Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

These Jack-O-Lantern Cookies are a fun Halloween treat for any age. Delicious sugar cookies shaped like pumpkins are decorated with sweet frosting to make them look just like little jack-o-lanterns!

Jack-o-lantern cookies on green plate

All Hallow’s Eve is almost upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited! Halloween specials will be coming on TV. We’ll all be buying candy by the truckloads. Everyone will be decorating their homes and their tasty Halloween treats. It’s such a good time.

One of our favorite things about Halloween is the food! I’m not talking about fun-size candy bars and what not – although those are great, too. I’m talking about actual cooked Halloween-themed food. There’s nothing better. Pigs in a blanket become mummy hot dogs. Guacamole becomes “slime”. Everything gets a fun makeover. That’s exactly what we did with these delicious jack-o-lantern cookies!

These Jack-O-Lantern Cookies are so good you could eat the whole batch!  They are so cute and colorful, and they’re really fun to make.  You could serve these at a Costume party, or brighten up a buffet table for Halloween Dinner.   They’re made with a sweet sugar cookie dough, that’s a little chewy, and has just the right amount of crunch, with Vanilla flavored Frosting, and sprinkles.  No matter what age, everyone is going to love these!

Overhead shot of jack-o-lantern cookies surrounding plate with another cookie

Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

These jack-o-lantern cookies are delicious, easy, and so adorable. That’s a winning combo if you ask us. They’re perfect as treats for Halloween bags, fun snacks for a family meal during the Halloween season, or as an addition to any Halloween party table.

Delicious sugar cookies are shaped into pumpkin shapes. Then a sweet, simple frosting is used to decorate them as jack-o-lanterns. They’re easy cookies that always impress without keeping you in the kitchen for hours.


It only takes a few ingredients to make both the cookies and the frosting for them. They’re all kitchen staples. so you’ll most likely have all of them in your kitchen right now. The only thing you might have to shop for are the orange, green, and black gel food colorings. Everything else should be in your kitchen already!

For the Cookies

  • Butter – softened to room temperature
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Flour

For the Frosting

  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Orange, green, and black gel food coloring

That’s all there is to it. See what we mean? These are all extremely basic ingredients that are in your kitchen right now. I’m sure of it. Of course, you might have to shop for the food coloring, but that’s a short shopping list!

Cookie dough rolled out with pumpkin shapes cut into it

Making Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

Making these cookies is an absolute breeze. The cookies and frosting are both incredibly easy recipes. The only part of this recipe that requires any effort is the frosting, and even that is fairly simple once you get into the groove. You’ll find that this recipe is incredibly simple once you get started.

For the Cookies

  • Blend butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add flour one cup at a time, mixing on low speed until it has been fully incorporated. Repeat until all the flour is used and a soft cookie dough has formed.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface.
  • Cut out the cookies with pumpkin cookie cutters and bake.
  • Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
Unfrosted jack-o-lantern cooki

For the Frosting

  • Mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla on low speed until blended using a stand mixer.
  • Mix further on high speed to mix completely.
  • Divide the frosting evenly into three dishes or ramekins.
  • Add a few dops of food coloring to each dish until the desired color is reached.

Putting the Cookies Together

  • Add the frosting to clear piping bags and snip off tip of each bag, leaving a small hole.
  • Pipe black frosting for the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Piping black frosting into the eyes and nose of the cookie
  • Starting from the outside edge of the cookies, fill them in with orange frosting, but don’t cover the black frosting.
Piping orange frosting onto jack-o-lantern cookie
  • Frost the “stems” of the cookies with green frosting.
  • Sprinkle Halloween sprinkles on the stems and pipe thin lines of orange frosting down the cookies to mimic pumpkin spines.
Decorating stem o fpumpkin cookie


This is just about the easiest recipe you’ll ever make. There are only a few tips to remember for these jack-o-lantern cookies. They’re simple tips, but they can make a big difference in your cookies, so be sure you give them a read.

Fully Softened Butter

Make absolutely sure that your butter is fully softened to room temperature. When creaming butter together with anything, it must be fully softened to get the right texture and make your recipes cook correctly. If you don’t have fully softened butter, you’ll end up with a mixture that’s lumpy, full of small butter chunks, and that doesn’t cook correctly.

