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.

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 white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles!

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


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.
  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
  • 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 (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
  • 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 the dough is imperative for this recipe.
  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 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!
  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 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: 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

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pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on a white plate

299 Comments

  1. I used 1/2 cup wheat flour and 1 cup AP flour. They turned out fantastic! Next time I will brown the butter to really take the flavor up a notch.

  2. These were really good! I thought the pumpkin flavour/spices were subtle but definitely more pronounced as time went on. I used Earth balance vegan butter to keep it vegan.

  3. Gwyneth Iredale says:

    Loved this recipe. I modified it by adding some wheat bran and pumpkin seeds and a little extra chocolate chips. They came out great! Crispy on the outside and chewy and moist on the inside. Perfect. Saving this recipe and sharing it with others.

  4. Karla Doerksen says:

    These cookies are AMAZING! Such an easy recipe to follow and great flavour. I’ll be adding these to my yearly ‘fall’ baking list. Thanks so much, Sally!

  5. These are a Fall favorite. We made them last year a few times and are excited to make them again this year! Wonderful flavor all around. Thank you!

    1. Am i correct that the recipe does not call for eggs? Was the doe moist enough to make cookies?

      1. good taste and super easy!

      2. Yes there are no eggs, and it is moist enough! Don’t forget to flatten the dough balls prior to baking – they won’t spread/flatten out on their own. I forgot the first time I made these but flattened them after baking.

  6. What are the nutritional facts if I’m logging my food on an app??

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Raphiel, I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators where you can plug in your exact ingredients like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

    2. Per cookie: 160kcal, 22.7g Carbs, 6.9g fat, 1.4g protein.

      Notably 4.2g saturated fat and 12.4g sugar, but that’s cookies for you. The pumpkin gets you 14% of Vitamin A %DV!

      1. I used half almond flour and maple syrup instead of the white sugar so that probably skewed my calories a little.

  7. I love this recipe!! Every time I make it, I get tons of compliments.

    Thank you so much!

  8. These are the perfect fall cookies. Wow, I think I teared up a little tasting the first one. Thanks for all the effort in perfecting this recipe, I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, I might double it.

  9. Love these cookies! They’re flavorful and have a lovely chewy texture. We live in a drier climate so did not leave the cookies out too long, only long enough to cool.
    I am a new baker, and not at all good at it. These turned out great! The advice given was very helpful.
    Thank you so much,
    Shirley

  10. These are in fact the BEST pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Perfect amount of pumpkin flavor, not too sweet, and so soft!! Thank you!

  11. Oh wow these are so good! I’m going to write this recipe down so I don’t forget it!

  12. My whole family loved them. I prefer them chewy rather than cakey. Great recipe.

  13. These were the best pumpkin cookies I’ve had because they were perfectly spicy and chewy. I didn’t have chocolate chips at home so I subbed it with craisins. Yum! Thanks, definitely bookmarking.

  14. I’m not a big fan of pumpkin, but anything with chocolate chips sounds good and I was trying to get festive. They were very yummy! This recipe is a keeper.

  15. My cookies came out super fluffy! Any reasons to why they came out fluffy? I had it sit in the refrigerator for 35 mins and baked for a really long time since it was not baking well or turning to a golden color. I am wondering if I have over mixed my dough? Pleas help!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mikino, Did you make any ingredient substitutions or changes to the recipe? Make sure you are using canned 100% pumpkin puree – not pumpkin pie filling – and blot as much moisture as you can from your pumpkin. The less moisture, the less cakey the cookies will be.

      1. Yes, I have actually substituted few things just because I didn’t have them with me! I forgot to buy butter, I ended up substituting that with fluffy textured vegetable oil. The second item was granulated sugar. I didn’t have that with me as well, so I ended up adding a table spoon of maple syrup instead! Pumpkin purée is pumpkin purée, did not use pumpkin pie filling. But everyone loved it! They all told me they liked the fluffy texture!

