Flourless Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin dessert on Thanksgiving is a must. Generally, I’d say there has to be pie, however, no one said you shouldn’t have options – or two desserts on your plate. These pumpkin cookies make a rather fine second choice for the table, especially for vegans and gluten-free’s.

I came upon this recipe and the chickpeas immediately caught my eye. A cookie made of beans and pumpkin? That sounds almost too healthy to be true – and tasty – an inclination I generally get when reading dessert recipes (though not entrees). Luckily, curiosity got the best of me and I went for it…chickpeas, chocolate, pumpkin and peanut butter all piled into my food processor.

Following a previous recipe for disaster that called for black beans in brownies, I had my doubts. After those results, I vowed to stick to sinfully indulgent brownie recipes from there on out. However, it’s possible the success of this one may’ve changed my opinion on health-altered desserts.

Unlike black beans, chickpeas are fairly bland, and you’d certainly never pick up on them in this pumpkin recipe. They give these cookies their oomph while keeping them moist, but it’s the maple, spices and chocolate that lend these their flavor. The results – a nutritious, protein-packed cookie, that while addicting, I wouldn’t feel guilty eating for breakfast.

For a holiday packed with more than enough indulgences, these make a great option that likely no one would ever guess is actually even healthy. On the whole, I’m all about making sacrifices in terms of nutrition when it comes to desserts, because if I’m going to indulge, I want it to be amazing. But sometimes you get lucky and find a recipe like this, where those kind of sacrifices truly aren’t needed for pumpkin perfection.

Flourless Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: Makes about 20 cookies

Slightly adapted from Keepin' It Kind


  • -2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15oz can will have roughly 1.5 cups, so if using canned, you may need 2 cans. Be sure to rinse and drain them first.)
  • -1 cup pumpkin puree
  • -¼ cup peanut butter
  • -½ cup maple sugar (or other vegan sugar, don’t sub with a liquid sweetener) (I ended up using maple syrup, and it worked fine.)
  • -2 Tbsp. ground flax meal
  • -1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • -1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • -¾ tsp. baking powder
  • -½ tsp. baking soda
  • -½ tsp. ground ginger
  • -½ tsp. salt
  • -2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips


  1. Place the chickpeas in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times until mostly ground, but not pureed. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips and process until smooth.
  2. Fold in the chocolate chips, cover with a paper towel and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. After the dough has set, use a tablespoon to scoop heaping spoonfuls on to the baking sheets. Use the back of a large spoon or measuring cup to lightly flatten each cookie.
  4. Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes (just keep an eye on them after about 20 minutes), until edges are slightly browned and the cookies have firmed up. Let cool on the baking sheet. Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

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  • Reply
    November 17, 2012 at 8:06 am

    What an amazing colour! Some of the best looking cookies I’ve ever seen!

  • Reply
    The candid RD
    November 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Oh my gosh, what a crazy combination, Grace!! Chickpeas, peanut butter and pumpkin?!? I have GOT to make these!! I’ll have to eat my cookie with a Beano 🙂

  • Reply
    November 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I found a chick pea and peanut butter choc. chip cookie recipe awhile back that was wonderful. I had my doubts, but now I know it works. I have to try the pumpkin next — these sound great.

  • Reply
    Christal Sczebel
    November 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Yum! These look amazing, must try! I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience with black bean brownies, you must try my recipe, I promise you can’t taste the beans at all, they are fudgey delicious brownies!! http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/2012/08/15/raspberry-brownies/

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      November 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks for the recipe Christal. They look tasty, which definitely tempts me to give bean brownies another go. I’ll let you know if I test them out!

  • Reply
    Hannah (BitterSweet)
    November 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    How intriguing! I thought these were going to be made with chickpea flour judging by the title, but whole beans are a game-changer. These sound healthy enough to be a breakfast option before the grand Thanksgiving feast. 😉

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Do you think it could work with 1 cup of chickpea flour instead of cooked chickpeas?

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      November 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      My first thought is that this will make the cookies a tad too dry. I believe whole chickpeas would work best, but feel free to give it a try and perhaps add a little soymilk until it reaches the normal consistency of cookie dough. Note that when made with the original recipe, this dough is on the wet side.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    December 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Well, my chickens enjoyed them. Me, not so much.

  • Reply
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    […] time roasting coffee, my first time landing a column in a magazine, my first time transforming chickpeas into cookies, and soon to come, my first time successfully brewing my own kombucha. (Cross your fingers for me. […]

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    […] time roasting coffee, my first time landing a column in a magazine, my first time transforming chickpeas into cookies, and soon to come, my first time successfully brewing my own kombucha. (Cross your fingers for me. […]

  • Reply
    November 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    This recipe looks so delicious! Do you think it’s possible to make these cookies without peanut butter? I’m allergic to peanuts (and I’ve never developed a positive taste for tree nuts), and I want to make a gluten-free option desert for some of my family, while being able to try some myself of course 🙂

    • Reply
      Grace @FoodFitnessFreshAir
      November 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Tiffany! I bet these would be just fine if you swapped the peanut butter for almond butter. You’ll definitely want to be able to try some, so I’d go with that if I were you 🙂

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