What makes these pumpkin cookies special?

Have you ever tried making pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies? Has it worked for you? These cookies have been a bit of a mission to create. Last year I spent a lot of time (13 recipe tests to be precise) trying to get these cookies just perfect. And although I was super happy with the result, I felt that the recipe could do with being simplified a little.

So I've updated the recipe, minimizing the ingredients while simplifying the instructions, so these easy pumpkin cookies will come together in no time. These cookies are soft and gooey and full of fall flavors that'll have you wanting to reach for more, and all of that without eggs and without butter! If you're looking to get baking this season, these cookies are waiting for you.

These cookies are:

  • Crinkly, soft, and flavorsome
  • Perfect for pumpkin spice lovers!
  • Vegan
  • Great for special occasions/Halloween/thanksgiving
  • Easy to make

Ingredient notes

  • Pumpkin puree/squash puree: Why not specifically "pumpkin" for a pumpkin spice recipe you ask? Well, being early September here in Ireland, pumpkins aren't in season yet, what's more, it's not easy to find canned pumpkin puree here either, so I've included an option for pumpkin's cousin - Butternut squash, which is usually readily available in the supermarkets. Butternut squash (otherwise known as butternut pumpkin) and regular pumpkin, are all part of the squash family. Butternut squash and pumpkin have a very similar flavor, although butternut squash is actually much sweeter. So if you're not able to get your hands on canned pumpkin puree, I'd recommend making your own puree using roasted butternut squash instead. You can find the recipe and instructions for this below in the recipe notes.
  • Pumpkin spice mix: I use ready-made pumpkin spice mix. You can, however, very easily make it at home with just a few ingredients! I've included the ingredients to make at home in the recipe notes.
  • All-purpose flour: Regular all-purpose flour works best for this cookie recipe.
  • Vegan butter: Adds flavor, and moisture and helps to make the cookies tender.
  • Baking soda: This is the leavening agent for this recipe, as it releases carbon dioxide when baked creating a soft cookie.
  • Caster sugar: Also known as superfine sugar if you're in the states. This helps to give the cookies a slightly crisp edge.
  • Soft brown sugar: This in my opinion adds the best flavor and consistency to cookie recipes. It also adds a slightly caramelized flavor when baked, yum!
  • Aquafaba: This is the egg substitute for this cookie recipe and helps to make them slightly chewy.
  • Vanilla extract: This is essential for adding flavor and a must for anything pumpkin spice in my books!
  • Salt: Enhances the background flavors and balances the sweetness.
  • Dairy-free chocolate: I like to use dark chocolate for this recipe as it really compliments the pumpkin flavor, feel free to use a dairy-free "milk" chocolate if preferred.
ingredients for making vegan pumpkin cookies.Pin

Step-by-step instructions (with images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)

  1. First cream together the caster sugar, soft brown sugar, pumpkin puree, aquafaba, and vanilla extract. I usually just use a handheld electric whisk or to beat the ingredients until creamed together, but you can also use a stand mixer.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice). Stir the dry ingredients so that they are mixed evenly.
  3. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold them together using a spatula until they form a dough consistency.
  4. Fold the chocolate chunks through the dough as evenly as possible. Cover the bowl with the cookie dough with some clingfilm or a plate and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes - this will make it much easier to shape your cookies!
  5. Roll the cookie dough into golf ball-sized balls. Be careful to leave at least 2.5" of space between each ball of dough as they will spread whilst baking!
  6. Bake them for 5 minutes, then take them out of the oven and tap the tray on your work surface to help the cookies spread and crinkle on top. Bake for the remaining 7-8 minutes and remove from the oven. Bang the trays on your work surface again and then let the cookies sit on the baking trays for 2-3 minutes. Next, carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies off of the tray and onto a cooling rack. Once they have cooled for 10-15 minutes, also remove the parchment paper and allow them to continue to rest until cool.

