These Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies are so impressively soft and light—and have a surprisingly small amount of added sweetener for how good they taste. Plus, the batter simply stirs together, so this is a recipe that even your little kids can help you cook!

pumpkin cookies on plate

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Baking with kids can often seem like a monumental task—they are often so unpredictable in the kitchen!—but this recipe has such an easy method that it’s perfect to bake together.

And, if you love pumpkin baked goods or are looking for a healthy cookie to make and share this fall, you’ll love this one.

I love to share these as an afternoon snack or to tuck one into our lunches as a fun surprise.

The first time my toddler and I made these, I couldn’t believe how light and airy they were. They really have a wonderfully fluffy texture that’s super moist and fun to eat.

They sort of taste like a cross between pumpkin bread and a cookie, and are really lovely to eat right out of the oven…or after a few days in a container in the fridge.

They’re our favorite soft pumpkin cookies.

Ingredients You Need

I love that the ingredient list in these is so straight forward. Here’s what you’ll need:

ingredients for healthy pumpkin cookies.
  • Pumpkin puree: You can make it at home or buy it. If buying canned pumpkin, look for unsweetened pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. (The cans look similar, so double check!)
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup: You can substitute honey here if you prefer.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and soda: This helps ensure that the final texture is airy and light.
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Mini chocolate chips: I like to use mini chocolate chips in this recipe since they are really the main source of sweetness—and the mini ones are easier to evenly distribute throughout the cookies.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Gluten-free: Use a 1:1 style of gluten free baking mix.
  • You can use honey instead of the maple syrup.
  • If you have regular size chocolate chips, simply chop them up a bit before adding to the batter.
  • You can use whole-wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose if you prefer. Check for doneness on the shorter end of the baking time.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a quick look at the easy process involved in making these cookies. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information.

how to make healthy pumpkin cookies step by step
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. (photo 1)
  2. Stir together gently. (photo 2)
  3. Dollop out cookies onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. You can use a measuring spoon or a small ice cream scoop to make them all the same. (photo 3)
  4. Bake!

TIP: I use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to easily portion out the cookie dough.

healthy pumpkin cookies on plate

Can I make these healthy cookies ahead?

You can totally make them ahead. Just let them cool on the baking sheet, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 5. You can serve them chilled, at room temperature, or even slightly warmed.

What can I use instead of chocolate chips?

If you’d rather not use chocolate chips, you can use raisins or dried cranberries instead. You may want to add a little additional maple syrup to ensure that the cookies taste sweet enough without the chocolate, but that’s up to you!

What kind of applesauce is best?

As long as it’s smooth, any kind will work. I usually use a plain one (rather than cinnamon) so the pumpkin comes through.

How to Store

To store these cookies, let them cool on the baking sheet, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 5.

Best Tips for Success

  • Stir the batter together gently, but thoroughly.
  • Use raisins or dried cranberries instead of the chocolate chips if desired. Know that these may not taste as sweet.
  • Line your baking pan with parchment paper so they easily come off the pan.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear what your family thinks of this recipe if you try it, so please comment below to share!

pumpkin cookies on plate

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips

These fluffy cookies are not super sweet, so you can add 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar to the batter if desired. (We like them just fine as is with the chocolate chips for sweetness!)
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 212kcal
Servings 6 (Makes about a dozen cookies)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir together gently.
  • Dollop out 1-tablespoon sized portions of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are set and the bottoms are lightly golden brown.
  • Allow to cool slightly and serve.

Video

Notes

  • To store, let them cool on the baking sheet, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 5.
  • Stir the batter together gently, but thoroughly.
  • Use raisins or dried cranberries instead of the chocolate chips if desired.
  • Line your baking pan with parchment paper so they easily come off the pan.
  • Gluten-free: Use cup for cup gluten-free flour.
  • Dairy-free: Use dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • You can use whole wheat pastry flour in place of the all-purpose. The cookies will likely be done on the shorter end of the baking time.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cookies, Calories: 212kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 115mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 3255IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published November 2019.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for all your quick and tasty recipes–I SO appreciate a trusted source to turn to and recipes that work, bravo! I saw your recent pumpkin cookie recipe, but did not want to bust out the kitchenaid, so searched and found this option instead. I did make a few tweaks to sneak in some grains and fats for my little, but the base recipe is great! So delicious and SO easy whip up. I added a couple tablespoons of avocado oil, and used 25% whole wheat flour and 25% oat flour (hahaha, really trying to hit all the notes here!). Topped with chocolate chips for mama, pepitas for little dude (how does MY son not like chocolate?!). YUM. Baked up perfectly even with the adjustments. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    These were great! Easy to make and came out perfect. They’re mildly sweet and have a soft muffin top texture and naturally dairy free! Thanks, Amy! You’re our favorite!

  3. 5 stars
    Made these today. They are amazing. I replaced 1/3 cup of the flour with 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats. Everything else is the same as the original recipe. I loved that these are light and fluffy. The spice level is perfect. My husband and I can’t stop eating them.

  4. 5 stars
    These tasted decent and were easy to throw together, but the texture was a little weird. It was a little too spongy for me. My son never even tried them, but that doesn’t say much because he won’t try most things. My husband, however, thought these were super yummy and ate them all up. lol

  5. This was a wonderful cookie recipe! However, my batter was too sticky qnd I added more flour. It then tasted like it had TOO much flour. I used gluten free flour and reg. Flour . To compensate I added more maple syrup about another tablespoon! Still healthy and great cookie! Thank you!

    1. You could use another egg but they will be less sweet so you may want to add a little sugar to compensate.

  6. Hi Amy! Can I steam and blend fresh pumpkin into a puree or would that not obtain the same result? Thanks for your brilliant recipes!

  7. Hi Amy! Is there a way to make these vegan? Our little one is allergic to eggs. Will an egg substitute (like flax seed egg) work in lieu of a real one?

    1. Hi! I haven’t tried these without eggs but I think it should work if you omit the egg, add 2 tablespoons milk, and increase the baking soda to 1 teaspoon. Let me know if you try it!

  8. My son adores these cookies, I substitute with sultanas. Great for an on the go lunchbox, without the worry of too much sugar.

  9. 5 stars
    Pillowy deliciousness of chocolate pumpkin heaven!

    My 2.5 year old and I enjoyed making these together, they were so easy. I also appreciate that this recipe yields a reasonable amount in a batch. Living in always-hot Singapore, the chocolate stays just the right amount of melty. These will become a regular for our family for sure, thanks for sharing!

  10. We made these, just like mentioned above not much of a cookie but light & airy & crunchy on the outside.
    Chocolate chip gives all the sweetness, it perfect for the not so sweet cookie:
    Instantly my daughter loved it, she picky eater too.

    I will be making these more often.
    I can’t wait to try your other recipes. THanks Amy.

    Jelita