Ok, wow! These cookies are honest to goodness the BEST cookies I think I've made thus far. The texture is SO on point, that they taste just like a traditional wheat cookie. Trust me, nobody will know these are gluten free! When you take a bite of these gluten free pumpkin cookies you'll see what I mean. If you're a fan of soft gooey centres, crisp edges and that irresistible rippled edge, you're gonna love these. Made with easy, affordable gluten free flours, this is the ONE fall cookie you're gonna want to bake again and again.
Gluten free cookies (or gluten free anything) gets a bad rap. People will often assume that the cookies are crumbly, or just don't taste good. But gluten free baking has come such a long way! And these gluten free pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are here to prove it to you. These pumpkin cookies are soft, packed with pools of dark chocolate, crunchy toasted pecans and of course pumpkin and pumpkin spice. The pumpkin flavour is ever so mild, but you'll get a taste of it with every bite.
When I say these cookies are the best, I mean it. They're really giving my brownie cookies a run for their money.
So don't doubt these gluten free pumpkin cookies as just a less than delicious cookie simply because it's gluten free. I guarantee you that when you taste one or give it to someone, they won't be able to tell that this doesn't contain wheat. And that's my goal!
Here are all the ingredients you'll need to make these delicious gluten free pumpkin cookies.
White Rice Flour: white rice flour is a great (affordable) gluten free flour that you can find almost anywhere. You can use brown rice flour if you choose, either will work. Rice flour helps the cookies hold together and creates a nice smooth texture.
I like this brand of rice flour.
Oat Flour: be sure to source a gluten free oat flour for this recipe if you need to be sure that there is no gluten. You can of course make your own flour from gluten free oats, but you'll need to be sure that it's very finely ground. Oat flour provides some earthiness to the cookies.
I like this brand of oat flour.
Tapioca Flour: a little bit of tapioca flour helps the cookies have more chew and also keeps the cookies soft in the middle (YES PLEASE!)
I like this brand of tapioca flour.
Pumpkin Purée: a little bit of pumpkin purée goes a long way! You'll only need about 6 tbsp of pumpkin for the recipe. Be sure to blot the purée of excess moisture after measuring it. I just let it sit in a bowl and place a paper towel on top. Then take it off and add it to the mix.
Curious what to do with the leftover pumpkin, try my gluten free and vegan pumpkin bread with buttercream frosting!
Pumpkin Pie Spice: gotta add some pumpkin pie spice in the mix to really intensify the pumpkin flavour.
Egg Yolk: egg yolks are great for adding to cookies to give them more of that chewiness in the final product.
Pecans: toasted pecans add so much flavour. Take some time before you begin baking to pop some pecans in the oven and toast them first. Then go ahead and roughly chop them, you want some texture, so just a rough chop will do. Plus pecans just pair so nicely with pumpkin. If you need it to be nut-free, you can omit.
Dark Chocolate: my go to when making cookies is to use a good quality 70% dark chocolate. It has so much flavour and the texture of the rugged chocolate chunks is far superior to chocolate chips. If you only have chocolate chips, use them, but if you can, I highly suggest using dark chocolate and roughly chopping it yourself.
I like using this dark chocolate.
Dark Brown Sugar: dark brown sugar combined with some granulated sugar gives these cookies more flavour. You can use all brown sugar and no white if you need to, but the amount of white sugar is pretty small in this recipe. Alternatively, you can use coconut sugar, but it will change the appearance and taste of the cookie.
Brown Butter Ghee: the secret ingredient here is brown butter. And a good amount of it. These aren't lightened up cookies by any means, you're gonna need about 7 tbsp (100g) of it. I prefer using this brown butter ghee because the browning is already done for you and it tastes DELICIOUS! If you want to use butter, you can, you'll have to brown it first yourself. I highly suggest using brown butter because the aroma and flavour is much more intensified and results in the BEST cookie flavour!
I highly suggest this brown butter ghee from Lee's Provisions if you don't want to brown your own butter. It's SO delicious in baked goods! See how I use it in these gluten free and paleo miso cookies.
