Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are ready to bake in 10 minutes because you don’t chill the dough. Chewy, crispy-edged, chocolate-studded, pumpkin-spiced cookies are the perfect cozy treat for fall!
Soft & Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Classic chocolate chip cookies are always a crowd-pleaser, but these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies take them to the next level by adding pumpkin puree for extra moistness and cozy fall spices for the full pumpkin-y dessert experience.
Basically, if you’re all about pumpkin spice in the fall and you have a weakness for soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies, these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are going to become a fast favorite!
While pumpkin cookies are amazing, if you’ve made another recipe in the past, you might have ended up disappointed when they spread all over the baking sheet and your dozen perfect pumpkin cookies ended up as one big, baking-sheet-sized blob.
No one likes when their cookies end up bumping up against each other and needing to be cut apart, but this is a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe that won’t let you down! I’ve tested and re-tested to find out how to keep cookies from spreading—without having to wait around while the dough chills in the refrigerator.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Pumpkin puree – Not only does the pumpkin puree add flavor and color, it’s also the binder in this recipe, replacing the usual eggs.
- All–purpose flour
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch will help absorb excess moisture to keep your cookies from spreading, and it also yields a soft, chewy texture.
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter – Let this come to room temperature.
- Brown sugar – You can use either light brown sugar or dark brown sugar; dark brown sugar has a more pronounced molasses flavor.
- Granulated sugar
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to Make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ready to get baking? Grab your ingredients and follow the instructions below!
Drain excess moisture from the pumpkin. Line a plate with paper towels. Measure 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree, then empty this onto the towel-lined plate and spread it evenly. Place a few more paper towels over the top of the pumpkin and let the towels absorb the excess moisture.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
Mix the wet ingredients. In a larger mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy and pale in color. Beat in the pumpkin puree for 30 seconds.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Slow mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until a sticky dough forms.
Shape the cookies. Use a cookie scoop to make golf ball sized cookie dough balls, rolling the dough into a smooth ball between your hands. Press chocolate chips onto the outside of the dough balls, then place about 6-8 cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the cookies. The baking time needed for golf-ball-sized cookies depends on the texture you want. Bake for about 16 minutes for a softer, chewier cookie, or 19 minutes for a browner cookie with crispier edges.
Cool. Allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them.
Can I Make the Dough in Advance?
You can make the cookie dough up to four days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or store it in the freezer for three months. You may need to adjust the baking time, but only slightly—your cookies could take a minute or two more to reach your desired texture when working with chilled dough.
How to Prevent Spreading
There are a lot of reasons pumpkin chocolate chip cookies spread in the oven:
- Not enough flour. If there isn’t enough flour or structure to the cookie dough, the fat will melt too fast, causing the cookies to spread.
- Too much sugar or butter. Too much of these ingredients and too little flour will also mess with the structure of the cookie.
- Using 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 butter, not melted.
- Greased cookie sheets. Do not grease your cookie sheets! Use parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Greased cookie sheets encourage cookies to spread.
- 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.
Tips for Perfection
Here are some more tips to ensure that your cookies turn out perfect.
- Measure the flour accurately. Fluff the flour with a fork, then use a spoon to scoop the flour into your measuring cup. Level the flour in the measuring cup with a butterknife before adding it to the mixing bowl.
- Drain off the excess liquid. Pumpkin puree has a lot of moisture, which is great when baking muffins and cakes, but not so great for cookies. Don’t skip the step of draining the puree on paper towels!
- Make uniformly-sized cookies. Use a cookie scoop to form uniform balls. Then, your cookies will all be done baking at the same time!
Want to switch things up a bit? Here are some ideas:
- 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.
- Dairy-free cookies. Since there’s already no egg in this recipe, it’s easy to make these vegan by using a plant-based butter stick.
- Add-in ideas. Add your favorite chopped nuts, swap the chocolate chips for raisins, use cinnamon or white chocolate chips, or add dried cranberries to amp up the fall flavor.
Storage & Freezing
You can 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.
Baked cookies can also be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months; let them thaw at room temperature.
Want to Freeze the Cookie Dough?
You can freeze the dough for warm, freshly baked cookies whenever the craving strikes! Here’s how:
- Portion the dough into cookie dough balls. Press chocolate chips into the outside of the dough.
- Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. You can arrange the balls close together since you won’t be baking them.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the dough is 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.
More Pumpkin Desserts to Try
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.