Classic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

With all the hundreds of thousands of different pumpkin variations (cookies, especially) roaming around the internet these days, sometimes my only coping skill in the midst of the overwhelming onslaught is to go back to the classics (that, plus a nap).

I’ve been making these beautiful, fluffy little pumpkin chocolate chip cookies for years. No, I take that back. One fall, I decided to ignore this favorite cookie and focus on other styles of pumpkin cookies that were, I’m sad to say this out loud, a little more gourmet and not quite so humble. It was a sad holiday season. And I didn’t fully realize it until about the next March when I figured out the source of my melancholy: I hadn’t made my go-to pumpkin chocolate chip cookie when pumpkin season was raging (well that and the fact that I was living in Minnesota at the time and it was -30 below…in March). I’ve never made that same mistake again.

Classic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fall is not fall without these babies sitting atop the cooling rack on the counter as the kids rush in from school (they’ll probably never know or appreciate how lucky they are that there are real, live cookies left for the eating on these days…).

While there will never fail to be a new, great, pretty, awesome pumpkin cookie to try out and tweak and love (I’m sure I will try about 43 pumpkin cookie versions this year alone), this tried-and-true perfect pumpkin chocolate chip cookie will always be my first love. Plump with pumpkin and loads of chocolate, these cookies are light and fluffy and terribly, terribly easy to make. Delicious just a bit warm from the oven, if you can even stand to believe it, they are even tastier a few hours later or the next day.

Classic Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

One Year Ago: Easy 10-Minute Caramel Sauce
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches
Three Years Ago: Little Quinoa Patties

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: About 36-40 cookies

Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These days, I usually use melted coconut oil (make sure it isn't hot or overly warm when using) but in the past, I've used vegetable, canola, light olive, or avocado oil with great results (even melted butter works although the cookies aren't quite as tender and moist for some reason).

I've subbed in white whole wheat flour before with good results (albeit a slightly heartier, heavier cookie). A great starting point would be to use 50% white, 50% white whole wheat flour. If you aren't using a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients, measure with a light hand - don't pack the flour into the cup.

If you don't have pumpkin pie spice in your pantry, use the following for this recipe: 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon cloves.


  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (3.25 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) oil (see note above)
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) all-purpose flour (see note above about using whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see note above)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 cups (6-12 ounces) chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.
  2. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, pumpkin and vanilla and mix until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and mix again.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix for just a couple seconds. With streaks of flour still remaining, add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
  5. Drop the cookie batter by heaping tablespoonfuls (I use my #40, 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop) onto the prepared baking sheets. If there are jagged edges and you want a perfectly round cookie, wet your hands lightly (not dripping) with cold water and gently smooth the edges of the cookies. Because they will bake up quite puffy, if you want a cookie that's a bit flatter, lightly press with the palm of your slightly wet hand.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

49 Responses to Perfect Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. dogpaws says:

    this is really good! i love this recipe is really

  2. Katie says:

    Thank you so much! I have looked for so long for this recipe! I love pumpkin desserts, and I have tried sooooo many different pumpkin cookie recipes searching for the perfect one. This is it! My 5 yr old was just dancing around the kitchen singing about how much she loves these cookies. Thank you!!!!!

  3. Teresa says:

    These were so delicious. Made a batch last night and we all loved them. I like the cakey texture. The batter was really wet, more than I thought it would be and I used all white whole wheat flour–the only change I made. So great, thank you!!! Next time I will try the new chewy ones you just posted about. My absolute favorites are those pumpkin chip blondies. You are the best!

  4. Hong says:

    Hi Mel,
    How would you store these? They’re so moist and muffin like that I’m afraid to keep them out in a tupper ware in the pantry for too long. Thanks!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Made these last night and they were a hit! My kids gobbled them up.

  6. Emily W says:

    Yes…so glad to have a go-to pumpkin cookie recipe! Made these right after you posted and coming back for round 2.