  16. Hi Sally!

    Just made a batch of these last night–YUM! Who knew pumpkin had that much water content! Lol!

    Question–I have a friend who is vegan, and thought about substituting butter for coconut oil. Would that work/would it be the same measurement, or a little less (1/3 cup)?

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  17. Making them now with my little ones. Going well so far – I love that the dough is pretty taste safe. Wondering how they would perform with cookie cutters…

  18. I have made this with vegan butter (Earth balance sticks) and it works great. Fantastic taste and texture. Try with white chocolate chips!

  19. Oh, these are sooooo good! I pureed the pumpkin myself and the results were fantastic! Sally, I just have to say that you make baking cookies so easy and fun. I have followed a few or your recipes but this one is by far the best. I’m always amazed when what I do turns out so well! Thank you from a Canadian who is stuck in Italy and now wants to be a baker!

  20. Made these with oat flour instead of wheat flour. I often do this. I can’t tell the difference in flour flavor once they are baked. I like to think it makes the cookie healthier.
    Instead of baking them right away, I formed the finished dough into a log, wrapped it in plastic wrap and put in freezer overnight. Next evening, I sliced off about 1/4-inch pieces from the log. First couple I ate and they were soft and crumbly…. But later discovered if you let them cool for a few hours, they crisp up just like a choc chip cookie should be. Next time, I’m going to add more pumpkin spice to the dough.
    The other advantage is you don’t eat them all at once.
    Great recipe!!!

  21. Hi sally, i am so excited to try your recipe, however I could not find any pumpkin or pumpkin purée anywhere since it is very close to Halloween, can you please suggest any alternatives? Thank you very much!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Helen, If you can’t find canned pumpkin, other readers have reported making fresh pumpkin puree this way: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pumpkin-puree-recipe-1922629.
      Mashed/puréed (unsweetened) sweet potatoes can typically replace pumpkin purée in most recipes. We haven’t tested it with this particular recipe, but let us know if you try it!

  22. Michele Morris says:

    These cookies are so yummy! I used considerably more of the spices and chocolate chips and rolled them in pumpkin spice/sugar mix..huge hit!

  23. I thought these were good, but a bit dry. I would add egg in the future to get more of a cookie consistency.

  24. The BEST cookies I have ever made the recipe is perfect! Perfect consistency!

  25. These cookies are delicious!!!! My new favorite for fall! So grateful for the recipe! My daughter is allergic to eggs so this is perfect!

  26. Mary Witherington says:

    These cookies are the bomb! I craved something pumpkin for fall; these looked the tastiest and they did not disappoint! I might have used a little more pumpkin in mine and added chopped pecans, too. I also made small drop round cookies, and used the spoon top to swirl the top before baking. They’re DELICIOUS and gorgeous!

  27. Very tasty! Mine came out like cookies – just a little bit cakey, but I suspect it was because I didn’t blot the pumpkin enough. The lack of effort was purely due to my own laziness (and eagerness to eat cookies)! But they were still significantly less cakey and more cookie-like than recipes that *don’t* call for blotting the pumpkin. So just a reminder to blot!

    I live in a warmer climate and found that chilling longer than 30 minutes was necessary. I only have one cookie sheet, so I baked one batch after 30 minutes of chilling, and the batter had little sticky peaks. The next batch didn’t go in until about a full hour of chilling, and it was much easier to manage the stickiness and those little peaks. They both baked the same, but the second batch looked a little neater.

    I can always trust recipes from this site, so I’m very grateful! Everything is tasty and the steps are very clear. Follow the directions and everything will turn out. Enjoy!

  28. I am not typically a very good baker, but I followed this recipe exactly and I cannot believe how good my cookies turned out! I have my 4th batch in the oven right now. Very good, not too sweet, lots of pumpkin flavor!

  29. I just have to say that I make this recipe all the time! It’s amazing and everyone loves it (if I choose to share).

  30. Made as stated and they were perfect!

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