This edible, no-bake pumpkin cookie dough is shaped into bite-sized balls studded with chocolate chips and flaky sea salt for a healthy, vegan & gluten-free fall treat!
Healthy edible cookie dough was a major trend back when I started this blog in 2011.
I jumped on the bandwagon with this healthy peanut butter cookie dough dip pretty early on and made countless other recipes from blogger friends back then.
And aside from all the cookie dough balls like Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Dough Balls, Nutella cookie dough balls and Butterfinger Dough Balls to name just a few, I sort of forgot about the whole cookie dough thing for the past few years.
Until it hit me again last month when I opened one of the first cans of pumpkin for the season to make these Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins.
That recipe uses 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree leaving the perfect amount left in the can to whip up a batch of this pumpkin cookie dough.
Whether or not you choose to roll the cookie dough into bites like I did here is up to you.
Either way, it’s a delicious fall version of the back-in-the-day healthy cookie dough trend.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN PUMPKIN COOKIE DOUGH?
The base of this no-bake cookie dough is made using chickpeas.
I’ve used beans as the base of healthier baked goods before like in these black bean brownies and peanut butter stuffed black bean cookies and just like I’ve said in both those recipes, I promise you can’t taste the actual beans.
The same promise applies to this pumpkin cookie dough made with chickpeas just like it does in these chickpea blondies (which are outrageous btw!).
In addition to the chickpeas, this recipe uses:
- canned pumpkin puree
- cashew butter
- coconut flour
- pumpkin pie spice
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- chocolate chips
INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTION OPTIONS
Cashew butter – if you don’t have cashew butter on hand, use any other creamy nut butter except for peanut butter. Peanut butter is delicious but its flavor is too strong for these pumpkin pie cookie dough bites and will overpower the pumpkin and spices.
Pumpkin pie spice – if the spice blend isn’t something you keep on hand, just use the individual spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice. I would do a ratio of 50/15/15/10/10 respectively for those individual spices.
Coconut flour – While you can use oat flour or almond flour in place of the coconut flour in this recipe, be aware that you’ll likely have to use more than the stated amount of coconut flour. Coconut flour is very absorbent so a small amount goes a long way. I’d expect to likely double the amount of flour used with oat or almond flour as a substitute.
A TRICK FOR INCREDIBLY SMOOTH PUMPKIN COOKIE DOUGH
I use this trick when I teach people how to roast chickpeas for the most crispy, crunchy result and it applies here too – peel the chickpeas!
This effort will take you 10 minutes. I know because I’ve literally timed myself doing it.
It’s a bit tedious but if you blast your 3 favorite songs, you’ll be through it in no time.
Just like they make for incredibly smooth hummus, peeled chickpeas really help the texture best resemble real cookie dough.
No worries if you don’t have the attention span or time for peeling each chickpea, the cookie dough will still come out just fine.
But, trust me that it’s worth the time commitment if you can!
What would cookie dough be if not studded with chocolate chips?
While the pumpkin spice flavors are warming and cozy, just like in my pumpkin spice chocolate chip bites, I added chocolate chips to this pumpkin cookie dough to up the “treat” factor a bit.
If that wasn’t enough, should you choose to scoop these into bite-sized cookie dough balls, there’s an additional melted chocolate drizzle which gives you the perfect opportunity to sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top too as it sets.
And if you want the baked cookie version of these dough bites, try these chewy vegan pumpkin cookies instead.
COOKIE DOUGH DIP OR COOKIE DOUGH BITES?
You can enjoy this pumpkin cookie dough in two ways:
- as a delicious sweet dip
- as fun cookie dough bites
PUMPKIN COOKIE DOUGH DIP OPTION
The cookie dough dip option is a great one to feed a crowd. Say you’re having a fall or Halloween party and want a sweet treat a bunch of people can enjoy, go with the dip option.
Serve the cookie dough in bowls and use graham crackers, cinnamon pita chips or even cookies to scoop it up!
PUMPKIN COOKIE DOUGH BITES OPTION
The bites, like I made here, are great for keeping on hand if you prefer to enjoy the cookie dough little by little as a snack or dessert.
I keep them stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 1-2 weeks and grab one in between meals or as part of my dessert that night.
HEALTHY, VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN COOKIE DOUGH
Using chickpeas instead of flour, cashew butter instead of butter and maple syrup in place of cane sugar, these pumpkin cookie dough bites are already strides healthier than typical edible cookie dough.
The pumpkin puree also adds some additional nutrients to the cookie dough as pumpkin is a good source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber.
The cookie dough also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, making this a treat pretty much anyone can enjoy!
Be sure to use vegan/dairy-free chocolate chips if necessary! I normally buy Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips for this purpose.
These are the perfect treat when you’re looking to indulge in some fall flavors without really indulging.
They’re just barely sweet (add more maple syrup or top with raw sugar instead of sea salt for a sweeter bite) but totally hit the spot for a delicious pumpkin treat.
And, they’re perfect for a Halloween-ish treat. Gluten and dairy free mummy pretzels are also a fun way to celebrate. Maybe some pumpkin cookie dough for the adults and pretzels for the kids!
MORE PUMPKIN RECIPES
Pumpkin pie bites are the perfect option if you’re feeding a crowd for a holiday gathering.
And definitely check out these No Bake Chocolate Coconut Pumpkin Bars – I ate these on repeat for almost 2 years as my favorite no-bake treat.
Pumpkin Cookie Dough Bites
- 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup cashew butter *see note
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips **see note
- flaky sea salt for garnish
For the chocolate drizzle
- 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- Add all the ingredients except coconut flour and chocolate chips to a food processor. Process until mostly smooth, scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add the coconut flour and pulse until a ball of dough forms in the food processor.
- Transfer the mixture into a large bowl. Add the chocolate chips and fold into the dough until well distributed.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out dough into the shape of a ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Alternatively, you can use a heaping tablespoon of dough and wet hands to form into balls.
- Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil for the chocolate drizzle in a small bowl. Microwave until melted, stir until well combined.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate mixture on top of the pumpkin cookie dough bites. Garnish with flaky sea salt.
- Transfer to the refrigerator to set for 20-30 minutes. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.