Sweet and soft Halloween Sugar Cookies that are topped with Homemade Royal Icing and decorated perfectly for the Halloween season. These Halloween sugar cookies will give your friends and family a fright at how incredible they look.
Learn how to use royal icing to create the perfect Halloween-themed sugar cookies to serve up for your child’s school party, or Halloween bash, or take and gift to loved ones. You will get step-by-step on how to make bakery-style sugar cookies in the comfort of your own home.
What Designs For Halloween Are On Cookies
- Spider Cookies
- Spider Web Cookies
- Jack-O-Lantern Cookies
- Bat Cookies
- R.I.P. Tombstone Cookies
- Casket Cookies
- Witch’s Cauldron Cookies
Reasons You Will Love These Halloween Sugar Cookies
- Made from scratch cookie dough, as well as made from scratch royal icing.
- Perfect cut-out sugar cookies that are a no-fail sugar cookie recipe.
- Buttery melt-in-your-mouth cookies.
- Gorgeous Halloween cookies to serve up anyone and get a show-stopping reaction.
- Makes great gifts for the Halloween season!
- Butter Emulsion or Vanilla Extract
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Powdered Sugar
- Hot Water
- Meringue Powder
- Corn Syrup
- Food Coloring
Tips for Making Homemade Sugar Cookies
Room Temperature Ingredients
Using room-temperature ingredients is going to help ensure your cookies are evenly mixed. This is important as it is going to blend all the ingredients the best.
Measure properly. If you add too much flour to the dry ingredients your cookies can crumble or be overly dry. Make sure that you truly measure properly. Scoop the flour into the measuring cup and then level off the measuring cup with a butter knife.
When you roll the dough you want a lightly floured surface. This will help prevent the dough from sticking to the counter. Roll your rolling pin in flour as well. Also, make sure you get a thin evenly spread dough for the cookies to bake up properly.
When you are working on the cookie cutters, I like to dip the cutters in flour before I press them into the dough. It helps prevent them from sticking.
It is imperative you chill the dough, as this is going to allow the cookies to hold their shape as they bake in the oven. You can also work in sections with the dough. So you could keep half the dough in the fridge while you are cookie-cutting part of it.
Tips for Decorating Sugar Cookies
Thick Outlining Sugar Cookies
Make sure you use a consistent thick line to outline the cookies with the royal icing. It should be a thick enough icing that it holds shape and doesn’t spread when you pipe.
For flooding cookies, you will use a bit of water with the icing to thin it out. I like to keep in different piping bags. Then you will use a toothpick or tool for spreading the icing to the corners and edges.
Watch for air bubbles as it can get trapped on the surface. Pop them with a toothpick or skewer to get rid of them.
Drying Between Colors
When you go to decorate your sugar cookies make sure that you are allowing the first color of icing to set up, so when you go to pipe another color they don’t melt together.
Wet Paper Towel Over Bowls
If you are going to leave some of the icing in a bowl cover it with a wet paper towel. This will help slow the process of the crust developing and drying of the icing.
Variations to Recipe
Get creative and buy any and all of your favorite cookie shapes to make. There are so many cookie cutters out there, it is easy to buy exactly what you are dreaming of. Fun pumpkin shapes, skulls, skeletons, and more.
Colors of Icing
Pick and choose any colors to add to your royal icing if you want. Go light or bold the choice is up to you. I always recommend adding a few drops in. Then stir well, and if you want add more. You will find less is best when you start out, so you can richen the color as needed.
Don’t want to use royal icing? Go right ahead and leave it off and swap out the frosting. Buttercream, cream cheese, or even store-bought canned frosting works. Decorate as you wish.
If you want to skip homemade sugar cookies go right ahead and buy pre-made sugar cookie dough and then shape and bake then once cool decorate as you wish.
We love Halloween in this house! Our wedding anniversary is on Halloween because we loved it so much 🙂 So its only fitting to create some adorable and cute cookies for the celebration!
These spooky and adorable Halloween sugar cookies are so much fun to make! Sugar cookie decorating is a fun and creative way to express yourself while creating a tasty dessert! Its such a fun activity for kids and adults alike! Anyone can make these cookies with the help of our easy step-by-step instructions, you’ll have the cutest cookies to share with your friends and family Perfect for a Halloween Party!
