Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

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These healthy pumpkin cookies are flourless, free of refined sugars, and don’t use any oils or butter. These cookies are also very simple to make — whip them up in one bowl and in less than 30 minutes.

Use leftover canned pumpkin in these healthy pumpkin muffins, this pumpkin protein shake, or this healthy pumpkin bread.

Overhead image of the healthy pumpkin cookies

Healthier pumpkin cookie alternative

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are one of my all time favorite desserts — in fact, we make them all year round. While I definitely bake more with pumpkin in the Fall, I’m still baking with it in Spring, Summer, and Winter. So, naturally I needed a healthier alternative to make since I have just about no self control when around cookies. And now when I eat the whole half the batch of these healthy pumpkin cookies, it feels a little better than eating half the batch of sugar-butter-flour filled cookies. Although, let’s be honest, that still happens too ๐Ÿ™‚

These cookies don’t have butter, oil, or flour in them. They’re made healthier with ground up old fashioned oats, pumpkin puree, almond butter, and naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup. While we’re talking ingredients, below I’ve got a breakdown of each of the ingredients in these healthy pumpkin cookies.

Process shots showing all the ingredients being added to a bowl, mixed to be combined, and chocolate being added to the dough, then it being rolled and baked

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies ingredients

  • Canned pumpkin: I recommend Libbyโ€™sยฎ canned pumpkin (not sponsored). If the canned pumpkin you’re using is overly wet, dab off excess water with a paper towel or napkin. (If the pumpkin is watery, the cookies wonโ€™t taste as good and the texture will be off.)
  • Almond butter: the almond butter provides structure and stability while being a very subtle flavor. I don’t recommend using peanut butter in place of the almond butter since peanut butter tends to over-take the flavor of these cookies. Use a good quality almond butter — one that you like the taste of plain. I don’t recommend a natural, no stir, or overly oily almond butter as it will likely make the cookies too wet. (Here is the exact almond butter I use in this recipe).
  • Pure maple syrup: These cookies are sweetened naturally with pure maple syrup — a natural sugar alternative. Maple syrup supplies important vitamins and nutrients among many other health benefits.
  • Egg yolk: The egg provides stability to the batter and adds flavor and protein to these cookies.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla contributes to a nice subtle flavor.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: This spice blend is a mix of a few different spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and/or allspice. You can easily make your own pumpkin pie spice.
  • Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon further enhances the pumpkin flavor of these cookies.
  • Baking soda: This keeps the cookies from being too dense.
  • Salt: Salt helps balance and intensify all the flavors. Depending on how salty your almond butter is, you may want to adjust the salt adding either more or less.
  • Old fashioned oats/Oat flour: No need to buy specialty flour; oat flour can be made with quick or old fashioned oats. (Read more on this below.)
  • Dark chocolate chips: dark chocolate has healthy fats and plenty of antioxidants. If you care to keep these cookies completely refined-sugar free, make sure to grab Lily’s dark chocolate chips.

How to make oat flour

These healthy pumpkin cookies require old fashioned or quick oats to be blended into a powder (oat flour) before being added to the cookies. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Place the oats (either old fashioned or quick oats) into the bowl of a food processor or small blender jar.
  2. Pulse the oats until ground into a powder-like consistency that resembles flour.
  3. Stir the oats around to be sure all the oats are finely ground. 
  4. Measure the powdered oats after they’ve been blended and not in the original whole oat form.

Image of the healthy pumpkin cookies stacked on top of each other

Healthy Pumpkin Cookie tips

  • Make them pretty. Press some chocolate chips onto the tops of the cookies as soon as you take them out of the oven; this ensures even dispersion of chocolate and they also look more appetizing.
  • To add chocolate chips or not. You can absolutely remove the chocolate chips and still make delicious healthy pumpkin cookies. If you opt to not have the chocolate I would recommend adding coarsely chopped nuts — pecans or walnuts. Another great alternative would be dried cranberries.
  • Let the cookies cool completely. These cookies are extremely fragile and crumbly while hot. Let them throughly cool before eating; they’ll firm up substantially as they cool.
  • Don’t over bake. These healthy pumpkin cookies go from perfectly cooked to burnt in minutes so it’s important to watch the bake time on them carefully. As soon as the tops are no longer wet looking, they’re finished baking. This is about 6-7 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Up close overhead images of the baked cookies ready to be eaten

