Best 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!

What are you looking forward to this fall season? We can add pumpkin cookies to this list!

image of a fall to-do list

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 (190g) 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

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on a white plate

CHEWY NOT CAKEY! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies-- a chewy pumpkin cookie is hard to come by. This recipe nails it! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
CHEWY NOT CAKEY! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies-- a chewy pumpkin cookie is hard to come by. This recipe nails it! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

414 Comments

  1. I love this recipe! These cookies always turn out great. Such a big hit when I bring them to work!

  2. These are SO good! I made mine with pumpkin pie filling because I read the directions wrong and they still turned out really good!

  3. Updating from my comment earlier this week: I made the cookies the day before Thanksgiving and they are delicious! Agree that they are not “cakey”! While squeezing out the pumpkin liquid, I may have been a little over-zealous but wanted to be sure ;~) Used the individual spices and added ground ginger, so I had all my favorite pumpkin pie flavor in there, and chilled the dough several hours just because I was busy :~) Family and friends enjoyed them, and the few cookies that are left have kept well at room temp. BTW, I made them a bit smaller – around 1 Tbs dough – so it yielded 27 cookies. Thanks for a great recipe!

  4. Hi Sally,

    I made these for a charity bake sale at work a couple of weeks ago and everyone in my office went absolutely crazy for them and could not stop raving how good they were. I’m living in London now, so can’t get semi-sweet chocolate chips so I mixed milk and white chocolate which just added to how pretty they were (pressing a few in the tops as you suggest). I was really surprised how many people here have never tasted pumpkin flavor so it was awesome to introduce them to it. Needless to say they sold out so I got to help a good cause in the process.

    Thank you for another great recipe !

  5. Made these in advance for Christmas. Baked off 5 so my family could taste and they were delicious. Froze the rest as balls of cookie dough and will bake them for Christmas. Did one batch with chocolate chunks and did another batch with chocolate chips and peanut m&ms.

  6. My daughter doesn’t like pumpkin but she loves these cookies!

  7. Can this recipe be made into bars vs individual cookies?

    1. Absolutely. Use a 9-inch square baking pan. Follow the baking instructions for my chocolate chip cookie bars: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/soft-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookie-bars/
      The bake time may be a few minutes shorter, but keep your eye on them and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  8. Thank you for the great recipe! My kids loved them, though most of the time lately they don’t like squash of any kind! Added ground ginger and cardamom to spices, used melted coconut oil and subbed about 50g of wheat flour for teff and they turned out wonderfully!

  9. Followed the recipe but with dark chocolate chips and it was INCREDIBLE. Soft, sweet, chewy heaven, definitely some of the best cookies I’ve ever made and not difficult either. Perfect recipe, especially because this is exactly the amount of pumpkin you have leftover when making your pumpkin muffin recipe!

  10. Can I add pepitas to these in addition to the chocolate chips ?

    1. You sure can!

  11. I have made this recipe multiple times already, it is definitely my favorite! I think it’s amazing how they were able to figure out all of the tips and tricks. This will be my go to recipe any time that I need a dessert.

  12. This is the “BEST” chocolate chip cookie I have ever made! I replaced the semi-sweet chocolate chips with bittersweet chips because we love dark chocolate. We loved them. I will definitely make these over and over again.

  13. I am excited to try this recipe. I have made chocolate cake with just a cake mix and a can of pumpkin.
    Just FYI-I read this and I believe you left a word or two out. I always appreciate it when others “proofread” my words.
    4. Give it Time: Let the cookies cool a cooling rack for awhile.

    1. Thank you BJ!

  14. These were AWESOME!! I’ve tried to make just basic chocolate chip cookies, and they turned out really good. Is what I thought before I made these. Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes, definitely going to be trying more of them out!

  15. megha Ansal says:

    The most amazing cookies ever !!! The Pumpkin is a game changer!!!

  16. Heather Becker says:

    I’d like to make this recipe with my four ESOL classes, but wondered if I can substitute NZ buttercup squash for the pumpkin? Here’s a link to a photo of what I’m talking about!

    Thanks
    Heather

    1. Hi Heather, Some readers have made these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with fresh pumpkin puree. It needs to be cooked down and cooled first, then pureed. Blot some of the moisture out before adding to the cookie dough. I haven’t tried these with another type of squash but let me know if you do!

  17. Bloody amazing! This is by far my fave cookie recipe!

  18. We made this recipe a few times, with NZ pumpkin as well as NZ buttercup squash – blotting out all the liquid, which took ages!! However the result was fantastic. My High School English Second Language classes loved making and tasting them. I will send you some of their comments. I look forward to trying some other recipes of yours with my students – any suggestions?

    1. Leslie Van Veghel says:

      Am feeling a little foolish , but, I seem to be the only one with this question. Do you ‘blot’ the pumpkin purée before or after measuring it? Thanks…LV2

      1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Leslie! Measure 6 Tablespoons AFTER the pumpkin has been squeezed/blotted. 🙂

  19. The flavor of these were pretty good, however, I picked this recipe because it was supposed to be chewy rather than cakey. I used only the yolk, I went through half a roll of paper towels removing moisture from the pumpkin… I pre-read the recipe and tips twice before making them.. Then followed the recipe while I was making them.. I don’t know where I went wrong? And while I didn’t think it was a bad cookie at all, I really wanted a chew!

    I wish someone would reproduce a good copycat for Great American Cookie Company’s Pecan Chewy Supreme.. AndI don’t mean a pecan bar. I mean the cookie!:)

    1. There’s actually no egg/egg yolk at all in this recipe.

  20. I was at the store, and I love pumpkin spice baked goods. I was about to buy pre-made cookies, but then thought I can bake them myself. So I found a recipe, but they were cakey and I didn’t want that. Found this one and they turned out perfect. I will make them again. I just can’t wait for people to get home, so I can have them try. They didn’t really spread at all. I did use a spoon to flatten them, but maybe the next batch I should flatten more. Thanks!

  21. Savannah Barreca says:

    This is my absolute favorite cookie recipe! Not only because it is easy and requires minimal equipment, but the cookies are just divine! I am too proud after I make them because they are just too soft and delicious! All the credit goes to Sally of course, she is a genius! (of note, I love pumpkin)

  22. Can I leave out the chocolate chips or will that affect how the cookie holds together?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi E, You can leave out the chocolate chips, yes.

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