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Some days just call for COOKIES!

Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvest

Today is that kind of day. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, I’ve had a couple stressful days in a row, with some blog hiccups (sorry if you are viewing this post through Safari and have been seeing weird characters – hoping this is going to be fixed soon…like today!), work related issues, and a few other little things. But I am totally not here to complain. It’s my favorite time of year and happy thoughts will be had all around!

So to cheer myself up a bit, I made pumpkin chai snickerdoodles! OKok, I’ve had these cookies planned for a while now, but the timing to make them could not have been more perfect. And I mean, come on?!? When is anything pumpkin, snickerdoodle AND chai not a good idea?!

Answer: it’s always a good idea!

Also, did you notice that today I spelled Chai correctly!! Yes, after everyone pointed out on my Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Chai Frosting that I had spelled Chai, Chia, I was so beyond embarrassed that this time I made sure every last spelling of the word was correct. Promise, I know the difference, but when typing quickly, I easily get the two mixed up.


Watch the How-To Video Here:

Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles from Half Baked Harvest on Vimeo.

Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvestPumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvestPumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvest

Anyway, back to the actual cookies at hand! Back when I was a kid my family would go to our Aunt Debbie’s for Thanksgiving dinner in Pennsylvania every year. My aunt made a HUGE spread of all kinds of amazing sides, rolls, and probably three turkeys in order to feed all the family members present. I think she must have worked for weeks and weeks leading up to the big day. My mom and I had a favorite recipe that my aunt made for us every year. Looking back now I realize what a pain it must have been, not wanting to disappoint us, and therefore making them year after year. Every year when we arrived, there they were, Aunt Debbie’s famous Turkey Cookies. Pretty sure I’ve talked about them before, but guys they are good! Sadly, I do not have the recipe to share, but this year I decided to make my own little Thanksgiving cookie, and well, these are almost just as good!

These are actually very different from Aunt Debbie’s Turkey Cookies, which were more of a frosted butter cookie…and pretty dang cute with all of the varied colors in the tail. But these snickerdoodles are delicious in their own special way!

I think most of us are pretty familiar with a snickerdoodle. In my book, they are an essential holiday cookie and should be in every Christmas cookie gift box (just sayin’). As I was hiking a couple of months ago, brainstorming about pumpkin recipes and all of the Christmas cookies I would make this season, this cookie came to mind. And when it did, I knew it was one of those recipes I just had to make.

These cookies have a pretty simple twist on the traditional snickerdoodle, but trust me – it makes all the difference.

Pumpkin + Snickerdoodle + Chai Spice Sugar. Yesss! Literally I am jumping up and down as I horribly attempt to type this post. I really do love these cookies, they represent everything I love…sweet, chewy, soft, cinnamony, totally not cakey, and all things cozy. <–if you didn’t already know, cozy is probably my favorite word ever.

Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvestPumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvest

Can I just say that I do think chai sugar is totally the new cinnamon sugar. It’s just cinnamon sugar kicked up a notch with ginger, all-spice, cardamom, and cloves added, but it is truly my current obsession. I’ve been adding it to everything from warm tea, to toast…to cookies, SO GOOD.

Oh, and I forgot to add that these cookies can totally satisfy your cookie craving in under 30 minutes. Yep, in less than a half hour you can be chewing away through soft doughy bliss. Soo, can we please all agree that these are the perfect holiday cookie for both Thanksgiving and Christmas? I always fear that pumpkin recipes aren’t relevant in December, but is that really true? I think this could just be my crazy brain? What’s your thoughts on this? Pumpkin in December? yes? no? Tell me I am dying to know!

As of today I am going to be changing my tune. These cookies will for sure be getting sent out in my Christmas cookie gift boxes. Plus, they’re totally happening again on Christmas Eve because they are just that good. AND I will also be making a double batch for Thanksgiving, because well, they just might be better than pumpkin pie…don’t hate me, but I think it’s true!

Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvest

Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories Per Serving: 76 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Chai Spice Sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  • Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just fully combined.
  • Make the chai spice sugar. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, all-spice, cardamom, and cloves.
  • Roll the dough into 1 tablespoon size balls and then generously roll through the chai sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies 2 inches apart. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 2 times to flatten them down. Return to the oven and bake another 1-2 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to set on the edges, but still doughy in the center. Remove from the oven and tap the baking sheet on the counter 1-2 times to flatten them down again. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to cook slightly as they sit on the baking sheet. Eat warm (highly recommended) or let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


Cookies adapted from Martha Stewart
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Pumpkin Chai Snickerdoodles | @hbharvest

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  1. 3 stars
    Can cookies without cream of tartar be called snickerdoodles? I was surprised to find that ingredient missing from the list. I suspect that is why the tapping was called for (which did not work for me either)–to give that crinkled look. The CofT is what creates that texture bc of how it reacts with the sugar.
    Given the missing ingredient I suppose I knew what I would (not) be getting. But even so there was a a weird taste going on. Too much baking soda? Something slightly acidic. It was a bummer.

  2. 3 stars
    I was really excited for this cookie, but it wasn’t my favorite, but I am also not obsessed with pumpkin like most people. I was hoping for more snickerdoodle and it is definitely a pumpkin/cake cookie, which is fine, just a bit different than expected.
    The key for scooping them is to use a cookie scoop and dump them right into the chai sugar mix and avoid touching the raw dough as much as possible. If you do that, then roll it in the sugar mixture, I had no issues, but if I was hand rolling, it would have been impossible. Also based on the comments I flattened them on the pan before baking and they turned out perfectly. If you are looking for a not overly sweet cookie, this is the cookie for you. I might go add a maple glaze to it is, just to kick the flavor up a notch because it is so mild.

  3. Just made these for a Friendsgiving! The dough was pretty sticky, but they rolled into balls just fine. I thought they turned out a little bit more like muffin texture than a cookie and needed a little sweetness added to them. I topped them with the Maple Glaze from your Maple Glazed Donuts ….*bakers kiss* SO GOOD! I also sprinkled a little more of the chai spice sugar on top too. Love all the fall flavors and can’t wait for my friends to try these!!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these last night with a 1to1 gluten free flour, it worked!! definitely one of the best gluten free crossover recipes ive tried! i added a little more than 2 cups of flour, but they even ended up flattening like a normal cookie. thanks for sharing, i love pumpkin and chai!

  5. I first made these a couple of years ago and they were delicious! (Should’ve written a review then but forgot.) I made them again and something happened that I don’t remember happening before: the dough is SOOOO sticky. I put it in the fridge hoping it would firm up a bit. But then it was just cold and sticky LOL The only thing that is different is that I’ve had to stop consuming dairy since the last time I made them. So today I used a plant based buttery spread. Maybe that’s what’s making it sticky? The resulting cookies are still delicious! Just curious if this has been a problem for anyone else. I’ve not had this problem with other recipes I’ve used the buttery spread in so I’m not sure if it’s actually causing the problem.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback!! Definitely could have been from the plant based butter! Let me know if you give them another try:) xx

  6. 3 stars
    The cookies were good! The dough was too sticky to roll, so had to refrigerate. The countertop trick didn’t work for me, so tried flattening them before the oven. They didn’t look like traditional snickerdoodles, but overall flavor was good.

    1. Hi Liz,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback. Sorry to hear you didn’t love the cookies. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xx

  7. 5 stars
    I have made these multiple times and always get compliments. This time I forgot to buy pumpkin so I roasted a butternut squash that I had on hand and then added it. It worked perfectly!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      Fantastic!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xx

  8. 5 stars
    After a spectacularly failed attempt to make pumpkin snicker doodles from a different recipe, I tried this one and they turned out delicious! I didn’t have cardamom and I added 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar to give them that classic snickerdoodle taste.

    1. Hey Meredith,
      Happy Sunday!!☃️ Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xT

  9. 5 stars
    They came out a little thick and cakey, but I love them like that. I pressed them down since the counter top trick didn’t work for me. Perfect fall cookie. I doubled the batch and had enough for our family, to freeze, and am giving some to my daughter’s teachers as a Thanksgiving treat and to my sister-in-law! I did 3/4 of the sugar and still sweet enough for me, but my husband said they weren’t sweet enough for him haha

    1. Hey Dominique,
      I truly appreciate you giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, love to hear that it was enjoyed!❄️ xx