I’m celebrating beautiful fall foliage with these Fall Cookies! Don’t be intimidated; these leaf sugar cookies are easier to make than they look!

Fall leaf cookies dusted with sugar on a white plate.


Fall is my absolute favorite season for a few reasons, but mainly for the beautiful fall foliage. Surprisingly there are still some leaves left on the trees after Hurricane Sandy, but sadly the last of them are beginning to fall.

My little toddler, Mia, also loves the fall leaves. As we drive down the road, she says things like: “Ohhh, pretty leaves” or “Look, Mommy! Yellow leaves, mommy’s favorite.” I wanted to make something that would capture the beauty of the season and something that would excite my 2-year-old Mia. These cookies satisfied both, and not to mention they were pretty delicious, too.

Fall cookies next to a glass of milk.

Disclosure: This post for Fall Leaf Sugar Cookies includes affiliate links.

Cook’s Note for Fall Foliage Sugar Cookies:

  • This dough can be a little sticky to handle, so make sure it’s chilled well before you break it into pieces and roll it out.
  • I used my favorite adjustable rolling pin for this recipe. What I love about the rolling pin are the rings that are on either end. These rings ensure the dough rolls out to the desired thickness.

Fall leaf cookies on a pumpkin plate.


  • mixing bowls
  • hand mixer
  • food coloring
  • pastry mat
  • adjustable rolling pin
  • baking sheets
  • silicone baking mats
  • wire rack
  • orange sanding sugar                                 

Leaf cookie being dipped into a glass of milk.

More Fall Cookies!

If you’re hungry for some more fall cookies, then try my Pumpkin Blossom Cookies that call for just four simple ingredients! 

Another great choice is my Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles that are so simple to make; grab the kids because they’ll love rolling them into the sugar! Lastly, these Fall M&M Cookies are amazing! They’re thick, chewy, and studded with Fall M&M’s! 

A close-up of Fall Foliage Sugar Cookies on a plate
5 from 9 votes

Fall Foliage Sugar Cookies

Author Jillian - a Food, Folks and Fun original!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
14 cookies
I'm celebrating beautiful fall foliage with these Fall Cookies! Don't be intimidated, they're easier to make than they look!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • red gel food coloring
  • yellow gel food coloring
  • orange gel food coloring
  • leaf cookie cutter
  • orange decorating sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour and salt on low speed until just incorporated.
    How to Make Leaf Cookies - Step 1
  • Divide the dough into 3 separate chunks and color one red, one yellow, and one orange. Form each dough chunk into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours.
    How to Make Leaf Cookies - Step 2
  • When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut each dough disk in half. Work with half the dough at a time, re-wrap what you're not using and return it to the refrigerator.
    Process shot for making Fall Foliage Sugar Cookies
  • Flour your work surface. Break the dough into small chunks and arrange randomly on your work surface. Squish the dough together to form one disk.
    How to Make Leaf Cookies - Step 5
  • Roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut with a leaf cookie cutter and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. 
    How to Make Leaf Cookies - Step 6
  • Using the blunt edge of a butter knife, gently mark the veins of the leaf and sprinkle with orange decorating sugar (optional). 
    How to Make Leaf Cookies - Step 7
  • Bake 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies), rotating the sheets halfway through baking until fully cooked but not at all browned. Allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. *If you're using a large cookie cutter, you'll need to increase your baking time by a few minutes. 
    How to Make Leaf Cookies - Step 8
  • Repeat the process with the remaining cookie dough.
    Fall Foliage Sugar Cookies on a pumpkin plate



I used a 2 1/2 inch by 1-inch cookie cutter for my leaves and got about 14 cookies from this recipe. The number of cookies this recipe makes is all dependent on the size of your cookie cutter(s).


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 173mg | Potassium: 36mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.3mg

did you love this recipe?

Share it with me on Facebook and find more recipes on foodfolksandfun for more!

Picture collage of fall leaf cookies.

These Colorful Leaf Sugar Cookies first appeared on FFF in November of 2012. I’ve recently updated the pictures and posts, but you can see the original image below.

Fall Leaf sugar cookies on a pumpkin plate surrounded by real fall leaves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. mommyzoid says:

    Jill, this is an AWESOME recipe! I love the look of the dough all squished together!

    Stephanie @ Mommyzoid.com

    1. Thanks Stephanie! And thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. These look amazing! Well done and thank you for sharing. I’ve pinned these to try soon 🙂

    1. Thanks for stopping by and pinning! 🙂

  3. Hi Jill,
    The outcome of these cookies were amazing! A huge hit at my Thanksgiving table! But even after refrigerating the dough it became very sticky and hard to work with. Any suggestions besides the obvious (more flour)? Great recipe though! They taste great and look so pretty!

    1. Hi Amy,

      I’m so glad you liked the recipe! To be honest I’m not 100% sure about the answer to your question, but I’ll try. Perhaps the food coloring altered the dough? Did you use liquid or gel color? Also was your kitchen hot or humid (were you cooking something on the stove top?). Unfortunately more flour and more refrigeration are the my only tricks for curing sticky dough.

  4. Hello! Fall and cookies are my two favorite things so when I saw this recipe I become instantly excited! I have a question though, you say gel food coloring is used in this – is there a particular reason you use this over liquid? Or do you think either would be fine?
    Thank you in advance – I can’t wait to try these!

    1. Hi Jill! I favor gel food coloring over liquid mainly because of past experiences with liquid food coloring turning frosting into a liquid. With that said, I’m not 100% sure what will happen when you use liquid food coloring with cookie dough. My gut says it should be fine since cookie dough is way more substantial than frosting. I hope this helps, and I can’t wait to hear how these cookies turn out for you!

  5. Allison - Celebrating Sweets says:

    My kids would love making these! They are gorgeous!

  6. Brian Jones says:

    They look fantastic, such great colours, bet they taste great too.

  7. Emma | The Cake MIstress says:

    Such a clever idea! The mixing of dough gives the leaves such a realistic effect like the changing colours of autumn. Love it!

  8. I’ve never seen cookies in a leaf shape. They’re so cute!!

  9. Thank you for this beautiful cookie idea!!
    Mine didn’t turn out as spectacular as yours, but just loved the colors!!

    1. They are beautiful. I have found that if the dough gets too warm after being mixed and rolled out, then the colors will not look as good, and the edges of the cookies won’t be as crisp. If your dough is too warm, then pop it back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  10. You have got the theme spot on for these cookies! I love the colours and the instructions are easy to follow. Cheers!

  11. These are so pretty, what a great idea!

  12. Michelle - The Last Food Blog says:

    These cookies are so pretty! I love all the colours of Autumn and these will be perfect for the holidays. I’m not a great baker but will have to give these a go x

    1. Thank you! I hope you love the recipe!

  13. Mary Bostow says:

    Oh yum! My whole family would go crazy for these! Love Love Love this recipe! I’m sure these tastes are amazing! I want to eat it every day!

    1. They do taste good. 🙂

  14. Shinta Simon says:

    This is so creative! An absolutely adorable idea for Autumn. I am pinning away!

    1. I’m so glad you like them! 🙂

  15. These cookies are delicious and beautiful!

  16. These cookies look so pretty! SO creative and beautiful!