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

667 Comments

  1. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this recipe! I made these last night and oh. my. god. they are so good! I totally agree about not loving cakey cookies and I have been diligently searching for a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie that has some more substance, chewiness, and fudgey-ness to them. These are perfect and will definitely be going in my recipe box for years to come! I had some pecan bits leftover in my baking stash and so I added some of those. I also ended up baking them for maybe an extra 4-5 minutes to get them a little toastier. My boyfriend loved them and everyone I work with loved them too. Thanks!

  2. These look great but here in the UK you can rarely get hold of tinned pumpkin!
    Can I use fresh pumpkin and if so what do I do with it?Can I purée raw or should I cook it first before I purée?

    1. Hi Mary! Some readers have made these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with fresh pumpkin puree. It needs to be cooked down and cooled first. Blot some of the moisture out before adding to the cookie dough.

    2. Mary – Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all sell tinned pumpkin (look in the Global Food aisle) – I have bought from all three places

  3. These look delicious! I’m wondering if gluten free all purpose flour could be substituted? Has anyone tried it? I didn’t see it in the comments but wanted to ask, thanks!

    1. Hi Christina! I’m not a gluten free baker, so I can’t say much on the subject but it’s worth a try. Many readers use a cup for cup GF flour with no trouble in my cookie recipes.

  4. Your comment about the “cakey cookie issue” was so on point! As soon as I read that you had solved this issue, I knew I found my next favorite pumpkin recipe. I followed everything exactly as you outlined and the cookies were perfection!! I let them sit as directed before having one (or maybe 5!!) and the texture and flavor was perfect. Thank you so much for spending countless hours perfecting recipes and taking the time to give so many tips so that others will get it right on the first try!

  5. Can you leave out the chocolate chips? Potbelly has this amazing pumpkin pie cookie a year ago that they no longer make. It was as you describe – soft but not cakey. It was wonderful, and I don’t even like pumpkin pie! Wondering if this recipe would get me close to that….

      1. Thanks! They turned out great (though they didn’t spread as you had warned). I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar in top before baking. I think if I make the cookies bigger they will be just like the potbelly ones were!

  6. Thank you for creating a chewy instead of cakey pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, Sally! Woo hoo! My question is: In addition to being tired of cakey cookies, I’m tired of the whole pumpkin pie spice thing. Do you think the pumpkin and chocolate can stand on their own without all that? Maybe just a little cinnamon? Or even simply vanilla?

  7. HI Sally,
    Can i blot the pumpkin just a little bit in this recipe?
    to get some moisture out of it?
    i made pumpkin cookies in the past and they have molded after a few days
    even when they were in the refrigerator. they were the cake-y style of cookie
    so i really would like to blot out some moisture with these as well.
    please let me know.

    1. Hi Heather! You can blot some of the excess moisture out of the pumpkin before adding to the cookie dough. I do that if the pumpkin seems extra wet. Have fun baking!

  8. Don’t know why but I forgot the pumpkin. Even though the cookies were not what you would call soft my friends ate them all in one evening, then sent me a text telling me so. ☺

  9. I had some leftover pumpkin puree and decided to use them for this recipe. They turned out great and I love the taste and texture!
    Just wondering – do you know if the results would be similar if I substitute the pumpkin puree for apple sauce?

    1. Hi Melissa! I fear the cookies wouldn’t set up properly with applesauce as it’s a little more wet than pumpkin. You can certainly try it though!

  10. Hi Sally
    Want to make these,but hard to find certain spices here in Saudi Arabia.
    I have Cininmon, Ground allspice,and nutmeg. No cloves.
    I found a mixed spice ground it has.cininmon,coriander,nutmeg,clove,pimento,ginger.
    What should I use,and how much of what?
    Thank you
    Shelley

  11. I have been using this recipe for YEARS!! I found it around 2014 and make these cookies every fall! People always want the recipe and I direct them back here. Delicious, SOFT, eggless cookies. Thank you so much for sharing this!!!!!!

  12. OMG, these are to die for. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! I have to make a double batch otherwise they are just gone in no time. The only thing is they were way too sweet for us, so I cut the sugar in half and only use a coconut one. Absolute favourite in my household!

  13. Thanks so much for this recipe – the chewy texture makes them so good! It’s my husband’s favorite cookie. I’ve made them 3 different times over the past several weeks!

  14. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been on a quest for non-cakey pumpkin cookies for a long time! This is hands-down the best recipe I have come across and I appreciate all your hard work and your willingness to share with the masses.

  15. Delicious taste! These cookies are very soft, and the next day instead of becoming chewier they became softer – too soft in my opinion, and I’m a fan of soft-baked. Any tips for getting a firmer cookie? More flour? Keep in fridge instead of at room temp – perhaps keep in the fridge? Lovely recipe!

    1. Hi Ro! To prevent the cookies from getting too soft in storage, keep the cookies lightly covered– not in a sealed container. The exposure to air will help. If you bake them again, you can add a couple minutes to the bake time, too!

  16. Can you cut the sugar back at all? They are delicious, and my kids love them, but I feel the sugar amount is too high.
    Also, I saw a comment above about using fresh pumpkin. I did, as in aus we don’t have canned pumpkin, worked out great.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy then and that fresh pumpkin worked! You can certainly try reducing the sugar for your taste – just keep in mind sugar is also needed for the correct texture in baked goods and it helps cookies to spread so if you reduct it too much you will change the texture of your cookies.

  17. These cookies are not only my favorite cookie, but my favorite dessert too! I’ve made them more than a few times and they don’t last more than a day in my house. Thank you for this delicious recipe Sally.

  18. I’m looking forward to cozy hats and scarves, too. And boots. And crisp fall leaves, all the vibrant fall colours, and all the apple and maple and cinnamon! These cookies look pretty good, for pumpkin! I’m thinking I’m going to try your pumpkin crumb muffins soon; I have never liked pumpkin, despised it really, but I like pumpkin donuts. So I thought maybe I’ll like cake-y pumpkin stuff 🙂 I’ll let you know if I try them!

  19. This recipe looks great, can’t wait to try it! Maybe this has been answered in another comment and I haven’t been able to find it, but do you have any suggestions for making these in high-altitude (+8600 ft)? Leave out the baking soda/powder? Still struggling with adjusting my normal baking routine to this altitude 🙁 Thank you!

  20. I made these last night for Family Sunday Dinner tonight. I love that they are not super sweet. I used 50/50 milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The tip to drain the pumpkin was a game changer. Sooo good Sally, thank you!

  21. Hi Sally,
    Could I press this dough into a 9×9 inch square pan and turn them into cookie bars? If so, what would you recommend for bake time?
    Thanks!!
    Lara

    1. Absolutely! I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but it should be around 30 minutes at 350F. I would begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

  22. That look AMAZING, here in Georgia it still feel like Sumer
    But I mean we are still going swimming which is very fun.
    I love everything that included PUMKIN. ❤️❤️

  23. made these today! they turned out perfect! had a few fresh out of the oven, but its true the flavour was better hours later. (i skipped the pumpkin spice and just added more cinnamon)

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