Halloween Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

These crisp and colorful pumpkin sugar cookies are perfect with a glass of milk. More Halloween Recipes

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Photo: Abby Hocking / Food & Wine
Active Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
3 dozen 3-inch cookies



  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

Glaze and Icing

  • 2 large egg whites

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • Food coloring


  1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and salt, then beat in flour at low speed. Divide dough in thirds and pat into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of dough 1 inch thick. Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, stamp out cookies as close together as possible and transfer them to a baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake cookies in center of the oven until lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather and reroll dough scraps; stamp out and bake more cookies.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add lemon juice and confectioners' sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour some of icing into several small bowls and stir in food coloring; cover bowls with plastic wrap so icing doesn't harden. Add a few drops of water to white icing to thin it slightly so it will glaze the cookies evenly. Using a pastry brush, coat all of the cookies with white glaze. Let the glaze dry completely. Transfer colored icings to piping bags fitted with tiny tips (or to sturdy, small, resealable plastic bags with a tiny bit of a corner snipped off) and pipe designs over cookies. Let icing dry completely before serving.

Make Ahead

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper for up to 1 week.

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