Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Chocolate | Cookies | Dessert | Fall

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

By Tessa Arias
October 24th, 2017
4.86 from 7 votes
4.86 from 7 votes

These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft yet chewy, not at all cakey like most pumpkin cookies! These are loaded with spices and are a hit every fall.

Yield: 25 cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The warm autumn aromatic spices balance just perfectly with the slightly sweet pumpkin. Toss some chocolate in the mix and you have a totally craveable treat!
Texture: Thanks to all my endless cookie experimenting, I’ve finally discovered *exactly* how to manipulate a cookie’s texture. These pumpkin cookies are soft yet chewy, with no cakey texture you typically find in pumpkin cookies. WOOHOO!!
Appearance: Beautiful. I added a few chocolate chips on top of the cookies halfway through baking to make them picture-perfect.
Ease: Super easy, but they do require a 30 minute chill so it’s a practice in patience.
Pros: Easy, fun, and festive twist on cookies.
Cons: Absolutely none.
Would I make this again? Oh yes, again and again and again.

Every time I go to type the word pumpkin, I type “pumpking” instead. Every. single. time. Does anyone else do this or do my fingers have a mind of their own? If “pumpking” were a verb, I’m doing it right now by writing about these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. I am SO EXCITED to share this recipe with you guys.

It kind of makes me feel like the pumpqueen. Hm, that doesn’t really sound like a good thing – I take it back. How about cookie queen? I recently shared my Cookie Customization Guide to help customize all your cookie dreams, and to show you how to get exactly the texture you crave from your homemade cookies. I thought I’d use the guide myself to develop a perfectly chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe.

(This post was originally published in 2014 and updated with new photos and metric measurements.)

And… I think I’ve accomplished it! These cookies are soft but chewy. They look like normal cookies, not like the puffy pieces of cake most pumpkin cookies look like. There’s a few tricks to getting these cookies chewy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Notes

Bread Flour

Bread flour has more protein which allows the dough to form more strands of gluten. The end result? A chewier cookie. Seriously, use bread flour to make chewy cookies. If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all-purpose, but you won’t get the same chewy bite.

Egg yolk

Egg yolks also have protein, which adds a bit of chewiness to a cookie and helps increase spread (see my Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies Part 2 for more). Since we’re adding pumpkin puree to the dough, we’re already adding a significant amount of moisture. In fact, pumpkin puree can be used as an egg replacer in baking. Because of that, I only added 1 egg yolk in this recipe, no whole eggs. Too much moisture would make these cakey.


As seen here, more granulated sugar promotes spread, chewiness, and crunch. More brown sugar promotes thicker, softer cookies. So, I decided to use mostly granulated sugar in these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies with just a touch of light brown sugar for that butterscotch flavor.

Melted Butter

Instead of creaming the butter and sugar together, this recipe simply calls for stirring melted butter and sugar together. As you can see in my Ultimate Guide to Chocolate Chip Cookies post, using melted butter helps the cookies spread more and develop sightly crisp edges. Perfect for when you want a more chewy and crisp cookie, which is what we want here.


Since we’re using melted butter, the dough ends up being quite wet and warm. It needs to go in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until slightly firmed, before being shaped into balls and baking. You can store the dough in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days.


Once the dough is chilled, use a stainless steel spring-loaded cookie scoop to portion the dough into 1.5 to 2-tablespoon sized balls, and flatten the balls with the palm of your hand. DO NOT SKIP THIS. This will seriously help the cookies spread and flatten as they bake, which will make them look and feel more chewy. If you forget, your cookies will be tall and thick and slightly more cakey.

Why use a cookie scoop?

Using a stainless steel spring-loaded cookie scoop when portioning out cookie dough is one of the KEYS to beautiful, uniform, evenly-shaped and evenly-baked cookies. My cookie scoop is one of my most frequently used kitchen gadgets. A spring-loaded scoop saves you *so much time* in forming the balls of dough. When using a scoop, you ensure each ball is evenly sized so the cookies bake evenly, meaning you don’t have any small overbaked cookies or large underbaked cookies. Learn more about Cookie Scoops and how to use them here!


These cookies keep for quite a while in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 5 days. You’ll notice that the pumpkin and spice flavor intensifies the longer they sit, so you may want to keep that in mind if you plan on serving these to your friends and family. If you’re anything like us, though, you definitely don’t have the patience to wait a day!

If you make these wonderful Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, be sure to take a picture and tag it #handletheheat on Instagram. Seeing your photos makes my day!

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Photos by Lauren J. Photography

4.86 from 7 votes

How to make
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 25 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are soft yet chewy, not at all cakey like most pumpkin cookies! These are loaded with spices and are a hit every fall.


