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

670 Comments

    1. I have a can of pumpkin that I want to use- have extra and take some to work. The recipe does not say how many it yields- I am thinking of doubling it?
      I will also make ” bars ” instead of cookies. Am I on the right track?

      Thank you! I too like a non cake cookies recipe!!

      1. Hey Teri! You may certainly make bars from this cookie recipe. This recipe says 18 cookies from the batch.

  1. I am so excited to try these cookies! I am drinking pumpkin coffee from Dunkin as we speak. Also, if you are a fan of pumpkin beer… you should look up Vermont Travelers Beer Co, they make a Jack-O Shandy, it is delicious! Doesn’t taste like a shandy at all but just has a perfect kick of lemon peel in the end!

  2. Gorgeous pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, Sally! I, too, have been challenging myself on the dreaded cake-like versus desired chewy pumpkin drop cookie. (Cookie and pumpkin lovers understand this!) So happy you had sweet victory with these beauties! My approach has been slightly different and now you’ve got me wanting to bake your recipe as well as my next test ASAP! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ending up with cakey pumpkin cookies every time was the worst, so I’m happy to have found that perfect recipe. I bet your version is amazing!

  3. They are GORGEOUS! Sally – just stunning! I am so impressed. Needless to say with the last cookbook I wrote, err am still editing, pumpkin cookies and how to get them to not be cakey was a MAJOR issue.

    I have a recipe on my site for pumpkin choc chip cookies that I did for Nestle Tollhouse last fall and I was very pleased with them, but it took me like 5 batches to even get there. So I know FIRSTHAND the issues at play.

    You have created the most beautiful, CHEWY pumpkin cookie I’ve ever seen. Most all tend to look like little puffy mushrooms and are cakey (and Ive made plenty of those – LOL) . Pinned!

    1. That means a ton coming from the pumpkin queen! Thank you so much Averie. And it’s just so funny you love these photos so much. I wasn’t too thrilled with them at all. And thank you for pinning!

  4. Wow, these pumpkin cookies look fantastic! I love how you specifically made sure they weren’t like a muffin top. Every other pumpkin cookie I’ve seen has that cakey texture, but these ones look like honest-to-goodness cookies!
    Pinned to my new Autumn board. 🙂

  5. Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are one of the first things I baked for my husband. He used to not like pumpkin, but the cookies turned him into a pumpkin fan. I am thrilled that you discovered that pumpkin can replace eggs in the cookie recipe – and hooray for non-cakey cookies!

  6. These look amazing and I am glad to see they are not cakey–I haven’t had a pumpkin cookie that ISN’T cakey. So, I’m excited to try these! What am I looking forward to in the Fall? Boots, scarves, PUMPKIN baked good, seeing the leaves change colors.

  7. Oh yes!!

    I hate cakey cookies of any kind, so I have never been found of pumpkin cookies. These though? Yeah, they look incredible! You are such a genius in cookie baking. I seriously have no idea how you do it! Incredible!

    You know I will be making these. I have 18 cans of pumpkin just waiting to be used. Yeah 18!

  8. In this recipe can you use regular butter instead of unsalted butter? These cookies sound delicious. I can’t wait to try them.

    1. You sure can. Do not leave out the salt called for in the recipe if you use salted butter, either. The salt in salted butter is very slight and won’t be detected in the baked cookies.

  9. I love, love, love fall, but hate pumpkin flavored treats. Crazy, isn’t it? I just wanted to say I love how you didn’t give up! Good for you on creating your perfect pumpkin cookie! I enjoy reading your posts, whether I like the ingredients or not.

  10. Oh my! Pumpkin! I’m wishing for Fall weather so I can bake (and stop melting). We are on week three of 100+ temps and pumpkin definitely makes me wish for Fall. Can’t wait to try these…

  11. So excited to try these! I love pumpkin cookies, but really like to occasionally have one that’s more cookie than cakey 🙂 I’ve made the ones from Jessica at How Sweet and they are awesome!
    P.S. I’m super duper excited for your cookbook!

  12. I just busted out my first can of pumpkin last night too Sally! I love your fall to-do list and making these cookies has just been added to mine! Pumpkin with chocolate is possibly my favorite fall flavor combination.

  13. Darn it, we don’t get canned pumpkin here in Australia! I think I need to make myself a few batches of roasted and pureed pumpkin to store in the freezer for recipes like these! I tried pumpkin bread over the weekend. It was divine. Can’t wait to try these cookies! xx

  14. I know this post is all about pumpkin but I really want a banana chocolate chip cookie…Do you think this would work with mashed banana instead of the pumpkin???

  15. Sally..this is why u are my cookie queen. I tried a pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookie this weekend and it was a total flop…tasted good but consistency was wrong, dough was not chewy and cakey. Thanks for sharing this recipe!! Will be trying.

    1. Consistency is always (!!) tricky when it comes to pumpkin + cookies. You have to try these, Zainab – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  16. I pinned these and are totally making them. They look delicious! I have to use gluten free flour for our family, but since there is only 1.5 cups of flour it should turn out fabulous. Super excited to see how these turn out. I’m going on a women’s retreat this weekend and think I may just take a batch of these for the ladies! 🙂 Thanks for sharing Sally!

  17. It’s like you’re inside my brain, Sally!! That is EXACTLY the reason I don’t make pumpkin cookies. I stick to muffins, cupcakes, breads, etc., but cookies are my favorite dessert to make so this is pretty much life changing!

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