Perfect Jack O’ Lanterns and a Tip About Orange

It’s almost Halloween, so I decided it’s about time to take one of the most common Halloween cookies of all, and jack him up a few notches. Get, it, jack him up?!  HA HA HA, okay, you’re not laughing…

ANYWHO, I like the dimension and puffiness of a sectioned pumpkin, but I don’t how it looks to add a face on top of the base layer.  It might be a bit on the OCD side, but I like realistic.

So here’s what I do.  First, I use an food color marker to sketch out my jack o’ lantern’s face.  If you want them to be uniform, use a stencil.  After you have the face planned out, use flood icing to add a thin layer to fill in the sections you made.

Let that dry.  Then use orange piping icing and a #2 tip to outline the facial features and divide the pumpkin into even sections.

Flood the face in by filling alternating sections, giving them about a half an hour to dry in between, then moving on to the remaining sections.  This will give your pumpkin a LOT of dimension.  If you like the “lift” I get from my icing, use thicker flood icing…somewhere between 12 and 20 seconds.  The thicker it is, the higher it will go.

Let that dry, and add a stem and any other details you like, and you’re done!

While we’re on the subject of Halloween, I wanted to share another tip.

As much as I love making Halloween cookies I hate it that almost every traditional Halloween color has that poopy bitter taste {black, orange, and purple, some reds, ect.} So, I do what I can to make any color possible as tastless as possible.

This isn’t rocket science, but sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.  Remember when I shared my secret to no-taste red?

I used the same idea to create no-taste orange.  I mix tulip red with a yellow color {going back to grade school color mixing},

 And I end up with a nice, non-bitter orange color.  Any yellow works, even electric version.

Play with it a little and you’ll end up with a completely custom orange color, and you’ll be doing a lot to take some of the icky taste out of your Halloween cookie collections!

If you haven’t had enough of me yet, you should hop on over to Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.  I’m hijacking her blog for a day while she’s off eating good food and watching football in New Orleans.


Anyway, today is the beginning of a new week.  I hope it turns out to be a great one for everyone!

Happy Halloween baking everyone!

Join The Discussion



  1. 51
    Erin says:

    Thanks so much for this blog. I am pretty much completely new to the world of cookie decorating and your blog will help me from making some rookie mistakes. My goal is to make Auburn/Alabama cookies for and take them to my In-Laws Iron Bowl party. So I will be using both the no-taste orange and no-taste red methods. You’re a lifesaver! You are very talented BTW.

  2. 52
    Suzanne says:

    You are my hero!!!! I love these. I am teaching a cookie decorating class at the end of September, would you mind if I did these? I always send people to your site first. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. 53
    Erin says:

    Would you mind sharing where you got your pumpkin cookie cutter?

  4. 54
    Christeena Dinehart says:

    Hi, I need to ake orange coloring but do not have access to Tulip red on hand right now. Can I use super red or will that not work? Thanks!

  5. 55
    Cate says:

    These are adorable and I will attempt to make these this weekend. Just a quick question…. Not sure if I overlooked this on the post or in the comments, but did you use regular flood icing for the eyes and mouth and 20 second frosting for the pumpkins? I just want to be sure I use the right consistency to achieve the perfect look!

  6. 56
    Robin says:

    I have spent a lot of time on your blog over the last few weeks. Your information and tutorials are helpful. I am a good baker, but have never decorated cookies. Today, I started with your help and advise. I actually had pumpkin cookie cutters, so I tried my hand at your method shown above. While my cookies don’t look like yours do, they are a great beginning place. Thanks for the help.

  7. 57
    Nancy W says:

    Can you share where you got the stencil for the face of the Jack O’ Lantern? It’s adorable!! I’ve been looking for other stencils to put on cookies too, primarily letters in different fonts. Any idea where I can find those?


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