Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookies get an upgrade with this recipe for bakery-style pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Packed with fall flavors!

Traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookies get an upgrade with this recipe for bakery-style pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Packed with fall flavors!

Whenever I’m tasked with baking something for a potluck or other sort of gathering, mailing to a friend in need, a bake sale or anything other than a straight-up birthday (that calls for cake or cupcakes), I make gluten free chocolate chip cookies. They are everyone’s favorite treat, across ages and occasions.

When fall comes, though, and pumpkin this and pumpkin that start their seasonal assault on our senses, it’s time to give those CCCs an upgrade. These thick and chewy cookies are packed with deep, rich pumpkin flavor, but they mostly look like regular chocolate chippers. I’ve made quite a few pumpkin-flavored treats over the years, and I learned years ago that the best style of pumpkin for baking is pumpkin butter.

Traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookies get an upgrade with this recipe for bakery-style pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Packed with fall flavors!

Why pumpkin butter?

Baking with regular canned packed pumpkin is less than ideal for a few reasons. It has so much moisture, that it tends to make everything kind of spongy. If you try to make up for the extra moisture with, say, more gluten free flour, everything else is out of balance in the recipe. Plus, packed pumpkin isn’t as rich in pumpkin flavor as you might expect.

Pumpkin butter, on the other hand, is nothing more than pumpkin (either roasted at home or canned) cooked down with pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup and a bit of apple juice. You can purchase it ready-made, which I do sometimes, but it tends to be a bit expensive.

Traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookies get an upgrade with this recipe for bakery-style pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Packed with fall flavors!

Oh, and if you’re wondering about “pumpkin pie spice,” it’s just a blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, ground allspice, cloves and nutmeg. For just over 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, here’s the formula:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

If you make pumpkin pie spice yourself, you will need to stock up on the component spices. But you’ll never have to scramble to go buy more of the store-bought kind, and you can customize it to your own tastes. Leave out the allspice if it’s just not your thing, or add some extra nutmeg because it reminds you of fresh egg nog. It’s up to you!

Traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookies get an upgrade with this recipe for bakery-style pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Packed with fall flavors!

Ingredients and Substitutions

Dairy-Free: Just replace the unsalted butter in this recipe with butter-flavored Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, and be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips. You’re dairy-free just like that!

I don’t know if Earth Balance buttery sticks would work here, or if they would make the cookies spread too much. You’d have to experiment!

Egg-Free: There’s only one egg in this recipe, so it’s a great candidate for being replaced with 1 “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). I haven’t tried it, though, so as always feel free to experiment!

Sugar Substitutes: You can’t simply replace granulated sweeteners with liquid ones, I’m afraid. If you would like to use a sugar replacement, my favorite is Swerve brand since they have replacements for all kinds of sugars, including brown sugar, granulated sugar, even confectioners’ sugars.

Push play ▶️ and watch this how to video

Then you try!

Traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookies get an upgrade with this recipe for bakery-style pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Packed with fall flavors!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 16 cookies


2 1/4 cups (315 g) all purpose gluten-free flour (I used Better Batter)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (125 g) pumpkin butter, store-bought or homemade

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

*To make your own pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk, working out any lumps. Add the butter, pumpkin butter, then the vanilla and egg, and mix to combine. The dough will be thick, so keep mixing until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips, reserving a few to place on top before baking. Mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Using a medium-size ice cream scoop or two spoons, place portions of the dough (each about 2 tablespoonsful) on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 1/2-inches apart. Roll each into a ball and press into a disk about 1/2-inch thick and return to the baking sheet. Place a few extra chips on top of each piece of dough. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator or freezer until firm to the touch. This will help prevent them from spreading too much in the oven.
  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and set in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet until firm.
  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Recipe merged with another GFOAS recipe, text mostly new, photos and video new. Lots to see here!


Comments are closed.

  • Amanda
    September 3, 2017 at 5:01 PM

    I have made a lot of pumpkin bread, but never thought to put it in chocolate chip cookies. I love that this can be frozen as well. Tank you so much for the great recipe!

  • Patti
    September 3, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Love your recipes. You have helped make baking fun again. Our Christmas dinner was totally gluten free and no one noticed except to say how delicious everything was. I no longer make regular food for the other members in our family. Everything is gluten free and learning new recipes like yours makes it so much fun. I have 2 of your books and love your site as well. Thank you.