  • 1 1/2 cups (195 grams) bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl combine melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with a rubber spatula. Add the egg yolk, and vanilla, stirring to combine. Stir in pumpkin puree until smooth. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing well after each addition, until a soft dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to scoop. Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or a spoon, roll the dough into 2-tablespoon sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. *Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.* Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set and edges are lightly browned.
  5. Let cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Pumpkin flavor will intensify after a day.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Natalie — November 24, 2021 at 12:27 am

    These were delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except for omitting the cloves for personal preference. The spices are super flavorful and the cookies are indeed very chewy!

    • #
      Emily — November 24, 2021 at 7:09 am

      Happy you enjoyed them, Natalie!

  2. #
    DON BENNINGTON — October 14, 2021 at 3:58 am

    I am trying to figure out what is the best Vanilla brand to use for managing Taste

    • #
      Emily — October 14, 2021 at 9:54 am

      Hi Don! Tessa’s favorite vanilla brands are (from high to low price) Nielsen Massey, Simply Organic, and McCormick. We always recommend saving expensive extracts for uncooked or lightly flavored preparations like frosting, custard, or whipped cream. Hope that helps!

      • #
        DONALD BENNINGTON — October 15, 2021 at 9:29 am

        Do you have any test taste results , I want to use it in making cookies

        DON B better know Mr D Homemade cookies

        • #
          Emily — October 15, 2021 at 10:59 am

          We unfortunately do not have any test taste results published, it’s just been something we’ve experimented in our own time with to find which type we prefer. I would suggest experimenting with the most popular brands, such as the ones I listed above, to see which you prefer and go from there. Sorry I can’t help more! Maybe this could be a future article Tessa writes 🙂

  3. #
    Cy — December 5, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Texture is exactly as described and delicious! My only regret is not doubling the batch. Making again right away!

    • #
      Tessa — December 7, 2020 at 10:54 am

      So thrilled to hear this!

  4. #
    Suki — November 30, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    So delicious and a great alternative to a regular choc chip cookie. The flavor gets more pumpkin-y the next day.

    • #
      Tessa — December 1, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      So glad you enjoyed these cookies!

  5. #
    Bonnie Belliston — November 10, 2020 at 8:06 am

    How cool should the melted butter be in this recipe (by degree)? I made it once but they spread too much even after putting in the fridge for an hour and not flattening them at all. I wondered if I did not let the butter cool long enough. I want to try again and get it right this time. I weighed all ingredients so I wondered if this might have been the problem or maybe I mixed them too much??

  6. #
    Jodie — October 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    What are the calories per cookie for this recipe?

  7. #
    Allison — October 3, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    I discovered Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies when I moved to UT from the East Coast and they are cakey. I like the texture of this recipe more. It’s more regular cookies texture. I did a batch with semi-sweet, milk chocolate (that’s my fave) and white chocolate for my sister who is not a chocolate fan. I love baking with pumpkin this time of year.

  8. #
    julia — February 17, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    These cookies look delicious. Gonna try making them. Great recipe!

  9. #
    Ingvild — December 1, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I was so nervous to make this, as I’ve NEVER made cookies before (!!!), but they turned out so heavenly, really easy and perfect recipe! I only had black baking pans, so I doubled them up and had a double layer parchment paper and it was perfect. Thanks for making my cookie-baking dreams come true!

  10. #
    Caytea — November 26, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Do I need to make any adjustments to double the recipe? I’ve made it before – delicious! – but I don’t think one batch will be enough.

  11. #
    Caytea — October 22, 2019 at 11:56 am

    Are the cloves supposed to be whole or ground?

    • #
      Tessa — October 22, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Definitely ground.

  12. #
    pippin — October 16, 2019 at 6:29 am

    best pumpkin cookies i’ve ever made, and i’ve baked many. glad i found your web-site, as i loooooove to bake. my baked good just went up a notch thanks to you!

  13. #
    Lauren — November 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    This is arguably the best recipe that crossovers between pumpkin and chocolate chips. The kids loved chocolate since they were inside me but now that with all that pumpkin pie spice, there’s a new flavor in town. And to keep up with that much pressure is something that becomes easy with recipes like this. I like how you have mentioned that the taste of pumpkin intensifies after a week because yes, It becomes stronger due to all that sweetness. Great recipe, and one that I am going to try before the Thanksgiving weekend.

  14. #
    Sabrina — November 1, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    so happy you shared this recipe that is so heavily researched and tested like so many others here, I love that these are tested in multiple batches and variations, thank you for making sure that they’re not “cakey”!

  15. #
    BUD SANDNER — October 28, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Can I substitute allspice for the cinnamon?

  16. #
    Elicia — October 27, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    As expected, they came out awful. They were rubbery, and despite the length of time I baked them, were raw I the center. My son (9) was helping and he forgot to let the butter cool before mixing it with the sugar. Could this be what went wrong? This is my first baking fail, believe it or not, so I am now determined to do them again and do them right. What do you think went wrong?

  17. #
    Elicia — October 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Tessa, cookies are baking in the oven right now. I’m a bit worried, however. The dough seems more like cake better than cookie dough, though they did stay in the scooped shape. So, we will see. I fear I may have thought the scale read 195g when I measured the Bread Flour, but was actually 145g! Yikes. Two more minutes left on the timer so we shall see!

