Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Happy Halloween!! I hate when Halloween falls on a weekday, especially a Monday! Even though I have to go to work, I am looking forward to a evening of fondue, handing out candy, and watching the Ghost Hunters live investigation. The Hubs and I carved our pumpkins this weekend. We try to do more elaborate patterns every year. I think we really outdid ourselves this year. Not surprisingly, I did an owl and Hubs did one of his favorite actors, Vincent Price. Here’s a picture!

Aren’t they cool?! I also wanted to do one other thing this weekend: Make these sugar cookies! Yeah, sure, I wanted the cookie cuz, well, it’s a cookie, but what I really have been wanting to do is try my hand at royal icing. It was a little time consuming as I had to pipe one thing, wait, come back, pipe more, wait for that to dry, etc. But, it wasn’t has hard as I thought it would be. I still have a long way to go with my decorating skills. These were actually supposed to be jack-o-lanterns, but after trying to pipe and paint a face (even Hubs tried!), it looked like a 5 year-old decorated them so I decided to leave the rest as just plain ol’ pumpkins! Working with royal icing is a little tricky and it requires some time, patience, and some baking tools you may not already have in your kitchen (small piping tips, piping bags, etc.). If you are short on time or don’t want to using royal icing, feel free to whip up some buttercream frosting or you can always use store-bought frosting and decorations!

While you may be over pumpkin-shaped things, this sugar cookie recipe is a great basic sugar cookie recipe to have in your arsenal for any occasion!

Sugar Cookies

Makes approximately 3-4 dozen depending on your cookie cutters

Cookie recipe from Allrecipes

Ingredients for the cookies:

– 1 1/2 cups butter, softened

– 2 cups white sugar

– 4 eggs

– 1 tsp. vanilla extract

– 5 cups all-purpose flour

– 2 tsp. baking powder

– 1 tsp. salt


1. Cream together the sugar and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut your dough into shapes using the cookie cutters of your choosing. Bake on a lined or non-stick cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 6 minutes or until cookies start to turn a light golden brown on the edges (bake longer for a crispier cookie). Let cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.

Ingredients for the royal icing:

– 4 cups powdered sugar

– 2 tbs. meringue powder

– 6 tbs. water

– Optional: almond extract (I added a couple of tsp. of this to mine to give it a better flavor).

If you have never worked with royal icing before, I highly recommend that you all check out Brown Eyed Baker’s tutorial on how to work with royal icing. I got both the recipe and directions from Michelle’s site. Her step-by-step tutorial was extremely helpful!

I’m not going to provide specific directions as they will vary depending on the cookie you are trying to decorate. But, to make my pumpkin cookies, I made a large batch of the royal icing, reserving about a cup to be used as the stem and vine. The rest I dyed orange using gel food coloring. While the icing was still thick, I scooped some into my piping bag (and also reserved about 1/2 cup for the lines on the pumpkins) and using a #3 tip from Wilton, I outlined my pumpkin cookies. I let that dry for a few minutes. Then, I added a few more tablespoons of water to my icing to thin it out for flooding. Following Michelle’s instructions, I then flooded each pumpkin with the orange icing and let them dry for a few hours. Then, I just piped on the lines and the stem. Let them dry for another hour before eating.

– You can find meringue powder at craft stores in the baking section.



  1. The cookies are adorable! ….and y’all can really carve a pumpkin! When I carve them, they have triangle eyes, triangle nose and that funky, toothy smile. My knife skills only go so far! Happy Halloween!

  2. Your pumpkins are awesome!!!! I love the owl and Vincent Price is money!!! The cookies look fantastic. :)

  3. Those are some cool pumpkins. And such wonderful cookies. You frost perfectly. Love them!

  4. Your cookies look just like the ones they sell at Panera Bread for $4 a pop. Beautiful! I am so impressed with your carving skills. I love the owl!

  5. oh,,the cookies are cute and looks so yummy halloween,and i’m impressed with your carving skill is so cool :)

  6. These cookies look great! I know how much patience and skill it takes to decorate cookies-especially if they have a lot of detail. Well done. Also, looks like you have some great carving skills-happy halloween!

