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Halloween is such a fun holiday that everyone can get excited about, regardless of age. To help you all get in the spirit of things, we bring you these spooky treats: a perfectly sweet sugar cookie that also shows Halloween spunkexcellent! Obviously these cookies are delicious on their own, so you can use the recipe any time of year, with fantastic results, but we find the entertaining decorations to be one of our favorite parts of making these. It’s a great activity for kids, although you might get some truly terrifyingly decorated cookies (don’t say we didn’t warn you), but they’ll be yummy no matter what!

Halloween Sugar Cookies

Yields approx. 3 dozen



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar; optional: plus more for sprinkling cookies
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring (red, yellow, black, green)
  • Halloween-shaped cookie cutters


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and line a baking tray with parchment paper or non-stick spray.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together your flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract to butter mixture and beat until completely incorporated. 1/3 cup at a time, add in flour mixture to the butter.
  5. Form dough into a flattened disc. (Optional: refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes to chill it and make it easier to work with.)
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Use Halloween cookie cutters to cut out forms (ghosts, pumpkins, brooms, etc) and gently transfer them to baking tray, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Sprinkle cookies with granulated sugar and place in oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  8. Remove cookies from oven and let cool.
  9. In a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, shortening, milk and vanilla extract until there are no lumps. Add more sugar or milk to reach desired consistency.
  10. Divide white icing mixture into 3+ different bowls and add your choice of food coloring. For Halloween cookies, make an orange icing (by combining red + yellow food coloring), black icing, green icing and keep some of the original white icing.
  11. Once cookies have cooled completely, use a spoon or piping bags to decorate cookies.
  12. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Add A Pinch