More fall desserts

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Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

4.94 from 29 votes
These healthy pumpkin cookies are free of refined sugars, flourless, and simple to make. Whip these cookies up in one bowl and in less than 30 minutes.
Print Recipe

Healthy Pumpkin Cookies

4.94 from 29 votes
These healthy pumpkin cookies are free of refined sugars, flourless, and simple to make. Whip these cookies up in one bowl and in less than 30 minutes.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 15 cookies
Calories 117kcal
Cost $3.12

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree (I recommend Libby's)
  • 1 large egg yolk (discard the egg whites or use in a different recipe)
  • 1/2 cup (118g) roasted and salted almond butter
  • 1/4 cup (72g) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (58g) blended old fashioned oats OR quick oats, (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup (92g) dark chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
  • Optional: flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper or a nonstick liner and set aside.
  • COOKIE DOUGH: In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, egg yolk, almond butter (do not warm up in the microwave), maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cinnamon.
  • BLEND OATS: grind up oats in a blender or food processor until the oats are the texture and size of regular flour. Make sure to measure the 1/2 cupย afterย grinding the oats so you have a leveled 1/2 cup measurement of blended oats. Add to the cookie dough. Mix dough with a wooden spoon or hand mixers until the dough is smooth and well combined. Coarsely chop up the chocolate chips and stir into the batter. Cover dough and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • BAKE: use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to measure out balls of the cookie dough. It is sticky, use a finger or another spoon to coax the dough from the 1 tablespoon measuring spoon on to the prepared trays. Smooth and flatten the tops of the cookie dough balls (see photo in post for shape of unbaked cookie dough). Space them about 2 inches apart to fit 8 per tray. Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 6-7 minutes. Cookies should still look very soft, watch carefully to not over bake. As soon as the top is no longer wet/glossy, they are done baking.
  • LET COOL: remove the trays from the oven and let the cookies stand on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes without touching. If desired, press a few more chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies and (optional) a sprinkle of sea salt flakes if you like salty sweet :). Then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. These cookies are very fragile and will fall apart right out of the oven/while still hot. They set up and solidify as they cool.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: be sure to measure the oatsย after being blended not before. You should have a leveled 1/2 cup of blended oats.
Ensure all the products you are using are indeed gluten free. While all the ingredients listed are naturally gluten free, they are sometimes made in facilities with gluten. To be safe, always check the labels of what youโ€™re using.
Note 2: This recipe has been modified slightly to completely remove the refined sugars (brown sugar) and improve the texture a bit. Here's the recipe from 2014 if desired.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 15cookies | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.9g | Protein: 2.8g | Fat: 7.1g | Cholesterol: 12.3mg | Sodium: 43.8mg | Fiber: 1.7g | Sugar: 7.9g

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103 Comments

  1. These cookies look amazing, Chelsea! I can’t believe there is no flour in these babies. I’m all for healthy cookies, especially ones that involve pumpkin!

  2. Oat flour, chocolate, and no peanut butter? You’re trying to win me over, aren’t you ๐Ÿ˜‰ These sound great though, Chelsea, and I’m always on board for a healthier combo of pumpkin and chocolate!

  3. Mmmm I can’t stop staring at all the lovely pumpkin treats you have on the blog, Chelsea! These cookies look like they’d disappear in minutes from my kitchen counter.

  4. These look delicious! You can’t go wrong with the combo of chocolate and pumpkin. I can see how peanut butter might be too much too.

    And oat flour is my favorite for cookies! I don’t have as much success with cakes and muffins but for whatever reason it just works for cookies.

  5. These pumpkin cookies look amazing Chelsea! Those chocolate chunks are totally calling my name! Plus healthy and flourless too? Sign me up for the whole batch please ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. love these! we love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but we eat far to many for our own good! this healthier option is SO awesome! can’t wait to try it! thank you!

  7. I cannot wait to make these!

    A way to clean your blender is to make a smoothie–oats are a great addition. Yes, I realize you would still have to clean out the blender after that too but may be easier ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. These look delicious…but it is misleading for the Tastespotting caption to say there is only 2 T of brown sugar when it also includes 2T of honey…….but I will still make them cause I love sugar…lol

    1. 4 stars
      And chocolate chips which also have sugar. I noticed a lot of little shops often boast “sugar-free,” but still use honey, agave, and chocolate chips. It’s misleading to people. They still look delish though and would love to try these.

