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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. Hey Stephanie,
      Awesome!! 🍂 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Sure, you could definitely freeze these. xx

    1. Hey Anna,
      You can use an equal amount of gluten free flour. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  1. I have yet to make this recipe, but I am curious what the major differences are in cooking with pumpkin purée versus cooking with pumpkin butter. When would you use one and the other? Which instances would you choose one over the other? If a cookie recipe calls for pumpkin purée, could I sub in pumpkin butter?

    1. Hi Suzanne,
      I think using pumpkin butter is key when baking with pumpkin. Pumpkin butter is more reduced down than pumpkin purèe and contains less moisture. I think it really depends on the exact recipe when it comes to subbing pumpkin butter for pumpkin puree. I hope you love this recipe! xx

      1. Ok, thanks so much!

        So, is there a reason you used pumpkin purèe in this recipe versus pumpkin butter? Is it because there are already so many spices in the recipe? Would pumpkin butter make the cookie more cakey instead of chewy because there is less moisture?

          1. Got it.

            So I made them last night and they turned out a bit more cakey than I thought they would be.

            I did make my dough balls a bit bigger than yours, perhaps that contributed? Maybe I cooked them too long? The flavor is amazing, but I’m not a fan of cakey cookies. They were a bit dry and I know it isn’t the recipe, just user error.

            Any tips?

          2. I would try gently pressing your dough balls down next time and tapping the baking sheet on the counter during baking.

  2. I roasted a sugar pumpkin and used the purée for this recipe. The batter seemed very sticky. Is this typical? Definitely made for a “puffier” cookie. Tapping the sheet didn’t work this time around for me hahaha. I may have juuuuust over mixed the batter as well unintentionally lol

    1. Hey Natalie,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try! The dough shouldn’t be too sticky, you should be able to roll it into the cookie dough balls. It could have been the homemade puree giving a little more liquid than canned puree. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I made these twice this week. The first time, the dough was impossible to roll without sticking all over my hands, but it was because my butter was too soft because I softened it in the microwave. The second time I made them, I let the butter soften all day at room temperature, and the dough was a little easier to work with. My 3 year old rolled them in the sugar for me. The cookies are delicious and I will definitely make again.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Amazing!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for trying it out! Thanks for sharing your feedback and what worked well for you! xT🍂

  4. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. Small batch, which I really like, I substituted pumpkin butter for the pumpkin and had to add a bit of flour so I could work with it. Turned out great.

    1. Hey Claudia,
      Happy Monday!🎃 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xx

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and appreciate you giving it a try! Have a great weekend!🍁

  5. Do you think it would be ok to use your spiced pumpkin butter (which is incredibly delicious) in place of the pumpkin in this recipe?

    1. Hi Tracy,
      Sure, that should be okay for you to use! Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Made these yesterday and they came together very quickly and easily! I read through the comments beforehand and saw some people said the dough was more like a batter, but I did not have that problem. However, I warmed my butter up quickly on my stove warmer but it was still fairly hard (not room temp), so I wonder if that made the dough keep its shape better when rolling. Tapping didn’t cause my cookies to flatten so I followed Tieghan’s recommendation on one comment and flattened it with my hands. They aren’t very thin but they are soft and chewy and delicious!!! No complaints here. Saving this one!

    1. Hey Taylor,
      I truly appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx

  7. 5 stars
    These cookies are the best! They’re so easy to make and the whole family loves them. The middle is a bit like a cake, but that’s what I love about them! After 8 minutes I took them out of the oven and gently pressed them down a bit with a spatula before putting them back in for a minute or two.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Happy Monday!! Thanks a lot for giving this recipe a go, I am so glad it was a winner:) Have the best week! xx

      1. I think a lot of the issue with this recipe is altitude lol these were concocted at 8000+ feet. I’d wager most of us are waaay lower than that. I had difficulty as well with the batter more cake like very wet and unable to roll. I just dolloped them on the cookie sheet, sprinkles with the mixture and made them anyways. They tasted delicious just nothing like the picture.

        1. Thanks for sharing your feedback Kayla! I don’t ever adjust recipes for the altitude. I always cook/bake as if I was at sea level. When baking, I always under-bake by a few minutes and I find this “fixes” most issues that can be caused from the altitude. So this really shouldn’t be affecting the cookies:)

  8. Hi. Has anyone used pumpkin puree baby food instead of pumpkin from a can? I sent my husband to the store and he came back with Gerber lol.
    I worry that the puree has too much water.

  9. Mine also turned out a bit puffy and cakey. I slammed them on the counter aggressively too lol. They are still good, but definitely more of a muffin texture.

    It helped a little to take them out earlier and slam them, about 4 minutes in.

    1. Hey Morgan,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, if you want a flatter cookie try pressing the dough balls down before baking next time. I hope this helps! xTieghan

  10. I’m wondering if this recipe was meant to have 2 sticks of butter. I just made these and they are way too fluffy. More like cake-cookies. I’ll be throwing them out. ?

    1. Hey Ashley,
      All of the measurements are correct. Do they taste bad? Did you bang them on the counter? This will achieve the flatter cookie. xTieghan

  11. Here to say pumpkin flavors are good October November and yes, absolutely December! We always had pumpkin pie as one option at Christmas, along with the neighbor’s annual gift of plum pudding, and/it fruitcake-which is amazing with the addition of chocolate chips!