Desserts Recipes

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

The BEST pumpkin cookies I’ve ever made. They’re perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, no cakey cookies here!ย 

pumpkin cookies recipe

I try to keep things light around here, but today we need to talk about something serious.

(You’re looking back up at the title of this post and thinking, “Isn’t this a post about cookies? How heavy can we get in a post about cookies?”).

Every fall, the Internet explodes with all things pumpkin. Pumpkin soup, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies.

And I don’t really loveย the flavor of pumpkin.

I know admitting to not loving pumpkin is probably blog suicide.

Heaven help me if word gets out that I don’t like Nutella (jar of mouth-burning chemicals, thank you) or browned butter (the quickest way to turn a perfect stick of butter into a greasy, texture-ruining ingredient).

Good thing I do embrace all things salted caramel.

But, I’m happy to let people go on their pumpkin eating way.

Except when it comes to cookies. People. Cookies are supposed to be crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.

They are NOT supposed to be like muffins. They are definitely not supposed to be like cake.

How are you even eating these things?

And worse, they don’t even LOOK pretty. They look like orange lumps. They have zero redeeming qualities. I mean, if a cookie is going to taste bad, it might as well look beautiful. (I told you. Serious talk here on the blog today). I am extremely picky about cookies, and I can’t remember ever eating a pumpkin cookie that made me think, “THIS is a really great cookie.” The most positive thing I’ve ever thought about a pumpkin cookie is, “This isn’t the worst cookie I’ve ever eaten.”

Pumpkin puree is basically thick wet applesauce. Is it even possible to make a decent cookie with such an ingredient?

(Now you’re looking at the title and thinking, “Could any cookie possibly be worth reading through this post?”).

In fact, yes. It is possible. These cookies aren’t just good by pumpkin cookie standards (low standards, those), but by ANY cookie standards. Or at least my cookie standards, which, if I say so myself, are extremely extremely high.
They are super chocolate-y, they have crisp edges, and soft, chewy centers, they have all the spices of a pumpkin pie, and a mild pumpkin flavor. They are so much better than any pumpkin cookie I’ve ever had.
pumpkin cookies

If you like this recipe for pumpkin cookies, you might also like these:

Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies

(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Cooling Time 14 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 2 dozen
Author Janssen Bradshaw


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate I just used chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, cut into large pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan (or in a microwavable bowl) over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth. Don't let it burn. Set aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
  4. While the chocolate cools, use the attachment paddle on a stand mixer to beat together the sugar, pumpkin and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until evenly mixed.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner (I use this one), and scoop golf ball-sized balls onto the cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches of space between each one (they spread a lot).
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges look dry and the tops are cracked. Let cool for 10-15 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

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  • Reply Karen September 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    These cookies look and sound great, and I'm always up for a new cookie recipe. If I have time, I may make some for this evening's FHE.

  • Reply Kristin @ Going Country September 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    How timely, since I have TWO DOZEN butternut squash curing on my garden wall at this very moment. A good year for squash in the garden, to say the least. I'm told butternut squash is an excellent stand-in for the pumpkin in pumpkin pie, but since I don't really dig pumpkin pie, this seems like a much better alternative. Because of the chocolate, you know.

  • Reply Cammie Smith September 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    So, my question is, are they still pumpkiny? If someone hadn't told you there was pumpkin in them, would you be able to tell? I like pumpkin. But you are right about them being so much more attractive than orange lumps!

    • Reply Janssen September 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Yes, definitely still pumpkiny. Just not overwhelmingly so.

    • Reply Cammie Smith September 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Good to know!

  • Reply Celeste September 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Way to stand tall on your beliefs about pumpkin. I respect that. And thanks to you, now I can combine my personal love of chocolate and pumpkin. That is beautiful.

  • Reply Chrissie September 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    These look truly scrumptious, and your pictures are fantastic! Think I may just have to try these out. Yum.