Tips

Pan-bang your cookies

I know it sounds strange but this method of cookie making has become viral on the net for a reason. And we have Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Blog to thank for that! Having tested these cookies relentlessly over the past few weeks I was frustrated that they weren't turning out nice and flat like I had hoped. Finally, the pan-banging technique which I adapted from Sarah's post, did the trick! Here's the full blog post about her pan banging chocolate chip cookies.

Recipe Notes

How to make homemade pumpkin spice mix

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

How to make butternut squash puree

  • Pre-heat your own to 190°C (375°F).
  • Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds.
  • Roast for 40-45 minutes until soft.
  • Allow the squash to cool to room temperature and scoop the flesh out.
  • Add the flesh to your high-speed blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.
  • The recipe calls for 3 tbsps of puree, but you can store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge and use it within 3 days or you can also freeze it.

Substitutions

  • Apple puree: If you don't want to use pumpkin but love pumpkin spice flavors you can use apple sauce in place of pumpkin puree. The cookies will be lighter/not as bright in color and very slightly sweeter.
  • Butternut squash puree: Use in place of canned pumpkin puree (instructions above on how to make it at home) - it works very similar to pumpkin puree.
  • Coconut sugar: This can be used in place of soft brown sugar. Using coconut sugar will give these pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies a more caramelized flavor and color, and they will be slightly softer.

Add-Ins

  • Extra chocolate: Feel free to add in extra chocolate chunks. You can also pop some more chocolate chips on the surface of the cookie about 5 minutes into baking. This will give you those dreamy chocolate pools.
  • Nuts: If you're feeling creative you can add some nuts to the cookie dough for additional flavor and crunch. Walnuts, pecans, almond flakes, or peanuts will take these cookies to another level.

Flat lay of tray of pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies.Pin

Storage tips

These vegan pumpkin cookies will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies.Pin

More pumpkin recipes

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!

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Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.88 from 31 votes
PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 12 mins
Chilling time: 30 mins
TOTAL TIME: 52 mins
Servings: 12
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Description

Soft and chewy vegan pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are super delicious and bursting with fall flavors. They've been taste tested numerous times for the perfect chewy vegan cookie!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (170 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 g) caster sugar
  • ½ cup (110 g) soft brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (35 g) pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree, see instructions for homemade puree in blog post
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) aquafaba, *see notes
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoon (9 g) pumpkin spice mix, *see notes
  • 5.3 oz (150 g) dark chocolate
  • Maldon flakes or sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

  • Cut the softened vegan butter into 1" cubes and add them to a large bowl. Add the caster sugar, soft brown sugar, pumpkin puree, aquafaba, and vanilla extract to the bowl with the butter. Use a handheld electric whisk or stand mixer to beat the ingredients until creamed together. You can use a regular whisk as well, it will just take a little longer to mix the ingredients!
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Stir the dry ingredients so that they are mixed evenly.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold them together using a spatula until they form a dough consistency.
  • Chop the chocolate into small chunks and them to the cookie dough. Fold them through the dough as evenly as possible. Cover the bowl with the cookie dough with some clingfilm or a plate and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F) while the cookie dough is chilling. Line 2 large baking trays with some parchment paper.
  • Roll the cookie dough into golf ball-sized balls. Be careful to leave at least 2.5" of space between each ball of dough as they will spread whilst baking!
  • Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes. After the first 5 minutes of baking, take them out of the oven and tap the tray on your work surface to help the cookies spread and crinkle on top.
  • Bake for the remaining 6-7 minutes and remove from the oven. Bang the trays on your work surface again and then let the cookies sit on the baking trays for 2-3 minutes. Next, carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies off of the tray and onto a cooling rack. Once they have cooled for 10-15 minutes, also remove the parchment paper and allow them to continue to rest until cool.
  • Garnish with Maldon flakes or sea salt.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature and consume within 5 days.

