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 my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies with brilliant pumpkin spice flavor.
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 pumpkin snickerdoodles!
These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Are:
- Soft-baked, but not as soft as a piece of cake
- Perfectly spiced and you can use homemade pumpkin pie spice!
- Relatively quick—only 30 minutes to chill the dough
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Video
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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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. If you’re looking for other egg-free baking recipes, give my shortbread cookies a try.
- 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!
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.
Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- Yield: 18 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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.
- 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
- 1 teaspoon store-bought or homemade pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a few extra for the tops
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Chilling the dough is imperative for this recipe.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Scoop the dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and roll each into balls. Arrange cookie dough balls 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a spoon or the bottom of a cup/measuring cup, slightly flatten the tops of the dough balls. (Without doing so, the cookies may not spread.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- 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 4. 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.
- 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.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon—you will still add that.
- Chilled Dough: If you are chilling the pumpkin cookie dough for longer than 30 minutes, the cookie dough will likely have to sit on the counter at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before scooping/rolling because it will be quite cold and solid. The amount of time it needs to sit at room temperature depends on how long the dough has chilled. If I chill my cookie dough for around 24 hours, I let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Bigger Batch: Cookie recipe can easily be doubled by doubling each ingredient. Chill the cookie dough for 45 minutes.
- 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
Reader Comments & Reviews
I had pumpkin puree and some chocolate chips and this was just the recipe. My mom was amazed at how tasty they were and that they were egg free! My aunt is vegan and I was wondering if you could use oil instead of butter?
Hi Emma, if you’re looking for a substitute for the butter, melted coconut oil is best. You want a fat that’s solid at room temperature and liquid when warmed. The flavor will be different, but they’ll still be excellent. Many readers have made this substitution and reported back with great results!
Cookie Contest Winner!
I made these for a cookie bakeoff at work and they took first place!
I have followed this and the chocolate chip cookie recipes to the letter (ok I used chocolate and butterscotch chips) and did sugar and flour by weight. If doing by volume this may be why some said the cookie was not the right texture. Also don’t bake too long. I pull them from the oven the second the look set or slightly browned. (9-11 min in my oven)
These were tasty and hit the spot. Chewy, moist, and flavorful, but not as crisp as I would have hoped for on the edges. I weighed most of the ingredients, especially the dries and the pumpkin. I think that is crucial to get this recipe to come out reliably well. I used Bob’s Red Mill unbleached all-purpose flour, which is pretty high protein and tends to suck up moisture more than other AP flours, so having the flour weight was helpful to prevent dry cookies. I smooshed the dough before and after baking and pressed some extra chips on the tops after baking, too. They were excellent! I really don’t understand all the mean comments on this recipe…I’m guessing they probably measured by volume or just wanted a different kind of cookie.
Your recipes are always AMAZING!! I pretty much only use your website for baked goods anymore. I started a little bakery side hustle and have had great success with it, with one exception: some of your recipes don’t make as many cookies as the yield says. This one says 18, but I only got 14 smallish cookies out of it. Not a problem if I’m just baking for myself, but I frequently bake for large amounts of people and need a more accurate assessment of what to expect. I quadrupled the recipe because I needed 60 cookies and I thought this would yield about 70-72, but it barely made 55. Definitely frustrating when I’m on a time crunch and have customers. I don’t even make my cookies big. They are pretty small (about 2.5 inches across after baking).
Hi Debbie, I’m sorry to hear you’re not getting enough cookies out of this recipe! We usually use a medium cookie scoop, which scoops a ball of dough about 1.5 Tablespoons in size, to make these cookies. Other than the size of the cookie dough balls, I’m not sure what could account for the diminished yield.
I followed the recipe very closely and was disappointed that there was not enough pumpkin flavor. I did not let them sit out on the counter for the 2 hour recommendation as the more they cooled the crunchier they became. Not what I was looking for. Other than that they were ok.
These cookies are great! I will say the first time I made them they didn’t turn out very well but the second time I doubled the pumpkin purée (12 tablespoons) they turned out delicious!! Double the pumpkin for a softer, chewier cookie 🙂
Can you use just canned pumpkin, the one you add spices, eggs, milk etc. too. It is just plan pumpkin. I do not know exactly what pumpkin purée is and how do you squeeze it??
Hi Linda, we use pumpkin puree from a can — pumpkin will be the only ingredient. We use a clean paper towel to squeeze out some of the moisture. You can see a photo example under the section titled “My 4 Tricks to Apply in this Recipe.” Hope you enjoy these cookies!
Followed the recipe and my cookies were super cakey. Not at all what I was hoping for. The taste was alright though.
Absolutely delicious. I didn’t have pumpkin spice, so I used more cinnamon and some nutmeg to equal the amount of pumpkin spice called for in the recipe.
I didn’t blot my pumpkin, but I was trying to use up a previously opened can of pumpkin, so I think it dried out in the fridge which worked to my advantage. My cookies turned out with just the right amount of chew, with just a hint of crispiness on the outside…perfection. I followed the recipe using weight instead of volume, used dark chocolate chips, chilled overnight, and baked for 12 minutes.
I have to use a lot of willpower not to eat them all myself! I’ll be definitely saving this recipe!!!
Really good! I made it once and now double the recipe! Great way to use up extra pumpkin puree from fresh pumpkins.
Disappointing. As said by another, the product was caky and oddly tasteless. A bit like a bland ginger snap without a snap.
And I tried twice – following the directions exactly.
I’m sorry, but I followed this recipe exactly and they are cakey and terrible. No taste, no pumpkin taste at all. I’m so disappointed and now I will show up at the cookie exchange with some really terrible cookies. So disappointed and what a waste of time and money.
These cookies are one of my favs