Instead of the butter emulsion or vanilla extract add in a flavor extract. Orange, raspberry, or even almond flavors would transform the flavor of your cookies.
Lemon, orange, or even lime can be zested and mixed in the cookie batter for a citrus twist of flavor to the cookies.
Mix in 2 tablespoons of sprinkles to the cookie batter for a confetti-themed sugar cookie. Halloween Jimmies sprinkles work awesome in this recipe.
Room Temperature – These Halloween sugar cookies can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container. The cookies will store for 3-4 days easily. You will find that after a few days, the cookies will dry out even more.
Freezing – Go right ahead and place cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze the sugar cookies for up to 6 months. Then thaw on the counter when you get a cookie craving.
Pro Tip: If you are worried about the designs messing up, place wax paper or parchment paper between cookies so that when you stack they don’t touch.
Can I make the dough ahead of time?
Go right ahead and make the sugar cookie dough 1 day in advance. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Then when you are ready to make roll out, cookie cut, then bake and decorate.
How thick should I roll out the dough?
Depending on the recipe will depend on the thickness of the cookie. On average you want to aim for 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness. Thicker cookies will hold shape and be less apt to bread. Thinner cookies will have a crunchy texture but can break easier.
Should I chill the cutout cookies before baking them?
Yes, this sugar cookie recipe requires that all sugar cookie dough needs to be chilled. Otherwise, as you bake the cookies the shape will distort and spread out on the baking pan.
Can I stack cookies once the royal icing is dry?
Once the royal icing is fully dry and set to harden you can then stack the cookies. I do recommend wax paper between layers to ensure the designs don’t mess up.
Can I add details with a different type of icing?
Feel free to make the sugar cookies look any way you want. From adding different colors, edible glitter, and candies, and drawing on different designs. Have fun and be creative.
Halloween Sugar Cookies
- 1 ¼ c butter room temperature
- 1 c sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp butter emulsion or extract
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 3 ½ c flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 7 Tbs hot water
- 3 ½ Tbs meringue powder
- 1 Tbs corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Gray use black
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine butter and sugar. Beat on a medium-high speed until smooth.
- Add in eggs and mix until just combined.
- Next, add in vanilla and butter emulsion and mix to incorporate. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and just until just combined.
- Turn the dough out into a clean, floured surface. Roll out to ¼” thickness and use the cookie cutters to cut out as many cookies as you can.
- Reroll the scrap dough and cut out the remaining cookies. Place 12-14 cookies on the prepared baking sheet with 1” spacing between them.
- Place them into the preheated oven on the center rack. Bake for 12 minutes, until the edges have started to set and the cookie has gained a little bit of color.
- Once baked, remove from the oven. Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to set up, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack. Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies, until they are all baked.
- Once all of the cookies have been baked and are cooling, make the icing.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine powdered sugar, hot water, meringue powder, corn syrup and vanilla.
- Mix on a medium speed for 3 minutes, until well combined and smooth. Set a total of 10 small bowls out.
- In the first 5 bowls, spoon ⅓ cup of frosting into each. Add 1 Tbsp of water to the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl and mix to combine.
- Divide the frosting that is in the mixing bowl evenly between the remaining 5 bowls.
- The first set of bowls will be used for the edge frosting. Add food coloring into each bowl until the desired colors are reached. The gray is accomplished by adding in one drop of black food coloring. If you wish for a darker gray, just simply add a couple more drops of black food coloring.
- The remaining 5 bowls will be used for the flood frosting and should match the colors of each edge frosting color.
- Spoon each frosting into separate piping bags and tie the tops of each of the bags to prevent frosting from spilling out of the top. Use scissors to cut a very very small opening into the tip of each piping bag.
- You can always cut the tip a little larger if it is too difficult to pipe the frosting out.
Jack O Lantern:
- Use the orange edge frosting to outline the base of the pumpkin, then use the green edge frosting to outline the stem.
- Next use the orange flood frosting to fill in the base of the pumpkin, then smooth out using a sugar stir needle.
