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Simple Halloween Sugar Cookies

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Halloween sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate my favorite holiday!

Halloween sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate the holiday!

I don’t know if you know this about me but I absolutely adore Halloween. The arrival of Pumpkin Spice Season on September 1st also marks the day I officially allow myself to start planning my Halloween festivities. I’m not a costume party kind of Halloween-er I’m a decorate all spooky, make a lot of food, have people over to watch a bunch of scary movies kinda person. And then I watch movies weekly between Pumpkin Spice Day {aka September 1st} and Halloween. Often daily. I’m not sad about it.

So when I was scrolling through my archives and realized that in the last 2 years I’ve only published THREE Halloween themed recipes I was mortified. Apparently I’ve been too busy celebrating to share my Halloween creations with you. While I do love my jack ‘o lantern cookies and boozy milkshake shooters I’ve gotta get it together and share some of my other Halloween staples. Starting with these crazy simple sugar cookies.

Halloween sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate the holiday!

The wet on wet decorating technique is one of my favorite ways to decorate sugar cookies because I don’t have to wait for the icing to crust and I don’t have to worry about dragging my clumsy fingers across cookies and making irreversible marks in crusted but not completely set royal icing. You don’t even want to know how many many times I’ve done that. Because you have to work fast with wet on wet I don’t have any step by step pictures. But y’all are smart cookies and these are pretty self explanatory.

I created designs that went with colors I had left over after making the royal icing transfers for this UP inspired anniversary cake but if you’re making a fresh batch you can plan your designs and colors accordingly. You can try for ghosts, Frankenstein, jack ‘o lanterns, or spider webs. Get crazy! If you end up with any leftover icing you can store it in an air tight container in the fridge for about 2-4 weeks. Or you can pipe dots or shapes onto wax paper, let them crust overnight, and use them as sprinkles, too.

Halloween sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate the holiday!


Halloween sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate the holiday!

Simple Halloween Sugar Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


For the Cookies:

  • 2 cups flour
  • tsp ¼ salt
  • cup ¾ sugar
  • cup ¾ salted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Royal Icing:

  • 4 Tbs ½ Meringue Powder
  • cup ½ +2 Tbs water
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • Desired gel food colors
  • Extra water for flooding


  1. Preheat oven to 325. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Sift in flour and mix until combined. Do not over mix.
  3. Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper until about ¼" thickness and cut into 3" circles.
  4. Chill cut shapes for 1 hour before baking.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for about 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
  6. Immediately transfer to a cool, flat surface.
  7. For the Royal Icing:
  8. Add meringue powder and water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until foamy.
  9. Add cream of tartar and mix.
  10. Add powdered sugar all at once and cover mixer with a towel to minimize mess. Mix on the lowest speed for 3-4 minutes then add vanilla.
  11. Mix for another 6-7 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  12. Separate into bowls and color before adding water to thin for piping.
  13. Add water in ½ tsp increments, mixing thoroughly until you can draw a knife through your icing and it comes together in about 20 seconds. This is perfect for piping and filling.
  14. To Decorate:
  15. Outline and flood the cookie with a solid color and then while the icing is still wet add your design of choice.

Halloween sugar cookies are a simple and fun way to celebrate the holiday!

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