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!

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  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.


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