The perfect cookie for fall - a Soft Gingerbread Cookie with a Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting. Make these using a leaf cookie cutter for ultimate Autumn cuteness.
Video included on how to make the frosting.
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One of the main reasons fall is my favorite season of all has to be the wide range of colorful leaves.
Reds, golds, and oranges displayed throughout the neighborhood. I wish there was a way to stop time at the peak of the season.
In celebration of this beauty, we made some leaf shaped cookies.
But not just some old sugar cookies, that would be boring. We made ginger cookies into a leaf shape. And to add more of a fall flavor, we decorated these cookies with some pumpkin buttercream frosting.
Is your mind blown yet?
Pumpkin and ginger are such a great combination, one I try to bring together each fall. Here is how we made these cookies come together:
Here is the list of ingredients you will need for these cookies:
For the ginger cookies:
- ¾ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp kosher salt
For the buttercream:
- 2 sticks butter room temperature
- ½ cup fresh pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
RECOMMENDATION - If you really want to make these cookies epic might I recommend Burlap & Barrel Buffalo Ginger. This ground ginger is made from an heirloom type of ginger grown in Vietnam. It has a spicy flavor with notes of pineapple and herbs. Better than the ground ginger you will find on a grocery store shelf.
💡 Tips for Making the Cookies
My favorite ginger cookie recipe comes from Paula Deen. The recipe produces a soft cookie with a good amount of spice flavor.
- If you are going to cut the dough with a cookie cutter, you may need to work in more flour to the dough to get it to roll out for you.
- If you don't care about the shape, you can just make these cookies into 1-inch balls that you flatten out on your sheet pan.
- Darker cookies can be harder to tell when finished baking in the oven since you can't really see the edges browning. They need to be set around the edges without being set in the middle for a soft cookie.
🎃 How to Make Pumpkin Buttercream
The frosting you are about to experience is magical. And it's easy to make too.
I did a lot of searching before I came across the best pumpkin frosting recipe. This recipe is a buttercream frosting that includes pumpkin puree.
I make my own pumpkin puree from pie pumpkins that I bake in the oven. Since pumpkin puree can vary in the amount of moisture in it the amount of powdered sugar you will need is hard to predict. I recommend having a 2 pound bag on hand and to slowly add the sugar when making the frosting.
Watch this video below to learn how to make pumpkin buttercream.
🍁 Leaf Cookie Cutter
I own a Wilton brand leaf cookie cutter. It is a metal one with a comfort grip on the outside. I am not a big fan of metal cookie cutters because they bend easily. However the comfort grip on this one gives the cutter more stability.
I would say it's one of my favorite cookie cutters.
Here are some other suggestions for cookie cutters you could try
- 6-piece set of fall cookie cutters
- 2 Leaf and 1 Acorn set of cookie cutters
- Comfort Grip Pumpkin Cookie Cutter
🌈 Adding Food Coloring
If you want to add food coloring as the frosting has a more little brownish color not a vivid orange like you see here, I suggest using gel paste food coloring instead of liquid food coloring. The paste works better and produce a more brilliant result.
Don't feel like you have to have it. The main reason I used it here was for a better looking photo. If I am just making this for my family, I probably would just skip it.
👩🍳 More Pumpkin Recipes to Bake
Still got some leftover pumpkin? Or can't get enough pumpkin baked goods? Here are some more to try.
- Pumpkin Mini Donuts (the pumpkin buttercream is great on these too)
- Pumpkin Cornbread
- Pumpkin Yeast Rolls & Bread
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Ginger Cookies with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting
- Stand mixer
For the ginger cookies
Making the ginger cookies
- In your mixer, cream the shortening and sugar until combined well.
- Add in the egg and molasses and mix to fully incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
- With the machine running on low, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix on low until fully incorporate. Any lumps will work themselves out.
- Add flour to a flat surface and dump the dough out.
- Roll the dough to a thickness of around a ¼ inch. If you are having trouble rolling the dough out, work in a little more flour until you can roll it out.
- Using a leaf shaped cookie cuter, cut out your shapes and add them to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Re-roll the dough scraps once to get more cookies.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 8-12 or until the cookies have set around the edges. Baking time depends on size of your cookies. Watch them carefully. You can do a few at a time to start to get a better idea of timing.
- Allow to cool on wire racks before frosting.
How to make pumpkin buttercream frosting
- In your stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter, pumpkin, salt, and spices together until combined.
- Slowly add in the sugar until you have the desire consistency you want. It should be easy to spread.
- Spread the frosting onto the cooled cookies.