pumpkin cookie cutouts decorated in orange, brown, and yellow

Fall Harvest Cookies-Leaves and Pumpkins

A Fall Tradition

Two things that come to mind when I think of making cookies in the fall in the form of sugar cookie cutouts: Harvest cookies- pumpkins and leaves.   Who doesn’t love pumpkins as the season to highlight them goes from September to November.  Ditto for the fall leaves, depending on where you live.

I think about how awesome those colors are and how I can replicate all the gorgeous leaves that are falling from the trees. I think red and yellow are my favorite.

These two cookies are a tradition in my kitchen to kick off the fall/holiday baking season.

Pumpkin Cookies

Pumpkins are just so fun to make and let your creativity fly. Perfect design for harvest cookies.  Really, there is no wrong way of decorating these guys.  The color is super easy to make, and you can accent them with browns, greens, yellows, and those fun fall sprinkles with those awesome colors.

pumpkin cookie cutouts decorated in orange, brown, and yellow

Once they are baked and cooled, I just make a batch of royal icing and color it orange.  Here is a recipe for royal icing if you need it. 

I dip each pumpkin into the icing, making sure it is the right consistency, not to thick or thin ( much like the consistency of corn syrup).  Placing them on sheets of parchment paper to dry.

While the icing is still wet, you can accent it with other colors and touches like piped dots that are pulled with a toothpick.  Also, allow them to fully dry when piping directly on top of them like stems and squiggles.

Have fun with it, create your own masterpiece.

Fall Leaves

Maples are probably my favorite leaf, and this great maple leaf cutter is perfect for the task.  Replicates the leaves perfectly!

Fall leaf cookies decorated in autumn colors

These were a lot of fun to make.  I used royal icing and made it to flooding consistency being careful not make it to thin where it would run out of a piping bag. 

Use a plain tip 3 and put each color into its own piping bag.

How To Design Harvest Cookies with Royal Icing

I started on the outside of the cookie and would pipe around the edges of the cookies a few times.  Then change color and pipe alongside the first color.  Continuing this until you get to the center and use a separate color for the center. Using white also as your second color makes a great display too.

While the cookies are still wet and immediately after they are piped, I take a wooden skewer and drag through cookie from the outside to inside at 4 separate places.  Additionally, I reverse that and drag from the center to the outside in 4 different areas.  

This effect really gives such a great look to these cookies.  Last year I made over 500 of these guys and used different color combinations with brown, yellow, orange, and red.  I can’t quite decide which I liked the best!

sugar cookie cutouts in leaf designs decorated with autumn colors

Some great tips:

  • You can cut out and bake the cookies up ahead of time.  Cool completely and freeze and decorate later.
  • After the cookies are decorated, let them fully dry.  Place them in storage containers in single layers separating each layer by parchment paper and freeze.  They can last a few months in the freezer.

Happy Baking this Fall!!!

More Fall Cookie Designs

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