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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.

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 pumpkin snickerdoodles!

These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Are:

  • Soft-baked, but not as soft as a piece of cake
  • Chewy
  • Egg-free
  • Buttery
  • Perfectly spiced and you can use homemade pumpkin pie spice!
  • 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. If you’re looking for other egg-free baking recipes, give my shortbread cookies a try.
  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 1x
  • 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

Scale
  • 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

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.
  3. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Chilling the dough is imperative for this recipe.
  4. Remove dough from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 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.
  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: 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bigger Batch: Cookie recipe can easily be doubled by doubling each ingredient. Chill the cookie dough for 45 minutes.
  6. 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 Questions and Reviews

  1. This is the best cookie recipe in the world. The first time I made it, I squeezed out all the liquid from the pumpkin and messed up the recipe. But since then I learned to squeeze out just a bit, and they turn out perfectly chewy.

  2. This was the best pumpkin cookie recipe ever! I’m the worst baker and terrrible at following directions so I literally threw everything in the bowl, mixed it up and plopped it on a baking sheet. No blotting or chilling required and it was still the best. Two thumbs up!

  3. Hello!! Love you but just wanted to let you know this person is plagiarizing your recipe: https://www.marnistockhausen.com/post/chewy-pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies

  4. These are great!! I was a little worried about baking them at high altitude (7200ft) but it only took a few more minutes in the oven to come out perfectly.

    1. Mine turned out very cakey as I didn’t remove any moisture from the pumpkin- but honestly I wouldn’t change it! Beautiful texture and flavour! I used 1 cup of whole meal flour and 1/2 cup of AP flour and they were great. Will make again but will remove moisture to make as intended

  5. Wonderful! My daughter in law loves these so I ship them. Today I added pecans for her. Thanks!

    1. I love all of your recipes. Do you think this would work for the chocolate chip cookie brownies bars? I want to make a pumpkin version. I have pumpkin spice Oreos for the middle.

      1. Hi Caroline, absolutely! This dough as written is ideal for a 9×9 pan, so you will want to double it for the 9×13 pan for the chocolate chip cookie brownie bars. If the cookie layer is too thick, feel free to use the extra dough for a few cookies on the side. Sounds like a delicious combo, so please do let us know how it goes!

  6. I usually love these recipes, but I’ve tried this one twice and both times they turn out very “meh” and the texture is just off.

      1. I agree that this recipe could use some work. I read the ingredients and instructions at least ten times before putting the pan in the oven. I was concerned about how dry and crumbly they were, but after confirming with the recipe that I had done everything by the book, i decided to bake them anyway. The “cookies” are more like kinetic sand. You can squeeze a handful into a ball, but the moment you place it on the baking sheet, it completely falls apart. I made one large sheet of “cookies” that are not edible, and one 9×9 baking dish to create more of a brownie. I ended up sprinkling the crumbles over ice cream so I wouldn’t waste the ingredients.

  7. I want to say Thank -you, for all of your recipes that you share!!! Great stuff. I made your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cooke’s and added some walnuts as well to it. Wife came home and loved them!!
    I added about 5 minutes to the baking time due to the high altitude in Colorado Springs.
    Enjoy your emails too!

  8. Could I make this with dairy-free butter instead? Milk and egg allergy at our house:(

    1. We haven’t tested those substitutions in this cookie recipe, but let us know if you do!

    2. I just made these dairy free and they are delicious!! I substituted Earth Balance (soy & diary free) butter and allergen free chocolate chips. So yummy!

    3. I use melted coconut oil instead of butter in practically all baking recipes and they turn out great every time

  9. I substituted my gluten free flour in this recipe, and they turned out AMAZING! Gluten free doesn’t usually last well as leftovers and it gets dry and crumbly. My family gobbled them up, so I’ll have to make a second batch to test to see about day 2 and 3. Yum!

    1. I would love to know how the gf certain is after a day or two! Also, did you leave the moisture in the Puree to compensate for the gf flour?

  10. Hmm. So many positive reviews that I’m wondering if I did something wrong. I think I followed all the directions, and my cookies were definitely more cakey than chewy, and almost had a sandy texture (reminded me of some gluten-free cookies I’ve had). Very little pumpkin flavor, even 24+ hours after baking, and I could barely taste any of the spices (though, admittedly, my spices could have been a little less than peak freshness). If anybody else has had these results, and has figured out a fix, I’d love to hear about it.

  11. Love these, make them for my family and friends during the autumn season! But they aren’t what they look like in the video, a bit larger and fluffy looking. Is there a way to make them look like the ones on the video you have?

