The Nightmare Before Christmas Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

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Soft, scrumptious pumpkin cookies topped with pumpkin buttercream frosting and decorated with a classic scene from The Nightmare Before Christmas movie.


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powdered
Pinch of salt
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cups white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Orange food coloring 12 drops of yellow food coloring + 3 drops of red food coloring
About 3 oz black icing


  1. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl.
  2. Add egg and beat until combined. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla extract.
  3. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. While mixer is turned off, add dry ingredients. Mix on low until completely incorporated. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and mix a couple more times.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Grease your hands and scoop about a tablespoon and a half portion of cookie batter. Gently roll it in a ball and flatten it somewhat. Shape into a nice circle. These cookie will retain shape. Place formed cookies on the baking sheet and gently press your thumb in the middle. (This will help with them raising in the center.) Place cookies on the parchment paper about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes.
  8. Take out and repeat with remaining batter.
  9. Cool cookies on a wire rack completely before frosting.


  1. Beat butter with a paddle attachment in an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, for a couple of minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for another couple more minutes until light and fluffy.
  2. Switch to a whisk attachment.
  3. On low speed, add vanilla, cream, pumpkin, and powdered sugar. Beat on low until sugar is incorporated and raise the speed to medium-high.
  4. Beat for a few seconds.
  5. Add food coloring and beat until incorporated. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and mix. Set aside until cookies are cooled.
  6. Frost cookies evenly to make a nice flat round top. That will resemble the moon.
  7. Add black icing to a piping bag that’s fitted with a thin attachment meant for writing (#2 Wilton attachment). I recommend making your first illustration on a piece of paper, for practice. Draw the mountain and Jack on the frosted cookies in black icing.


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