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Halloween Sugar cookies are a super soft vanilla sugar cookie base simply decorated like a pumpkin. This beginner friendly recipe is one that even the kids will love!

halloween cookies in the shape of a pumpkin

These Halloween Decorated Sugar Cookies are so fun!

One of the most amazing parts of frosted sugar cookies is knowing that even if you think you are the worst decorator in the world, the cookie will still taste amazing.. ugly cookies still taste great!  But look at those cookies? You can decorate like that, no problem!

Don’t feel like cutting out all of the different Halloween shapes or do you not own any cutters? Either way, it’s okay! With sugar cookie bars you cook them on a flat sheet and cut. Imagine putting them into small rectangles and frosting to look like Frankenstein or coloring a spooky Halloween scene.

halloween sugar cookies in the shape of a pumpkin

Halloween Sugar Cookie Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a look at the ingredients you’re going to want to have on hand to make your sugar cookies!

Really, really. Just these six simple, everyday ingredients to make the best sugar cookie you’ll ever have! The cookie remains soft and chewy but is sturdy enough to handle all the frosting! The exact measurements and steps to take are all shared in the recipe card below!

How to Make Halloween Sugar Cookies

  1. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes.
  2. Then scrape the sides with a spatula and add in vanilla and egg, continue mixing until combined.
  3. Add in the flour and the baking powder.
  4. Slowly mix it, getting a little faster as the dough comes together. You’ll notice that the results are similar to playdoh. If needed, you can add a little flour or water to help get the dough to the right consistency.

Turn your dough onto a floured counter and roll it out until its about ¼ inch thick. Keep in mind that these cookies will not grow or shrink during the baking process, so however thick you make them, is how thick they will be when finished baking. 

sugar cookie dough being cut with pumpkin cookie cutters for halloween

Now take your Halloween cookie cutters and press out shapes, transferring the cookies to a silicone lined cookie sheet, or one lined with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

After that, bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees until the tops are no longer glossy and look slightly puffy. The cookies should stay pale, don’t let them turn golden brown! 

TIP: After you’ve rolled and cut out the first batch of cookies and you are going for round two, wet your hands slightly before kneading the dough back into a ball before rolling the dough out again. The little bit of extra water cancels out the flour used when rolling the dough out to bring it back to the right consistency. 

How to decorate Sugar Cookies for Halloween

To decorate these cookies I simply made a batch of my Sugar Cookie frosting and colored the majority of the frosting orange and colored a small portion green for the stem. 

I placed the frosting in a piping bag equipped with a small round piping tip. I outlined the pumpkin (with the orange frosting) and then slowly filled in the pumpkin with vertical lines. I then added the stem with the green color to finish them off!

halloween sugar cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookie Recipe make ahead instructions

Let’s say you want to make the dough in advance to cut down on prep time later, place your raw cookie dough in a sealed container, zipper topped bag or a bowl with plastic wrap and shove it in the fridge overnight. 

Then when you’re ready to use, give it a few minutes to thaw, so it’s not as hard to roll the dough out. Just roll it out like usual. The dough sometimes dries out slightly when refrigerated, so you may need to knead in a tsp or so of water to get the consistency right again. 

halloween sugar cookies

Halloween Sugar Cookies Recipe tips

What to do when sugar cookie dough is too dry

Unfortunately, this happens, but it’s not the end of the world! When after making your dough, you find that it is still a little too dry, just add water to your dough about 1 teaspoon at a time. Mixing thoroughly after each addition. It may take a few tries, but it can be brought back from the dead. 

Alternatively, adding flour in small amounts could help when your dough is too wet. Remember, you are looking for a playdoh like consistency. 

What are some key tips in ensuring a successful sugar cookie?

One of the best things about these sugar cookies is how EASY they are. Perfect for making with little (or big) beginner bakers, you are guaranteed a yummy treat.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to make sure they are the best they can be.

  1. Remember that these cookies will not spread, so the thickness you roll your dough to will be your finished thickness!
  2. After you’ve rolled out your first batch of cookies and are going to roll out your second, wet your hands slightly and knead the dough back into a ball before re-rolling. This will help keep the texture of your sugar cookies exactly how you want it!
  3. Don’t overbake! We want these cookies to stay nice and soft, so remove your cookies while they are still pale but no longer glossy. We do NOT want them to turn golden brown or it will be dry cookie city.

Sugar Cookies Halloween FAQs

How to make sugar cookies look professional?

Here are a few of my favorite ways to make my sugar cookies look *professional.*

– Use cookie cutters to achieve your desired shape! Hand shaped cookies can be fun and beautiful, but the nice clean edges of a cookie cutter cannot be beat!
– Let your cookies cool completely before frosting so the icing doesn’t melt off of the sides!
– Use a piping bag (or a ziplock with the corner cut off) to decorate! This will help you make professional-looking cookies in no-time!

How long before an event can you make sugar cookies?

These sugar cookies freeze incredibly well, meaning you can make them up to 3 months in advance and simply thaw them the day you need them! But if you’re hoping to skip the freezing step, I would recommend making these 2 days in advance at the most!

Should you refrigerate sugar cookies before decorating?

I am a firm believer that you don’t actually need to chill cookies to frost! Just make sure your cookies are completely cooled before frosting. If you’d like to speed up the process, you can refrigerate so you can get icing, faster!

How do you keep sugar cookies fresh before decorating?

Let your cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days before decorating for optimal freshness. You can also freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container or zip-top bag, if desired!

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5 from 8 votes

Sugar Cookies (Halloween)

Halloween Sugar cookies are a super soft vanilla sugar cookie base simply decorated like a pumpkin. This beginner friendly recipe is one that even the kids will love!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies



  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer for a full 3 minutes.
  • Scrape sides and add in vanilla and egg. Mix until combined.
  • Add flour and baking powder to the bowl. Mix slowly at first gradually getting faster until the dough comes together. The texture should be like Playdoh. Add a little flour or water if needed to get it to a soft, pliable consistency.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface. Use a rolling pin and roll until about 1/4 inch thick. (The cookies will not rise while baking, they will not get thinner while baking. Roll out to your desired FINISHED thickness.)
  • Use pumpkin cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Transfer the cookies to a silicone lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until the centers are puffy and no longer glossy. Pull the cookies out of the oven BEFORE they start turning brown. If they turn brown, the cookie will be dry and ‘crackery’ instead of soft and chewy.
  • Frost with Sugar Cookie Frosting (See instructions on how to decorate above) and Enjoy!


When gathering up the dough scraps, wet your hands and then ‘knead’ the dough until it is soft and playdoh like again. This dough is great to work with, there is no such thing as over kneading this dough!


Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Karli Bitner

This blog is a little glimpse into my kitchen, family & life. I hope you’ll giggle the days away with me and enjoy the craziness that goes on at my house. If you are Cookie obsessed like I am, check out my Sister Site, Cookies for Days.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Yes, that is actually what I usually use because that is what I generally have on hand.

  2. 5 stars
    My family loved these so much–I’ve already made three batches in the last week for my whole family (it’s a big family so they go fast)! Next time, I will try to make the icing too!

  3. 5 stars
    So delicious!!! I made the cookies 2 days ago and put some dough in the fridge. I just took it out and its really hard. Should I wait until its at room temp or what…