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.
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