    • Nicole Hunn
      September 3, 2017 at 10:21 AM

      Hooray, Patti!!! That’s the holy grail of living gluten free—to bring everyone else along for the ride, and hear nothing but cheers. I’m super grateful you shared that. Cheers to Just Good Food!

  • Kristine Gray
    October 11, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Just made these tonight for a Pumpkin Pig Out Party. They are great!

    • gfshoestring
      October 12, 2012 at 8:08 AM

      I can’t believe you had a Pumpkin Pig Out Party and didn’t invite me. Sounds like so much fun, Kristine!
      xoxo Nicole

  • […] Bread, Pumpkin Cake, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Donuts, Savory (or Sweet) Pumpkin Wedges, Pumpkin Pie (duh – though my crust will […]

  • Melanymoody
    October 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    I think you are fabulous! Thank you for showing me that I can be gf and still have cake (which, btw, is my favorite four-letter word; well maybe it’s a tie). Cheers and I look forward to reading your cookbook.

    • gfshoestring
      October 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Aw, thanks, Melany! Personally, I refuse to choose one favorite 4-letter word. But cake is definitely up there. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • October 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    I run, too, Nicole! I have been running for only 18 months, but sometimes I have to catch myself when I do an internal swagger along the lines of, “I can eat these chocolate pumpkin cookies because my calorie burn is so high.” I had a funny dream last night in which I was running the NYC marathon. I was amazed at how good I felt, how tired I did not feel, but oh, how I needed a bathroom break (story of my life).

    • gfshoestring
      October 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      I know that swagger, Farida. I live that swagger. ;) I’m not sure if that was a good dream or not. If you were flying in the NYC marathon, now that would be a great dream. I love flying dreams!
      xoxo Nicole

      • October 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

         Nicole, I realized I left off the “funny” part. A lady older than me guided me to the men’s bathroom (it was in Central Park, and there were no portapotties there) and said, “It’s okay! There are no lines here.” What’s so funny about that? you may wonder. In real life, I feel awkward/brave/skittish when I use the men’s bathrooms. I love flying dreams, too, by the way. xo, Farida

  • Lynell
    October 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    I can not wait to try these.  By the way, there’s nothing wrong with you for not liking reality TV.  I’m 31, and I believe it will be the downfall of our civilization…  ;)

  • October 4, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Sounds delish. Do you think I would be able to substitute half the butter with unsweetened applesauce to cut down on the fat a little bit? I’ve done this successfully with cakes and bread, but not with cookies!

  • October 4, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    I can’t wait to make these! :)

  • Marcy
    October 3, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    These came out great, cakey and flavorful. As a newbie, can they be frozen? Your book comes tomorrow
    , so I should have more answers to my GF questions.

    • gfshoestring
      October 4, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Yes, they can definitely be frozen, Marcy. Just don’t put them in the refrig! They’ll dry out. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Frenchkitcheninamerica
    October 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Just what I was looking for. The weather has turned cold here, and all I want is pumpkin.

  • October 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM


    I too, don’t
    understand reality TV. It’s sad how stupid people will act on TV (I hope it’s
    acting) and it’s even sadder that others will watch it. So, so sad….
    On a happier note,
    I purchase both of your books recently. I checked your first cookbook out of
    the library three times so my DH suggested I should just buy the book (I’m
    cheap, what can I say?). That made me happy. So then I purchase both of them so
    now I am even happier. Why the hold-out for my happiness (besides being cheap)?
    I am new to GF baking so wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with Better
    Batter, other flour blends, or make my own. Personally I have found out EVERY
    TIME I use Better Batter flour it has wonderful results so why mess with success?
    Speaking of success, your recipes rock!! Love, love, love them!!  Please put me down as a pre-order for your
    third cookbook!     


    • gfshoestring
      October 4, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Wow, June! You’re totally on board. I am, in fact, working on a Book 3. It will be Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, and should be out at the end of 2013. I’ll be sure to hurry up! So glad you’re feeling good about Better Batter, too.
      xoxo Nicole

  • October 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    P.S. I can’t stand reality TV either :) And my slow cooker has never been used, ha!

