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Fall Leaves Sugar Cookies


Sugar cookies with combined red, yellow and orange dough make colorful cookies to serve during the fall season.
These marbled cookies are a fun, festive way to celebrate the fall season.
Enjoy these Fall Leaves Sugar Cookies in the autumn, or try marbling different colors for other events - like pink and purple flower cut-outs for a little girl's birthday party.

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (19 Votes)


  • 1 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Red, orange and yellow gel food colors
  • Coarse white, orange and/or yellow decorator sugars


Servings 48
Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 200mins


Step 1

Combine butter and sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk and almond extract; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds; place each portion into separate small bowl.
Add very small amount of red gel food color to 1 portion; mix well. Add additional red gel for desired color, if necessary.
In 2nd bowl, add very small amount of yellow gel food color to 1 portion; mix well. Add additional yellow gel for desired color, if necessary.
In 3rd bowl, add very small amount of orange gel food color to 1 portion; mix well. Add additional orange gel for desired color, if necessary.
I tried to make the color pretty strong, so I could be sure the marbled-effect would be distinct when rolled out.

Scoop each color dough out of the bowl onto its own sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper. Shape it into a ball, then squish it down into a fat pancake approx 1/2-inch thickness. Fold the wrapping around it and put the three dough discs into your refrigerator to cool until firm (2-3 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F.

Now, dust your cutting board with flour so the dough won't stick.
Working with half of each dough color (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), drop tablespoon-size pieces of dough from each color onto a well-floured surface in a random pattern with dough pieces touching - a good job for kids to help with, especially since the dough looks like modeling clay! Use your hands to scrunch the dough balls together so there aren't any substantial gaps.

Dust the top of the dough with a little more flour and do the same with your rolling pin (again to avoid sticking).
Roll the dough out from the middle. If you see any little gaps where the dough isn't binding together, just use your finger to lightly push it together. Spread the dough as evenly as you can until it's 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch thick (depending on how thin and crispy you like your sugar cookies to be), forming a marbled design.

Now is the time to break out your festive cookie cutters! Leaf shapes are great, but you could also experiment with other shapes.
Cut with 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutters.

Use a thin spatula to lift the cookie shapes off the cutting board and onto your cookie sheet - keeping the cookies an inch apart. Carefully push together the dough that's left over from your first cut-outs, and re-roll them to make more cookies (these ones will just be a little more marbled).

Add a little sparkle to your cookies by decorating them with colored sugars. You can either purchase these at your local grocery store, or you can make them yourself by combining regular sugar with a drop of food coloring.

Bake the cookies for 7 - 9 minutes or until they are lightly browned around the edges.
After removing them from the oven, cool them for one minute on the cookie sheet, then place them on a cooling rack until ready to serve.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well they kept their marbled coloring. Then my family gobbled up these Thanksgiving-worthy treats!

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