the kids and hubby are almost always appreciate of my efforts to make treats for them.☺ Sometimes I substitute homemade sunflower seed flour in place of almond flour. It turns the cookies dark green, which greatly amuses my kids. ☺

    Sorry so long-winded, but I just like to get the word out there about the new tests that are available because I think there’s a lot of people who could really benefit from them. Keep up the great work on this website. ☺

    • paleoinpdx June 24, 2013 / 8:50 am

      Thanks for the info, Rachel! It’s very useful and I hope others think so too. I’m not sure if you read about me, but like your son, I also have (had) SIBO, along with leaky gut. I was diagnosed by my naturopath in early October 2011 and for all I know, it’s gone, but I haven’t been retested. I feel really good and don’t have the symptoms anymore, which is why I haven’t retested. Plus, it’s a little spendy since I have to pay out of pocket. I still abide by a lot of the SCD protocols, but more from a paleo standpoint. I have added back in a few SCD-illegal items, such as cocoa powder and balsamic vinegar and those seem to be okay. I still avoid starches like sweet potatoes/yams, turnips, arrowroot, etc.

      Anyway, thanks again and I hope your kiddos enjoy the cookies!

      • Rachel June 24, 2013 / 12:42 pm

        Thanks for the response. Yes, I did read that you had SIBO. I haven’t actually looked into the entire SCD, but I probably should. We started a Paleo diet only about 4 months ago, then had to get more restrictive after results of my boys’ blood work came back, and even more so after we learned about the SIBO and candida.

        I know … the blood work is pricey and we’re paying cash. Cyrex Labs only accepts cash payment directly from the patient and it’s $220 for the Array 4 test, plus whatever fee you pay for the blood draw. We did that test for both boys. For us, that has eliminated a lot of the guess work, but I understand the cost factor. (That’s why I haven’t tested myself yet, though I’m very close to biting the bullet and doing that.) The test to check for whatever is leaking through the gut (bacteria, parasites, undigested food particles, etc) costs just a little less (minus a blood draw fee, since Cyrex keeps your blood sample for a few months); we only did that for my middle child, as part of the Brain Balance program that he recently completed. Brain Balance is an excellent, drug-free approach for anyone seeking help for a child with a neurological disorder, by the way.

        After my middle child was diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, I did a bunch of research and subsequently learned that this condition can affect any organ or tissue in your body. It can cause stunted growth, which was a huge light bulb moment for me because my oldest has been on growth hormone treatments for a year. We went ahead and paid to have him become a patient of the chiropractor who is a co-director at the Brain Balance center. The doctor “diagnosed” him as having a small amount of candida, detected that he cannot tolerate wheat (even before test results came back), and said my son’s hypothalamus is off. I don’t claim to fully understand his methods, but I trust that he knows what he’s doing and he’s up on the cutting-edge information regarding gluten sensitivity – even before the experts/researchers have published their findings. He says he thinks we can knock down the candida in a month or two with the help of supplements and the diet. I confess that I haven’t been as diligent as I should be about following the candida/mold diet on the print-out he gave us, but it kind-of frustrates me that so many foods are not listed on there. This morning I found an alphabetical list of “legal” and “illegal” foods, so this should prove more helpful. I noticed that sunflower seeds are not listed. Sunflower oil is shown to be “legal” so maybe I can assume the seeds are okay?

        Breakfasts are particularly challenging, in the absence of eggs, dairy, gluten, oats, soy, millet ….. We end up eating a lot of bacon, sausage (sometimes homemade), squash and zucchini. I’ve also used potatoes and sweet potatoes in their breakfast hash, but I think I’ll do my best to eliminate those. I also wondered about arrowroot, so you’ve answered my question. Do you know of anything “legal” I can use to thicken broths, berries, and things like that when making sauces and gravies?