- To smooth out, hold the sugar stir needle at about a 45 degree angle and swirl in small circles. This gently pushes the frosting around in an efficient manner.
- Pull the frosting to meet the edge frosting. If the frosting is still not smooth after it is completely filled in, gently hold the sides of the cookie and shake a few times to level out. Fill in the stem with the green flood frosting and smooth out using the sugar stir needle.
- Repeat the frosting process with the remaining jack o lantern cookies, then set aside to allow them to set before adding the finishing details.
- Once the base layer of frosting has set, use the black edge frosting to outline eyes, nose and mouth for the jack o lantern.
- Fill in the outlined face with the black flood frosting, then smooth out with the sugar stir needle being careful not to disturb the frosting underneath. Repeat with the remaining jack o lantern cookies.
- Use the black edge frosting to outline the gravestone, then add a second smaller outline inside the first one, mimicking the same shape.
- Using the black edge frosting, make two horizontal lines in the empty middle space. Fill the center of the two outlines with the gray flood frosting, then smooth out using a sugar stir needle.
- Repeat the frosting process with the remaining gravestone cookies, then set them aside to allow the frosting to set before adding the finishing details.
- Once the base frosting has set, use the gray flood frosting to fill in the remaining middle space of the cookie. Use a sugar stir needle to smooth out. Use the black edge frosting to touch up the horizontal lines in the center to allow them to stand out.
- Next, use the orange edge frosting to add RIP in the middle of the two horizontal lines. This is best done by starting with the letter “I” to center up the word. Repeat with the remaining gravestone cookies.
- Use the purple edge frosting to outline the spiderweb. Next, use the purple flood frosting to fill in the center, then use a sugar stir needle to smooth out.
- Repeat the frosting process with the remaining spiderweb cookies, then set them aside to allow them to set before adding the finishing details.
- Use the black edge frosting to make four lines, each going from one pointed tip of the cookie to the opposing tip. Still using the black edge frosting, make slightly curved lines connecting the four original lines to make a spiderweb. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining spiderweb cookies.
- Use the black edge frosting to outline the shape of the cauldron, then fill in the center using the black flood frosting. Smooth out the flood frosting using a sugar stir needle.
- Repeat the frosting process with the remaining cauldron cookies, then set them all aside to allow the frosting to set before adding the remaining details.
- Use the green edge frosting to add dots of varying sizes around the top of the cauldron, make it look like the brew is bubbling over. Then, use the gray edge frosting to make a curved line to the edge of the cauldron for definition. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining cauldron cookies.
- Use the black edge frosting to outline the body of the bat, then use the orange edge frosting to outline the wings. Add the black flood frosting to the center of the outlined body, then use a sugar stir needle to smooth out.
- Use the orange flood frosting to fill in the center of the outlined wings, then use the sugar stir needle to smooth out. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining bat cookies, then set them aside to allow them to set before adding the finishing details.
- Use the black edge frosting to make three curved lines on the lower portion of the wings. Use the orange edge frosting to make two dots for the eyes on the body of the bat. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining bat cookies.
- Use the black edge frosting to outline the edge of the coffin, then use the black flood frosting to fill in the center. Smooth the frosting out using a sugar stir needle. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining coffin cookies, then set them aside to allow them to set before adding the finishing details.
- Use the gray edge frosting to make an outline mimicking the same shape of the coffin. Using the same gray outline frosting, make two horizontal lines in the upper middle part of the cookie.
- Use the orange edge frosting to add RIP in the center of the horizontal lines. Repeat with the remaining coffin cookies.
- Use the black edge frosting to outline the body of the spider, then make two lines on each side of the body to make the legs. Fill in just the center body part of the spider with black flood frosting, then smooth out using a sugar stir needle. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining spider cookies, then set them aside to allow them to set before adding the finishing details.
- Use the purple edge frosting to make a mouth and two pointed teeth on the lower portion of the spider body. Use the orange edge frosting to make two dotted eyes in the upper portion of the spider, then dot the center of each eye with a black dot using the black edge frosting. Repeat the frosting process with the remaining spider cookies