Parks Canada Heritage Gourmet Recipes

Pumpkin Cookies

These tasty cookies are prepared and served at Woodside National Historic Site in Kitchener, Ontario, and are a visitor favourite!

Pumpkin Cookies

Origin: Woodside National Historic Site
Region: Ontario
Period: 19th Century
Course: Desserts and Baked Goods

William Lyon Mackenzie King and his siblings Photo of William Lyon Mackenzie King and his siblings
© Library and Archives Canada

Each prime minister was once a carefree child, and William Lyon Mackenzie King and his brothers and sisters probably loved to have cookies as a special treat. These pumpkin cookies are prepared and served at Woodside National Historic Site throughout the month of October and they have become an important attraction for visitors at this time of year. A large number are needed during the Thanksgiving event in particular. Sometimes Parks Canada staff members vie with each other to produce the best and largest number of cookies in one day.

Pumpkin Cookies


  • Cookies
    • 1 cup | 250 ml sugar
    • 1 cup | 250 ml shortening
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup | 250 ml pumpkin
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 cups | 500 ml flour
    • 1 tsp | 5 ml baking soda
    • 1 tsp | 5 ml baking powder
    • 1 tsp | 5 ml cinnamon
    • ½ tsp | 2.5 ml salt
    • 1 cup | 250 ml raisins
    • 1 cup | 250 ml chopped walnuts or pecans

  • Icing
    • 1 cup | 250 ml brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp | 30 ml butter
    • 4 tbsp | 60 ml milk
    • 1 cup | 250 ml icing sugar


  • Cookies:
    • Cream together sugar and shortening. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the sugar mixture. Add raisins and nuts. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets in a moderate oven (375°F | 190°C) for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Icing:
    • Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes. Cool. Add icing sugar and beat until smooth. Dip cookie tops in icing. If icing thickens, thin it with milk.


Recipe tested by Chef Scott Warrick, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

The original recipe comes from the book Pioneer Cooking in Ontario: Tested Recipes from Ontario’s Pioneer Villages and Historical Sites. NC Press Limited. Toronto, 1981.

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