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 Sugar Cookies
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.
What Ingredients Are in These Easy Sugar Cookies?
Here’s a look at the ingredients you’re going to want to have on hand to make your sugar cookies!
- White sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
- Sugar Cookie Frosting
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
In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes. Then scrape the sides with a spatula and add in vanilla and egg, continue mixing until combined. Add in the flour and the baking powder. 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.
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!
Can sugar cookie dough be refrigerated overnight?
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.
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.
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Obsessed with Sugar Cookies like me? Check out all of my variations below!
- Sugar Cookie Recipe
- Coconut Lime Sugar Cookies
- Raspberry Lemonade sugar cookies
- Sprinkle Sugar Cookies
- Twix Sugar Cookies
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
- Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- Muddy Buddy Cookies
- Sugar Cookie Fruit Pizza
- Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough
Halloween Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 batch Sugar Cookie Frosting
- 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!
Awesome. Where do I find the icing recipe and all the sugar cookie recipes?
Karli Bitner says
Hi Elaine! You can find my frosting recipe here: https://cookingwithkarli.com/sugar-cookie-frosting/ Enjoy!
Can you use salted butter?
Karli Bitner says
Yes, that is actually what I usually use because that is what I generally have on hand.
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!
Karli Bitner says
I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe!!
Carol Baker says
I can never get that rustic orange color for frosting, any ideas?