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. Sandy Kienzle says:

    Sally, I just made these amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. However, I chose to tweak the recipe a tiny bit for my special needs. I used coconut palm sugar in place of the brown sugar, monk friut sweetener in place of regular sugar, and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans. I don’t know exactly how the original recipe should taste but my adaptation is amazing!! These cookies are so like eating a piece of pumpkin pie. They are soft and very flavorful. Thank you so much for a great cookie recipe….it will be my favorite forever.

  2. My Grandson (Pumpkin Freak-who wanted, and got, a pumpkin pie for his birthday this past June) and I just made these. Awesome! Thank-you for sharing this recipe!

  3. Made these and they are stellar! I had the time and inclination to go ahead and brown the butter while melting and it makes these tasty cookies even richer! Going in my fave pile for sure.

  4. Based on reviews, I chose to add an extra 1/4 brown sugar for a total of 1/2cup and add an extra 2 TBS blotted pumpkin puree, to also make a total of 1/2 cup. Let me tell ya, that was perfect! These are delicious!

  5. This recipe is on repeat in our house! So addicting! Thank you for yet another great recipe!

  6. Hi Sally, can I use gluten free flour for this recepie?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ani, We haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free flour but let us know if you try!

      1. I actually did it! Wow supper delicious! Glad that I came across this recepie. Recently I had to change my diet to gluten free and dairy free, and was desperately looking for a recepie for when I am craving something sweet. This works perfect! I used gluten free flour instead of AP and coconut oil instead of butter it tastes delicious. I just let it bake for 15 min, as gluten free flour takes a little bit longer to bake.

  7. Worst cookies ever! Taking out the excess moisture from the pumpkin had to contribute to the super dry cookie that ultimately hardened to becoming small pucks. Maybe the high altitude contributed to the disaster but they were hands down the worst batch of cookies I’ve ever made. Three days later and they’re still sitting there…and we love homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

    1. Hi Cheryl, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe but I appreciate the feedback. High altitude could be at play here, but it could also be over-baking as well. If you enjoy softer pumpkin cookies, you may like these soft and cakey style pumpkin cookies instead. You can add chocolate chips.

      1. I have made this recipe twice now, doubled it both times. It is a great recipe. Never made pumpkin cookies before. I live in high altitude also and had no problem.

  8. I’m hanging up my ‘baker’s hat’ 🙁 I had two friends my these cookies and they were AWESOME. So, I wanted to make them for my kids. Followed the recipe exactly. Unfortunately my results were not so good. They LOOKED great. So, imagine my disappointment went I bit into one and the taste and texture were ‘off’. They didn’t really taste sweet enough and I really couldn’t detect the pumpkin flavor. They also had a gummy texture. So, I don’t know what I did wrong, but I’ll just let the experts do the baking and I’ll do the eating! 🙂

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Deb, We are glad you enjoyed eating these cookies! If you want help troubleshooting what may have gone wrong feel free to email us at [email protected] and we can help!

  9. Browned the butter, used dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet, and topped the cookies with a lil flaky salt. SO GOOD. This recipe is yet another hit from Sally’s Baking Addiction. So glad I decided to make it.

  10. Definitely need to double this recipe! They are delicious and I love that they are egg free.

  11. They’re okay. The overall batter for the cookie is fantastic and great tasting. However, the addition of the chocolate chips is not a great flavor. Chocolate and cinnamon are a tough pairing for me personally. I think a walnut or something with the bite of a chocolate chip would maybe have done better here.

  12. they sounded so good i had to make this recipe. however, not only were they not at all
    chewy…they were very soft & i really don’t care for soft cookies, & although i put in about
    2tbls. more pumpkin puree than called for, i did not taste the pumpkin at all. the reason
    for making them is ’cause i love most anything pumpkin. i did follow the recipe to a tee ‘cept for xtra pumpkin. won’t make again but will definately try some of your other recipes.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Pookie, 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.

  13. Great cookie, but why no ginger in your pumpkin pie spice mix? It’s in every pumpkin pie mix I could find.
    My tweets include adding 1/4 tsp ginger and cutting back a smidge on the cloves. I always make a double batch and use the whole can of pumpkin (no need to physically squeeze out water if you let pumpkin sit on multiple layers of paper towels for an hour or more, changing out the paper towels a few times as they become saturated). Prefer 3/4 c brown and 3/4 c white sugars and 1 cup of chocolate chips (whole bag when doubling the recipe). Have also used craisins and white chocolate chips instead of semisweet. If you want to speed up chilling dough and forming cookies try slice and bake. Roll strips of dough in wax paper. Refrigerate 15 minutes (cools faster than a bowl full of dough) then slice and put on parchment lined cookie sheet. If you cut thin enough you can skip patting dough flatter.

