These Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies are soft, chewy, with a delicious earthy flavor thanks to the addition of pumpkin puree! A quick one-bowl recipe that's ready in less than 30 minutes and taste even better days after they're baked.
Not just for fall!
Pumpkin gets its time to shine during the fall months, but it’s a great ingredient all-year round! It’s the secret to the perfectly chewy texture of these cookies. Pumpkin binds the ingredients in this recipe together and serves as a substitute for eggs. It adds creaminess to the cookie dough and imparts structure and moisture to the baked cookies. A mixture of spices adds warmth to these cookies which makes them perfect for fall but great anytime of year!
Looking for the ultimate pumpkin sourdough baking challenge? Try my recipe for Pumpkin Sourdough Bread.
Why I love this recipe
- One bowl recipe that's all mixed by hand, no mixer required!
- Make the cookie dough up to 7 days before baking (the dough develops even more flavor).
- Dough freezes beautifully, perfect for an emergency cookie stash.
- Quick to throw together, have cookies in less than 30 minutes.
Baking with Sourdough Discard
Using your sourdough discard lends these cookies a delightful tangy flavor. You don't have to activate or feed your sourdough starter, you're not making bread. Feel free to use it directly from the refrigerator. If your discard is a bit older, expect a bolder, more acidic taste compared to freshly-fed starter. However, rest assured, both options will result in delicious cookies!
Looking for more ways to use your sourdough discard? Check out my Favorite Sourdough Discard Recipes!
- Pumpkin spice: Using individual spices let's you control the flavor of these cookies. But feel free to substitute 1 tablespoon of your favorite store-bought pumpkin spice blend if you prefer.
- Pumpkin puree: This recipe was developed using canned pumpkin puree. Using homemade roasted pumpkin may alter the moisture level of the dough resulting in flat cookies. Stick with the canned puree (not pumpkin pie filling) for the best results. Use your leftover pumpkin puree to make Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread, Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Muffins or Sourdough Pumpkin Bundt Cake.
- Sourdough discard: If you don't have any discard on hand, simply add 28 grams of water and 28 grams of flour to your dough. You can also use active sourdough starter.
- All-purpose flour: Do not substitute bread flour or whole wheat flour for this recipe, as both will adversely affect the texture and flavor of your cookies.
- Salt: Use sea salt or kosher salt for optimal results. Keep in mind that different brands and types may have varying grain sizes. Measurements may vary due to this. To ensure accuracy, it's best to measure by weight.
- Chocolate chips: Use high-quality chocolates for the best results. While these cookies were developed using dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips would taste just as delicious.
- Pecans: Substitute walnuts or simply leave them out if you have a nut allergy.
See the recipe card for full recipe details.
STEP 1: Make the cookie dough.
STEP 2: Measure out the dough using a large cookie scoop.
STEP 3: Flatten out the cookie dough.
STEP 4: Bake at 375 F for 11 to 13 minutes.
- Weigh your ingredients for the best results. Measuring by weight is more exact than measuring by volume (with cups and tablespoons).
- Brown butter imparts a rich nutty flavor to these cookies. Let the butter cool completely or it will melt your sugars and cause your cookies to spread and lose their shape. Nutty brown butter shines in this recipe and in Sourdough Blondies.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. At this point, the cookies won't be fully baked and may break apart if they are moved. These rely on the residual heat from the baking sheet to finish cooking - this is how they maintain their chewy texture.
- Do not over bake these cookies or they will dry out and become hard and crispy.
Make ahead instructions
This cookie dough gets even better with time. Make these cookies up to 1 week in advance and store the cookie dough covered with plastic wrap. Measure out the cookies and bake according to the instructions.
Freezing Instructions: For even longer storage, portion out your cookie dough and place the balls on a small baking sheet (no need to space them out). Freeze the tray uncovered, for 1 hour, once completely frozen move the frozen cookie dough to a ziploc bag and store for up to 1 month. Bake frozen cookie dough at 375 F for 13 to 18 minutes.
Love sourdough cookies? You'll love my Top Sourdough Cookie Recipes.
These cookies last about 7 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Homemade pumpkin puree has a different moisture content than canned pumpkin puree. This could add too much water into your cookies and cause them to spread. It’s best to use canned pumpkin.
Absolutely! Simply use the same proportion of freshly fed sourdough starter in the recipe. Your starter won’t add a strong tangy flavor to your cookies, but will still work.
You can also add 28 grams of flour and 28 grams of water in your dough if you don't have a sourdough starter.
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Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies
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- 113 grams unsalted butter
- 3 grams cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- 50 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 75 grams pumpkin puree canned
- 7 grams vanilla
- 56 grams sourdough discard
- 160 grams all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 162 grams chocolate chips
- 82 grams pecans
Click US Customary to view volume measurements
- Prep: Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two 18 by 13 with parchment paper, set aside.
- Brown butter: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat the butter until bubbling subsides and the butter begins to smell nutty, you should see a few browned bits of milk solids on the bottom of the pan. Swirl the pan periodically to prevent milk solids from sticking to the bottom. Combine spices and browned butter in a large mixing bowl. Set aside until the butter has cooled slightly.113 grams unsalted butter, 3 grams cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- Make cookie dough: Stir the brown sugar, granulated sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla and sourdough discard into the browned butter mixture until no traces of discard remain. Fold flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the rest of the ingredients. Continue mixing until no traces of flour remain.50 grams granulated sugar, 100 grams brown sugar, 75 grams pumpkin puree, 7 grams vanilla, 56 grams sourdough discard, 160 grams all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add mix-ins: Fold chocolate chips and pecans into the cookie dough.162 grams chocolate chips, 82 grams pecans
- Portion out cookie dough: Using a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop, portion out cookie dough balls and place them on two parchment-lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake: Lightly flatten the cookie dough using your fingers. Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes or until the tops of the cookies look dry. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Enjoy and store: These cookies are best enjoyed once they have completely cooled. They are delicious warm but are even better the next day! Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.
These recipes were developed and tested using grams for precise measurements. To increase your chances of success, I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. I've included rough volume estimates (in tablespoons and cups), but they might not be totally accurate.
Remember all ovens are unique, these recipes were tested in my oven which runs cooler than others. You might need to lower the temperature if your bake appears to be browning too quickly. Monitor your bake closely and make adjustments if needed.