Y’all these Salted Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookie are everything! They are moist and cake-like, filled with gooey chocolate chips, and a hint of warming fall spices. Then, to guild the pumpkin, they’re topped with a sticky-sweet pumpkin spice glaze and a few flakes of Maldon salt. Chewy, cakey, sticky, sweet, salty, DELICIOUS!
Baking is a science. And I am in no way, shape, or form a scientist. I rely on recipes for baking, and although I often stray from them, feeling creative and experimental, I am very rarely rewarded with something worth sharing with others.
There is an unwritten rule when augmenting recipes, especially with baked goods, where it’s fairly safe to swap out one or two ingredients, but anything more than that, you start to compromise the structural integrity of the confection.
So, when veganizing a recipe, it’s usually pretty safe to swap out the dairy fat, like butter, for a plant fat like coconut oil, or white sugar for coconut sugar, or even things like flax or bananas in place of egg. But when you swap-out three or more ingredients in the same recipe, say you swap the fats, the eggs, and maybe even the flour, you start to risk the whole thing crashing down.
When I developed my Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies ever recipe, I pretty much did a straightforward butter and egg swap-out. I used an equal amount of coconut oil in place of the butter, and I used 3 tablespoons of aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid) for each egg. The recipe was a huge success, and is to this day, one of the more popular recipes on my site. Two swaps did the trick.
About a week ago I decided to try and tweak things a bit more with this recipe. I wanted to see if I could make it without the coconut oil. The cookies are so rich and decadent, but admittedly, they can be a bit greasy. I wanted to see if I could find a way to eliminate the oil altogether to see if I could make an equally delicious cookie without the oil.
My first experiment involved coconut cream. I simply opened up a can, strained out the liquid, and used an equal amount of coconut cream in place of the oil. The dough looked almost exactly the same, and the cookies turned out very good, but there was one major difference.
The cookies that were made without oil came out very fluffy and cake-like. For the most part, they tasted similar, maybe with a slightly more “coconutty” flavor, but they were a completely different cookie. The original recipe created cookies that is chewy in the center, caramelized around the edges, and flat as can be. These coconut cream cookies were exactly the opposite.
Around this same time, I was experimenting with an orange cake recipe, and playing with the amount of oil I could get away with replacing with other things. Since it was nearing Halloween, and I wanted to make a fall inspired dessert, I decided to try to replace the oil in the cake with pumpkin.
The cake came out pretty good, although I did under-bake it considerably. But it wasn’t really singing to me. I even made Ben taste it, and he said that it was good, but not great. So, I had to decided if I wanted to keep playing with that cake recipe, or if I wanted to go in a completely different direction.
Then it hit me. What if I subbed in pumpkin puree for the coconut oil in the cookies?
I had most of the ingredients I needed on-hand, with the exception of the aquafaba. I had some flax meal and a bit of coconut milk in the fridge, though, so I decided to make a flax egg instead.
The dough came came together very well, and when I tasted it before even forming it into cookies, I knew that I had made something special.
But had I gone too far? Had I made too many swaps?
I noticed after just a minute in the oven, that these were going to be very large and fluffy cookies. But they seemed to be baking up similar to the coconut cream version, which was a very good thing.
Tasting them on their own, the cookies were delicious. But I wanted to make the extra special. I decided to make a glaze with pumpkin puree and powdered sugar. I loved what it did to the appearance and taste of the of the cookies, almost sending them into “glazed donut” territory, but there was still something missing.
When I spied the jar of Maldon salt on my counter, it all just clicked. I put a flew pyramid-shaped flakes on top of one of the freshly glazed cookies and took a big bite.
The fluffy, but not too sweet cookie, with it’s slightly bitter vegan chocolate chips, topped with a gooey glaze, and then finally the pup of the salt crystals both balancing the sweetness and making all of the spices pop.
These cookies are going to be a hit wherever you take them! Make them for your family, or a party. Half the recipe and treat yourself, or double the recipe and treat the office. You can also adjust the size of the cookies, if you would like. This recipe makes a dozen large (¼ cup) cookies, but you could easily make smaller ones using only two teaspoons of dough.
Watch the video below to see how easy this recipe is to make for a last-minute get together, and then scroll down for the full written recipe.
A delicious, cake-like, vegan pumpkin cookie with a delicious salted pumpkin spice glaze.
- 1 cup tightly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated, *vegan white sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons coconut milk or plant milk of choice
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup *vegan powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- pinch of pumpkin pie spice
- maldon or large crystal kosher salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients using a hand mixer or a whisk, until thoroughly combined. In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the dry mixture into the wet mixture, and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds to your liking.
Scoop cookie dough onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. I prefer to make 12 large cookies, but you could easily make 24 smaller cookies instead. These cookies will spread slightly and puff up, so give them space.
For 12 large cookies, bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. (depending on your oven), or until the edges are golden, and the tops are just starting to lightly brown. When you touch the tops of the cookies, they should be fluffy. For 24 smaller cookies, you’ll probably want to bake them for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the Silpat for about 5 minutes before removing them to a drying rack.
To a small bowl, add powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree. Stir to combine. Depending on the texture you would like, add more powdered sugar, or more pumpkin puree.
- Once the cookies have cooled to room temperature, spoon, brush, or drizzle the glaze onto each one, and then finish them off with a few grains of Maldon salt. Allow the glaze to dry completely before storing in an airtight container.
*Many sugars are actually labeled “vegan”, or they will state that they were not processed using bone char. If you buy organic sugar, it will be vegan.