Vanilla Extract: a hint of vanilla extract helps bring out the other flavours of the pumpkin pie spice and they just go together so well.
Baking Soda: baking soda helps the cookies spread a bit more, which is what we're after with these gluten free cookies.
The first thing you'll want to do is toast your pecans. So preheat your oven to 350 degrees and pop them on a baking sheet. Toast for about 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant, then remove and let cool. Roughly chop and set them aside.
Set aside the pumpkin purée and place a paper towel on top just to blot it down and remove some of the extra wetness/liquid from it.
Next, you'll need to brown your butter, or if using Lee's brown butter ghee, simply melt it over low heat. Then pour the brown butter into a large bowl and let cool just slightly.
Add in the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar to the large bowl with the butter. Whisk very well, until most of the clumps of sugar are gone. Now add the blotted pumpkin purée, vanilla extract and the egg yolk. Whisk very well until the mixture is shiny and everything is incorporated very well. Whisk for about 45 seconds total.
Roughly chop your chocolate and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, add the rice flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk well to incorporate.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a wooden spoon to stir the flour mixture into the sugar/butter mixture very well. Stir until combined, continue to stir vigorously for 45 seconds; the mixture will firm up slightly. This increases the stickiness of the flours and helps the cookies hold together. I learned this trick from the one and only (best) gluten free baker- Bojon Gourmet. Stir in the nuts and chocolate until evenly distributed.
Here is the hardest part- you need to wait for the mixture to firm up as you'll notice it's quite sticky and a little wet.
To firm this up, cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. I let mine sit overnight.
You can do one of two things:
Option 1: Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours (covered) and then scoop into cookie dough balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet (and cover with plastic wrap). Place the balls close to one another so they're touching. Then place that in the fridge for a few hours. They will still be wet and sticky if you do this method, but will firm up in the fridge.
Option 2: Place the dough in the fridge right after and let it firm up for at least 1 hour. Then scoop into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover in the fridge for another hour.
Either way, the dough needs to be chilled. Otherwise, they will spread far too much and will be very difficult to even scoop into cookies.
When scooping into balls, use slightly damp hands. You'll want to scoop about 2 1/2 tbsp of cookie dough into a 1 1/2" diameter ball. A size 24 or 30 spring-loaded ice cream scoop will work.
When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take your cookie dough balls and place them on the baking sheet spaced out about 2 to 3 inches apart.
Return the remaining dough to the fridge while you wait for the cookies to bake.
Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes (mine took 9 minutes), until the edges are slightly brown and the center is very soft, it will look undercooked. Sprinkle some flaky salt on top right out of the oven. I like using Maldon flaky salt.
If the cookies are looking a little puffy right out of the oven, bang the pan down on a hard stable surface. This helps to create those beautiful ripples around the centre.
See this post for the pan banging technique. Although this is done during baking, I do it right when I take them out of the oven!
Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes (they will continue cooking). Then gently lift them off using a spatula or take the whole parchment lined paper off and place on a cooling rack.
Allow them to cool completely before devouring.
When you first take out the cookies and after letting them cool on the rack, you can keep them out at room temperature in a sealed container for a few days. I like them best served room temperature within the first day or two. Then I like to move them to the fridge in a sealed container. They taste AMAZING from the fridge as they harden slightly, but are still somehow soft. You can also freeze any cookies in a plastic bag as well. They should last in the freezer for a couple months (if you don't eat them all first!).
I'm always inspired by others when it comes to baking. And for these gluten free pumpkin cookies, I was inspired by this recipe from Bojon Gourmet's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Her recipes are always SO GOOD and she provides so many tips for baking.
If you make these gluten free pumpkin cookies, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag me on Instagram, and/or leave a comment, rating or review below.
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No one will believe that these cookies are gluten free! With a hint of pumpkin, these pumpkin cookies are perfect for fall baking.
See tips in blog post for baking these cookies.
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