As the leaves change color and the air turns crisp, there’s nothing quite like the warm, spiced flavor of pumpkin to symbolize the essence of autumn. These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies capture the heart of the season in each bite, combining the rich, comforting taste of pumpkin with the sweet, melty goodness of chocolate chips. I’ll eat these cookies anytime of the year, but there’s just something amazing about cooking these when the air is brisk and the leaves are changing colors.

What Makes Pumpkin Ideal for Cookies?

Pumpkin is a fantastic ingredient for cookies due to its moist texture and mild, versatile flavor. It adds a unique depth and softness to the cookies, making them delightfully tender.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie dough scooped on a tray

Can You Use Fresh Pumpkin Instead of Canned in Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin puree as a substitute for canned pumpkin. The key is to ensure it’s well-pureed and has a similar consistency to canned pumpkin to maintain the texture of the cookies. I have found fresh pumpkin has a bit more water in it, so when using I like to use a sifter to remove some of the extra liquid.

How Do You Achieve the Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Texture?

The secret to the perfect texture lies in not over mixing the dough. Over mixing can lead to tough cookies. Nobody wants tough cookies, right? After you cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes, you should just stir every other ingredient until it’s just barely combined.

Another way to get the perfect cookie textures is by using a combination of baking soda and baking powder. This helps create a light, airy texture.

Can the Dough Be Frozen for Later Use?

Absolutely! You can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Just scoop the dough onto a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer the dough balls to a freezer bag. When you are ready to use them, pull them out of the freezer and place them on a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake just as directed in the recipe.

What is in Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Unsalted butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough and it will result in an over salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough which helps with moistness, flavor & texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your cookies will melt down too fast and spread too much in the oven leaving you with a greasy, flat cookie. If butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your cookies too thick.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a more bitter natural sweetener which actually makes the sugar a bit sweeter than plain granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moister into your treat and is more acidic, that means it will help make baking soda react.

Granulated sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter & sugar. It helps add moisture to your cookie and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Eggs

Adds both protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick cookies. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters together and help your dough from collapsing.

Vanilla extract

When using pure vanilla extract, it will add the deep rich flavor everybody wants in a treat.

Canned pumpkin

Adds moisture and a subtle pumpkin flavor.

All-purpose flour

Flour builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It is exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods. 

Baking powder

Puffs up your batter instead of spreading it out. Baking powder contains a little bit of baking soda, an acid & cornstarch. Because of this it only needs a liquid to react and it is double reacting. It reacts as soon as it’s mixed with moisture and then again when it is heated up.

Baking soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter. It increases the spread in cookies and gives the crispy outside, soft inside texture everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will make baking soda react are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk, sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, right when its mixed into your batter it will create little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine sea salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so that it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your cookie, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Cinnamon

A seasoning that adds a nice spice to your cookies

Mini chocolate chips

Is a form of dark chocolate. Chocolate chips are not pure chocolate, they are typically made up of cocoa, sugar, emulsifier and vanilla.

Freshly baked pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on a platter

Chemistry of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The interaction between the leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder) and the acidic elements in the dough (like brown sugar) creates carbon dioxide gas, which helps the cookies rise and become light and fluffy.

Equipment Essentials

A good quality standing mixer can make the mixing process more efficient, but a hand mixer or even a spatula and some elbow grease can do the job. A light metal cookie sheet ensures even baking, and parchment paper is crucial for preventing sticking and easy removal.

Recipes You May Also Enjoy

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Does anything say Fall time as well as pumpkin treats? These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are about to be your go to Fall bake.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a standing mixer combine butter and sugars
  • Mix on medium high for 2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Stir in the eggs and vanilla until combined
  • Add pumpkin to the mixture and stir until incorporated
  • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, powder, soda, salt & cinnamon
  • Turn standing mixer on low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together, be sure to not over mix
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Scoop cookie dough onto a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until no longer shiny & fully cooked
  • Let cookies cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcal Carbohydrates: 29g Protein: 2g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 28mg Sodium: 123mg Potassium: 57mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 18g Vitamin A: 2646IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 32mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.