  • Reply Renee September 30, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I think I gasped out loud when you said you didn't like pumpkin! Then when you said you disliked Nutella I considered to stop reading right then and there! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good thing I didn't because these sound delicious. Considering I am a person who actually stocks up on cans of pure pumpkin prior to the end of the season (because it can be difficult to find in the off season), I will definitely be giving this one a try. It is right up my ally of pumpkin desserts.

  • Reply Emily Kate September 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Where was this recipe on Friday before I made some decidedly TOO soft and smooshy chocolate pumpkin cookies? I was so unhappy with the texture. Cookies should not be like cake! I should have known better than to even make them. These sound perfect.

  • Reply Lins - Domesticated Working Woman September 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Yum! If you're looking for something to do with the other half of your pumpkin I made this last night and we looooove it: 1 can pumpkin, 1 container cool whip, 1 packet vanilla pudding. Mix it all up and dip graham crackers in it. So good! And easy on the waistline.

  • Reply Paige Flamm September 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    These look almost as delicious as that bread that Derek brought home last night that you made!

  • Reply Jeanelle September 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    These look good – I love a flat/chewy cookie. I like pumpkin anything but am with you about pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. However, I made the ones from Cookies and Cups (she can do no wrong in my book) and while soft, they were not cakey like cookies I've had in the past and the pumpkin was subtle (3/4 cup in the recipe.) You'd probably still hate them but I tell you all of this because if you don't frequent her blog, you need to.

  • Reply Sherry September 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I must not be very discriminating about sweets. In fact, I'm certain that I'm not. Any time you lambast any kind of sweet, I just think, "They're just cookies, for crying out loud!" At any rate, Eric's mom brought some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to us last Sunday, and they were not good. She also brought over a package from the store, and they were good. But they were cakey, which would not have suited you.

  • Reply Ash September 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Oh my goodness. Finally, a blogger who almost shares my feelings on pumpkin (I actually won't touch it with a ten-foot pole). ๐Ÿ˜‰ I follow a few food blogs, and you're right about the pumpkin explosion every fall. One benefit to my dislike of pumpkin is that my blog reading time dramatically decreases as I just click those new posts long enough so they appear 'read' without even reading past the first line. I'm not sure what made me read yours (probably the words 'double chocolate'), but I'm glad I did so I can know I'm not totally alone on the pumpkin thing.

  • Reply Natalie September 30, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Finally!!! Someone else who doesn't think Nutella is God's gift to … everything, doesn't love all things pumpkin, and when it comes to brown butter? I just don't want to spend the time! But these look awesome and I can't wait to try them!!

  • Reply heidikins September 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Yeeeah, so I really think the pumpkin muffin-cookies are nasty. Always have. The "can of pumpkin, box of spice cake, PRESTO! Cookies!" thing has always nauseated me a bit. Or a lot. And I like my cookies chewy, not cakey. I'll definitely be trying these out, I do love the chocolate-pumpkin combo. I made a chewy pumpkin cookie last fall with butterscotch chips in it that was DIVINE! Will have to find recipe and send your way.


  • Reply Deanna September 30, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Hooray! We non-pumpkin-lovers aren't all alone. : ) I might actually try these for my husband. I think the addition of chocolate might increase my opinion of them quite a bit!

  • Reply September 30, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I make cookies with pumpkin BUTTER (from Trader Joe's). I'd definitely recommend that if you want to make more blatantly pumpkin baked goods for some fall event. The consistency is more like a jam or super soft nut butter, so it bakes into the cookies like those would and makes them more more properly cookie-y (real word).

    • Reply Shaynee September 9, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Um… recipe PLEASE!!! I love TJโ€™s pumpkin butter!

  • Reply Leslie September 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Do these really even have enough pumpkin in them to be considered pumpkin cookies? That's probably what makes them so delicious. I agree, the pumpkin muffin cookie is not the best cookie out there. I'd rather have pumpkin bread or a pumpkin bagel with honey butter.

  • Reply Katie October 1, 2013 at 12:22 am

    While I do enjoy a pumpkin cookie, I've found that they must be eaten on the day they are made. I don't like it when cookies turn slimy on top, and that is exactly what pumpkin cookies do when you store them in anything. As for the brown butter….the thought of it makes me want to gag! I don't like butter, but especially the smell of melted butter. I do use butter in my baking, but that's about it. I'll definitely be trying these cookies out. They sound delicious!

