Turn your favorite chocolate chip cookies into the perfect fall treat. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are soft and chewy with a delicious pumpkin spice flavor and lots of melty chocolate chips.
**This post was updated September 25, 2021 with new photos, recipe tips and a slightly updated recipe**
These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are a must when it comes to fall baking. The texture soft and chewy without being too cakey, and the flavor is full of delicious pumpkin spice. They’re dotted with chocolate chips. The combination of warms spices, pumpkin, brown sugar and chocolate chips is absolutely delicious. They’re definitely soft as opposed to crispy, but the texture is still tastes like a cookie, unlike a lot of pumpkin cookie recipes I’ve tried.
Chewy vs Cakey Pumpkin Cookies
It turns out that developing the perfect pumpkin chocolate chip cookies was actually quite difficult. Pumpkin adds a lot of moisture to cookies, which means that getting the perfect cookie texture can be pretty tricky. Looking at recipes online – a lot seemed way too cakey instead of chewy. And a lot of reviewers commented that the cookies turned out cakey or like muffin tops. I wanted to ensure that these cookies turned out chewy and cookie-like.
There are 3 key tips for ensuring that these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies don’t end up like muffin tops:
- Cream the butter and sugar together. I always use butter in my chocolate chip cookies – so it only makes sense to use it in these cookies too.
- Squeeze the out the moisture from your pumpkin puree. This step is absolutely mandatory for removing the excess liquid. Excess liquid = cakey cookies. Place 2 sheets of paper towel in a bowl and then add your measured out pumpkin puree. Squeeze the pumpkin puree in the paper towel to remove the excess liquid. Don’t just blot the pumpkin, really squeeze out the liquid.
- Only use 1 egg yolk in this recipe. Because the pumpkin adds so much moisture – which creates a more tender texture – we’re only using 1 large egg yolk in this recipe. In many ways, the pumpkin actually replaces the job that eggs usually perform in cookie recipes. Therefore, we only need 1 egg yolk for this recipe.
- Press the dough balls down before baking. After forming the cookie dough into balls, press them down so that they’re about ⅓ to ½ inch thick. This ensures that the cookies aren’t too thick and puffy.
Making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – Step-by-Step Photos
If you want more of an explanation of each step along with photos – keep reading. Or to get straight to the recipe, feel free to scroll down a little further.
- Squeeze out the liquid from the pumpkin puree. You’ll measure out the pumpkin first, and then squeeze out the moisture. Make sure that you’re using pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling.
- Whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt. This ensures that the spices are evenly distributed throughout the batter. I’ve essentially made my own pumpkin pie spice for this recipe. I’ve also included a substitute using pumpkin pie spice in the recipe notes if that’s what you prefer to use.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. For this recipe you want the butter softened, but not melted.
- Then beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin that you’ve squeezed the liquid out of. Remember – only add in the egg yolk.
- Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Start with the mixer on a low speed, so that the dry ingredients don’t fly up.
- Then stir in the chocolate chips. You’ll notice that the dough is sticky.
- Spoon the dough into balls with about 1 ½ tablespoons of dough each. I always using a medium cookie scoop (mine holds 1 ⅕ tablespoons of batter) because the dough is sticky. Place the dough balls about 2 inches apart on a lined cookie sheet. Then press the cookie dough balls down so that they’re about ⅓ to ½ inch thick (about 1 cm or a little thinner).
- Bake the cookies in your preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the tops look set. When you remove the cookies from the oven, place a few extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes, as they will be quite soft.
These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies have such a delicious pumpkin flavor, soft and chewy texture, and delicious pumpkin-chocolate combo. They’re so perfect for fall – and such a delicious way to enjoy pumpkin spice.
If you love these chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, try these other pumpkin favorites:
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cookie Sheets
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar light or dark
- ¾ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk discard the white
- 1 ¼ cup chocolate chips divided
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Place a double layer of paper towel to a small. Add in the pumpkin. Squeeze out the excess moisture in the pumpkin using the paper towel. Do this a few times to really remove the liquid.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Then mix in the egg yolk, vanilla and pumpkin that you've squeezed the moisture out of.
- With the mixer on a low speed, beat in the flour mixture about ½ at a time until combined.
- Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips.
- Spoon the dough into balls about 1 - 1.5 tablespoons in size (I use a cookie scoop). Place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. Flatten the dough balls down so that they're about ⅓ - ½ inch thick. If the dough is too sticky to form into balls, cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes, or overnight.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops look set. Remove from the oven and place a few extra chocolate chips on top of each cookie from the remaining ¼ cup.
- Cool cookies on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- Pure Pumpkin: Make sure to use 100% pure pumpkin puree from a can, as opposed to pumpkin pie filling. I recommend using canned pumpkin because the amount of moisture in homemade pumpkin puree can really vary.
- Spices: Feel free to replace the spices listed (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) with 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
- Storage: Once the cookies are fully cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Nutrition Information: Details are an estimate only and based on 1 cookie, assuming the recipe yields 44 cookies.