Add the Flour Slowly

You might be tempted to just dump all the four for this recipe in at once, but don’t do it. These jack-o-lantern cookies take a lot of flour, and it’s far easier to get it all incorporated well by adding a little at a time. It also prevents your kitchen from becoming one giant cloud of flour when you turn on the mixer.

Smooth Strokes When Frosting

You might find yourself attempting to frost these jack-o-lantern cookies like you’re writing with a pencil, being very slow and sort of trying to make every line precise. That’s especially true if you’ve never done any frosting like this before. But don’t do that! You’ll actually have better results if you take long, smooth strokes and keep everything nice and fluid.

Squeeze, Don’t Squish

This goes hand in hand with using smooth strokes when frosting the cookies. Be sure you gently squeeze the bag from the top as you frost. Gently squeeze, don’t squish it with a lot of force. You want just enough pressure for the frosting to flow freely. If you squeeze too hard, you’ll be launching frosting across the room!

Overhead shot of jack-o-lantern cookies on table

Serving Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

We love to pair these cookies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee when I’m serving them to family and friends. If we’re attending a Halloween party or potluck, we simply make up a big batch and put them in a Halloween tin. Then we leave the tin on the table so everyone can take one whenever they want.

Storing Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

These cookies will keep well in an air-tight container at room temperature for about a week. Of course, the longer your cookies stay out, the less delicious they become, so shoot for eating them within about three days. We don’t recommend freezing these cookies, so be sure you eat them all up relatively quickly.


Before you go, be sure to remember to refer to this FAQ section should you forget anything or something goes wrong. You’ll most likely find your answer here without the need to reread the entire post.

Why is my butter and sugar mixture lumpy?
Your butter probably wasn’t fully softened when you mixed it with the sugar. Your butter must be fully softened to achieve the correct texture.

How can I make the frosting process easier?
The biggest way you can make the process easier is to make sure you don’t cut a hole in your bag that’s too big. This is a bit of a precision endeavor, so cut the smallest hole you can that will allow your frosting to flow freely.

How long will these cookies last?
These cookies will last for about a week in a cool dry place in an air-tight container.

Can I freeze these cookies?
No. Do not freeze these cookies. The frosting does not hold up.

Jack-O-Lantern Cookies are Spook-tacular Treats

These jack-o-lantern cookies are adorable and delicious. They’re the perfect Halloween treat because they’re festive, delicious, and family-friendly. There’s no fake blood or body parts. They’re just simple sugar cookies with a fun frosted top. Give them a try and we know you’ll love them.



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Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

These jack-o-lantern cookies are fantastic Halloween treats. Perfect for gifting or Halloween parties, they're delicious and festive.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 55 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 25 Cookies
Author: Rob



  • 2 cups of Butter – softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups of Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 5 cups of All-Purpose Flour


  • 2 cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • Food Coloring Gel – Orange, Green, and Black
  • Halloween Sprinkles


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and blend on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add flour one cup at a time, and mix at low speed until all the flour has been added, and soft cookie dough has formed.
  • Place about 1/4 of the dough on a floured surface, and with a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out the cookies with the cookie cutters, and place them on baking sheets, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Continue until all the cookie dough has been rolled, cut out, and baked.
  • When cookies are baked, remove them from the oven and place cookies on a wire rack to cool.
  • While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla on low speed until blended, then mix on higher speed until mixed completely.
  • Divide the frosting evenly, into three individual dishes or ramekins.
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the frosting, and stir well until the desired color is reached.
  • Add colored frosting to clear piping bags, and snip off the tip of each bag, leaving a small opening at the tip of the bag.
  • Pipe the black frosting in the opening for the eyes and mouth. Sprinkle the black sugars on top of the frosting, and with a small brush, brush away any excess sugars.
  • Pipe the orange frosting around the edges of the cookies, then fill in each cookie with the Orange, all but the cutouts for the eyes and mouth – see photo.
  • Pipe the green frosting onto the stem of the cookies, and sprinkle with Halloween sprinkles on the stem.
  • Pipe thin lines of orange frosting down the cookie to mimic pumpkin spines – see photo.  Serve and Enjoy!

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