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Jack O Lantern Cookies for #Halloween Trick-Or-Treat #SundaySupper

Jack O' Lantern Frosted Cookies | Magnolia Days

Trick or Treat? I choose treat every single time. Halloween is such fun. I cannot remember my very first trick-or-treating adventure. I am sure it was my parents taking me around in a cute little costume. My first memory was not so much the costume. I remember the plastic pumpkin I carried to hold all the treats. I used that pumpkin for years.

My trick-or-treating did not bring in a big haul. We lived on a street with about 20 houses. It was not in a subdivision or where we could walk to get to more homes. The treats were good ones though. I got full size candy bars and packs of candy. It was not until later when a friend’s dad would drive us to other neighborhoods so we could do some big trick-or-treating.

Jack O Lantern Halloween Cookies

Now the real treats are the ones I make. Jack O Lantern cookies are at the top of my list. They are fun and, best of all, taste wonderful. They are sugar cookies decorated with buttercream frosting. These cookies are not meant to be perfect. They are meant to be fun to decorate and good to eat. Get the kids involved in making the faces. Look at the smiles when people see them on a platter. Watch them disappear quickly.

What is your first memory of Halloween? Your costume, the candy, trick-or-treating, or something else? I look back over the years and smile when I think of all the fun celebrating it. So be safe, have a great time, and enjoy treats like Jack O Lantern cookies.

Jack O Lantern Halloween Cookies
5 from 1 vote

Jack O Lantern Cookies

Jack O Lantern cookies - pumpkin shaped sugar cookies decorated with buttercream frosting. Make them for a great Halloween treat.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 dozen
Author Renee


For the cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • All-purpose flour for rolling out dough

For the frosting

  • 1/2 pound European style unsalted butter at room temperature equivalent to 2 sticks
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 box powdered sugar 1 pound, sifted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or half-and-half plus more if needed
  • Orange green, and black food coloring gel
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder


For the cookies:

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add butter and sugar and beat until light in color. In a small bowl, add egg, milk, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the egg mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed and gradually add flour, beating until just combined (do not over-mix). Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with flour. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator and let it soften slightly (about 10 or 15 minutes). Sprinkle rolling pin with flour and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around frequently to make sure it is not sticking. Use a pumpkin shaped cutter to cut cookies. Place cookies at least 1-inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone baking mat. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from the oven and then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

For the frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, add the butter, salt, and vanilla, Beat using an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons milk. Beat until smooth, adding more milk as needed for spreading consistency.
  2. Take about 1/2 cup of the frosting and place it in a small bowl. Stir in green food coloring gel, a small amount at a time, until it has reached desired color. Add more milk if needed for piping consistency.
  3. Take about 1 1/2 cups of the frosting and place it in a small mixing bowl. Reserve and set aside.
  4. Stir in orange food coloring gel, a small amount at a time, to the remaining frosting in the large bowl until it has reached desired color. Spread frosting over cookies. Mix more orange frosting from the reserved bowl as needed.
  5. Pipe the green frosting on the top of the cookie (stem) using a leaf tip.
  6. Add some sifted cocoa to the remaining reserved frosting and beat until combined. The amount depends on how much frosting. About 1 teaspoon per cup. Stir in black food coloring. Note that the frosting in the bowl will look more dark grey than black. It takes a good bit of black coloring to get it to the right color and it helps starting out with a chocolate frosting base. Pipe the black frosting on to the cookies using a #3 round tip to make the "faces".
  7. Store cookies on a platter in the refrigerator. If you need to stack them in a container to store, place parchment between layers.

Recipe Notes

Jack O Lantern cookies - pumpkin shaped sugar cookies decorated with buttercream frosting. Make them for a great Halloween treat.

Cookie recipe adapted from one by Alton Brown on the Food Network website. Frosting recipe is my version of a simple buttercream similar to ones found in countless books and websites.

How about some more spooktacular treats? The Sunday Supper team has put together recipes to make your Halloween the tastiest ever:

Bewitching Brews:

Ghoulish Gruel:

 Haunted Snacks:

Spooky Sweets:

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Recipe Rating

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Saturday 3rd of November 2012

These are too cute, and i love that some of them have glasses!

Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories)

Thursday 1st of November 2012

Such great faces on these and I agree...perfect for having kids help and do their own faces!


Thursday 1st of November 2012

You did a great job with the pumpkin faces!


Friday 2nd of November 2012

Thank you! It is such fun to make all the different faces. Always makes me smile.


Wednesday 31st of October 2012

These came out perfect Renee! Love the one with the glasses!


Tuesday 30th of October 2012

Sugar cookies with buttercream frosting are wonderful indeed. And fantastic too. It's so nice to hear about your fun Halloween memories. I think most people have fond childhood Halloween memories (except me of course). Your cookies are absolutely adorable!