A few years ago while grocery shopping in September and buying more baking supplies, I stumbled across a large display of fall-themed décor at the store. I spotted everything from garlands and wreaths to candles and potpourri… and pumpkins. Plenty of pumpkins everywhere.
Real ones, plastic ones, miniature ones stuck into the wreaths, felt ones stitched onto pillows, painted ones splashed across hanging wooden signs… It almost seemed as if the store tried to cram an entire pumpkin patch into their aisles — and that didn’t even include the pumpkin-flavored foods like cereal, bagels, donut holes, and even dog treats scattered throughout the rest of the store!
As I stood there, I glanced down at my shopping cart, already mostly full of baking ingredients and new pans. Yet with a big smile, I rearranged its current contents, squishing them to one side, and turned back to the display.
At least a dozen of those items followed me home… Pumpkin season is my favorite baking and decorating season!
Each year since then, I’ve eagerly waited for September 1st, the day when I pull all of those fall-themed decorations out of the closet and spread them throughout my house. I usually start by hanging the wreaths, one with glittering red, gold, and orange leaves surrounded by plenty of pumpkins, and another more subdued and natural-looking one with more pumpkins, leaves, and burlap bows.
Next come the small wooden signs. I put a square one with “pumpkin spice and everything nice” scripted across it in one corner of the kitchen with two small candle holders flanking either side, and a white pumpkin-shaped one with “blessed” on its front goes in the kitchen counter’s other corner. The rectangular “hello autumn” sign with orange felt flowers glued to the bottom rests on a bookshelf alongside a pumpkin spice scented candle, and a few plastic mini pumpkins and more candles with cozy fall aromas end up scattered throughout the living room.
…and that’s only the beginning.
However, living in sunny Southern California, it rarely actually feels like fall until right around Thanksgiving, even with all of my decorating. Temperatures usually stay in the 70’s and 80’s clear through Halloween, which makes trick-or-treating more enjoyable for the little kids in my neighborhood… But it means we end up with a much shorter crunchy leaves and cozy sweater season.
So this year, I did the next best thing… I baked a batch of these Healthy One-Bowl Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies to make it smell (and feel!) more like fall inside of my house, despite the hot and humid weather outdoors!
These healthy flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are easy to make. You just need 1 bowl and a fork! They’re full of yummy pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and melty chocolate morsels, and they’re also supremely soft and chewy (not one bit cakey!) — even with no butter, eggs, dairy, flour or refined sugar!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HEALTHY PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Let’s go over how to make the best healthy flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! As you’ve already seen, you just need one bowl to make this super easy recipe. I love how one-bowl recipes usually mean fewer dishes to wash!
Hint: You can find more of my easy and healthy one-bowl recipes here!
Because I’ve learned a LOT about how to make the best soft and chewy pumpkin cookies — one that are truly soft and chewy, not cakey! — I have plenty of nerdy tips to share with you. I want to make sure you end up with a batch of the best ever healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies too!
So here we go with…
Nerd Alert #1: Instructions
I know, I know… It seems weird to give you instructions about the instructions as a Nerd Alert. However, it’s really important to follow the instructions precisely, especially when it comes to one-bowl recipes! Certain ingredients will clump if you add them too early, while others will react too soon and ruin the texture of your cookies.
So for the best possible taste and texture, follow the instructions exactly! Add the ingredients when they’re supposed to be added, stir them in when they’re supposed to be stirred in, and you’ll be rewarded with the best healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I promise!
Nerd Alert #2: Butter or Coconut Oil?
It turns out… It doesn’t actually matter! Both unsalted butter and coconut oil work equally well, as does stick-style vegan butter (like this!). So just use whatever you typically keep on hand in your pantry or fridge.
For the best results, pick one of those three — butter, coconut oil, or stick-style vegan butter. You want to use a fat that’s solid at room temperature or when chilled and will melt when heated above room temperature. This is key!
When you put your cookie dough in the oven later, these three fats will start to melt as they’re heated. That helps create tender little pockets in the dough, which gives your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies their deliciously chewy texture.
If you substituted something else, like an oil that’s a liquid at room temperature (unlike coconut oil!), it wouldn’t melt when you put your cookie dough in the oven… Because it’s already a liquid. So the texture of your cookies wouldn’t be quite the same!
Nerd Alert #3: Pumpkin
Because it’s so readily available where I live, I use canned pumpkin purée (also called 100% pure pumpkin!). You want the kind that contains pumpkin and nothing else, like this!
Do NOT substitute pumpkin pie mix! Cans of that look very similar to cans of pumpkin purée, but they contain added sugar, spices, and other ingredients. These extra ingredients mean pumpkin pie mix doesn’t behave exactly the same when substituted in recipes that call for pumpkin purée… aka your cookies wouldn’t turn out with the same taste and texture.
So don’t be fooled at the store, and make sure you buy regular 100% pumpkin purée so you can make the best healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
The pumpkin adds more than just flavor… It actually replaces the eggs! So your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are eggless, which also means the cookie dough is safe to eat raw. Just in case you wanted to sneak a little taste when nobody else was looking! 😉
Hint: Make sure your pumpkin is at room temperature! If it’s chilled, then it’ll immediately re-solidify your melted butter or coconut oil.
