Halloween sugar cookies are a fun take on my classic soft sugar cookies. A simple recipe with frosting instructions is Halloween fun for the whole family!
Halloween Decorated Sugar Cookies
If you’re looking for a fun and easy cookie recipe that is the perfect recipe for Halloween, this festive version of my soft sugar cookies recipe is best for decorating! For a batch of homemade cookies, all you need is a few simple pantry ingredients and your favorite Halloween cookie cutters.
They’re great for Halloween parties, to bring to school, or to make DIY kits so people can decorate their own. We also love to set up stations and make Halloween gingerbread houses, too, when hosting a fun celebration!
These are Halloween frosted sugar cookies so they’ve got a lot of surface area ready to be decorated. There really is no wrong way to do it!
For this recipe, we’re using a traditional homemade buttercream frosting, in orange, white, and yellow divided. Although you can absolutely use cookie icing, cream cheese frosting or royal icing. All are slightly different ranging from sweet to buttery to slightly tart, but all are so yum!
DIY Cookie Kits
If you’re putting together a decorating kit for your kids or family and friends, think about orange, black, yellow, and white edible markers, along with candy eyes and sprinkles instead. They travel well.
You could provide cute little cards with written instructions for the different frosting options too if you’d like!
Tips for the Best Halloween Sugar Cookies
- Mix dough until just combined. Overmixing will keep them from being nice and soft like we want.
- Chilling the dough is a must. The hardest part about the recipe is the waiting! It’s worth it, believe me. This way they won’t spread too thin, and become crispy while in the oven.
- Roll out the dough on a parchment paper to avoid sticking. Use a little added flour if dough is really sticky.
- 1/4″ thickness is the perfect height.
- Cookies are done when the bottoms are barely golden. Baking too long will have cause them to brown too much which will change the flavor and texture.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting so it doesn’t melt off the cookie.
What Food Coloring to Use?
Either your regular liquid food coloring or gel food coloring will work for this. Gel food coloring is concentrated so the colors will be much more vibrant. The liquid color, although a bit paler in comparison, is still a great choice.
- For the pumpkins: Frost them orange.
- For the ghosts: Frost them white and add candy eyes.
- For the candy corn: Frost them with white, yellow, and orange. White at the tip and yellow at the base.
No need for any fancy piping bags. A butter knife will do for spreading the frosting.
Storing & Freezing
To store: Once the cookies have cooled, they will keep fresh (and soft) in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If they are frosted, place parchment paper in between layers.
To freeze: Do a flash freeze on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a freezer-friendly bag, placing parchment paper in between each layer.
More Halloween Recipes:
- Halloween Oreo Balls
- Halloween Veggie Tray
- Fall Charcuterie Board
- Halloween Candy Popcorn
- Spider Cookies
Halloween Sugar Cookies
- ¾ cup butter
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar. Beat until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla, almond extract and sour cream and mix together until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix just until combined.
- Split dough in two and place in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out dough on a baker's mat or parchment paper. Add another 1/4 – 1/2 cup flour if dough is still sticky. Cut with floured Halloween cookie cutters.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes, until bottoms are barely golden. Be very careful to not over bake. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 2 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool.
- For the buttercream, combine all listed ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide into 2-3 bowls. Leave one bowl white and then add orange food coloring into the other. If making candy corn cookies, divide into 3 and add yellow.
- Once cookies are cooled, frost pumpkin cookies with orange frosting. For the ghost, frost with white frosting and add 2 candy eyes. For the candy corn, frost the tip with white, the middle with orange and the top with yellow.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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