        Giving my kids occasional healthy treats is a must, as far as I’m concerned. It’s hard enough for a kid to not be able to eat any of the treats and junk food given to all their classmates, so I try to keep a good supply of healthy homemade treats to offer as a substitute. The thing is, my kids do not have significant digestive issues. For my son who has growth hormone deficiency, it’s impossible to know how food is affecting him on a short-term basis. Only time (and the growth chart) will tell. For my son with ADHD, it’s more apparent, but the problem I’ve discovered is that sometimes it’s the pesticides on the food that cause more of a reaction than the food itself. For example, he was acting terribly hyper and emotional every time he ate fresh strawberries from a local fields, but did okay with organic frozen strawberries. The farmers had told me “no spray”, but I later learned from someone else that they don’t spray them – they fumigate the fields. So, the chemicals are present in anything grown in their fields. It was a sad day when I realized we’d have to avoid eating the fresh local strawberries! Interestingly, strawberries are not listed in the SCD list I found….

        Do you have any cookbooks or sources of more recipes you can recommend? Thanks again.

      • paleoinpdx June 25, 2013 / 12:19 pm

        Thanks for sharing more about your life and kids, Rachel. It’s interesting to hear and so great that you pay attention to such things! You sound like a stellar mom! That’s really freaky about the strawberries, by the way.

        Arrowroot is too starchy for me (and is SCD-illegal), which is why I avoid it, but if it doesn’t cause you or your family problems, it’s probably fine on occasion. I’ve used a little coconut flour as a thickener before and it worked well. Chris Kresser did a post a few months back on using butternut squash as a thickener, so you may want to check that out too (a simple Google search should bring it up).

        Yes, sunflower seeds are fine as long as they don’t cause problems and are eaten moderately. Seeds and nuts contain anti-nutrients and higher levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6s, so they’re best kept to a minimum, especially if leaky gut is going on. I avoided nuts and seeds for a month or more before introducing them, and then only ate them moderately in the form of homemade nut butter or nut milk for about 5-6 months, before attempting whole nuts/seeds.

        Practical Paleo is a fantastic cookbook and resource (lots of good info in there) and I also love the Everyday Paleo cookbooks. These cookbook authors both have websites too: balancedbites.com and everydaypaleo.com. Make it Paleo and The Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals are also fantastic cookbooks. Info-wise, I recommend Breaking the Vicious Cycle and The Paleo Solution. Oh, and check chowstalker.com for lots of great online recipes!

      • Rachel June 26, 2013 / 3:14 pm

        Thanks so much for the sources of great info! I’ll have to check out those books and websites, and look into the butternut squash as thickener. I did just recently buy Practical Paleo, but haven’t had a chance to plow through it.☺

        I noticed that flax is illegal on SCD, but I didn’t see chia seeds listed. I’m wondering if those are illegal as well. I use flax and hot water to replace eggs, but I know the same can be done with chia seeds.

        I do soak and dehydrate all my nuts and seeds prior to eating them or grinding them into flour. I understand it’s supposed to reduce the phytic acid (same as anti-nutrients?), but maybe I’ll cut back on nuts/seeds anyway. Our practitioner did caution me about almonds because he’s seen a lot of patients lately who are experiencing irritation of the muscle/valve between small and large intestine. He attributes this to the over-consumption of almonds in various forms. He said only eat as many at a time as you would be inclined to eat if you had to shell them yourself. ☺ I have not necessarily followed this advice with my kids, who like to dip their veggies in almond butter. I tried making almond butter in my Vitamix once, but I didn’t like how it turned out. How do you make your own? Do you add oil? Do you use raw or roasted almonds? (Well, technically, none of the store-bought ones are “raw.”).

        As to noticing how foods affect my kids, as part of the Brain Balance program, I’ve kept a food diary for my middle child. This is how I eventually made the connection between the organic strawberries vs. the ones from local fields.

