My Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are carefully crafted to be soft, thick, and chewy (not cakey!). This is a simple and easy recipe made without a mixer! Recipe includes a how-to video.
A Fall-Flavored Chocolate Chip Cookie
These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are like a pumpkin-spiced version of my worst chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, chewy, full of flavor, and infused with just the right amount of pumpkin and pumpkin spice–there’s a lot to love about them! It took a lot of testing to achieve these results though.
Baking with pumpkin can be a bit of a science; pumpkin contains a lot of water, and incorporating water in your baked goods produces cakey results. This isn’t necessarily a problem if we’re making something like pumpkin cake, but if you’re trying to make a chewy cookie, it’s definitely not what you’re looking for.
To compensate, I’ve made a few careful selections with my ingredients, which you’ll see below. The end result is perfectly chewy and NOT cakey–just how cookies (especially pumpkin cookies!) should be!
What You Need
Several key ingredients come together to make these pumpkin cookies soft and chewy instead of cakey:
- Melted butter. I am a huge fan of using melted butter for chewier, buttery-er cookies. Melted butter also means we avoid the creaming process, which creates air pockets that puff up cookies and make them more cakey. Just make sure to let your butter cool until it’s no longer warm to the touch before adding your sugars!
- Brown sugar. I use a blend of light and dark, but all light brown sugar would work too! I don’t recommend using all dark brown sugar.
- Pumpkin. To reduce the amount of water in our pumpkin, we’re going to blot it. If you’ve made my pumpkin scones before, you’re already familiar with this process. To do this, you’ll simply measure out your pumpkin and use a paper towel to blot it until most of the water has been removed.
- Egg yolk. Another way to cut the water in this recipe is to use a single egg yolk and leave out the egg white. Egg whites contain a lot of water, so removing the white in this instance helps to yield a more chewy, tender, and less cakey cookie.
- Chocolate chips. I like to use a blend of milk and semisweet chips, but you can use whatever you prefer.
SAM’S TIP: If you don’t have enough pumpkin pie spice, make your own! My recipe for homemade pumpkin spice is simple and uses spices you already have on hand.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Combine cooled butter and sugars, then stir in the pumpkin, egg yolk, and vanilla.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients.
- Stir in the chocolate chips before wrapping the bowl in plastic and chilling for at least an hour.
- Scoop dough onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 14 minutes.
SAM’S TIP: For a pretty finished look, I like to press a few chocolate chips in the tops of my cookies just after removing them from the oven. This is optional, but it does make a difference appearance-wise!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This will obviously make the cookies a bit sweeter, but if that’s what you like, go for it!
If your butter was too hot when you added the sugars, it may have actually melted the sugars. If this happens, your cookie dough is likely to be a runny mess and your cookies will be a mess, too. Unfortunately no amount of chilling will help salvage this.
Yes! This dough can be prepared, covered tightly, and chilled up to 3 days in advance. You may also chill and scoop the dough, individually wrap the scoops, and freeze it for up to several months — just note that the cookies typically take a bit longer to bake from frozen and don’t spread as much this way.
Most of you know that pumpkin isn’t really my thing, but I can assure you the pumpkin lovers in my house love this recipe!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar firmly packed (I like to use a blend of light and dark brown sugar, but either will work) (200g)
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree (165g), blotted (¹see notes in recipe for instructions on blotting) (weigh before blotting, I find this usually weighs 127g after blotting)
- 3 cups all purpose flour (375g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (click the link for instructions to make homemade pumpkin pie spice)
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips Use your preferred type, I like to use a blend of milk and semisweet chocolate chips (255g)
- In a large bowl, combine melted, cooled butter and sugars.
- Add pumpkin, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir well.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well-combined.
- Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring until completely combined.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill dough in refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.
- Once cookie dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350F (175C), leave cookie dough in the fridge until oven has fully preheated.
- Scoop dough by 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized scoops and, if desired, roll between your palms to form a smooth round ball. Drop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet or an ungreased cookie sheet and bake on 350F (175C) for 12-14 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet before enjoying.
¹Blotting PumpkinBlotting the pumpkin is an important step that keeps these pumpkin cookies nice and chewy and not cake-y. To blot, simply measure out the pumpkin puree and place in a bowl. Press a folded up paper towel into the pumpkin repeatedly to extract as much moisture as you can. Repeat with more paper towels until they are no longer picking up substantial amounts of liquid. You can see this technique demonstrated in my video.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Made these for Thanksgiving and they were a total success! I substituted the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips and they tasted amazing! Perfect soft, chewy, and flavourful cookies!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them so much, Sarah! 🙂
These were so delicious, thick and chewy cookies! I loved them! Thank you for including the weight of the pumpkin puree after blotting because I ended up blotting out too much water and had to add some back in. Lol!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy they were a hit for you, Esther! Enjoy 😊