Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Molasses

These chewy pumpkin spice cookies, made with pumpkin, spices, browned butter, and molasses, bring the quintessential autumn smells and flavors together into one glorious cookie. Autumn is the perfect time for pumpkin, spices, and soft, chewy cookies, wouldn’t you agree? Read below for the recipe.

chewy pumpkin spice cookies

What are Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies?

Chewy pumpkin spice cookies with molasses combine browned butter, pumpkin spices (which are also Christmas spices), molasses, brown sugar, pumpkin, and a few other ingredients needed to give the cookies structure and tenderness.

When I make these cookies for our big family Christmas party, they are always by far the most popular cookie. Don’t get me wrong, all of the other cookies are delicious and get eaten too, but people covet these cookies.

So if you try one new cookie this autumn, make these pumpkin spice cookies!

chewy pumpkin spice cookie recipe

Through developing many cookie recipes, learning what makes a cookie soft, chewy, crisp, firm, etc. is important. How can you create the right cookie texture if you don’t know what ingredients make a difference?

To make a cookie chewy, there are a few ingredients that make a difference.

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is a major component of most chewy cookies. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it gives the sugar and cookie a softer and chewier texture. Granulated sugar, however, causes a cookie to spread more and makes it crispier if it has high sugar content.

Molasses

Molasses also makes cookies chewier without brown sugar. It has an amazing flavor and makes any cookie more moist and chewy.

My only word of caution is not to use too much, as the flavor can be a bit strong when unbalanced.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is also a great choice for making cookies softer and chewier (although not needed in this recipe).

Have you ever put cornstarch in water, stirred it, and then watched it slowly spread out? Think about how cornstarch feels when you stir it with a little water.

It provides some resistance but is still super soft. Adding a teaspoon or two to cookie dough can be a great way to add that chewy, soft texture. For this recipe, we have enough chewiness without cornstarch, but I often use it in other cookies.

Grow Your Baking Knowledge & Skills

In my baking program, we dive much deeper into the science behind how baking works (in a fun way, of course!).

My program is a place where I help bakers become the authorities in their kitchens so they can bake and create with confidence.

If you want to become a confident baker who understands and really knows how baking works, join the amazing community of bakers in The Baker Street Society program.

There is even a baking course dedicated solely to cookies (who wouldn’t love that?).

close up of chewy pumpkin spice cookie with molasses

What is Browned Butter?

Browned butter is butter that has been melted and cooked long enough to brown the milk fat solids. When the fat solids brown, they develop an aromatic nutty smell and flavor that really deepens the flavor of any dessert or dish.

There is debate over whether or not to use the actual brown bits in the butter. One school of thought is to strain the butter so that it has a lighter, nutty flavor with no traces of bitterness.

The second school of thought it to add the brown bits into a dessert so that there is more nutty flavor…and honestly, I haven’t noticed any traces of bitterness.

The only word of caution about using the brown bits is that sometimes they can burn if you are not stirring and watching carefully. If any of the bits are burned, do not add them to the dessert.

It would be better to strain out the fat solids and to have a slightly lighter flavor than to have a burnt flavor.

chewy pumpkin spice cookies on a wood cutting board with parchment

4 Tips for Making the Perfect Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Melt and Brown the Butter

Using brown butter gives these cookies a deeper flavor with added nuttiness. It also helps the cookies spread and develop those beautiful cracks that make them look so beautiful!

Pro Tip: Allow the brown butter to cool completely before making the cookie dough. It’s even okay if the butter begins to solidify while cooling. Don’t chill the butter in the fridge, though, as this will harden the butter. You won’t be able to mix it by hand if it’s hard and cold.

Check Your Spices

Are your spices fresh or expired?

It’s surprising how long spices can sit without being touched. We often reach for them, not even realizing they have passed expiration.

If your cinnamon, ginger, allspice, or cloves are expired, toss the old and get fresh spices. Your cookies and your tummies will thank you.

Chill the Dough

Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight. This gives the dry ingredients time to absorb all of the moisture, resulting in a more tender and chewier cookie.

Weigh the Cookies

Yes, weigh the cookies!

Scoop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough, then weigh each dough ball on your kitchen scale. Each cookie should weigh 28-29 grams (scooper weight not included). This should make 34 beautiful and delicious cookies every time!