  7. Rosanne says:

    I would be ungrateful if I didn’t stop and thank you for your blog! It must take an immense amount of time and energy, but just know that your shared recipes bring love, memories and full happy bellies to our family! Thanks again. p.s These cookies were delish AND your pumpkin cookies with carmel frosting. Hurrah for pumpkin season!

  8. Janie says:

    I just made these for a bake sale…not sure how many will be left to sell. 🙂 These are amazing! So light and fluffy and not too sweet. Thanks Mel for another delicious recipe!

  9. Kira says:

    I imagine these would freeze well. What do you think? Have you tried?

  10. Kira says:

    These.were.delicious. The most perfect pumpkin cookie I’ve ever eaten. Thank you! My son loves pumpkin cookies and since you didn’t have a recipe posted, I don’t make them 🙂 – today was the best day of his life he says! Better than Great Harvest! Thanks for another favorite at our house.

  11. caitlyn says:

    Thank you for another wonderful recipe! My daughter and I made these together a couple of days ago, and they were a hit! I baked them for 14 minutes and still found them too soft for my taste, so next time I will try a couple more minutes. Thanks again!

  12. Christine says:

    You are right about the coconut oil making a more tender cookie. I noticed that with one of your other muffin recipes that uses coconut oil. It was the most tender muffin I had ever eaten. It totally beat a recipe I tried from America’s test kitchen.

  13. angie says:

    Made this recipe using a long island cheese pumpkin and cinnamon chips instead of chocolate, since someone had eaten the chips:) I can’t stop eating them, and I keep thinking these would be so good with a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate.

  14. Megan Parr says:

    These are so delicious! They are just like eating Great Harvest’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread, in the form of a cookie! Cheaper, easier to make and eat as a cookie! LOVE it! Thank you!

  15. jill says:

    We just went to Farmstead for a preschool field trip, and my darling 3 year old dropped my “front porch” pumpkin on the ground 5 minutes after it got home 🙁 Luckily I had seen this recipe a couple days earlier and decided to turn that pumpkin into some delicious puree for these cookies. So. So. Yummy.

  16. Amanda says:

    Wow, these are seriously amazing! And this is coming from a non pumpkin lover. Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. Lexie says:

    This are awesome. Subbed apple sauce for half of the oil, used white whole wheat flour, and halved both sugars. Whole family loved them and they don’t get sticky on top after being stored like some pumpkin cookies do.

  18. Deb says:

    Just made em, just ate em, instantly in love! What a neat texture, they’re so fluffy for a pumpkin cookie. New favorite, thanks Mel!

  19. Karen says:

    Any thoughts on subbing raisins for the chocolate chips? Why would you do that right? But we have an allergy issue

  20. Kesa says:

    These look delish and make me want to eat some right now! I wish I made more comments on your blog, I have been following you for years now and have literally loved every single recipe I have ever tried. My sister introduced me to your site and since then we have spread your name like wild fire. I got my mother in law hooked and I love when she tells me about a tasty recipe she tried from “Mel” 🙂 I just thought I’d share my mom’s famous pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. I have tried tons and have never liked any because they didn’t even come close to comparison. I haven’t tried yours, but knowing the caliber of your recipes I’m sure it is a winner. Here’s her recipe 1/2 C shortening (I don’t know if that grosses you out, but it works in this, I promise!) 1 1/2C sugar, 1 egg, cream together then add 1 C canned pumpkin puree, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cinnamon. Mix, then add 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 1/2 C flour. Stir in 1 package of chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
    You don’t have to try it, obviously 🙂 I’m sure you receive far to many recipes to ever try them all and if you have one you know you love, why look further? If you do try it though, I’d love to hear what you think, how they compare. I’ve been wanting to send you my mother in laws amazing wheat bread recipe. It is 100% whole wheat and yet is the softest and lightest I have ever yummy! Thanks for doing what you do Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for sharing your mom’s famous pumpkin recipe, Kesa! I love getting recipes so thanks; feel free to pass along the bread recipe, too, if you have time. 🙂

