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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!

Along with these Rice Krispie treats for Halloween and Halloween dirt cake they’re one of my favorite easy Halloween recipes!

halloween sugar cookies on plate
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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.

When it comes to Halloween desserts, cut-out cookies are a simple way to make lots at once. I also love to make these sugar cookie bars and decorate them with seasonal sprinkles.

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!

cutting sugar cookies out with cookie cutters

Frosting Ideas

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!

Halloween sugar cookies on cooling rack

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.
ghost sugar cookies on plate

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.

halloween sugar cookies on white plate

More Halloween Recipes:

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halloween sugar cookies on white plate

Halloween Sugar Cookies

5 from 4 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
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!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Refrigerate Dough: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Servings: 30



Cookie dough

  • 1 cup butter , at room temp
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs , at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 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.
    cookie dough batter in bowl
  • 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.
    sugar cookie dough in bowl
  • Split dough in two and place in saran wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
    sugar cookie dough wrapped in plastic
  • 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.
    cutting sugar cookies out with 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.
    Halloween sugar cookies on cooling rack
  • 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.
    buttercream frosting in bowl
  • 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.
    halloween sugar cookies on plate


Frosting: I also love using this cream cheese frosting or cookie icing to frost these cookies.
Storage: Once cooled, store in a sealed covered container for up to 3 days. Place a piece of parchment paper in between each layer.
Freezer: Freeze cookies on a pan for 30 minutes. Then move to a sealed covered container and place a piece of parchment paper in between each layer.


Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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