  • Reply Carolyn Francom October 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I love your blog but feel so sad that you don't like pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. How can you miss understand them so badly. If I had a pan of them on my kitchen counter right now they wouldn't be here when Noah and David got home. Your cookies look great I will have to try them.

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy October 2, 2013 at 1:07 am

    This summer I subbed pumpkin for most of the oil in my favorite zucchini bread recipe. It was the best sweet bread I've ever made and we figured we cut the fat in the loaf by almost 100 grams. It was moist and spicy and delightful. I gave away several loaves and made lots of new friends.

  • Reply Jessica October 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    These look delish! I love pumpkin! Excited to try these. : )

  • Reply Lauren @The Little Things We Do.... October 2, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I love/hate you for posting these right now, because I'm in a major baking mood, but I SO do not need to eat these. Ugh. Thank you…and no thank you simultaneously ;).

  • Reply kimmie October 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I love pumpkin, but kind of hate pumpkin pie, and do enjoy fluffy cakey pumpkin cookies, but these DO look good.

    Have you ever done any non-butter baking? I love sweets but my daughter is allergic to dairy so I would feel bad if I made any treats that she can't eat. I know I could probably sub margarine, but I don't know if I want to purposefully add that to something we eat. I've tried coconut oil in baking banana bread, but I don't know how it would turn out in cookies.

    • Reply Unknown October 19, 2013 at 12:07 am

      I've had hit and miss attempts with using coconut oil instead of butter since the consistency and amount of fat isn't the same. I use earth balance when I need to use "butter" it works exactly the same but is dairy free!

  • Reply kristen October 3, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I think of you every time I get excited about pumpkin season. I made a batch of pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting on Sunday, and Landen and I both put them in our top 3 favorite cookies. And then I thought, "Janssen wouldn't be having as much fun as we are right now." Haha. At least we can agree about hating Nutella!

  • Reply Monica October 4, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    This made me laugh out loud. You are so entertaining, Janssen! I laugh almost every post. PS: I read every post, but it's usually while feeding the baby, so I can never comment. Keep this all going, I love your writing.

  • Reply caroline October 9, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I spotted these on Pinterest and was intrigued. I love pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but not those cakey pumpkin cookies! I whipped up a batch of these last night, and although mine came out flatter than yours they were truly delicious. My girlfriend wasn't thrilled with them (she was expecting them to be more pumpkin-y). The pumpkin flavor is definitely subtle but I thought that made them more interesting and complex. More importantly (to me anyway), the chewy texture is perfect. I'll be making them again!

    • Reply caroline October 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Also– I think these would be great with mashed banana substituted for the pumpkin. Banana cookies are another thing that never turns out right, for similar reasons.

  • Reply Bailey's Blog October 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I was looking forward to making these since I read this post…I finally just made them. Oh my! Not only do I love pumpkin, but adding chocolate…wow! These are delicious! I made these gluten free by using an all purpose gluten free flour mix (1:1) and 1 tsp of xantham gum. You'd never know they are gluten free. Crisp on the outside and gooey and moist when you bite into it. Can't wait to make these for company! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  • Reply J. November 1, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I made these yesterday and they were so good! A keeper for sure. Thanks for posting!

  • Reply pgh moms November 22, 2013 at 1:05 am

    I have been making these nonstop this fall/winter. Thanks so much, love them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Teri September 19, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I’ve made these every fall since discovering your recipe, and every time I pull up this page, I re-read your article just for the satisfaction of knowing I’m not alone in my opinions of what a cookie should be. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for telling it like it is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Diana September 10, 2018 at 7:08 am

    I’m with you on not liking pumpkin. It makes me roll my eyes A LOT in the fall. I mean, I don’t mind looking at them but I will NOT be eating them. But no Nutella??? Your mouth might be broken on that one. =)

  • Reply Episode 7 – The Heart and Art of Hygge – The Modern Lady Podcast November 6, 2018 at 4:38 am

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