Nerd Alert #4: Pumpkin Spice
Although it’s possible to buy jars at the store, I always make my own pumpkin spice! I love how I can control the ratio of spices… And I’ve found that many store-bought jars contain lots of cinnamon with very few other spices, which makes for a bit of a bland taste.
For my homemade pumpkin spice blend, I start with Saigon cinnamon. It’s stronger, richer, and sweeter than regular cinnamon, so it makes your spice-flavored baked treats taste absolutely incredible — including these healthy flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies taste even better! I buy mine online here because it’s so inexpensive and affordable. It’s basically the only cinnamon I use in my baking recipes now!
Then I also add in nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. Some people skip the cloves and allspice in their pumpkin spice blend, but I love how they add a much fuller and deeper richness. I highly recommend using all of these!
Hint: Pumpkin spice is short for “pumpkin pie spice,” aka the spices used to make pumpkin pie. It doesn’t actually contain any pumpkin!
Nerd Alert #5: Milk
You just need a teensy bit — merely 1 tablespoon! — to help make the dry ingredients easier to incorporate. I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk because that’s my family’s favorite milk and the one they always keep in their refrigerators, but any milk will work.
However, if you use non-dairy milk like I did… Then your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are naturally dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan!
Just make sure your milk is at room temperature! If it’s cold, then it will re-solidify the melted butter or coconut oil.
Nerd Alert #6: Sugar
Both coconut sugar and brown sugar work equally well to make these healthy flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! Coconut sugar is exactly what it sounds like: an unrefined sweetener that comes from coconuts. However, it doesn’t actually taste like coconuts! It has a rich caramel-like flavor (very similar to brown sugar!) and the same pourable consistency as granulated sugar. You can usually find it right next to the regular sugar on the baking aisle!
Nerd Alert #8: “Flourless” Flour
You’ll use oat flour to make these healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Technically, oat flour is literally just finely ground and powdery oats… But “powdered oats” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “oat flour.” 😉 Therefore, I wasn’t sure whether to call these cookies flourless or practically flourless, seeing as you just need oats to make your own oat flour… But either way, I promise these cookies are delicious!
Tip: I show you how to make your own oat flour here!
Just make sure you’re really careful when measuring your oat flour and use a kitchen scale (← that’s the one I own!) or this method. Oat flour is a bit more absorbent than wheat-based flour, so even a little too much will start to dry out your cookie dough. I promise it’s worth taking the few extra moments to measure your oat flour correctly. It makes a huge difference in the soft and chewy texture of your healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Nerd Alert #9: Baking Soda
This nerd alert is actually about how to add the baking soda. Don’t just dump it into your bowl! Instead, evenly sprinkle it over the flour, and stir both of these ingredients in together. Sprinkling helps prevent clumps of baking soda, which means you end up with the best soft and chewy texture in your healthy flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Nerd Alert #10: Chocolate Chips
I love using mini chocolate chips to make these cookies! These are my usual go to (or these for a vegan-friendly version!). I love how their smaller size ensures that every bite of cookie contains at least one morsel of chocolate… If not more! And I also love how both of these brands turn really melty and gooey in the oven, which make these healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies taste even better. (Not every brand does that!)
Nerd Alert #11: Chilling
Because pumpkin purée contains SO much moisture, it means this cookie dough is pretty wet and sticky… So chilling is mandatory. It helps stiffen your cookie dough so it’s easier to work with. A brief 30-minute trip to the fridge is all it needs!
Nerd Alert #12: Baking
The high moisture content of pumpkin purée also prevents your cookies from spreading, so you must flatten your cookie dough before baking it. Your cookies will look exactly the same before and after baking… Just no longer raw!
And because someone always asks… I don’t use a cookie scoop or any special tools! I just use a spoon and a spatula to transfer the cookie dough onto my baking sheet, and I use this mini spatula to flatten and shape it into circles.
Also, do NOT overbake these cookies! If you leave them in the oven for too long, your cookies will turn cakey and bready. Not good!
They’re actually done baking when the centers still feel soft and underdone. The heat from the metal baking sheet will continue to cook the centers all the way through without drying them out while you let your cookies rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes after removing them from the oven. I know it seems weird to pull the baking sheet out of the oven when your cookies still look and feel underdone… But I promise it results in the best soft and chewy texture for these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Now all that’s left to decide is… Do you eat yours plain? Or with a cold glass of milk? 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy flourless pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
Healthy One-Bowl Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 ½ tbsp (21g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (150g) pumpkin purée, room temperature (not pumpkin pie mix!)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ tsp homemade pumpkin spice (see Notes!)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (15mL) unsweetened vanilla almond milk, room temperature
- ½ cup (96g) coconut sugar
- 1 cup (120g) oat flour (gluten-free if necessary and measured like this)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp (42g) miniature chocolate chips, divided
- In a medium bowl, stir together the melted coconut oil or butter and pumpkin. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin spice, and salt until fully incorporated. Stir in the almond milk and coconut sugar. Pour the oat flour into the bowl, and sprinkle the baking soda evenly over the top of the oat flour (to prevent clumping!). Stir both ingredients in together until just incorporated. Fold in 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
- Using a spoon and spatula, drop the cookie dough into 12 rounded scoops onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten to ⅜”-thick using a spatula. (These cookies don’t spread or change their shape at all while baking!) Gently press the remaining chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Healthy Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Protein Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
♡ Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Brownies
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Truffles
♡ Healthy Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cups
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy pumpkin recipes!