Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are ready to bake in 10 minutes because you don’t chill the dough! Our pumpkin cookies are chewy with crispy edges and soft insides. These pumpkin spice cookies will become a fall favorite!
What Causes Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies to Spread
Quick answer: lots of things.
- Not enough flour. If there isn’t enough flour or structure to the cookie dough, the fat will melt fast, causing the cookies to spread.
- Too much sugar / too much butter: too much of these ingredients and too little flour mess with the structure of the cookie. It’s about finding the perfect balance.
- Melted butter and not refrigerating the dough. Since our recipe doesn’t call for refrigerating the cookie dough before baking it’s crucial to use SOFT not melted butter.
- Greased cookie sheets. Do not grease your cookie sheets, use parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Greased cookie sheets encourage cookies to spread.
- Oven temperature. Too high, too low, or hot spots in your oven.
- Cookie sheets that are warm. This can happen if you are using the same cookie sheet without allowing it to cool between batches. If I am using the same cookie sheet to bake all my cookies, I place it in the fridge for 2 minutes between batches. Ideally, I like to use 2 cookie sheets, so one can cool with cookies on it while the other one is in the oven.
How to Properly Measure Flour
- Fluff the flour with a fork
- Use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup
- Use a butter knife to level off the flour in the measuring cup
Sticking the measuring cup straight into the bag of flour will result in too much flour to be packed into the cup, which can result in dry cookies.
How to Remove Moisture from Pumpkin Puree
Pumpkin puree has a lot of moisture which is great when baking muffins and cakes, but not so great for cookies. In order to remove excess moisture, you need to blot the pumpkin puree with paper towels.
Measure 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, scoop onto a plate lined with paper towels and spread the pumpkin. Cover the top of the pumpkin with a few more paper towels. Allow the paper towels to absorb the moisture while working on the other steps in the recipe.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
- pumpkin puree: adds moisture, pumpkin flavor and binds the cookies together by providing structure
- all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure in cookies
- cornstarch: helps to produce chewy but soft cookies
- baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the dough
- salt: enhances the other flavors
- cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves: adds warmth and fall spice flavor
- unsalted butter: adds flavor and tender texture
- brown sugar: adds sweetness & flavor, keeps the cookies moist and adds chewiness
- granulated sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and encourages browning
- chocolate chips: I used semi-sweet chocolate chips
Baking Time Suggestions
For the cookies in the photos, the dough balls were about 3 heaping tablespoons (a bit larger than golf ball sized), so that’s a large cookie! I baked those for 16-19 minutes – just until the edges of the cookies would begin to firm up and turn brown slightly. The result is a soft and chewy pumpkin cookie! For golf ball sized dough balls..
- 16 minutes: browning around edges, crispy edges, soft & chewy inside
- 19 minutes: more browning, crispier edges, still soft & chewy but has more crunch and less chewy or “under baked” inside
If you make smaller dough balls, you definitely need to reduce the baking time otherwise the cookies will be over done.
Total Time Required
- 10 minutes to make the cookie dough
- 16-19 minutes to bake the cookies (this is for golf ball sized dough balls)
- 15 minutes to cool the cookies
How to Store Cookies
Store these cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. To ensure that cookies stay soft for days, place a piece of bread in the container. The moisture from the bread will be absorbed by the cookies.
How to Freeze Cookie Dough
- Portion the dough into cookie dough balls. Press chocolate chips into the outside of the dough.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. You can place the dough balls close together since you won’t be baking them.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 1 hour.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to a ziplock freezer bag. Label the bag with baking directions.
- Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
To bake: remove the dough from the freezer. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Bake for 16-19 minutes. Frozen cookies may need to bake for 1-2 minutes longer.
How to Make Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have made these cookies multiple times with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour with great success.
Recommended Cookie Baking Tools
I use a cookie scoop that is 1.6” in diameter, this is technically considered a small cookie scoop. When I use it, I scoop the dough so it’s heaping over the scoop. A good estimate is to make golf ball sized cookie dough balls.
I specifically like this brand of cookie sheets because they are light aluminum, which encourages even baking and browning. The half sheet size is perfect and the silicone baking mats fit perfectly on them. I recommend using shiny, heavy cookie sheets that have very low or no sides. Avoid dark aluminum sheets because they can cause overcooking.
Pro Tip: To ensure even baking, place only 1 cookie sheet in the oven at a time.
Tips for Making the Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
- Use room temperature butter for easier creaming of the butter and sugar.
- Use a cookie scoop to form uniform balls.
- Press chocolate chips on the outside of the dough balls before baking for a loaded cookie presentation like the photos!
More Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- ½ cup pumpkin puree *paper towel method, see step #1*
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup) room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Measure 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, scoop onto a plate lined with paper towels and spread the pumpkin. Cover the top of the pumpkin with a few more paper towels. Allow the paper towels to absorb the moisture while working on the other steps in the recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. You want this mixture to be fluffy and pale in color.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, beat for 30 seconds.
- Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky.
- Use a cookie scoop to form golf ball sized cookie dough balls, roll into a smooth ball between your hands. Press chocolate chips on the outside of the dough balls. I like to load mine with chocolate chips! Place about 6-8 cookies on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat at a time. I recommend only baking 1 cookie sheet at a time for even baking.
- For the cookies in the photos, the dough balls were about 3 heaping tablespoons (golf ball sized or slightly larger), so that’s a large cookie! I baked those for 18 minutes – just until the edges of the cookies would begin to turn firm up and brown slightly. The result is a soft and chewy cookie! If you make smaller dough balls, you should reduce the baking time since the baking estimates are for golf ball sized dough balls.
- Baking time estimates for golf ball sized dough balls:∙16 minutes: browning around edges, crispy edges, soft & chewy inside, slightly "under baked" in the center∙19 minutes: more browning, crispier edges, still soft & chewy but has more crunch and not "under baked" in the center
- Allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet before removing.