Libby's Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe - 1980s Magazine Ad! (2024)

By Carissa Houston

This is the recipe you’re looking for! It’s the original 1980s Libby’s Great Pumpkin Cookie recipe fromwomen’s magazine ads.

My mom made the Great Pumpkin Cookies every year when I was a kid, and now I make them every year with my kids.My kids love decorating Great Pumpkin Cookies more than decorating Christmas cookies!

Libby’s Great Pumpkin Cookie is a pumpkin-chocolate chip-oatmeal cookie and bakes up HUGE and soft.

Recipe post updated 10/27/2023

This post includes affiliate links.

Here are 4 tips to make sure your Great Pumpkin Cookies turn out GREAT!

  1. Use parchment paper AND cooking spray:These cookies are GINORMOUS and you don’t want to chance breaking any cookies if they stick.
  2. Put just 4 cookies on each cookie sheet: They spread out like crazy, but you can’t refrigerate the dough or you won’t be able to spread the cookies into shape.
    • Need better cookie sheets for holiday baking? I’ve used these AirBake cookie sheets for more than 20 years. They’re black, they’re warped, but they never burn cookies!
  3. Take the fun outside: My kids are old enough not to make a crazy mess decorating these cookies (and to clean up their own messes) but when they were little I set everything up on our patio table and hosed it off when they were done. If you need to decorate cookies in the house, use two dollar store tablecloths—1 on the table and 1 under the table. Roll up the tablecloths and toss when the kids are done.
  4. Don’t mess with the recipe:You can practice gluten free, maple syrup, coconut cream frosting substitutes on some other poor recipe—if there’s a time for real sugar, butter, and flour, it’s Halloween time!
  • You can use any frosting you like; I make a simple buttercream because it’s cheaper than canned frosting and just as easy to make as to open a can. Yes, I use food coloring in the frosting—the more garish, the better, as far as the kids are concerned. Yes, the Halloween candies and sprinkles the kids decorate the cookies with are full of high fructose corn syrup and dyes. See #4 above.
    • Buttercream frosting: 1 stick butter, 1 box powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp water. Mix in more water a teaspoon at a time until you get the frosting texture you want.
  • I always buy the cookie decorations at Winco because I can buy a small amount of each candy in their bulk foods department and I don’t end up with a ton of leftover candy. The kids get enough candy Trick or Treating!
  • Don’t forget to buy enough frosting dispensers to cover each kid! I have 2 kids but I have 6 frosting dispensers so they can decorate Halloween and Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses with their friends! I use these frosting dispensers because they’re easy to load and easy for the kids to squeeze and change out the decorating tips without making a holy mess.
  • You can also put the frosting into bowls and use butter knives or popsicle sticks to spread the frosting on the cookies (popsicle sticks are better because they won’t tip out of the bowls), or make frosting dispensers out of quart size freezer bags.
    • Ziploc bags filled with frosting usually blow out when kids use them! Try Hefty bags instead; Hefty zipper bags don’t blow out like Ziploc bags do. (This isn’t a sponsored post, I just hate how Ziploc bags always blow out, and I’ve never had that problem with Hefty zipper bags.)

Libby’s Great Pumpkin Cookie recipe isn’t just for Halloween! It’s also a great recipe to use from Labor Day (the official start of pumpkin season) throughThanksgiving because they include twoperfect fall flavors:pumpkin and cinnamon. They’refun to make for any fall brunch or for Thanksgiving breakfast with just a little cream cheese icing piped on (see top photo).

Libby’s Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

Recipe Type: cookies

Cuisine: American

Author: Libby’s®

This is the Libby’s® Great Pumpkin Cookie recipe printed in women’s magazine ads in the 1980s!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Libby’s Solid Pack Pumpkin
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Assorted icings or peanut butter
  • Assorted candies, raisins or nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Cream butter; gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla; mix well.
  5. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Stir in morsels.
  7. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet; spread into pumpkin shape, using a thin metal spatula.
  8. Add a bit more dough to form stem.
  9. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until cookies are firm and lightly browned.
  10. Remove from cookie sheets; cool on racks.
  11. Decorate, using icing or peanut butter to affix assorted candies, raisins, or nuts.
  12. Yields 19 to 20 cookies.
  13. Variation: Substitute 1 cup raisins for morsels.

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Libby's Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe - 1980s Magazine Ad! (2024)


What was the most popular cookie in the 80s? ›

1980s: Snickerdoodles

Just as Spandex and leg warmers were present in many closets in the '80s, these cookies were a staple in many kitchens.

What is the history of Libby's Pumpkin? ›

Libby's was started as Libby, McNeill & Libby, a canned meat company in Chicago, in the late 1800s. That's right—canned meat. The company brought canned pumpkin into its fold in the late 1920s, when it purchased Dickinson & Co. of Eureka, Illinois.

What is the number 1 cookie in America? ›

Nearly 93% of all American households serve and enjoy cookies as treats or after meals. However, it's the chocolate chip cookie that's the most popular in the U.S. and around the world. How much do youknow about chocolate chip cookies?

What is the best-selling cookie of all time? ›

Oreo is the best-selling cookie in the world. It is now sold in over 100 countries. Oreo was first produced in 1912 by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Na-Bis-Co.

Why is Libby's pumpkin out of stock? ›

In a nutshell, there are two reasons: weather and demand. "Due to wet, cold weather conditions during planting, we started harvesting a little later than usual this year," says Noelle Perillo, manager of brand public relations at Nestle (where Libby's pumpkin is made).

What kind of pumpkin does Libby's use? ›

Libby's, the quintessential canned pumpkin brand, uses a proprietary strain of the Dickinson pumpkin variety in their product, which is also often called a Dickinson squash. On Libby's website, it states that their product is 100 percent pumpkin.

Who owns Libby's pumpkin? ›

The purchase included the pumpkin-packing plant in Morton, which is where Libby's Pumpkin is still produced to this day. Eventually, the company name Libby, McNeil & Libby was shortened to simply Libby's. And today, the brand is owned by Nestlé.

What is the #1 cookie in the world? ›

Every year, more than 40 billion Oreo cookies are produced in 18 countries around the world.

What were the Girl Scout cookies in the 80s? ›

Girl Scout Cookie sale, 1983. In 1982, four bakers still produced a maximum of seven varieties of cookies—three mandatory (Thin Mint, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos, and Shortbread/Trefoils) and four optional. Cookie boxes depicted scenes of Girl Scouts in action.

What were the Girl Scout cookies in the 1970s? ›

Girl Scout Cookies for sale during the 1970s included Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Sandwich/Do-si-dos®, and Shortbread/Trefoils® cookies, along with four additional choices.

What is the most eaten cookie? ›

Chocolate chip cookies

What is the most popular type of cookie? It might just be this one. Ever the crowd-pleaser, the chocolate chip cookie is renowned for its balance of richness and sweetness.


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