      1. I’m so sorry!! Wasn’t trying at all to be misleading- I meant refined sugar. But then you are right – the chocolate chips have sugar too! I updated the description to be more accurate!

  9. I made these this morning. Added a dash of salt and a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to your recipe. So so good! Love that they are healthier too!

  10. 5 stars
    I made these tonight and they are amazing. I added some flax and vanilla, and sea salted the top. Super great! Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment!! And sea salt? Definitely trying that next time – yum!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. 5 stars
    I found your recipe this morning and made the cookies this afternoon… they were absolutely delicious! I’m an October birthday so pumpkin is my favorite and I have made my fair share of pumpkin cookies in my lifetime. These were honestly the best pumpkin cookies I have EVER made. No joke. I’ve even tried those “Iced Pumpkin Cookies” that have rave reviews on allrecipes.com a few times, and didn’t care for them at all. Too cakey and dry. Yours were a million times better!

    I quadrupled the recipe and measured loosely – which tells me this is a forgiving recipe b/c it turned out wonderful still. Didn’t quite grind enough oats so I used whole wheat flour for 1/4 of the flour called for. My children are the pickiest eaters alive and I fully expected them to turn their noses up after one bite – but they both loved them and also said they were the best I’ve ever made. So, TWO THUMBS UP – WAY UP! And THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    1. This comment made my morning!!! Thanks so much Sabrina! I’m so glad to hear you all loved them ๐Ÿ™‚ and happy birthday soon!!

  12. These look delish! And FYI, to make oat flour AND clean your blender in 30 sec, put hot water and dish soap in the blender, and blend it for a few seconds. Rinse, dry, and voila, clean blender! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. These are great! I blended the oatmeal in a mason jar instead of the blender container (in case you don’t know that trick, most standard mason jars screw right into the blender base). The smaller container made it easier to blend, and easy to measure because the jars have markings. The jar filled loosely about 3/4 of the way made 1 c. of oat flour. And so much easier to clean! Thanks for the great recipe – my kids will be thrilled to have a treat waiting when they get home from school – I won’t tell them they’re healthy! (I know there is still sugar, but no butter/oil is a win in my book).

    1. Yes definitely feel free to adjust the spice to personal preference since everyone’s is so different! And I LOVE the idea of freezing these – I’ll definitely need to try that!! Thanks Jackie ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey Taylor! Thank you SO much! I haven’t tried any egg replacers, so I can’t say if it would or wouldn’t work. Sorry to not be or more help; I’d love to hear your results if you do end up giving it a go!

  14. 5 stars
    Oh my, these were delicious! My kids are disappointed they’re gone so I’ll have to make more. As much as I love chocolate I ran out and actually used less than you called for and they were still awesome (which is good, it’s a bit healthier). ๐Ÿ™‚ So much fun for fall! Thanks!

  15. 5 stars
    I made these cookies last night! They are heavenly!! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ve shared it with all of my friends on Facebook.

  16. 5 stars
    I am amazed at how soft these cookies are! I left them in the oven a little longer because I wasn’t sure if they were done or not but they still have a great soft texture. I ended up using packaged oat flour and a bit less sugar. I also added more spice, chopped walnuts and chia seeds to mine and they were great. Next time I’ll have to try the sea salt on top. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. “Flourless* in the title is misleading since there is still oat flour in them. Maybe you could say gluten free or no refined wheat flour? Either way I will definitely be trying these. I use oat flour a lot more now that I cannot have gluten. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. 5 stars
    Running to the store to purchase pumpkin can’t wait to make them and for the heavenly smell of pumpkin baking thru out my house

  19. These look amaze! I don’t have oat flour in my pantry. Is it really as easy grinding oats in the food processor? I do have coconut flour- do you know if that would work?

    Thanks!!

  20. 5 stars
    There cookies are wonderful, thanks for the recipe. I did add a pinch of salt and vanilla. My husband LOVES chocolate and pumpkin so I will make many more and try the muffins next. I used my washable coffee grinder to make the oat flour ( first time I’ve ever made flour ) and it worked great. Thanks again.

