Pumpkin Cookies with a Cake Mix

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These Pumpkin Cookies With a Cake Mix can be whipped together in a matter of minutes. They only require four ingredients: A cake mix, canned pumpkin, an egg, and chocolate chips!

We love these shortcut cookies. If you’re looking to make pumpkin cookies from scratch, try these Bakery Style Pumpkin Cookies or non-cakey Pumpkin Cookies.

Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies baked and stacked on top of each other, ready to be eaten

Say hi to the easiest pumpkin cookie recipe ever! While I’m all about making cookies from scratch, I also love a good shortcut when I’m in a pinch. Or maybe when the kids want to help bake and I’m not so sure I’ve got the endurance or the patience for more than adding three or four ingredients to a bowl. If you’re a parent, then you totally know what I mean!

Pumpkin Cookies With a Cake Mix are the perfect way to get the kiddos involved and keep your sanity. So, let’s talk about the four ingredients required!

Ingredient shot showing the cake mix, chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, and egg

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cookies With a Cake Mix:

  • Spice cake mix: I highly, highly recommend Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Spice Cake Mix® for these cookies (not sponsored, just a fan). Just like the name says, they make these cookies super moist and very flavorful. Regardless of what cake mix you use, make sure the size is accurate; we’re looking for 15.25 ounces in the box.
  • Canned pumpkin: Not pumpkin pie filling, just pure, canned, pureed pumpkin goes into these cookies. My personal favorite is Libby’s®; I find it’s the most consistent for baking, has the best color (so your cookies actually look pumpkin-y orange), and it’s not watery. (Again, not sponsored). 
  • Large egg: Make sure your egg is large, not medium or small. This is essential for the perfect dough.
  • Vanilla: While this ingredient is completely optional, if you have it on hand, why not add it in? Vanilla makes just about all sweet baked goods better.
  • Chocolate chips: If you are a chocolate-pumpkin lover, you’ll love the combo in these cookies. We add big Ghirardelli® or Guittard® milk chocolate chips (not sponsored) in these cookies and they’re our favorites. That said, if you aren’t a big chocolate pumpkin fan, feel free to leave out the chocolate chips (no other changes are necessary). You could also replace the chips with chopped toasted nuts. If you’re only a mild chocolate-pumpkin aficionado, I recommend using miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips so they don’t overpower the pumpkin flavor.

Process shots-- images of the dough being made showing all the ingredients in a bowl and then showing it being mixed together.

Overhead image of the pumpkin Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookie dough on a sheet pan, ready to be baked

Tips for Pumpkin Cookies with a Cake Mix

  • Use a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper These cookies are sticky! Even when baking on a liner you’ll need a sharp metal spatula to remove them, so you definitely don’t want to try this without a liner.
  • Let the cookies stand: Once baked, let the cookies sit on the tray for 5-7 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack; they need some time to firm up.
  • Add extra chocolate chips on top: This step is optional, but if you’re a huge chocolate lover, adding extra chips ensures chocolate makes it into every bite, plus it makes them look a bit prettier.
  • Use a spoon: I found that cookie scoops don’t work very well with this dough, due to the stickiness factor. I like using a 4-teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop the dough from the bowl and then using a small dessert spoon to coax the dough from the measuring spoon onto the tray. Use the back of the dessert spoon to smooth the top of the cookie. A tablespoon measure is 3 teaspoons, so a 4-teaspoon measure is just a bit larger.
  • Avoid using watery canned pumpkin: It will mess up the consistency of these cookies. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if pumpkin is watery until you open the can; hence the recommendation for a brand I trust!

QUICK TIP

So what if you DO end up with a can of watery pumpkin? You can blot the excess moisture with a paper towel and proceed with the recipe. Easy peasy!

Storage

Sad to say, these pumpkin cookies with a cake mix aren’t a great candidate for storing or making ahead. Because of their high moisture content, the longer they sit and when covered or stored in an airtight container the faster they become soft and mushy. Moral of the story: It’s best to make these fresh and within a few hours of serving them. Bonus points anyways for hot cookies fresh from the oven — they’re the real MVPs.

More amazing pumpkin treats:

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Pumpkin Cookies with Cake Mix

5 from 6 votes
Pumpkin Cookies With a Cake Mix can be whipped together in a matter of minutes! They only require four ingredients: cake mix, pumpkin, an egg, and chocolate chips.
Print Recipe

Pumpkin Cookies with Cake Mix

5 from 6 votes
Pumpkin Cookies With a Cake Mix can be whipped together in a matter of minutes! They only require four ingredients: cake mix, pumpkin, an egg, and chocolate chips.
Course Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword Pumpkin Cookies with Cake Mix
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 82kcal
Cost $5.73

Ingredients

  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) Spice Cake mix, dry See Note 1
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) chocolate chips dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a Silpat liner or parchment paper; you definitely need a liner for these cookies, because the dough gets sticky!
  • MIX: In a large bowl, add the entire box of the spice cake mix, the entire can of pumpkin puree, and 1 large egg. (Don't add any ingredients called for on the back of the spice cake mix.) If desired, add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract. With a hand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until ingredients are combined. Don't over-mix the dough. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
  • MEASURE: Using a 4-teaspoon measuring spoon and a small spoon, scoop out balls of dough and place them on the lined cookie sheet. Each ball of dough should be 4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon). Use spoons to coax the mixture onto the tray -- this is a bit sticky and difficult! (See Note 2) Spread cookies at least 2 inches apart.
  • BAKE: Bake for 9-13 minutes. They should spring back slightly back when touched, and not look gooey or glossy on top. Repeat to bake all the cookies, for a yield of about 36 cookies.
  • FINISHING TOUCHES: Let cookies stand on the pan for 5 minutes. If desired, right out of the oven, sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on the tops of your cookies. This is an optional step; if you don't want extra chocolate, don't add extra chips. Use a sharp metal spatula to remove the cookies from the pan to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Pro tip: if you love salty-sweet flavors, add a small sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes to the tops of these cookies (optional).
  • STORE: Store cookies at room temperature, uncovered. Avoid using an airtight container; cookies will get a little mushy/soft. These cookies are best the same day they're made, and they get a little soggy regardless of how they're stored.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Cake mix: I recommend Betty Crocker's super moist spice cake (15.25 ounces). Whatever cake mix you use, make sure it has 15.25 ounces.
Note 2: Scooping the dough: I found cookie scoops don't work super well with this dough -- it's too sticky. I like using a 4-teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop the dough from the bowl and then using a small dessert spoon to coax the dough from the measuring spoon to the tray. Use the back of the dessert spoon to smooth the top of the cookie.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 36cookies | Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1846IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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8 Comments

  1. Yes! If it’s a concern for you, you can toast the brownie mix in the oven before! Thanks! 🙂

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