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.

These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

To do this fall...

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


These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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. You know the pumpkin cookies that taste like soft pieces of pumpkin cake? They’re obviously good, but when I want a cookie, I want a cookie. Not cake.

This “cakey pumpkin cookie issue” haunted me for years. I made about 10 different pumpkin cookie recipes, desperate to find the solution to my cakey cookie problem.

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 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!

Blotting pumpkin with paper towel

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.

These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 & level)
  • 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 is mandatory.
  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 10-12 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. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the warm cookies, if desired.
  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 three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well up to three 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

These CHEWY pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must try this fall! 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
CHEWY NOT CAKEY! Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies-- a chewy pumpkin cookie is hard to come by. This recipe nails it! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

702 Comments

  1. So moist and decadent!!! I doubled the recipe and forgot half of the pumpkin though…. oops. Great regardless

  2. My husband said they were the best cookies I have ever made. I bake a lot so that was a huge deal. Very moist and flavorful. We will definitely make them again. I melted my butter and let it cool too long so it started to harden some so maybe that made a difference.

  3. If making your own pumpkin spice, it needs ground ginger in addition to nutmeg, allspice, and cloves; sally used this in the oatmeal pumpkin cookies and the flavour is much better.

  4. These cookies were delicious!!! Especially warm! The dough was a bit of a letdown (for a dough eater like me), but the cookies themselves turned out so well.

  5. Great cookie! I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies last year and they were way to cakey and lacked flavor. I made this recipe a few days ago and the flavor has gotten better everyday. Husband loves them and mother-in-law said it’s the best cookie she’s ever had! (Score!)
    Great fall recipe and simple. Thanks Sally!

  6. Thank you for all of the details on your research and baking of these cookies! They sound great, and just the kind of thing I was looking for to make for Thanksgiving this year, as we have grown tired of the usual pumpkin pie. I’ll be mixing up the dough tomorrow!

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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 !

  10. 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.

    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.

  11. 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!

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