Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m confident you’ll love these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! I worked hard to create a chewy pumpkin cookie that’s not cakey like most pumpkin cookie recipes. Omitting the egg, using melted butter, and blotting the pumpkin guarantee these pumpkin cookies taste like our favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies with brilliant pumpkin spice flavor.

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Sometimes you just need a chocolate chip cookie, especially when pumpkin spice season– I mean fall– takes over.

Out of all my pumpkin recipes, you’re looking at one of the best. Originally published in 2013, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a constant hit with bakers around the world. I bake at least 3-4 batches each fall season and they ALWAYS put me in a fall state of mind. Sometimes I even replace the chocolate chips with chopped pecans or roll them in cinnamon sugar to yield white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles!

These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Are:

  • Soft-baked, but not as soft as a piece of cake
  • Chewy
  • Egg-free
  • Buttery
  • Perfectly pumpkin spiced
  • Relatively quick– only 30 minutes to chill the dough

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Video


stack of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on a white plate

This is Not a Cakey Pumpkin Cookie

I have appreciation for all pumpkin cookies, but I definitely prefer chewy pumpkin cookies over cakey pumpkin cookies. My regular pumpkin cookies taste like soft & cakey muffin tops. They’re obviously good, but sometimes you crave a pumpkin cookie that has the same dense & chewy texture as a regular chocolate chip cookie.

I call this the “cakey pumpkin cookie problem.” When I began recipe testing today’s cookies, I was desperate to find a solution that would help guarantee a denser texture. And guess what? I finally solved it. You see, pumpkin is soft, mushy, and full of moisture. In fact, pumpkin puree is approximately 90% water by mass. (That’s what helps make pumpkin bread so moist!) But for cookies, excessive moisture = cakey texture. Think about cake batter or muffin batter– it’s a lot more wet than cookie dough, right? We actually want cookie dough to be sturdier and drier to produce denser, chewier cookies.

My 4 Tricks to Apply in this Recipe

  1. Blot the Pumpkin: This first trick is actually optional, but I find it remarkably useful when I make pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Using a paper towel, blot out some of the pumpkin’s moisture so all that’s left is the flavor. See photo below. Use the blotted pumpkin in the cookie dough.
  2. Melted Butter: As you know from chewy chocolate chip cookies, melted butter makes cookies ultra chewy. Instead of creaming butter and sugars together, start with melted butter and whisk in the sugars. You don’t need a mixer!
  3. Skip the Eggs: What is the purpose of eggs in a cookie recipe? They bind ingredients together, tenderize the texture, and leave behind moisture. After some experimenting, I cut out the egg completely. Pumpkin replaces the eggs.
  4. Give it Time: Let the cookies cool on a cooling rack for awhile. They’re delicious warm from the oven, but I find both their chewiness and flavor amplify over time. Sometimes I even leave them uncovered on the cooling rack overnight. The next day, they’re chewier and more flavorful. That being said, this is an awesome make-ahead dessert recipe!

blotted pumpkin with a paper towel in a glass bowl

2 images of pumpkin chocolate chip cookie dough in a bowl and as cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

Chill for Only 30 Minutes

This pumpkin chocolate chip cookie dough is a little sticky. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling into balls and baking. The cookies only spread slightly in the oven, so slightly flatten out the cookie dough balls with the back of a spoon before baking.

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

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pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

I’m confident you’ll love these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Omitting the egg, using melted butter, and blotting the pumpkin guarantee a chewier texture.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons (86g) pumpkin puree (see note)*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a few extra for the tops

Instructions

  1. Whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and blotted pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft.  Fold in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. The chips may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to combine them. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Chilling the dough is imperative for this recipe.
  3. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Using the back of a spoon, slightly flatten the tops of the dough balls. (Without doing so, the cookies may not spread.)
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until the edges appear set. The cookies will look very soft in the center. Remove from the oven. If you find that your cookies didn’t spread much at all, flatten them out with the back of a spoon when you take them out of the oven. If desired, press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the warm cookies. This is only for looks!
  6. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  The longer the cookies cool, the even better they taste! The flavor gets stronger and the texture becomes chewier. I usually let them sit, uncovered, for several hours before serving. Chewiness and pumpkin flavor are even stronger on day 2.
  7. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature, then continue with step 3. Baked cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Here are my tips for how to freeze cookie dough.
  2. Pumpkin: Squeeze as much of the moisture out of the pumpkin puree as you can before adding it to the cookie dough. I simply squeeze the puree with paper towels. See photo in the post for a visual. This will help produce a less cakey cookie. Less moisture is a good thing here! Measure 6 Tablespoons AFTER the pumpkin has been squeezed/blotted. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
  3. Pumpkin Pie Spice: If desired, you can use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, ground allspice, and ground cloves instead of pumpkin pie spice. If doing so, don’t leave out the cinnamon.
  4. Bigger Batch: Cookie recipe can easily be doubled by doubling each ingredient. Chill the cookie dough for 45 minutes.
  5. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: chocolate chip pumpkin cookies

