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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. 4 stars
    Delicious however my cookies never flattened out? They’re little rounds but still great! Any thoughts?

    1. Hey Mollie, Was there anything you did differently at all? Any ingredients different? Method of baking this? Any info will be helpful to help me problem figure out what might be happening. To me, it sounds as the cookies worked? They aren’t meant to be puffy. Hope I can help you and very glad you enjoyed! xTieghan

  2. Hi Tieghan!
    So I remade these with the right amount of pumpkin this time and they are still very cake like (as others mentioned, very puffy & not snickerdoodle texture)I noticed that one commenter mentioned cream of tartar which is in the Martha Stewart recipe but not mentioned in your recipe. Is it possible you left it out? I really want to get these right! Thank you!!!

    1. Hey Amanda, I don’t like using cream of tarter as I have found that to make the cookies even more cakey. Try baking the cookies with the below mehter of tapping the cookie sheet on the counter to flatten the cookies. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope this really helps! Thank you! xTieghan ???

      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.

  3. Just here to say that if you keep this recipe exactly as is but accidentally double the pumpkin (hazards of baking with toddlers ?) it makes a wonderfully delicious and moist cake cookie. Not what I was going for but definitely works!
    I know something had gone wrong but didn’t figure it out until they were baking. Happy accident!

  4. 4 stars

    I made your cookies and they taste really good !! The only thibg is that my cookies don’t look like yours.. mine are puffy not flat like yours… Do you know why ??

    I’ll try other recipies from you 🙂


    1. Hi Isabelle! I am really sorry these did not turn out the way you wanted. How long did you bake them? Did you take them out while the center was still a little doughy and allow them to finsih baking on the cookie sheet? This will give you the best results and I think it is key to this recipe. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan ???

  5. So I made these ….. but mine came out very scone-like 🙁 they puffed right up and even after I flattened them they were still cake-y. The only thing I can think is I didn’t have a hand mixer so maybe my hand mixing made the mixture too gluey? Still tasty though.

    1. Hi Audrey,

      Yes, I do think the mixer is to blame. The dough really needs to be mixed with a mixer to get the best texture. Creaming the butter and fully incorporating the ingredients will give you a more cookie like result. Please let me know if you have any other questions. So sorry you had trouble. Thank you! xTieghan ???

  6. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I had to use a little more flour in the end because the dough was still a little too moist to roll and I used a scooper to scoop the dough directly into the sugar mix. Thank you for this recipe! I will be making these again, and again, and again!

  7. 4 stars
    I also just made these and loved the flavor but was disappointed in the texture. I had the same problem as many other people and the came out “puffy” or cake like. My husband and I said they look like muffin tops even after pressing down on them with the bottom of a glass. How important is it to have both the baking soda and the cream of tartar? Could the combination of both be the reason why these cookies have a cake like texture? I may try them again and leave out the cream of tartar to see if it really does end up like the picture and brings it to the snickerdoodle texture that I and several others were looking for in this recipe.

    1. Hey Jessica! That is a great idea to omit the cream of tarter. I will also make these again to test, but I think that will be so great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am so glad you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  8. Yum!! Making these for my sister! Pumpkin chai is her favorite! I have to know where the mugs are from!! So pretty! Thanks!

  9. Ugh! I’m so upset, I tried making these cookies today because they look SO GOOD!! But the first batch didn’t flatten at all in the oven and came out cake-like as if I’d made sugar-covered bread rolls! HELP! What did I do wrong? I did double the recipe, so maybe the ratios weren’t perfect. Any suggestions on how to fix this? I ended up having to flatten the cookies with a cup before sticking them in the oven.

    1. Hey Meagan! It could be because you doubled the recipe, but it is hard knowing what is happing without being there. Did you change anything about the recipe? I would recommend flattening the cookies before baking (which is sounds like you did? How did that go?). Any details you can give would be really helpful. So sorry for any trouble. xtieghan

  10. 2 stars
    I followed the recipe to a T: measured the flour “correctly” (the scoop-with-a-spoon method), creamed the butter for a good 2 minutes, made sure the egg was at room temp so it would evenly combine with the other ingredients, chilled the dough for 45 minutes. My dough came out super sticky too, and my baked cookies (7.5 minutes) are puffy instead of thin and chewy. I really wanted this recipe to work out! The flavors are great and these cookies will definitely not be uneaten, but the texture just isn’t what I wanted it to be or anything like the photos.

    1. Hey Emily, so sorry you had trouble with this recipe. I recommend adding an additional 1/2 cup of flour if your cookies are sticky I live in a very dry climate so this could be why you dough is wetter than mine. Really hope this helps! And again, sorry for the trouble. xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    I made these and also had the same result as many others, where they didn’t flatten out while baking and had a fluffy cakey texture. The first batch were so domed and puffy, I flattened them after baking with the bottom of a glass cup. These were ok but compressing them this way made them denser and they seemed a tiny bit doughy in the center. The next batch I flattened them with the glass after placing on the baking sheet, and then baked. These were much better. They still had a cakey texture but were much more like cookies. I took them to work and my coworker’s LOVED them. One (gasp) said she’s never had anything with pumpkins before, and she was crazy about these! She still talks about them 2 weeks later and wants me to bring them again. So even though they weren’t what I expected, they were still a success!

    1. Wow that is so amazing! I am so glad you and your coworkers loved these Kimiko! Thank you so much! And thank you for adding your tips for others to try!

  12. 3 stars
    Hi, I made these cookies yesterday and I think that they were a little cake-y. I like more chewy snickerdoodles. What would I need to modify to make them more chewy? The dough was very sticky too. I put it in the frig to firm it up a little and it helped some but still too sticky. The flavor was good but I want to tweak the texture a little more. My dad loves snickerdoodles and I’m going to give him some. Also I doubled the recipe because your quantity said it made 12 cookies???? I got at least 40 big cookies doubled. Just sayin’ Flavor of the sugar is great.

    1. Hey Sharon, how long are you baking the cookies? If you aver bake they will turn cakey, but if you under bake by a minutes they are chewy and perfect! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much! xTieghan

  13. 3 stars
    Hello! I know this is an older recipe, but just in case anyone else is trying it in 2018 like me, I wanted to add a review! These turned out so delicious! However, like a few others before me have said, they turned out very doughy! I wasn’t able to roll the dough into balls, and then roll them in the sugar. The dough was very moist! I cooked them, and they didn’t really flatten. They are more like a small scone, or donut hole like some others have said. They taste GREAT!! I’m thinking about adding a drizzle of icing on top or something! They are very good, but definitely not snickerdoodles!

  14. 2 stars
    Just tried these last night. I’m not sure what happened, but mine came out way too moist to be able to roll into balls. I ended up dropping them by spoonfuls and they baked into these really light, puffy cookies that tasted good, but were nothing like usual flat and slightly crunchy nature of a Snickerdoodle. I wonder what I should have done differently. Thanks for sharing, though!

  15. 5 stars
    I made these last night, and they are a hit in the office this morning. I didn’t have the ingredients for the chai spice mixture (so sad), so I used the mix from your ‘Easy Twisted Pumpkin Spice Danish’ instead and they were delicious. Thank you for always having the perfect seasonal recipes!