How to Make Jack O' Lantern Cookies
I can't WAIT for the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Not only because we get a three-day weekend, but because it also marks the unofficial day of fall. And nothing says “Fall” more than pumpkins. This week I was excited to see them slowly popping up in grocery aisles. Also, this weekend is when Starbucks begins serving pumpkin spice lattes. Pumpkins and pumpkin spice flavoring are the ultimate power duo for getting anyone in the autumn mood.
To ring in the start of the fall season, here are a few easy pumpkin cookie designs to try. Pumpkin cookies are fall classics and are pretty simple to decorate. They are a great design for beginners that are new to cookie decorating. Even for advanced decorators, making pumpkin cookies seem to never get old.
For this tutorial, I added a Halloween spin to the traditional pumpkin design by making them into jack o' lantern cookies.
Pumpkin Cookie Cutter
In my shop you can find this new pumpkin cookie cutter.
This cutter is chubby enough to add a personalized name or an interesting jack o’lantern face. The leaf accent adds a bit of flair and color to an otherwise simple pumpkin cookie. This pumpkin cookie cutter is similarly modeled after the apple cookie cutter I posted a few weeks ago.
Template for the Jack O' Lantern Cookies
I provided a downloadable template for the all the Halloween design ideas this season. In the template file, I've included designs for pumpkin and the jack o' lantern faces, as well as the haunted house, the ghosts, the candycorn, and the basic witch cookies.
You can download the jack o' lantern and the other Halloween cookie templates HERE.
If you have a Kopykake or Pico projector, just print it out (or pull it up on your mobile device) and you are good to go. For those without a projector, follow the suggested steps below by cutting out the template and tracing the design onto the cookie with an edible food marker.
The Decorating Process
For these jack o' lantern cookies, I quickly drew up the faces you see below. But looking back, honestly I kind of wish I did something different with the eyes and mouth. That being said, feel free to change up these jack o' lantern expressions to your liking.
For these pumpkin cookies, you'll need the following suggested colors:
- Yellow flood royal icing ( used Americolor Egg Yellow.)
- Pumpkin orange piping and flood icing (I mixed Americolor Orange with a touch of Warm Brown.)
- Light Green medium icing (I mixed Americolor Egg Yellow with Mint Green.)
- Darker Green medium icing (I mixed the light green above with a touch of Americolor Leaf Green.)
- Brown medium icing (I used Americolor Chocolate Brown.)
With yellow flood icing and a food-only paintbrush, paint the middle area of the pumpkin, as shown below. Let the icing dry.
For those without a projector, etch guidelines where the face details should be, as shown. I made a template with template plastic from the PDF file above and used a scribe to etch the guideline in the yellow icing.
For the leaf and pumpkin sections, mark the guidelines with a food marker.
(Note: I used a scribe instead of a food marker for the face because I didn't want the marker lines to be visible. If you happen to have a yellow food marker, that might be a nice discreet alternative, as well.)
Next, with outline icing, outline around the face details and around the edge of the center section. Then flood the pumpkin section will flood icing. Be careful as you flood around the intricate eyes and mouth. Let this icing set (about 20 minutes.
Once the center section is set, begin filling in alternating sections.
Fill the left section and leaf area first. Let that set, then fill the remaining right section and stem. Let everything dry (about 1 hour).
Lastly, add the final line details. Outline the leaf with the darker green icing, then add the line detail on the stem with brown icing.
The steps above are demonstrated in the time-lapsed video below.
Jack o' lantern cookies is just a one idea for these pumpkin cookies.
I made sure these cookies were designed more wider than they are tall. That way you could easily add a personalized name on the pumpkin if you wanted to. I think utilizing these pumpkins as a name tag place setting at Thanksgiving would be a hit with all your guests.
Happy Labor Day weekend and Happy Halloween baking, everyone!