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pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on a white plate

283 Comments

  1. Delicous, makes a good amount of cookies. Would definitely make them again.

  2. Abslolutely fantastic! I really love a nice and gooey cookie, so this was pretty much perfect. Thank you, Sally!

  3. I made these and, my goodness, they’re good. The pumpkin I used wasn’t very wet, so I didn’t need to blot. I’m not a fan of cake-like cookies and was thankful they came out so gooey. They came out perfect! Will be using this recipe again whenever I have extra pumpkin around. Thank you!!

  4. Made these this morning using gluten free flour. AMAZING is all I can say, especially with my mouth full of cookie . This will be my quick ‘go to’ cookie recipe for sure! I plan on trying to make them vegan next using avocado oil instead of butter for my vegan friends. Wish me luck!

  5. I was looking for a pumpkin cookie recipe (to use leftover pumpkin purée) and found this site, and I’m so glad I did! Where have I been? I made this recipe today and it’s absolutely delicious. I followed your recipe to a T, including blotting the pumpkin, and my cookies turned out perfect. Thank you for making so many well thought out and tested recipes available online, I can’t wait to try many others – what a find!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re so glad you love these cookies, Nancy. Happy baking!

  6. Is there any way to reduce the amount to butter in these?
    I’ve seen some substitution with applesauce but the chemistry of baking is not my forté.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kerry, some readers have reported success swapping some or all of the butter for melted coconut oil. The taste will be different, but delicious nonetheless!

  7. Chris Smith says:

    Added 1.5 teaspoons of flax in wet ingredients. Substitute King Arthur gluten free all purpose flour. Both of these changes soaked up extra pumpkin purée liquid. No need to blot. Yummay.

  8. Tejasingh Mcgregor says:

    Great recipe.yummy cookies thanks for sharing.

  9. If you are using fresh pumpkin like I did, cut it up and roast it before mashing it. Then there is no need to blot!
    These were amazing BTW! Thank you!

  10. These taste absolutely wickedly gorgeous. At first I thought I’d done something wrong with them being so soft in the center coming out of the oven, but the longer they cool, the firmer they get. I needed to use up some white choc chips, so used those. Yummm!
    May I please suggest 2 edits?
    1. Work with chilled dough very quickly, otherwise your hands are stickily covered, but really fun to make with a friend!
    2. Emphasize cookie dough ball size to ONLY tblspn amount, as once flattened they spread to less than 3mm thick. (I did mounded dessertspoon flattened size & ended up with complete cookie covered trays. LOL!!) Definitely making these again & thank you kindly for the great recipe. 🙂

  11. Mel Sinclair says:

    In Australia, we don’t have tinned pumpkin because fresh is so readily available. I often roast about 600g pumpkin with granulated sugar and a light dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg, let it totally cool and then remove skin and puree. Yields the required pumpkin for this recipe and tastes divine!

  12. Looks delish! Can I use avocado or vegetable oil instead of butter?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jackie, if you’re looking for a substitute for the butter, melted coconut oil is best. The flavor will be different, but they’ll be excellent. Many readers have made this substitution and reported back with great results!

  13. I loved these! I have a different recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but it uses egg and one time I made them and they just didn’t turn out. So I thought I’d give these a try. Definitely a keeper. I made these twice in the last 10 days. Used roasted pumpkin because I live in New Zealand and Libby’s Pumpkin is often difficult to get. Plus it is pumpkin season and we’re eating roasted pumpkin frequently. I pressed milk a chocolate button into each cookie after they came out of the oven to give some variety of chocolate (I have a stash of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips).

  14. THESE COOKIES WERE SO GOOD!! I blotted the pumpkin and browned the butter (to take out more moisture). At first, the dough looked dry because of the way the cookies cracked when flattening them out, but OMG they came out so good!!

    1. Yay! I was wondering if anyone tried this with brown butter. I am glad they turnned out great! I was thinking they would taste really good this way. Thanks for blazing the trail 🙂

  15. Question. Can I use canned pumpkin puree for this? Or squash? Unfortunately it’s very rare to find the halloween pumpkins in the Philippines. Thank you.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Elle, we always use canned pumpkin puree in our baked goods! It will work perfectly.

  16. Fabulous cookies. I can always depend on your recipes being excellent. Since the entire can of purée is not used. I would love suggestions for the remaining purée.

  17. After chilling in the fridge, does the cookie dough need to come to room temperature before baking?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lexi, you want to roll and bake the dough while it’s still chilled. This helps the cookies keep their shape while baking. Hope you love them!

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