    • Thanks, Tina! It did take quite some time since you have to do it in layers and wait for each one to dry before moving on. I don’t have a steady hand, so that made them hard to decorate, lol.

  7. Awesome pumpkins! I knew exactly who that was too! I haven’t gotten around to carving mine yet…

  8. Awesome cookies… and really incredible jack-o-lanterns! I need some help in that department!

  9. Wow these cookies are fantastic.. they are so beautifully decorated!! I am also totally blown away by you and your hubby’s pumpkin carving skills! Holy Cow!!!! They are like totally professional! I’m lucky if I can get triangle eyes and jagged teeth cut out of my pumpkins. You are not only talented in the kitchen, but you have some mad skills with a carving knife! Take a bow!!! Well done! Have a wonderful Halloween night! : )

    • Thank you so much, Ramona! We’ve made it a tradition to carve something more unique and elaborate on our pumpkins. This year was by far the most difficult patterns we’ve done yet and it took us hours to do!

  10. PERFECT pumpkin sugar cookies! Really awesome~

  11. These are adorable…bet they taste awesome too! YUM!

  12. Those are so much prettier (and inevitably much tastier) that the pumpkin cookies with sugar sprinkles you always see in stores this time of year.

  13. Those cookies are so pretty & fabulous job on the pumpkins too!

  14. I wish I had those sugar cookies when the pumpkin was carved yesterday. I love seasonal treats when celebrating the season. Your pumpkins are outstanding.

  15. Great work on these cookies!

  16. These are perfect! I hope you had a happy and safe halloween!

  17. Wow – you guys did an AWESOME job on your pumpkins! I don’t think I’ve ever made a pumpkin even close to being that good =)

    I think you did a great job on the cookies too! Royal icing is a pain in my butt so I usually avoid it like the plague!

    • The royal icing was a pain and I made such a big mess! I love the look of it, but I don’t have much artistic talent, so drawing fun designs makes it even more difficult to work with!

  18. omg they look so cute! almost like a perfect pumpkin…so many bloggers with ideas on pumpkin over the weekend!

  19. Your cookies look so yummy! And your pumpkin carving skills are pretty darn fantastic :)

  20. These are adorable!

    Loving the almond extract in the icing!

    • Thanks, Liz! I think the almond extract is necessary with royal icing. It doesn’t have much of a flavor without it and one you start adding food coloring, it can taint the taste even more. The extract really helps! I bet lemon extract would work really nicely as well!

  21. Really cute pumpkin cookies that my kids would go crazy….. Your pumpkin curving is amazing too. Love the owl design. Maybe I should curve something like this next time. Hopefully I got some skills like you. Hehe =P

  22. wow, the pumpkin look amazing! You two are so great at carving!
    These cookies are so cute! love the almond touch in the icing!

  23. So cute! I have a HUGE weakness for frosted sugar cookies. These are as pretty as they are mouth-watering!

  24. OMG! Your pumpkins look amazing! And these cookies are great! I love a good sugar cookie!

  25. Oh yummmm.. i could really use some sugar cookies right now. I couldn’t find any pumpkin cookie cutters here. I really can’t wait to bake batches of sugar cookies. This will be in my to do list for Christmas. You have a great week ahead!! Hugs, Jo

    • Thank you, Joanna! I can’t even remember where I got my cookie cutters. I think they came with some pre-made cookie kit that I bought years ago! I want to build up my cookie cutter collection!

  26. wow, your pumpkins are incredible!!! I have never attempt to do anything creative with mine even though I have some stencils, maybe next year. I love your cookies, these would be prefect for Thanksgiving too.

  27. I read this title and thought the cookies would actually have pumpkin in them….very cute cookies but now I’ve got to find a pumpkin flavored cookie to use before I decorate the pumpkin on them.

    • I did actually think about adding pumpkin, but my husband wouldn’t touch them! I think you could probably add some pumpkin puree to the batter along with some pumpkin pie spice. Might need to add a little more flour.

  28. These are so gorgeous Stephanie! Excellent job.

  29. Pingback: 21 Creepy Halloween Party Food Ideas

  30. Pingback: 21 Halloween Party Treats

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.