    • gfshoestring
      October 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      The slow cooker people are going to let us have it, Dana. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • October 3, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Is it possible that your spies are hanging out in my kitchen again? I have a half a can of pumpkin I need to use up, and I looked in your first cookbook this morning and saw two awesome recipes that required more than I have on hand. And now, here is a delicious looking recipe using two of my favorite ingredients in the world – pumpkin and chocolate :) Thanks Nicole! Your spies are welcome in my home anytime.

    • gfshoestring
      October 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      Give my spies a cookie, would you? They’re hungry, Dana. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Marcy
    October 3, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I’m new to GF. My daughter found your blog for me and I’m hooked. Already bought your first book and today I ordered Better Batter for both of us. Thanks for all you share. It is appreciated.

    • gfshoestring
      October 3, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      Hi, Marcy, Welcome to GF – and to Shoestring, then! It sounds like your daughter is taking very good care of you, and you of her. So nice to hear. I hope you’ll keep coming back – and thank you for your support of the cookbooks!
      xoxo Nicole

  • kclark
    October 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Oh how you make me smile.  I don’t like QVC (gasp) and the only two reality shows that I like are Amazing Race and Survivor, not a fan of the Bachelor, etc.  Anyway, I recognize, and empathize with, all your other lovely attributes!

    We also love the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars from the 1st book. I take them to GF newbies to show them that life won’t suck!

    I can’t wait to make these! 

    • kclark
      October 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM

      Oh and I love the semi-pro tips and the tips on kitchen gadgets like scoops.  Very helpful.

      • gfshoestring
        October 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM

        So glad you like the Semi-Pro Tips. I’ll keep doing ’em!
        xo N

    • gfshoestring
      October 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Oh come on, Kristi, you can’t possibly have given QVC a chance, then! I can’t watch it for more than about 15-20 minutes at a time, but it’s fun to watch them … operate.
      xoxo Nik

  • Becca Carroll
    October 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    My kids think t hey need to eat all the time, too. Like, 3 meals a day plus snack. Where do they get these crazy ideas? This is why we never have food.

    • Jennifer S.
      October 3, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Word sister!

    • gfshoestring
      October 3, 2012 at 4:28 PM

      Seriously, Becca. If you figure it out, be sure to give me a shout! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Heather Ordover
    October 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Thank you for explaining the scoops!!! Alton Brown lauds the scoop but I could never find the numbers on the ones I came across. Now armed with actual measurements I will prevail!
    And I join you in your response to reality tv. You can always listen to ChopBard podcast for a little Shakespeare or CraftLit for a little classic lit. We’re about to start *Jane Eyre* and I’d love to know I was able to give you something back for all the wonderfulness you give to us.

    Have already pre-ordered and am sending all my GF friends here and to Amazon as well.
    Thank you so much!

    • gfshoestring
      October 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      You bet, Heather. Not all scoops have the numbers on the bottom (some scoops for home cooks have just small-medium-large on them), but you can find the numbered ones in restaurant supply stores and chef-centric stores like Sur la Table.
      ChopBard and CraftLit sound awesome. I’ll have to check them out! I tend to have NPR on all day long, but sometimes on the weekends I don’t love some of the programming. Thanks!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Faith
    October 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Anyone know if it would be ok to sub the flour for almond flour? I really want to try these recipes, but I use almond flour.

    • gfshoestring
      October 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      No, Faith, you can’t. Almond flour has a completely different chemistry. I’d suggest a site like Elana’s Pantry, where she bakes primarily with flours like coconut and almond flour.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Gfmom3
    October 3, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I love my scoops – I have 7 different sizes. I bought two number 70 so my children could do the work.

  • Jennifer S.
    October 3, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Ok – I LOVE LOVE LOVE your pumpkin chocolate chip bars from the first book (yes I almost ate them all myself, over a few months but still – so dang yummy!) so I’m excited to see this recipe. I just bought a ton of pumpkin from Sam’s club so here we go!! :)

    Can’t wait to your 2nd cookbook arrives at my door step — soon right, PLEASE?

    • gfshoestring
      October 3, 2012 at 4:28 PM

      Those bars are a favorite of my husband’s too, Jennifer. No shame in eating them all yourself over time! Hold onto that pumpkin. We’ll be using it all Fall!
      Cookbook #2 should be very soon. The release date is October 16, which is the date it is shipping from the warehouse to stores and online outlets, so from there it’s all just transit. You should safely have it in hand well before the publication date of November 6. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Ocfever01
    October 3, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Do you have to add xantham gum in

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