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Jack O Lantern Cookies

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These fun pumpkin oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips are a Halloween tradition in my family. We shape them like pumpkins and decorate them like Jack-o-lanterns with candy faces and they are always a hit.

pumpkin shaped cookie with candy and frosting decoration to look like a jack-o-lantern.

These cookies are delicious on their own. They are loaded with pumpkin, oatmeal, a hint of cinnamon and chocolate chips.

They have a nice chew and the icing almost makes them taste like an oatmeal cream pie.  But what really makes them cute are the candy faces!

I have made them as drop cookies before and covered them with a bit of cream cheese frosting and they were delicious that way as well, but there is just something about a candy face that makes them even better!

I first shared this on the blog in 2015. But I thought I would bring it back to the front to remind you about how wonderful they are.  Plus that gave Little Dude and I a fun project to work on, we love decorating cookies, cakes and cupcakes together.

Our Family’s History With This Recipe

My mom started making these cookies for us back in 1984. Do you remember those days before food blogs and Pinterest?

She used to find new recipe ideas in the newspaper and that is exactly where this is from.  She still has the newspaper page with this and a few other recipes on it.  Now it wouldn’t be October without them!

We thought Little Dude would have fun putting candy on the pumpkins.  He did have fun, but most of the candy went into his mouth!

Child putting candy and frosting on pumpkin cookies to look like Jack-o-lantern faces.

I suppose all of those grand ideas of my kid always eating healthy and not having junk are shot.  At least he eats well most of the time!

The fun part about these cookies, is you can let your imaginations run wild on the decorations.  They don’t always have to make sense, they just have to taste good!

kid eating a cookie loaded with frosting and candy.

 Of course one of his pumpkins got a little out of control with a huge mound of frosting and lots of candy.  He was really looking forward to eating it, even if it took him three sitting to get through it!

Tips and Tricks

The dough is on the soft side, that makes them easier to shape, but it does also mean they spread a bit while baking. Be sure to leave some space between the cookies on the tray.

I definitely recommend making these cookies on the bigger side, it gives you more room to decorate and have fun.  If you want smaller cookies, be sure to buy mini candies and chocolate chips so you can get a face on there.

jack-o-lantern cookies on spider web tray.

Make sure to cool the cookies on the trays for a while. This will give them a chance to firm up a bit before you move them. Once they cool, they are much more sturdy.

We like using candy corn, M&Ms, chocolate chips and red hots to decorate our cookies but get creative and use what you like. A nice stiff buttercream is a good option to hold the candy on and hold its shape.

Store you cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. For longer storage freeze undecorated cookies for up to 3 months.

More Fun Halloween Recipes:

Ghosts in the Graveyard Trifle is a fun mix of chocolate cake, pudding, white chocolate bones, chocolate dirt and spooky ghosts.  It is truly a spooky Halloween dessert and a delight for your taste buds!

Shrimp on the Brain Dip is a fun cracker spread that looks like a brain and tastes like a million bucks.  The creamy shrimp base and cocktail sauce blood are a site to behold for sure!

Frankenstein pudding cups are another fun one for the kids to help with. If you like dirt pudding, you will love these fun treats.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card.

pumpkin shaped cookie with candy and frosting decoration to look like a jack-o-lantern.

Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Cookies

Servings: 24 Large Cookies
Author: Carlee
These cookies are delicious on their own. They are loaded with pumpkin, oatmeal and chocolate chips. They have a nice chew and the icing almost makes them taste like an oatmeal cream pie. But what really makes them cute are the candy faces!
5 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For decorating: crusting buttercream or frosting tubes and assorted candies and chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon & salt. Set aside.
    2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth. Gradually add sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
    1 cup butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Add egg, and vanilla, mix well.
    1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients and pumpkin to the butter mixture. Mix well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.
    1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Shape into pumpkin shapes on greased or parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. They will still be soft and you don’t want them to brown too much around the edges. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once completely cooled, decorate with frosting and candies.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 235kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 162mgPotassium: 104mgFiber: 2gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 1840IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Tuesday 9th of October 2018

Oh how fun!!! Bet they're pretty tasty too!


Tuesday 16th of October 2018

They really are delicious and fun to decorate too!


Monday 8th of October 2018

My mother use to cut out recipes out of the newspaper. That is so cool that you still have that recipe. And I love little dude's loaded cookie. That looks like my kind of cookie. They also sound like a good substantial recipe. Thank you for sharing.


Tuesday 16th of October 2018

I was tempted to steal the loaded cookie too! You know I love my frosting! These have definitely earned their place in our family's hearts!


Saturday 6th of October 2018

These are my favorite! When I was a child my mom would make them and it was the kids job to decorate them, it wasn't Halloween unless we made these!!! :)


Monday 8th of October 2018

It was the same at our house (and still is!)

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

Friday 5th of October 2018

Totally adorable! I love decorating cookies this time of year and you have me totally inspired :)


Monday 8th of October 2018

Yay! It is fun how anything goes on these kind of things!

Andrea Nine

Friday 5th of October 2018

Look at this cuteness! Little Dude and the cookies!


Monday 8th of October 2018

=) We had fun doing them.