  18. #
    Katie — October 26, 2017 at 7:23 am

    I just think you should know I follow a lot of baking sites, and your photographs are far and beyond the most beautifully captured. The layout, light and overall look of your pictures are beyond gorgeous. Kudos to you.

  19. #
    Shauna | Linden & Lavender — October 25, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I just made these this evening for a school bake sale. Thank you for the inspiration! Perfectly seasonal and very tasty. I definitely agree with refrigerating the dough- it makes for the perfect cookie.

  20. #
    Sigasaurus — October 18, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve made these several times, & they are DELICIOUS. For the people asking about butter substitutions– I’m DF also & have used refined coconut oil (melted) with great results.

  21. #
    Sheila Manica — November 12, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Tessa, just made a DOUBLE batch of the pump.-choc-chip- cookies for the first time and have already devoured four of them before they even had time to cool. (shame on me) Needless to say, this will be my new favorite cookie recipe. I was out of clove so I used a little bit of Chinese 5 Spice Powder instead——–wonderful flavor !!! Thank You for another yummy treat !! Sheila. Benicia, Calif.

  22. #
    Jennifer Smith — July 14, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I hope you don’t mind, but I enjoyed your pumpkin recipe so much, that I put a link to it on my new blog. I can’t wait for Autumn 🙂 http://www.frolicinflorida.com

  23. #
    JW — November 20, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Hi! I baked these last night (tweaked the spices a little due to what I had on hand, and used golden raisins instead of chocolate chips) These cookies are righteous. Great recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — November 20, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Glad you were able to make it your own 🙂

  24. #
    Sharon Miler — October 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Hi , I just made this cookies, and I used Melted Becel Maragine, and the Cookies came out Beautiful, and Real Good, thanks

  25. #
    Claudine — October 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Tessa! I love your blog! What would you say are the differences between this and your older “Chewy Pumpkin Choc. Chip” recipe? Is this an improved recipe, maybe? Trying to figure out which one to use 🙂

  26. #
    Laura — October 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    These look AMAZING! I don’t like cakey pumpkin cookies very much so have been wanting to try these. However, I don’t want to go to the store and was hoping to use pumpkin pie spice instead of all the individual spies. Any suggestion on how much? Thanks!

    • #
      Tessa — October 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I would say maybe around 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice? I’m not 100% sure – I don’t use the stuff unfortunately.

  27. #
    Nanci schiller — October 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    What about altitude adj. Also I am lactose intolerant and just can’t use butter,:( what if I used marj and just didn’t melt it?

    • #
      Tessa — October 12, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      I’ve never lived at high altitude but this should be a handy guide: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html

      I don’t know about the margarine, I’m thinking the cookies would likely not spread as much. I would definitely still melt it to try to replicate the recipe as much as possible.

  28. #
    Kate — October 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

    I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I had to after my coworker told me these cookies are so good I should sell them. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  29. #
    Theresa — September 10, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Not sure where I went wrong. I made exactly as you posted, but mine are still more cakey than chewy. They are still SUPER delicious, but for some reason the texture didn’t work out quite right for me.

  30. #
    Kate @ Diethood — September 1, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Pumpkin is BACK!! And your cookies are PERFECT!

  31. #
    Sheryl — August 30, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    What will happen if you substitute margarine for the butter?

    • #
      Tessa — August 31, 2014 at 9:32 am

      I’d avoid that, I haven’t had very good experiences with using melted margarine in cookies. Plus butter always tastes better!

  32. #
    Cathy Perez — August 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    These look so good, I’m going to have to make these, like right now. Pinned!

  33. #
    Irene — August 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

    When you refer to “butter” you mean butter, right? not margarine?

    • #
      Tessa — August 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      I only use butter!

  34. #
    Stephanie W. — August 29, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Can the dough be stored in the fridge between batches and if so for how long? (air tight container)

    • #
      Tessa — August 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Please refer to the post, “You can store the dough in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 days.”

  35. #
    Melisa — August 29, 2014 at 8:31 am

    new reader here. Just stumbling on your site – your cookies look beautiful. You may have mentioned this in a previous post but wanted to check what brand of chocolate chips you recommend. Also will you get the same consistency if you use fruit, like raisins or cranberries instead of choc. chips?

    • #
      Tessa — August 29, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Welcome! I usually buy Nestle or Ghiradelli – whatever is available/on sale. As for other add-ins, you should be fine to add in whatever you’d like as long as it’s not much bigger than the size of a chocolate chip.

  36. #
    Robin — August 29, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Thank you. These look great. Even though there won’t be a break in the heat in sunny Arizona until October I’ve been craving pumpkin. I can’t wait to try this recipes.

  37. #
    Amanda — August 29, 2014 at 7:59 am

    These cookies look so perfect. Perfect shape, chip ratio, and I’m sure taste!!

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