Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting Woodland Animal Cookies

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies with Salted Buttercream

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Something about the fall just makes cinnamon and brown sugar sought after ingredients. I’m okay with it! These cinnamon brown sugar cookies with buttercream frosting will give you all the fall feels.

Using brown sugar in a cut out cookie recipe makes for a crispier cookie. A typical cut out sugar cookie is made with only granulated sugar, leading to a soft bite.

I am not one to hate on a crispier cookie, though. And to be fair, these brown sugar cookies will not be crunchy like a gingerbread cookie. They are just right.

You can eat these cinnamon brown sugar cookies plain or, my favorite way, top them with a salty, vanilla buttercream frosting. So delicious!

I will be sharing the recipes for both the cinnamon brown sugar cookies and the vanilla buttercream frosting so follow along!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.*Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies with Salted Buttercream Frosting

cinnamon cookies

The Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies – Recipe & Tips

Let’s get started! First, if you are planning to frost these cookies, take out a half cup of salted butter and one and a half cups of unsalted butter from the refrigerator to come to room temperature while working on the cookies.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then, in a medium sized mixing bowl, combine three cups of all purpose flour with two teaspoons of baking powder and one teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

When measuring the flour, make sure to use the scoop and level method. That is, use a spoon to scoop flour into a measuring cup. Then, use a knife to scrape the excess flour off the top so there is a perfectly even measurement.

Set the mixing bowl aside. In a stand mixer, add in one cup of cold salted butter. I like to cube my butter first since the butter is cold.

Add in one half cup of granulated sugar and one half cup of packed brown sugar. With the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together.

Once creamed, add in one egg and one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon mixture slowly. The cookie dough will eventually form a ball.

If the dough is too sticky to form a ball, add in a tablespoon or so of flour. If the cookie dough is too crumbly to form a ball, use your hands to mix the dough together.

You may know by now, but I’m “just” a mom and didn’t go to pastry school. I enjoy decorating sugar cookies but I don’t take the time to weigh my ingredients. If you don’t have a kitchen scale we can for sure be friends.

If you do have a kitchen scale, I admire your accurateness and your cookies should come out flawless. When I look it up online, 3 cups of all-purpose flour should be 384 grams.

Now that the dough is prepared, go ahead and flour your counter or place a piece of parchment paper down. Roll out the dough to 3/8″ of an inch and cut out your cookies.

I prefer 3/8″ of an inch for sugar cookies because it means more cookie in each cookie. Of course, if you prefer 1/4″ sugar cookies you can do that, too. Just lower the baking time by a couple minutes.

I use my favorite rolling pin, the Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin that allows me to change the height of the dough. Not only that, it makes sure that my dough is the same height throughout the dough for even baking. I may not measure my flour, but I do like to work on a flat surface when decorating cookies.

Arrange the cookies onto a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes. The sugar cookies are done when the top of the cookie doesn’t look wet.

The bottom of the cookie will be lightly browned due to the brown sugar. That’s where we get the yummy, buttery sweet crispiness.

The Salted Buttercream Frosting Recipe & Tips

When making buttercream frosting, make sure to use room temperature butter. Room temperature butter will cream easier than starting with cold butter.

There are a couple of things to note in this recipe before we get started:

  1. This recipe is a crusting buttercream recipe in order to decorate buttercream sugar cookies.
  2. The recipe has just a hint of saltiness so that it doesn’t overpower the cinnamon sugar cookie.

A crusting buttercream has more powdered sugar in it than a standard buttercream recipe which helps it form a slight crust on the outside of the frosting. This will help protect the design of the decorated sugar cookie.

If you do not want the frosting to form a crust, are not planning to decorate in a “fancy” manner, or want to cut back on the amount of sugar, you can definitely do that. Reduce the sugar to one pound of powdered sugar rather than two. You will have a delicious vanilla buttercream frosting that isn’t as sweet as a crusting buttercream.

Why do I call this recipe a salted buttercream if there is just a hint of salt? My original buttercream recipe doesn’t use any salted butter in it, as I want it to be versatile to many cookie flavors and not overpower the flavor.

On the same note, I don’t want this salted buttercream recipe to overpower the cinnamon in the cinnamon brown sugar cookies. Thus, I’ve personally found my family and I prefer a ratio of 1/4 salted butter to 3/4 unsalted butter.

You and your family may very well have a different preference. Play around with the amount but I do encourage you to try this ratio the first time, as I think you will love it.

Okay, so now that those two notes are out of the way, let’s make some easy salted buttercream frosting.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter until lighter in color. The whiter the base, the better any gel food dye being used will be truer to tone.

Slowly add in the two pounds of powdered sugar, tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 2-4 tablespoons of milk on LOW speed. I like to add some powdered sugar and mix it in on low. Once the mixer starts to struggle, add in liquid to help it blend.

