Light, sweet, full of pumpkin flavor and chocolate, these Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are dairy-free, egg-free, and whole grain. Stirred up in one bowl, they couldn’t be easier to make with kids too. I tested these cookies tons of times to get the texture just right –not too cakey, but still packed with pumpkin. Make them as a fun afternoon snack, dessert, or additional to any celebration, such as Thanksgiving!
Kids in the Kitchen
- Veggies in my cookies? Talk about the canned pumpkin –that it’s a vegetable and not very sweet before you add it in with the rest of the ingredients. What does the pumpkin look like before it’s cooked and how does it change?
- Measure! If you want to cut down on the amount of mess you make while cooking with kids (And it can be super messy, right?), pre-measure some ingredients before inviting your little one in the kitchen. Even measuring one or two ingredients together can be a great learning experience.
- Dump and stir! Adding the ingredients to a bowl is fun. Make sure to instruct your child to dump into the center, not on the edge, of the bowl and use a large bowl to prevent any spills.
- Scoop! You can use a spoon but I find it easier for kids to make uniform sized portions of dough by using a cookie scoop. See recommendations below.
- Top! You can just have kids push a few chocolate chips into the top of each scoop of cookie dough if you want a really simple way to have kids make this recipe with you.
Subs and Tips for making Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- Gluten-free? You can make this recipe gluten-free by using a cup-for-cup style flour blend such as one by Bob’s Red Mill.
- Vegan? These cookies are dairy and egg-free. However, make sure to check all the ingredient labels to ensure they are vegan. Make sure the chocolate chips you use are also vegan.
- Refined sugar-free? I use brown sugar for these cookies for its moisture, flavor, and accessibility. However, you can substitute a combination of coconut sugar and maple syrup if you’d like the cookies to be only made with unrefined sugars. Instructions are in the recipe below.
- Oil: I have used canola oil, avocado oil, and melted refined coconut oil in this recipe with success. You can pretty much use a flavorless oil that you have on hand. I think melted butter would work too, if you like the flavor of that and don’t need these cookies to be dairy-free.
- No pumpkin-pie spice or just want to make your own? Linked an easy recipe for you HERE. You can also just use cinnamon in this recipe or a combo of cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and a pinch of ground ginger.
- Make ahead: These cookies are great the next day or two, so they are great to make ahead for a party or event. You can also free the dough uncooked or cooked cookies for 1 to 2 months.
- Parchment Paper Sheets: these precut, unbleached parchment paper sheets make clean-up a breeze and ensure your cookies never stick to the pan. Plus, cutting the right sized piece of parchment paper from the roll is such pain! That’s why I can’t live without these sheets that fit perfectly in a baking pan.
- Cookie Scoop: make your cookies look more uniform and professional by using a portion scoop to measure the dough. It makes scooping the cooking dough so much easier and kids love to help use these tools too! I really recommend investing in a high quality scoop because the less expensive ones tend to break really quickly. You can also buy a set of three scoops to use for all kinds of baking projects.
Healthier Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 baking sheets or cookie sheet pans
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar or 1/2 cup coconut sugar plus 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup avocado or vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice see note in blog post for alternative
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or use 1 1/2 cups total gluten-free flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or additional all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips dairy-free if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans or cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Add the pumpkin puree and sugar to a large bowl and whisk really well to combine and help dissolve the sugar.
- Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Add the spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk to combine.
- Remove the whisk from the bowl then sprinkle the flour over the top. Use a rubber spatula or large spoon to stir in the flour. Once a few streaks of flour remain, add 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips (saving the remaining chips to place on top of the cookies), and stir until the chocolate chips are mixed into the cookie dough.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto your prepared pans, pressing the tops of the scoops down a little to flatten them out (I use the bottom of the scooper). I put about 8 scoops of dough per pan, but you can put 12 on each if you need to because they won't spread too much.
- Press 3 to 4 chocolate chips into the tops of each cookie. Bake until lightly golden brown around the edges, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. The cookies can be stored on the counter in a covered container for 3 to 4 days or frozen, well wrapped, for 2 months.
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Want more pumpkin recipes? Check out, Healthy Pumpkin Recipe to Cook with Kids.
Want a more light and fluffy, cake-like cookies. These Healthy Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Glaze are one of my favorite pumpkin desserts.