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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. Mine didn’t flatten and the dough was super sticky. Is the dough super sticky or should I have added more flour?

    1. Hey Andraea,
      Was there anything you adjusted in the recipe? You may have needed a touch more flour. I bang them on the counter to get them to flatten. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    My absolute favorite cookie – I’ve made this recipe at least a dozen times and it’s always a hit.

    I want to make them for Thanksgiving this year, but I’m wondering if I could roll the dough balls a couple days in advance, refrigerate, and then bake day of? Thanks!

    1. Hey Kate,
      Wonderful! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! Yes, that will work well for you! xTieghan

  3. 4 stars
    Giving this 4 stars because the cookies still tasted amazing but were no where near thin and chewy but fluffy and cake like. I have tried this twice, the first time the dough was too sticky to form balls so I added more flour and did all the tapping. Second time I didn’t add more flour and chilled the dough an hour so I could roll it into balls. Did all the tray tapping stuff, used an electric mixer, and even flattened them out after rolling – still fluffier and cake like. A very tasty cookie, just not quite sure what I’m missing to get that more flattened chewy texture.

    1. Hey Caitlin,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry you are having issues with getting them flatter. If your dough is really chilled, this will prevent them from spreading and becoming flat. I hope this helps for next time! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe, it was everything I was hoping for in flavor! Cookies came out perfect, and my very picky bf actually loved them so that was a plus!

    A TIP THAT MIGHT HELP OUT OTHERS COMBAT THE CAKEY TEXTURE, when trying this recipe out, blot out all of the moisture from the pumpkin purée with paper towels. Pumpkins are 90% water. All of the water left in the pumpkin purée just contributes to a more “cakey” cookie, so by reducing the excess moisture you’ll be able to get a more chewy and flatter cookie. Unfortunately pumpkin cookies are notorious for being puffy and cakey unless you figure out a way to wick the moisture out. Hope this helps! Cheers.

  5. The cookies look great, but where did you get those MUGS?!? Oh my word I love them and feel like I need a set!

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Thanks so much! So sorry I no longer have a link for these mugs, they are super old! I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  6. So I absolutely love a chai spice cookie and the flavor is amazing , but when I tapped my tray they didn’t flatten . They look more like mini cakes . This is my second attempt .. what am I doing wrong ? Thanks !!! Btw your recipes rock!!!

    1. Hey Noreen,
      Sorry to hear you are having issues with flattening your cookies. Is there anything you have adjusted in the recipe? Next time, try gently pressing the dough down with your hands before baking, this should help! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    These were Delicious! I however could not get them flat at 8 minutes. Will try 6-7 minutes next time as I really like flat crispy cookies.

  8. 5 stars
    I made these the other night. Had them with hot tea while we played games. Everyone loved them. Soft and delicious. The guys especially liked them because they werent too sweet. When everyone had gone home I looked for the leftovers to nibble on while doing the dishes but sadly there were none. Darn!

    1. Hey Nancy,
      I am so glad that the recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! Have a great week:) xTieghan

  9. Hey there – overall the taste is delicious! I made them 2 different times and the dough is super sticky. I had to add more flour to even roll them and they they did not flatten like yours did. Any suggestions? The taste was there not the look lol

    1. Hey Nadia,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try. I would make sure not to add too much flour. To flatten them, pull from the oven while baking and “tap” the pan on the counter a few times. I hope this helps for next time! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  10. Hi! I can’t wait to try these cookies for Thanksgiving! Have you ever made the dough in advance to freeze before baking? If so how did they turn out? Thinking or baking a few days in advance:-) thank you!

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      That would be totally fine to do:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  11. 5 stars
    My husband said that these are the best thing I’ve ever made! I love this recipe and have told all of my friends about it. I can’t wait to bake these again!

  12. 5 stars
    I’m addicted to these cookies! Just made them twice in three days. Gave most of the first batch away to a relative. Then I had to make them again to have a full stash for myself. Wow. I love challenging baking recipes but also love a super simple recipe like this. Cookies are so soft, tasty and cozy. I realize you shared these years ago but they are the perfect cookie for all the anxiety delivered by this pandemic. Love!

    1. Aw I am really happy these turned out so well for you, Melissa! Especially during this time! I hope you are doing alright! xTieghan

  13. 4 stars
    I made these this morning to cheer up a friend who loves pumpkin and loves snickerdoodles. I did Mayer snd mix as directed but my dough was too sticky to roll so after scooping i shaped them the best i could, plopped and rolled them in the sugar mixture. I baked and slammed as directed but also had puffy cookies. I’ll try again, maybe chill dough a bit first if sticky and make slightly bigger scoops, bake at 7 min instead of 8 before the first “slam”?

    1. Hey Victoria,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try! Next time try the “slamming” at 2 minutes and then again at 6 minutes and then after you remove them from baking. This should help! xTieghan