Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

November 13, 2015

Cookie decorating has been a passion of mine for about 8 years now. I love how a little bit of icing and creativity, along with a good dose of patience, can turn a simple sugar cookie into something so cute and delightful. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I wanted to share one of my absolute favorite cookie designs for the season! These pumpkin pie cookies would be so cute displayed on a platter at your Thanksgiving dinner, or put into individual bags to give to friends and family members that you are especially thankful for. The best part? These cookies stay fresh way longer than pumpkin pie, AND you don’t even have to like pumpkin pie to love these! 

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

First, let’s talk cookie recipe. This is the recipe that I use for ALL of my cutout cookies. They are sturdy enough to withstand stacking and transport (you can mail them!), but still soft and moist. They are also not overly sweet. The icing brings in that sugar-sweet taste that keeps people coming back for more cookies. You might want to make twice as many as you think you’ll need. Trust me on this one. 

Simple Sugar Cookies
Serves 24
A great roll-out sugar cookie that is mildly sweet, sturdy, and moist. Great for decorating!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
40 min
174 calories
23 g
36 g
8 g
2 g
5 g
41 g
8 g
8 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 36mg
Sodium 8mg
Total Carbohydrates 23g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  2. 1 cup Sugar
  3. 2 tsp. Vanilla
  4. 2 Eggs
  5. 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  6. 3 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter and sugar until well combined.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, and add vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder, and gradually add into butter mixture. Mix until just combined.
  5. Lightly flour dough ball, and roll out to about ⅓ - ½ inch thick between two sheets of parchment paper. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. This will make it easier to cut out cookies and handle the dough.
  6. Remove from refrigerator, place on lightly floured countertop, and cut into desired shapes with floured cookie cutters.
  7. Place the cookies on a non-stick cookie sheet or baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are firm and slightly golden brown. Not over-baking these is key!
  9. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before decorating.
  1. If your cookies start to spread, the dough might be too warm (melted butter is not a friend of cutout cookies). This is easily remedied by putting the cookie sheet with the cut cookies into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes before baking.
  2. You can re-roll the scraps of this dough. The cookies might not be quite as tender, but they will still taste wonderful.
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Here is my dough all rolled out and ready to go. For these specific cookies, you will want to cut out triangles. If you’re like me and don’t have a triangle cookie cutter, you can easily make pie slice shapes by forming your dough into a sizable circle (try tracing a round cake pan or small plate with a butter knife), and using a pizza cutter to create wedges. That is my method of choice for these particular cookies because it gives you a slightly rounded edge, just like a real slice of pumpkin pie. If you want to make sure you get the full 24 cookies out of this recipe, you’ll want to make them on the smaller side (no more than 3 inches). 

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

Bake the cookies according to the recipe, and then make sure to let them cool completely.

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

For the icing, I follow Wilton’s recipe for Royal Icing. One batch should be all that you need. If you have never used Meringue Powder before, it can usually be found in the cake decorating section of your local craft store. The only other ingredients you will need are confectioner’s sugar and water.

Once your icing is mixed, it’s time to divide it up and tint it. You will need about ½ cup of tan for the crust, ½ cup of orange to outline the pie slices, and ½ cup of white to add a dollop of  “whipped cream.” The consistency of these should be fairly stiff, but still easy to squeeze through a decorating bag. Think peanut butter consistency. It should hold it’s shape rather than spreading. The icing that remains in the bowl will be your “flood” icing for filling in the pie slices. All you have to do to make the icing for flooding is add water to the royal icing. Be sure to add it a little at a time, so it’s not too runny. Aim for milkshake consistency on this one. It should flow easily to fill in the cookie outline. After it’s thinned, it will be tinted pumpkin orange as well. 

As for the food coloring, I like to use gel food coloring. It goes a long way, the colors are vibrant, and it’s less mess. For the crust color, you will want to create a light golden brown. I used a tiny bit of brown and an even tinier amount of yellow to achieve this color. For the pumpkin pie color, add a little bit of brown to a fairly saturated orange. 
Now, load all of your icing into decorating bags, squirt bottles, etc.. You will need a small round tip (for orange outline), a petal tip (for brown crust), and a star tip (for white whipped cream). Put the flood icing in a squirt bottle, and then you are ready to rock n’ roll!

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

Step one for decorating the cookies is to outline the whole triangle in orange icing with a small round tip. Let it set for 20-30 minutes. Once it is dry to the touch, you can fill in the cookies. I like to use a squirt bottle to flood large areas like these. It’s quick, but is still easy to control. 

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

This is the hardest part…waiting. The thinner icing takes quite a while to dry. Based on the temperature and humidity in your house, it can take anywhere from 8-12 hours or so to be mostly dry. I like to flood the cookies right before bed, and let them dry while I sleep. It keeps me from getting so impatient. Hahaha. If you do this, just make sure that your unused icing is totally sealed up so that it won’t dry out.

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

When the icing is dry to the touch and doesn’t yield to light pressure, you can put on the finishing touches. For the pie crust, use the petal tip and a zig-zag motion to distribute the tan icing along the top of the pie slice. Then, use the star tip to add a dollop of whipped cream to the center of your pie slice. 

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Cookies

Let the icing totally finish drying, and then you’re ready to share them with family and friends! These can be packaged and displayed in so many cute ways, so use your imagination and get creative!



  • Reply Tiffany Harvey November 13, 2015 at 11:42 am

    So cute! I love the short squirt bottles you have for the royal icing. I tend to avoid things that call for pastry bags, but I could see myself using these.

    • Reply Madi November 13, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Tiffany, the squirt bottles are so handy! I know that Pampered Chef sells them. I’m sure there are more inexpensive options out there too, but so far, the Pampered Chef ones have lasted 3 or 4 years of really intense cookie decorating!

      • Reply Tiffany Harvey November 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        Yes, I know you put your set has been well testsed!

        I went on Amazon & looked around after commenting. There was a Betty Crocker set that looked a lot like yours, but some people were complaining about the bottles splitting on the seams. Then I found an OXO set where the bottoms are made of silicone, like those flexible baking pans. You can even flip them inside out to clean! Those are going on my Christmas list!

      • Reply Amanda November 17, 2015 at 8:10 am

        So I may have went to Williams Sonoma this weekend and bought a decorating kit that had the squirt bottles… what can I say, you’re an inspiration! Christmas cookies here I come 😉

  • Reply Sarah @ Pretty Simple Ideas November 13, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    LOVE! You are so talented and creative.

    • Reply Amanda November 17, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Madi is the best cookie decorator I know Sarah! Theses pumpkin pie cookies are perfection.

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