Using a scale can seem bothersome to those who only use cups, but a small kitchen scale is one of the keys to getting consistent results every time. Whether I’m making cookies, cakes, choux pastries, etc.,

Always weigh the ingredients for accuracy.

chewy pumpkin spice molasses cookies

Other Recipes You’ll Love:

Print

Chewy Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies

chewy pumpkin spice cookies on parchment and a wood cutting board against a grayish blue backdrop, with some molasses smeared on the parchment

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.7 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Rest Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 31 minutes
  • Yield: 34 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Creaming
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  • 226 g unsalted butter (1 c)
  • 200 g light brown sugar
  • 150 g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 g w/out shell), room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 35 g molasses (2 Tbs)
  • 56 g canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 295 g all-purpose flour

For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

To Make Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  1. Melt butter in a small pot and gently whisk occasionally. Watch for the butter to start browning on the bottom of the pot, and whisk continuously as it browns. Remove from heat once it smells nutty, and there are some brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Pour into a bowl and let cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. The butter should be slightly warm or at room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, stir brown butter, brown sugar, and sugar together until smooth.
  4. Stir in egg, vanilla, and molasses, then stir in pumpkin puree.
  5. Add all dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together.
  6. Scoop heaping tablespoons of the cookie dough and weigh the dough (weighing is optional but makes for consistent-sized cookies). Each ball of dough should weigh 28-29 grams. Place dough on a lined cookie sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove cookies from the refrigerator.
  8. Combine the 50 grams of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a bowl and roll the balls of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar right before baking. 
  9. Bake on parchment-lined half sheet pans for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Cookies are done when they look slightly dry on top but still somewhat moist in the cracks. 
  11. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Eat warm or cool, and store in a container for up to a week.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

16 Comments

  1. The taste was wonderful, but my cookies spread a lot despite using a scale. Is the weight of the browned butter before or after it is browned? I had to add extra butter because the weight after browning was less due to the water evaporation which could explain the spreading if the orrect weight was prior browning. Thank you!






    • Hi Nina, this cookie does spread and is meant to be a thinner cookie in general. The weight is before the butter is melted and browned. We want less water so that it doesn’t spread even more, and adding more butter will definitely make it spread more. I will update the recipe so that the butter amount is clear. Thank you for trying my recipe!

  2. Pingback: Cinnamon Sugar Cookies - BakerStreetSociety

  3. Pingback: Chocolate Sablé Cookies - BakerStreetSociety

  4. These cookies were absolutely delicious! The only ingredient I left out because I didn’t have was the allspice. However when I baked them they didn’t look as beautiful as the picture. I had to bake for another ~10mins because they weren’t golden. I also didn’t get the moist cracks. I can’t understand what I did wrong in the process. I weighed everything correctly and followed the recipe exactly. The only thing I can think of is my oven maybe?






    • Hi Alyssa,

      Did you refrigerate the dough before baking? I have never had mine bake without the cracks, so your oven may be the answer. Also, what type of baking pan did you use? Is it rimmed or an airbake pan? That can also make a difference. If you use silicone baking mats vs parchment, that can affect the spread as well. Hope this helps!

      • I used a rimmed pan with a rack and silicone mat.
        I guess could be my oven and dough not cold enough. I did take it out after 2 hours as instructed. But still not really sure.






        • I always use parchment for cookies as it promotes better spreading. That is the main suggestion I have. Now I want to test these cookies on different baking mats to see if I come across the same thing. I’ll let you know when I make them next week.

  5. Pingback: Chocolate Sablé Cookies - Baker Street Society

  6. Pingback: Cinnamon Sugar Cookies Recipe | Baker Street Society

  7. I’m in the middle of making these cookies and was wondering how far apart I should space them on the cookie sheet. Rank beginner cookie maker here ?

  8. Going to make these cookies this week. Is the pumpkin in the recipe 100% pumpkin or something else?

    • Hi Nancy, I’m not sure what you mean? The pumpkin puree in the recipe is canned pumpkin puree. I hope that answers your question!

  9. I’ve seen 100% pumpkin in a can and then there is pumpkin purée….I guess they are the same

    • Yes, I always buy Libby’s because I know it’s high quality. I have bought some generic brands, and they are sometimes more watery.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

*