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Decorated Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

pumpkin cut out sugar cookie with white frosting and sprinkles on a brown baking tray

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Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Halloween Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • 226 g unsalted butter, cool (60 F)
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 360 g all-purpose flour

For the Buttercream Frosting

  • 226 g unsalted butter, cold (1 cup)
  • 60 g cream cheese, softened (2 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp butter emulsion
  • 1/4 tsp almond emulsion (or extract)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 480 g powdered sugar
  • 1530 ml heavy cream
  • Food coloring
  • Piping Bags, Couplers, and #21 Star Tip
  • #16 Star Tip for pumpkin stems (optional)

Instructions

To Make the Pumpkin Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  1. Remove the butter from the refrigerator and leave out until the butter is just slightly soft but still cool. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add the whole egg and mix on low, then add egg yolk and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended in.
  3. Add flour and salt; mix on low/medium-low speed until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not over-mix the dough. If there are any ingredients stuck to the paddle, scrape them off and mix for a few seconds until just mixed.
  4. Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit a rimmed half-sheet baking pan. Put one piece of parchment paper on your counter, place the dough in the center, and then top it with the other sheet of parchment.
  5. Roll dough out to **1/4 inch thick. Place the rolled dough on your baking sheet and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough can be frozen at this point if you do not want to use it right away.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F; remove dough from the fridge, uncover, and gently lift dough away from parchment paper on each side so it is not stuck to the paper. Cut out desired shapes and move cookies to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate cut out cookie dough for 10 minutes.
  7. Bake for 9 – 11 minutes, but do not brown the cookies. They will still be light in color when they are finished. Let cookies cool completely before icing.
  8. Decorated pumpkin sugar cookies can be stored for up to a week (decorated or undecorated).

To Make the Buttercream

  1. Cream butter on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until smooth. It will take longer because the butter is cold. Add the cream cheese and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla and emulsions and mix. Add salt and half of the powdered sugar and mix on a low speed to start. Increase speed to medium as powdered sugar absorbs into the butter.
  3. Add remaining powdered sugar and 15 ml heavy cream (you can also use milk if you don’t have cream). Mix on low, and then increase the speed to medium for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Turn the speed down to low (speed 2), and mix for 1-2 more minutes to get rid of *extra air and bubbles.
  4. As a note, the amount of heavy cream you need depends on how stiff or soft you want the frosting. If you want a thinner buttercream, add up to 60 ml of heavy cream total.
  5. Add food coloring if desired, and use it to decorate the pumpkin sugar cookies. ***Buttercream frosting does not need to be refrigerated if you are frosting the cookies right away. Refrigerate if not using the same day.
  6. The frosting can be stored in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to two months. Re-mix cold frosting for a few minutes so the consistency is correct again.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

**As a side note, I do not refrigerate my cookies once they are frosted. I have never had an issue with leaving the buttercream at room temperature, even with the addition of the cream cheese. But whether or not you refrigerate the cookies is completely up to you.