Can you believe there was a time when I disliked pumpkin?
I know. It’s like I was abducted by aliens or under some terrible influence of pumpkin-hating hallucinogens or something. Thank goodness I found my way down the appropriate pumpkin-loving path because had I not, I would have never discovered the joy that are these cookies.
A couple weeks ago, a reader named Holly wanted to know if I had a recipe for a chewy pumpkin cookie. Pumpkin cookies are notoriously soft and cakey since pumpkin tends to have the tendency to fluff and cake-ify things once its baked inside. While cakey pumpkin cookies are good, they’re more muffin-tops than cookies and it’s kind of a let-down when you want something soft and chewy… a real deal cookie.
So with my personal challenge ahead of me, I sought to create the perfect chewy pumpkin cookie. And folks, I have a winner!!
This cookie has the texture of a chocolate chip cookie: soft and chewy, with slightly crispy edges that’s packed with buttery goodness in every bite. It has the perfect chips-to-cookie ratio and is the perfect size and plushness.. you won’t even get cookies this perfect in a bakery, I promise you that! And the pumpkin flavor, while present, isn’t overpowering — this would be a great “intro to pumpkin” cookie for a skeptic. Sweet, buttery, spicy and rich, these cookies fit the bill of perfection.
Easily enough, they’re adapted ever-so-slightly from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. Since my Chocolate Chip Cookies are my favorite (and the best, in my oh-so humble opinion), I knew I’d be able to tweak this base recipe to make a perfect pumpkin cookie as well. Here are the main differences:
* this recipe has no egg, simply because eggs tend to fluff things up, too. The pumpkin has plenty of moisture, so it replaces the egg in this recipe.
* there’s a higher sugar to brown sugar ratio. Why? Brown sugar tends to soften and moisten cookie dough which is why I adore it in my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe, but why I switch up the ratios for this particular cookie. Don’t get me wrong; these cookies are soft and chewy — but by using more granulated white sugar, it helps cut down how cakey and chewy they may be had I used all brown sugar.
* the butter is melted rather than softened. Softened butter tends to lend to a creamier (read: moister!) cookie, so melted butter helps cookies with spreading. While these don’t spread much, I was aiming in that direction since I wanted them to be flatter (read: crisper!) than puffy and cakey. It worked! However, you do still need to chill these for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to baking.
And a family friend deemed these the best cookies she’s ever tasted. Ever. And has already requested me to make another batch. So clearly, these cookies are awful 😉
So, friends. The wait is OVER! Cakey pumpkin cookies no more. Introducing the BEST Chewy Pumpkin Chip Cookie. You’re welcome!
*adapted from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Pinch cloves
- Pinch ginger
- Pinch salt
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white chocolate chips (may also use cinnamon chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, seasonal pumpkin chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the melted butter, white sugar and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin to combine. Lastly, add in the spices, cornstarch, baking soda, salt and flour until a soft dough has formed. Stir in the chips.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for AT LEAST 30 minutes, up to 1 day, until chilled. (I typically refrigerate mine for at least an hour). Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with silicone liners or mist the baking sheets with cooking spray.
- Drop rounded Tablespoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets, about 1" apart. Bake for approx. 8-10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Cookies may appear slightly puffy and underdone, but do NOT overbake! Absolutely do not cook them longer than 10 minutes; the cookies will continue to cook slightly on the baking sheets as they cool.
- Remove the cookies from the oven. If cookies are puffy, slightly flatten them with the bottom of a glass. Top with a couple of remaining chips, if you'd like (to make them look pretty). Let them sit on the baking sheets for about 10-15 minutes before carefully transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
I love how easy and versatile this recipe is! Who knew pumpkin cookie dough could be a new staple cookie dough base?! Feel free to substitute other flavored chips to change up the flavor, or add in chopped nuts or dried fruit for a different texture. Cranberry + white chocolate chips would be festive for Christmas, even — or peanut butter chips and chopped honey roasted peanuts! Even chopped candy, like Butterfinger or candy corn, would make an excellent and delicious mix-in for this one-of-a-kind, perfect pumpkin cookie!
Sophia @ NY Foodgasm says
Woah these look seriously YUMMMY! Gotta try this recipe
Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen says
Pumpkin + white chocolate is one of my favorite combos! I love that these are soft and chewy rather than cakey!