    1. Hi Genevieve! How did you measure the flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.

  12. I’m very excited to try this recipe! Would the oven temperature and baking time be the same for a fan-forced oven?

    1. Hi Elly, All of the recipes on this site are written for conventional settings. If you have the choice, we recommend conventional settings when baking cakes, breads, etc. The flow of air from convection heat can cause baked goods to rise and bake unevenly and it also pulls moisture out of the oven. If you do use convection settings for baking, lower your temperature by 25 degrees F and keep in mind that things may still take less time to bake.

    1. If you enjoy white chocolate chips, you’ll enjoy them in these cookies!

    1. Hi Emily, thanks so much for giving this recipe a try. We’re happy to help troubleshoot. It may be that too much moisture was blotted out from the pumpkin (some brands of pumpkin puree are wetter than others). How did you measure your flour? We recommend spooning and leveling or using a food scale to ensure just enough flour — otherwise, too much will dry out your cookies. Finally, over baking can also dry out cookies, so a minute or two less in the oven should help if you decide to try these cookies again.

  13. I’m really excited to try this recipe but I just want to check re the pumpkin purée – I have just hollowed out my pumpkin ready for carving, to turn it into a purée, should i cook it first?

    1. Hi Lucy, other readers have reported making fresh pumpkin puree this way: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pumpkin-puree-recipe-1922629

  14. This recipe is misleading. I recommend mixing your dry ingredients first, otherwise your butter will set and make it impossible to combine wet + dry ingredients

  15. I made the recipe for me and my friends hangouts one night and they all loved them! All 24 cookies were gone in an hour! I also mixed cream cheese in the batter st the end to make a swirl and it was delicious! 10/10!!!!

  16. Followed the directions exactly, including using melted butter and blotting the pumpkin purée, and my cookies came out very cakey (which was what I was trying to avoid by using this recipe). Also, flavor was bland. The recipe could definitely benefit from adding nuts (should be an optional add-in suggestion).

  17. The first time, I followed the instructions and they came out as advertised. I baked them for 10 minutes, then checked and went another minute and a half. They did not come out cakey for me.
    The second time I baked these, I did a triple sized batch, but only had enough pumpkin puree for two batches (a little over 13 TBSP). For this big batch, I did not blot the puree, but follow the instructions with everything else. They turned out great the second time as well, slightly less pumpkiny but not surprising there.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  18. LOVE! Truly, a chewy (not cakey!) pumpkin cookie. Let the dough sit in the fridge 48 hours before baking. Baked for 13, let sit on pan for 10 min, then transported to cooling rack for about 30 minutes before diving in. Um, WOW! I even added 5 or so chocolate chips to the top of each cookie when they came outta the oven. Thanks for making me feel like a cookie baking professional, Sally 🙂

  19. Hi Sally, I’ve made these cookies many times because my 95-year-old grandmother is addicted to them! Her tastes have changed so she doesn’t eat a lot, but she regularly demolished batches of these cookies. Do you have any other cookie recipes that are similar in texture and softness to these? I’d love to find more recipes to make that she’ll like!

  20. Do you have the nutrition facts?

    Very good recipe! Mine turned out cakey, but, were delicious! I’m not sure if I took enough moisture out of the pumpkin. Will try again.

  21. I’ve made them three times in 2 weeks. First batch was exactly as the recipe was written. Second time I cooked the pumpkin a bit to dry it and added some cranberries to half the batter. Today was time 3 and I cooked the pumpkin a bit too long which made it taste delicious but dried the batter too much so I added an egg yolk. I also added cranberries yo half the batter. I would add it to all but my kids aren’t a fan of them.

  22. Hello. I’ve made this recipe 2 times now and they both turned out great, however….. the second batch which I made today….. turned out like a traditional store bought pumpkin cookie. You know. Like cakey! They still were amazing! But I’m not a seasoned baker by any means. Maybe 4 years experience, can you tell me what happened? Where I went wrong?

    1. Hi Alina, Thank you for trying this recipe. If you would ever like to try again, be sure to squeeze as much of the moisture out of the pumpkin puree as you can before adding it to the cookie dough. This will help produce a less cakey, and more chewy, cookie.

  23. I love making this recipe and everyone loves when I make these cookies! Could I also use this recipe to make a loaf? It already comes out as Cakey with the cookies and I feel like it could work as a pumpkin loaf too!

  24. I am not a baker by any means, and often times things I do bake end up in the trash because even my own children won’t eat it. I followed this exactly: melted the butter to where it was still creamy & pale yellow, used 3 fast-food “restaurant” napkins to soak up the puree liquid, and then replaced those napkins with 3 more after which the puree was dry, left the dough in my fridge overnight, baked them this morning on Thanksgiving and WOW! They haven’t even cooled and I’ve already eaten 2 cookies. Thanks so much!

  25. this recipe is now my go to during thanksgiving! (really any big special occasion) my family and friends loved them so much! i even told my friends about your website, because they wanted the recipe. thank you for this recipe and bringing my friends and family so much joy with these cookies.

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