You can also add all of sugar, vanilla, and milk at once and then cover the stand mixer with a clean towel or paper towel. Still make sure to only mix on low speed, as high speeds can add too many air bubbles.

If coloring the buttercream frosting, separate into bowls and add the gel food color. I use the Wilton gel food color, as it is a great price point for home bakers and creates saturated colors.

Place the buttercream frosting into piping bags with couplers and/or piping tips and have fun decorating these delicious fall flavored sugar cookies.

If sharing these cinnamon brown sugar cookies with others, make sure to read my post on packaging, transporting, and storing buttercream sugar cookies.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting Woodland Animal Cookies

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting

Leah Buehler
These cinnamon brown sugar cookies with buttercream frosting will be your new go-to cut out cookie recipe for all your fall cookie decorating.
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter(s)

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Paddle Attachment
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Medium Sized Mixing Bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Baking sheet
  • Piping bags and piping tips optional

Ingredients
  

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cold, cubed salted butter 2 sticks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Salted Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature 1 stick
  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature 3 sticks
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp. whole milk
  • gel food dye optional

Instructions
 

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies

  • If making the buttercream frosting, take the butter for the frosting out of the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature while baking the cookies. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Remember to measure the flour using the scoop & level method which is explained above.
  • In a stand mixer, combine the cold, cubed butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Mix with the paddle attachment until creamed together.
  • Add the egg and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  • Slowly add in the flour mixture until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is too sticky to form a ball, add a bit of flour. If the dough is crumbly, that is okay, use your hands to mix the dough until it resembles a ball.
  • Roll the cookies out to 3/8" onto a floured surface or a piece of parchment paper. Cut the cookies using a cookie cutter and bake on a prepared cookie sheet for 7-10 minutes or until the top of the cookie doesn't look wet.

Salted Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • In a stand mixer, beat the room temperature butter on high with the paddle attachment until creamed and lighter in color.
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar, as much as the stand mixer can handle. While adding in the powdered sugar, add in the vanilla extract and milk to help bring the frosting together.

Notes

The buttercream frosting will yield about four cups of frosting. This is perfect if you want to pipe rosettes onto the cookies. If you are piping drawings, you will have leftover frosting. You can double the cookie recipe or freeze the leftover frosting in an air tight container for 3-6 months.
The amount of milk you will use in the frosting will depend on how thick you want the frosting. If using the buttercream frosting to pipe rosettes, the frosting will need to be thick to hold its shape. If piping drawings, you can thin the frosting out more to make decorating easier and faster. 
My family and I prefer salted buttercream frosting with just a hint of salt. If you love buttercream frosting that uses only salted buttercream then go ahead and make the frosting with all salted buttercream.
Keyword All American Buttercream Frosting, Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies, Crusting Buttercream Frosting, Salted Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Decorating Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies for Fall

I just recently used this recipe to decorate fall woodland animal cookies for a family harvest party. While I didn’t take step-by-step photos or a video of the process as I do for my typical tutorials, I will summarize how I made each cookie.

You can also grab ideas from my fall cookie tutorials or make simple yet equally beautiful rosette cookies using a 1M piping tip. I have a post detailing how to make rosette cookies to guide you.

How to Decorate the Woodland Animal Buttercream Cookies

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Woodland Animal Cookies

For the fox, squirrel, and owl cookies, I first drew each design with black buttercream using a PME tip 1.5. But to be entirely real, I first drew the animals using procreate, as I STRUGGLE to draw, especially animals.

So, after practicing a million times on Procreate, I was ready to transfer the drawings to the cookies. Pro tip, outlining first is nice because it is easy to erase the design. Once the animal looks like an animal, you can go ahead and start coloring it in.

To color in the animal details, I used Wilton tip #s 2 & 3. The 3 was used in the larger areas, such as the fox’s shirt, and the 2 was used in the smaller areas, such as around the face.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies

For the acorn cookies, I used a Wilton tip #4 to first pipe and smooth the oval on the acorn top. Then, I filled in the acorn and the top of the acorn with typical buttercream line work. Lastly, I piped the acorn texture over the smoothed buttercream.

To pipe the leaves, I used a tip #3 to fill in the leaf background and then a tip #2 to draw the leaf.

Lastly, for the pumpkins, I used a tip #12 to pipe the pumpkin and a tip #2 to pipe vertical line work for the stem.

I’d love to know in the comments below, have you made woodland animals for a fall cookie set before? I’ve seen woodland animals for baby showers lots of times and they are always so cute.

Save the Recipe for Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies for Later

Use the image below to pin this recipe for cinnamon brown sugar cookies to your fall baking board on Pinterest. Alternatively, use any of the social share icons on the top of the page to share it to your favorite social media site.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookies Pin

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