        Speaking of local fields … we live in California’s San Joaquin Valley – one of the most fertile valley’s in the world. Our city, along with all the other cities in this valley, consistently rank highest in the nation for poor air quality. Our school has green, yellow, and red flags to denote the air quality each day, and they announce over the P.A. each morning what the flag color will be. When it’s red, the students don’t get to go outside for recess. The pollution is not from car emissions or over population, as would be the case in L.A. (who also consistently ranks among the top 10 for bad air quality). It’s mostly due to pesticides, fertilizers, agriculture (including dairy cows), and all the dust from shaking the nut trees. And I dare say that most of America (and other countries) are eating the produce and grains grown here. We do have a great Farmer’s Market, including some vendors who are committed to organic practices, but sometimes I wonder how “clean” they can grow their food when the air, water, and soil are so polluted. Still, I try to stick with organically grown, at least for the foods on the Dirty Dozen list. Thankfully, between my mother-in-law’s yard and ours, we are pretty well supplied with various veggies, a few herbs, and all sorts of fruit – peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, citrus fruits, and grapes.

        Btw, I made a quadruple batch of these cookies and the kids loved them. I confess that I ate about 4 myself the first day, even though I knew I’d pay for it due to the coconut and almonds. The ingredients are similar to the “Anytime Cookies” from the “Eat Like a Dinosaur” cookbook, except those have a pureed apple instead of the pumpkin and they don’t call for coconut flour – just almond flour. (Which I often sub with ground sunflower seeds.) As soon as they cool, I freeze the cookies while still on the cooling racks, individually wrap a few in plastic wrap (to make them easier to grab and go) and throw them all into a big Ziploc to freeze for later. This way, they don’t stick together.

      • paleoinpdx June 28, 2013 / 8:55 am

        I’m so glad you bought Practical Paleo! It’s an outstanding book. Another resource related to SIBO specifically is siboinfo.com. There’s lots of valuable info there.

        Yes, chia seeds are also illegal because of their mucilaginous properties — it’s just like ground flax.

        Soaking definitely helps reduce the phytic acid content, but it’s not a reason to eat more. Nuts/seeds should still be moderated because they can irritate the gut and again, are are higher in omega-6s, which can be pro-inflammatory. I don’t always make my own nut butter, but when I do, I use the food processor and just use raw nuts and sea salt — that’s it. No oil or anything. Although, you can add some oil if you want. I have a Vitamix, but never use it for nut butters. It’s too easy to overheat and hard to get things to mix well.

        That’s scary about the air quality where you live. Growing up in a small city in Northern Michigan and now, living in Portland, I can’t even imagine something like that. It’s virtually unknown to me. It sounds like you’re doing good things for your family though, and ultimately, doing the best that you can!

        I’m so glad the cookies were a hit and I hope you didn’t have to pay for indulging in them too much!

  11. Ali November 16, 2013 / 12:20 pm

    This morning I really wanted to bake some cookies using pumpkin and a ripe banana I had, so I came across your recipe. It was exactly what I was looking for! I didn’t have coconut shavings or apple cider vinegar, but they came out great even without them – moist and sweet and surprisingly a lot like banana bread, so I agree on that one! I added chopped pecans. Thanks for your recipe! I love your blog and I’m glad I found it.

    • paleoinpdx November 17, 2013 / 7:48 am

      Ali, I’m so glad that these cookies hit the spot! Good to know that things worked out with your changes too and the addition of pecans sounds great! I love pecans, so maybe I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks so much for you kind words too — means a lot to me and you’re very sweet to say so πŸ™‚

  12. Karin Wolff November 8, 2014 / 12:54 pm

    I love anything pumpkin, too! I tried these cookies and they are pretty good but I have found that anything I make with coconut flour in it to be very dry. Am I doing something wrong? The batter looked good. Also, they don’t spread out like normal cookies so I rolled them into balls and squashed them with a fork like you would peanut butter cookie. Love all the spices in these!!

    • paleoinpdx November 8, 2014 / 1:52 pm

      Coconut flour requires more moisture, otherwise it can be very dry. For this recipe, you probably needed to add the full 2 Tbsp of water (or coconut or almond milk). Did you do that? If so, the cookies may have dried out more because you flattened them out and didn’t make them as a drop cookie. Also, if your banana was really small, this would affect the moisture content too. With these cookies, the dough should look kinda fluffy and shouldn’t be very stiff. Hope that helps!

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