  14. I am currently making my SECOND double batch. My family grumbled a bit when they saw the first batch was not regular chocolate chip cookies but they sure disappeared fast!! You are absolutely correct in that they are better the next day! I will include this in my holiday baking going forward for sure!

  15. I don’t know about almond, but every time I’ve made these I’ve substituted it for oat flour and it has been amazing.

  16. Hello,
    I was wondering if I could double this recipe and make this as a bar instead of cookie in a 13×9 pan and how long this would take to cook?

    1. Hi Amanda! Absolutely. But I’m unsure of the best bake time. Keep a close eye on them and when the edges are lightly browned and the center appears set, they’re done.

  17. They cookies were great!!
    I absolutely love this recipe!!

  18. Awesome cookies! I read through the comments before making so I did tweak the recipe a little. I did NOT blot the pumpkin purée, and I did 8 tbsp instead of 6. I also added an extra 1/2 cup of white sugar, and an extra 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I highly recommend doing that!! The cookies are super soft and chewy, and do not have a cake like texture at all! So yummy!!

  19. Just made these yesterday with the extra canned pumpkin we had lying around, and they came out perfect! I only had mini chocolate chips on hand so used 3/4 c instead. Otherwise followed recipe exactly even let them sit out 24 hrs before eating. Thank you for your detailed instructions and beautiful pictures. Happy Thanksgiving !!

  20. I hardly ever have unsalted butter and find that if I just cut down on any added salt called for in a regular recipe, that it doesn’t make the dish too salty. So if I use salted butter (especially if I use a lot of it) and the recipes calls for 1/4 t of salt, I will use 1/8th instead…..so far, (knocking on my wooden cutting board) it seems to work for me.

  21. Amazing cookies! I made them as a Thanksgiving dessert and they left my family (which includes some picky kids) saying “make more, PLEASE!” I tweaked the recipe a bit, adding more pumpkin purée and not blotting it. I also topped the cookies with a maple glaze. We ate them the day after I made them and the cookies were even better! I definitely recommend this recipe, thank you Sally!

  22. Made a double batch using cooked, frozen pumpkin and 1/3 white whole wheat flour. Came out very flavorful and soft/chewy. Will certainly make them again. I freeze pumpkin quart containers. After thawing, draining, squeezing with cheese cloth and then drying as described I had 3/4 cup of pumpkin!. After mixing the wet ingredients I pureed them with an immersion blender to make it creamy. Amazingly that mixture tastes like very soft carmel.

  23. I followed the recipe exactly. The flavor is good and I predict they would have been perfect if I cooked them for half the time the recipe calls for. 10 minutes in and the bottoms were burned and black.

  24. I’ve made a lot of types of cookies, and I can’t say these are very good. The best part is the chocolate chips, the rest is just kind of cakey. They do get slightly better subsequent days but overall they’re really just not very good. Could probably do with egg, more salt, and more pumpkin

  25. I love this recipe! The pumpkin flavor is absolutely perfect. Because it doesn’t have an egg, I’m seriously thinking about pre-baking the flour so I can eat the dough raw. It is delicious!

  26. Perfection!

  27. I made these several times, my family and neighbors love them. Is there a way to make these into cookie bars? I have doubled and tripled the recipe to give these cookies as gifts.

    I would love to use my 9×13 spring form pan any suggestions would be great.

  28. So delicious! I cut the sugar in half and cookies were still perfect! I did not blot the pumpkin but strained it as it was fresh made.

  29. I was looking for a recipe that required about 1/2-1 cup of pumpkin purée because I had leftover from making another recipe. Sally’s Baking Addiction is my trusted source so I’m glad I found this recipe.

    I’m not even a huge fan of pumpkin pie, or spiced cookies in general, but I have to admit these were pretty darn good. Made recipe as written, except I didn’t have enough chocolate chips so I added some toffee bits to the mixture. Turned out perfectly chewy, not too pumpkin-y and caramel-ly because of the toffee bits. Two thumbs up from this family.

  30. Yummmm…. Easy and nice there and no eggs! Just a hint of pumpkin, and the chocolate chips are a nice addition. May add some Pecans next time. Thanks

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