Do you love pumpkin cookies but always wish there was a crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle version? My goodness, I love chewy pumpkin cookies and it has only taken me 6 years to make it happen!!

I seriously became crazy trying to work the kinks out of this recipe. A little of this, too much of that, ugh these ones are so flat and those ones waaaay too fluffy like a cake. Working with a fruit or veggie ingredient is no joke when you’re trying to achieve a certain texture but I discovered a secret

Actually, I discovered a few…

Two chewy pumpkin cookies stacked on top of each other. The cookie on top has a bite taken out of it and there is another cookie and a container of cinnamon sugar in the background.

Tip #1

Browned Butter. Or brown butter. It all depends on who is saying it. On a whim I threw in browned butter one day and that’s the moment that these cookies became an attainable goal for me. The browned butter really heightens the flavor of the cookie while maintaining a more chewy texture. Here’s why:

Beating the sugar and butter actually changes it’s makeup, the actual chemistry changes, thus leading to light and fluffy cookies. Ever read a chocolate chip cookie recipe that requires beating for a certain amount of time? Now you know why! But browned butter doesn’t beat against the sugar crystals in the same way so we end up with a cookie that still retains its chew factor! 

Three rows of chewy pumpkin cookies with a small bowl of cinnamon sugar. The cookies are baked and look soft and chewy.

Tip #2

Want the cookies thinner and really go for that crisp edges and chewy center thing? No problem, bake the cookie dough immediately so that nothing has the chance to change in texture. 

Tip #3

Looking for a more pillowy cookie as shown in these photos (And actually I prefer to make them immediately so I’m a #2 tip gal), refrigerate the cookie dough in its bowl with plastic wrap pressed down onto and around the dough and more over the bowl to really keep out air. The air is drying the cookie dough and will totally change your results. 

Let the dough sit in the fridge for a few hours up to overnight. Set the cookie dough on the counter for 30 minutes then scoop and bake! 

A picture of chewy pumpkin cookies with brown sugar and cinnamon on top.

What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Chewy Pumpkin Cookies?

This is not your average pumpkin cookie recipe. These aren’t going to be fluffy, cakey pumpkin cookies that you add chocolate chips to. These are more like a snickerdoodle with hints of pumpkin deliciousness. In fact, I could probably even call them pumpkin snickerdoodles.

Here is your grocery list for these glorious cookies! Hopefully you already have everything in your refrigerator and pantry!

Cookies

  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Egg Yolk
  • Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Cinnamon

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • Dark Brown Sugar
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card down below.

A chewy pumpkin cookie. It is baked to a golden brown and topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

How to Make Chewy Pumpkin Cookies

I like to start by making the cinnamon sugar topping and setting it aside. Then I jump in to making the cookie dough. Here are the steps:

  1. Brown the butter. Let it cool. (See section below for how to brown butter.)
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat the browned butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric hand mixer) with the sugar.
  4. Add the vanilla, egg yolk and maple syrup and mix.
  5. Stir in the pumpkin.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix until combined.
  7. Put the dough in the fridge while you preheat the oven. The longer you chill the dough, the more thick and pillowy the cookies will be.
  8. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  9. Use a cookie scoop to scoop out similar sized cookie dough balls and roll the dough into balls and roll then in cinnamon and sugar.
  10. Bake. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to let them cool slightly before eating.

More detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

Two chewy pumpkin cookies stacked on top of each other. The top on has a bite taken out of it. They are topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

How to Brown Butter

Browned butter is just butter that has been melted and cooked slightly. It has a delicious nutty flavor. It is super easy to make.

Cut your room temperature butter into evenly size pieces so that it melts evenly.

Use a light colored pan so you can see when it starts to change color. Place the pan over medium heat. Stir the butter around to keep it moving while it melts.

As it melts, it will start to see foam and sizzling around the edge and brown flecks will appear on the bottom of the pan. Remove it from the heat immediately. It should be very fragrant. You have made browned butter!

Browned butter can become burned butter very quickly, so remove it from the heat as soon as you see the brown flecks.

Is Pumpkin Puree The Same As Pumpkin Pie Filling?

No, pumpkin puree is just pumpkin with no spices. Pumpkin pie filling has added spices to the puree. You want pumpkin puree for this recipe, not pie filling.

A chewy pumpkin cookie with a bite taken out of it. It is dense and chewy and has brown sugar and cinnamon on top.

Why Did My Cookies Turn Out Cakey?

The number one cause of cakey cookies is too much moisture content. It’s likely that your pumpkin puree had more water in it than expected. You can take pumpkin puree and squeeze it in a thin towel or dish cloth to get some of the moisture out.

Also, be sure to measure your flour correctly.

How Long Will Pumpkin Cookies Keep?

Pumpkin cookies will keep for 2 weeks at room temperature. 

Store in an airtight container.

Can Pumpkin Cookies Be Frozen?

Place cookies in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for a couple of hours. 

When frozen, transfer to a heavy duty freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to  months.

I am head over heels in love with these cookies! They aren’t cakey like your typical pumpkin chocolate chip cookie. They are chewy with that crispy edge like a perfect chocolate chip cookie. You’ve just gotta try them! They are the best pumpkin cookies you’ll ever have!

More Pumpkin Baked Goods You’ll Love:

The Best Chewy Pumpkin Cookies I Ever Ate

4.28 from 128 votes
Servings: 24
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 47 minutes

Description

Do you love pumpkin cookies but always wish there was a crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle version? My goodness, I love chewy pumpkin cookies and it has only taken me 6 years to make it happen!!

Ingredients 

Cookies

  • 1 Cup Butter, unsalted
  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Egg Yolk, large
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/3-1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree, see note- I always use 1/2 cup

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • 1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Instructions

For the Cookies

  • In a skillet over medium high heat, add the butter and cook until foaming and beginning to turn amber in color with brown flecks on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl so it will not continue to cook. The smell should be very fragrant.
    1 Cup Butter
  • Set aside to cool for 20 minutes then place in the fridge for 10 more minutes. This step is crucial. You want the butter to be cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (sugar is considered a wet ingredient so don't add it yet), set aside.
    2 1/4 Cups Flour, 1 teaspoon Baking Soda, 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice, 3/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • In a mixing bowl or a stand mixer, use a spatula to scrape the browned butter into the bowl and beat together the butter and brown sugar for 1 minute. Add the vanilla, egg yolk and maple syrup and mix again.
    1 Cup Brown Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla, 1 Egg Yolk, 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • Finally, stir in the pumpkin.
    1/3-1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • Slowly pour all dry ingredients into the mixer and beat again until combined. Don't over mix here! Just mix it enough until there are few streaks of flour left.
  • Cover and place in the fridge while you preheat the oven and cinnamon sugar topping (see ingredients below). The dough should chill for 15-30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with a silpat.
  • Roll the dough into balls and then roll into the sugar mixture (see section below). The dough balls should be 1-1 1/2" in diameter.
  • Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven to rest for a moment before eating.

For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping

  • In a small bowl, combine the brown and white sugars and cinnamon, using your fingers to break up bits of brown sugar.
    1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons White Sugar, 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Notes

Stored in an airtight container, these cookies will keep for weeks at room temperature.
If you are struggling with getting a chewy cookie it may be your pumpkin. Sadly all pumpkin purees are not created equal so try only using 1/3 cup. If they are too flat you are safe to move up to 1/2 cup which is what I always use.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 163kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 166mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1042IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 Best Cookies Recipes on the Planet
Cuisine: American

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A chewy pumpkin cookie. It is baked to a golden brown and topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.