Notes

  • Aquafaba: the liquid part from tinned chickpeas. 
  • Pumpkin spice mix (homemade): Mix together 2 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp mixed spice, and ¼ tsp ground cloves.
  • Apple puree: If you don't want to use pumpkin but love pumpkin spice flavors you can use apple sauce in place of pumpkin puree. The cookies will be lighter/not as bright in color and very slightly sweeter.
  • Butternut squash puree: Use in place of canned pumpkin puree (instructions above on how to make it at home) - it works very similar to pumpkin puree.
  • Coconut sugar: This can be used in place of soft brown sugar. Using coconut sugar will give these pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies a more caramelized flavor and color, and they will be slightly softer.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1341IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you make this recipe? Tag me TodayBe sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and mention @addictedtodates or tag #addictedtodates

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Recipe Rating




15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Christina,
    The cookies tasted great. I just couldn’t stop myself at two 🙂 I had two issues though - 1) there was spillage of chocolate outside the cookie but I think that might have been because I didn’t cut the chocolate into small pieces .. Right? 2) the cookie was really soft. It breaks even when you hold it. What do you think I could have done to prevent that ? Really appreciate your amazing recipes.

    1. Hi Soniya,

      So happy you enjoyed the recipe, and thank you so much for sharing your feedback. By spillage, do you mean chocolate melted out over the edges? If so, I would say you are right in that the pieces weren't small enough. With regards the softness, these are a soft cookie but should certainly not fall apart to the touch. Did you make your own pumpkin puree? It sounds like there may have been a bit too much moisture in the ingredients, next time I would suggest baking for an extra 2-3 minutes.

      1. Yes thats right the chocolate melted over the edges. I will definitely keep in mind to cut the pieces even smaller next time. And yes I made my own pumpkin puree so you are right that might have been the reason. However, I was also wondering if it needed more time in the fridge ( more than 15-20 minutes) as my butter was almost melted by the time I started creaming it with sugar. I baked the cookies in the oven for about 13-14 minutes. Do you have any advice on how to exactly know when they are ready to be taken out of the oven?
        Looking forward to baking it again next time 🙂

      2. Hi Soniya,

        I think the chilling and baking time could all be down to the moisture content as well. You want to make sure that your puree is not watery, if it is you can saute it down in the pan first to cook out some of the moisture. Also make sure the vegan block butter isn't melting, you can cut it into cubes while its still cold and then allow them to come to room temperature for about an hour to avoid the warmth of your hands causing it to become too warm. Oven times can vary but you should be able to see slight browning on the edges to gauge they are done! Hope this helps

  2. 5 stars
    The dough tastes incredible and the cookies are fabulous too. I got 31. I used 1 tbsp Just Egg instead of aquafaba because I didn't have a use for the chickpeas. 🙂 One question though Do you bake them 11-12 minutes total? It is a little confusing because it says bake 11-12 minutes then the next step says 7-8 minutes more (so is it 18-20 total?) I also missed the note about parchment paper and they were fine. The spice flavor is strong, is it really 1 1/2 TABLEspoon? haha, I did about 1 tbsp just in case. A little more spicy than pumpkin but still super delicious. Roasted pecans on top made them extra yummy, I put on 1/2 in case people don't like.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much for the amazing feedback! That's great to know that the Just Egg worked as a replacer, very useful 🙂 Yes so the total baking time is 11-12 minutes, but you caught me on my bad maths for the remaining "7-8" minutes haha! And yes that's the correct measurement for the pumpkin spice, but that was a good call to reduce the spice if you're not the biggest fan of it! x

  3. 5 stars
    WOW these vegan cookies look amazing. What a great idea to use aqafaba! I'm so excited to try these soon, thank you for sharing!

  4. These look so good thank you!.. do you think I could use Himalayan salt in place of the salt that is in the recipe?

      1. 5 stars
        I just made them with the Lidl sea salt chocolate..amazing..thank you so much Christina for a great recipe 🤗

    1. Hi Karen,

      I haven't tried the recipe with almond flour, however if you do try it i'd recommend you try using slightly less almond flour, maybe 25% less than the recipe calls for. Let us know if you try it!