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a chewy pumpkin cookie so I’m really excited to make these! I think I am going to use cinnamon chips for even more spicy goodness.
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
Finally a chewy pumpkin cookie! These look perfect!
These look so wonderful. I really need to put these on my Christmas cookie list.
Heather @ Sugar Dish Me says
So these totally TOTALLY look like the best pumpkin cookies ever. Duhlishious!!!
Jill @ KitchenFunWithMy3Sons says
These look fantastic!
Stephanie @ Back For Seconds says
These really do look like the perfect pumpkin cookies! I was the same way about pumpkin for a looooong time. It was never my favorite, but now I kind of love it!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
These look perfect!!!
Jess @ On Sugar Mountain says
I distinctly remember not liking pumpkin when I was little simply because the inside of a pumpkin looks super gross when you are like, 7, and trying to carve a jack o lantern. Thank goodness I got over that. 🙂 These cookies look AWESOME, Hayley! Chewy chip cookies are a classic, and pumpkin just makes them even better.
Just curious….Why can’t the pumpkin pie mix be used?
Hi Jan! Pumpkin pie mix often has sugar and other ingredients mixed into it, lending it a runnier and different consistency than regular, straight pumpkin puree. I don’t know that the end product would work out well with the pie filling, and it would be super sweet since the pie filling is pre-sweetened. However, if you give it a try, let me know how it turns out! 🙂
Renee @ Awesome on $20 says
You’re a genius. Pumpkin cookies are always puffy, but these look awesome! A million high fives.
I just made this recipe and it is currently chilling! I just realized there is no eggs? I have never made cookies without eggs..does the puree somehow replace that? Just curious! thank you!
Hi Haylea! Yep, there’s purposefully no eggs in this particular recipe. Because pumpkin is so moist, if you were to add eggs it would turn the cookies cake-like. Omitting the eggs helps give them a chewier, chocolate-chip cookie texture 🙂 I hope you enjoyed them!
I made these cookies this morning, following the recipe to a “T”. They are not chewy, they are not moist, no taste of pumpkin can not be detected. They are cakey (I pressed them as instructed). They are puffy and look nothing like the images above. Is it possible an ingredient or a step was left out when the recipe was typed? I am so disappointed! From this point on, I will stick with tried & true recipes.
Hi Pam! I’m so sorry you didn’t have great success with this recipe! I have tried it multiple times, as have plenty of other readers, and we’ve all had great successes so far. I will double check my recipe to ensure it’s nothing on my end, but otherwise I’m sorry yours didn’t turn out as expected.
I followed the instructions and after finding the dough to dry I added another 1/4 cup of Pumpkin. It solved the minor issue and the cookie turned out great.
Hi! I love reading all your comments about baking. Today I made your pumpkin white chip cookies. They came out hard and dry. I followed your recipe step by step. I doubled the batch.
I made these last night. I added more nutmeg. Soo yummy! Crunchy on the outside, moist center. My new go to pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!!!
Amy, I’m so glad you loved them! They’re one of my seasonal favorites!
I’m not sure what went wrong, but the cookie dough was extremely dry, almost like powder. It seemed like 1/4 cup of pumpkin is not enough. I had to add a couple tablespoons of milk to get it to form into a dough. Are the measurements correct? I feel something is missing.
Kristy, I’ll take another look at it and see if my measurements are correct. Not sure what went wrong on your end unfortunately. Thanks!
These are sublime. Thank you!
Laurie, so glad you loved them!
I’m glad I found this recipe. I always add a little bit more vanilla than called, but other than that, I followed the recipe without using any chocolate chips. They are moist and chewy! I did use a tablespoon-sized scoop to make sure they were uniform and then baked them for 4 minutes and then turned my pan around for 4 more minutes of baking. I used the bottom of a glass when they came out to make them flat. PERFECTION!
So glad they turned out perfectly for you, Jen!
Tried the cookies as we have a cookie contest at work and it’s close to Halloween!
I’m bringing the cookies tomorrow to my colleagues. My partner has tried them (he’s the guinneapig) and he told me it’s a winner 🙂 let’s see about that tomorrow!
Woo! Thanks Annie!
I make these EVERY year around fall, and sometimes even throughout the year. I’m always amazed on not only the taste but the fact it’s actually chewy!! These instantly became a staple for my family. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Made these today and husband said they were the best cookies he has had in years!! Loved them