Festive, easy, and cute, Roly Poly Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Maple Frosting. Simple vanilla sugar cookies shaped into the cutest, fattest little pumpkins, made effortlessly by shaping the dough into ovals and balls. Frost with a deliciously sweet cinnamon frosting and you’ll have yourself the most perfect Halloween and Thanksgiving cookie. Fun to bake, delicious to eat, these pumpkin-shaped cookies also make for a great homemade gift!
So maybe these don’t look exactly like pumpkins, but they’re close enough. We’re about to enter into the time of year I love the most. Halloween is Sunday and that means the holidays are basically here.
Since I’m never one to forget about Halloween (it’s actually my second favorite holiday), I really wanted to create a sweet cookie that would be cute for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.
I came up with the idea for these cookies while hiking, then kept thinking on them the rest of the day. I tried to figure out how to make these easy for you guys…and here we are!
I’m so excited to share these.
Do you all remember my Holly Jolly Santa cookies? Well, they’re one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies. I love them and their cuteness so much. I thought how could I take that cookie and turn it into a cookie fit for Halloween as well as Thanksgiving?
Ah, make fat, roly poly style pumpkins! They’re not perfect, but what I love most about them is that they’re unique, fun to make, and so delicious. Of course.
Here’s how you make these pumpkin shaped cookies
Start with the dough. I used my favorite sugar cookie dough that’s heavy on the butter…and vanilla. I died three-fourths of the dough orange, using food coloring, and kept the other half of the dough plain. If you can find a great natural orange food die, I would highly recommend using that. Sadly I’ve yet to find one that works well. If anyone has found one they use and love, please let me know!
Once you’ve died the dough, simply roll it into balls. Then take the orange balls and form them into long ovals – kind of like an eggplant – with one end a little larger than the other. If you look through the photos you will most likely understand the process much better. You need five orange dough balls and 1 white dough ball to make one pumpkin.
(before adding the stem)
Attaching the pieces
This is the step that you might think will be tricky, but it’s actually so easy. To make each pumpkin, just gently push the orange pieces into a circular pattern. Then, grab that plain dough pall and position it at the top of the pumpkin, shaping it into a stem. Once again, use the photos as guides. Nothing needs to be shaped perfectly or lined up just right. As long as you have a rough half-circle formed, the cookies will bake up like adorable fat pumpkins.
(use a pumpkin cookie cutter to help better shape the cookies)
Once you have your pumpkins formed, I like to freeze them a few minutes to help them hold their shape. Then bake – that’s it!
To me, this is easier than cutting out shapes. And I think they are way cuter, not to mention a little more unique.
(ready to bake)
Decorating is easy.
I used a sweet cinnamon-spiced brown butter frosting to add a layer of warming flavor to each cookie. You can decorate them any way you’d like. I just did simple swirls and a light dusting of cinnamon sugar.
My one tip? Keep a small bowl of the frosting aside for adding to each cookie while eating. I didn’t use a ton of frosting for decorating, so having a little on the side was so good.
Hoping these cookies excite you guys! They’re honestly so much fun to make. And I love that they’d be equally great for Halloween this weekend and Thanksgiving in a few weeks!
Looking for other easy fall cookies?? Here are my favorites:
Lastly, if you make these Roly Poly Pumpkin Cookies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Roly Poly Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Maple Frosting
Servings: 16 pumpkin cookies
Calories Per Serving: 197 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour, and salt, beat until combined and the dough begins to form a ball.3. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough and set aside. With the remaining dough, add in 1 teaspoon orange food coloring, adding more if needed for better color. Keep in mind that the color will darken over time. If the dough is feeling wet, add 2-3 tablespoons flour. 4. From the orange cookie dough, make 5 (1 teaspoon size) balls. From the plain cookie dough, make 1 (1/2 teaspoon size) ball. 5. On the prepared baking sheet, roll the orange balls into rounded ovals, kind of the shape of an eggplant, fatter at the bottom and skinnier up on top. Arrange the pieces side by side, making a rough pumpkin shape. Next, attach the plain dough ball at the top, shaping the dough upward as a stem. Repeat with remaining dough. Arrange the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. If desired, you can take a similar size pumpkin cookie cutter and fit your cookie inside the cutter to help form a better pumpkin shape (see above photos). 6. Freeze 10 minutes. Bake the pumpkins for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden.7. To make the frosting. Melt together the butter and maple syrup in a small pot over medium heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and cinnamon.8. To decorate. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a small tip. Or, take a ziplock bag and snip a very small portion of the corner off the bag. Decorate as desired.
Orange Food Coloring: To make orange food coloring, mix 25 drops of red food coloring and 8 drops yellow food coloring. Storing: the frosting will set up, but it’s best to store these cookies in a single layer in an airtight container. If using these cookies to fill a cookie box, place a piece of wax or parchment paper between each cookie to help protect them, then carefully stack the cookies, or line them up side by side. Freezing: unfrosted cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw, then decorate as directed.