  21. 5 stars
    I made these a few days ago and they were amazing,I mean unbelievable for a healthy cookie.although the oat flour I made didn’t look exactly like flour but I guess that’s okay..
    definitly gonna make these again.thanks for the recipe

  22. Hi, I made these they are awesome, was wondering how they do if you freeze them. Want to make them for daughter when she gets here later this month. Thanks you.

        1. Thank you SO much for letting us all know how these freeze! I so appreciate that! And thanks for your kind compliment ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Could you confirm the size of the can of pumpkin you use? I buy fairly large ones so I want to make sure I’m using the right amount!

    1. I realize I’m a little late to the party, but upon perusing these comments I was looking for the exact same information that you were looking for. So I calculated the recipe with dark chocolate chips minus the chocolate chunks (I won’t use them) and at 12 servings. The cookies are about 80 calories per cookie. I love this website- http://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php You just copy and paste an entire recipe ingredient list with the measurements and it pops out the nutrition information for you!

  24. 5 stars
    I LOVE these cookies, they are just what I was looking for! Mine, however took quite a bit longer to bake. Anyway, they’re awesome, thanks so much!

  25. I just made these. Definitely satisfies my sweet cravings. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of oat, and used maple syrup in place of brown sugar. Love them!

  26. They are amazing. I love pumpkin desserts, and like the fact they are health. I made a double batch. My 7 year old grandson, and husband LOVE them

  27. Nice recipe, though you should have put how much pumpkin exactly because I used half of a big can of pumpkin:( will try this recipe again tho. They turned out really gooey…

    1. Definitely a great way to spend a study break ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much Jessica for your comment, I’m so glad you enjoyed these! ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I just made these today!! Heart eyes***** they are so yummy!!
    I subbed the brown sugar for coconut sugar and they turned out great! Also I use a nutribullet to grind my oats into float and clean up is literally 30 seconds!! Thanks so much for the receipe!

  29. Thanks for the recipe! These turned out wonderful and I love that they use oat flour. Will definitely make these again…very soon! ?

  30. 5 stars
    I absolutely love these cookies
    Do you think they could be made at least partially with almond flour or would you need to adjust other ingredients as well to make that work?

  31. Not sure if it’s in your budget my the vitamix 750 has a self clean function. I use it to make almond milk, I then take the almond pulp and make it into almond flour. Your cookies are super yum!! I made a combination oat/almond flour and kept the rest. I made the whole thing in the vitamix on a low blend setting and once the cookies were in the oven I allowed the blender to clean itself!!! Thanks!!!

    1. What?! That’s awesome!!! I had no idea ๐Ÿ™‚ I will have to look into that ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much Melissa!! And glad you enjoyed these cookies! Have a Merry Christmas!

  32. I’ve got to share! I just made these with my toddler, so easy to do. And as I was pressing the extra chocolate on top of the dough, my daughter was standing on her stool clapping and cheering wildly! It was hilarious! We’re so excited to pull these babies out of the oven in a couple minutes!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Emily!! ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy it was such a fun experience and I hope you all loved these ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. 5 stars
    I know there’s already 938275985 comments on this post but I just made these cookies and the are FANTASTIC!!!! Definitely a new favorite !

  34. With fall now upon us, I decided to make these cookies!!! WOW – so delicious and less guilt! Thanks for sharing the recipes and baking instructions!

  35. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea,

    I really want to make these, but I track my calories. Do you by chance now how to calculate the fat, carbs, etc. in this dish? By far the best-looking dishes, but I would need to know the nutrition facts. Thank you!

    1. Hi Haley! I’m (slowly) working my way through all my recipes to add nutrition labels to each one. In the meantime, I’d recommend using My Fitness Pal to get the information! Enjoy!

  36. 5 stars
    Bravo on this recipe! I have made it 3x now and it has become a favorite. I use unsweetened carob chips (can’t have chocolate….I know, so sad), and even with the small amount of sugar, I cut that back and they are still so good! I’m so glad I found this recipe. Thank you for creating it!

  37. 5 stars
    So happy I stumbled upon your recipe! Just tried one of the cookies after letting it cool and this is going to be my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe now! Love them. The texture and taste is so good, not too sweet which is the way I like them!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Victoria

  38. I’m getting ready to make these rigjt now. Does anyone know how many weight watchers smartpoints each cookie would be? I’m using sugar free chocolate chips

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