  21. Michelle says:

    This is my 3rd Mel recipe this evening. 🙂 (Dinner was whole wheat rolls and Tuscan bean and sausage soup- fabulous!) I struggled with the baking time for this one. I’m not sure if my cookies were a different size than yours (I used my #40 scoop, filled to the top), or I just didn’t bake them long enough. Do you have any guidance for when they’re done? After 10 minutes they looked puffy and barely set, but after leaving them to cool on the sheet, they were still very soft inside. I’ll try one tomorrow and see how they fare after an overnight rest. Maybe I’m just not used to making pumpkin cookies?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Michelle – I judge these a bit like a muffin. If they look puffy and you gently tap on the top, they should spring back (and not be mushy like a wet dough). Does that help at all?

      • Michelle says:

        Yes, that helped!! I baked the rest of the dough today, adding a few minutes to the baking time, and they were much better. 🙂 Now I’m off to go type up your Giant Cookie recipe for a baking class I teach at our homeschool co-op!

  22. Kelly says:

    Pregnant women really shouldn’t read your blog at night! A large amount of these cookies just appeared in my kitchen! Simple recipe, everything on hand… They had to happen! I used mini chips and it gave just enough chocolate. They’re perfectly soft and cakey. I made slightly smaller cookies and came out with about 5 dozen. Sharing these at work tomorrow!

  23. Patricia Mahoney says:

    Hi Mel – have you tried McCormick’s pumpkin pie spice extract? I used it in my pumpkin bread recipe instead of vanilla and it really ups the pumpkin spice flavor! Can’t wait to try these cookies!

  24. Alice E says:

    Mel, do you think these could be converted to a bar cookie? That is what I usually make and have not found a really good pumpkin bar cookie, yet.

  25. Sarah says:

    Thank you for posting such great recipes! Made these tonight and they were a hit! The last pumpkin cookies I made were so bad I vowed to never make them again. But this post recipe me– and, as usual– was fabulous. THIS is what a pumpkin cookie should be!

  26. Kim in MD says:

    These look like the perfect Fall cookie, Mel! I love that they keep well and taste even better a day or two after baking!

  27. Melissa says:

    HI Mel,

    I love all of your recipes and this weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving..I know you have a lot of Canadian fans (I am definitely one) and was wondering if you had any new Thanksgiving recipes to try? I usually do your ham for Thanksgiving as we aren’t huge turkey fans here…but just thought I’d check in and see as I know you don’t celebrate until November. Thanks!

  28. Maureen says:

    Printing recipe now — I may have to surprise my son with these when he gets off the bus today. Thanks! 🙂

  29. Helen says:

    I must be on your wavelength this morning. I made your pumpkin pancakes (with chocolate chips) and opened a big can of pumpkin … so I would have plenty of pumpkin left over to make your pumpkin cheesecake crumble bars (which I have been craving for days)….. Looks like I’ll be adding these to today’s cooking projects too!! Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are his favorite, so he thanks you in advance 🙂 Looks like it will be a yummy fall day at my house !!

  30. Emilee says:

    I need to go buy chocolate chips so I can make these cookies. I love pumpkin, but I love the basics. I have a favorite pumpkin gingersnap, a favorite pumpkin bread, and now I need a favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookie.

  31. Mel says:

    I just made your buttermilk banana bread for my Tuesday morning Bible study group and it turned out so well! I baked it into about 7 mini loaves, and they all got gobbled up! =)

  32. Barb says:

    Can you believe I am making these right now? Its finally my day off and some guys are coming over to help with a painting project, so we will have these for coffeetime. I used a mix of mini choc.chips and cinnamon chips. Perfect thing to bake on a crisp fall morning.

  33. heather says:

    OMG, yummy. I just made your pumpkin choc chip muffins, they are cooling on the counter. These look so good. I could just eat that picture, lol. Good thing I didn’t see this first or my son would’ve been eating cookies for breakfast.

  34. Sheila says:

    Yes to naps! Simple tried and true recipes are the best. Thank you for sharing.

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