Halloween Cookies from Cute to Spooky
Monsters, ghouls, and goblins, oh my! Get our best Halloween cookie recipes, including homemade sugar cookies, no-bake treats, and cookies for special diets. We've got more Halloween cookie decorating ideas than you can shake a broomstick at!
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Halloween cookies are second only to Halloween costumes to get your creep on this All Hallow’s Eve. Whether you're thinking sweet or sinister, dainty or demonic, we've got the cookies you’ve been dreaming of. And no matter whether your trick-or-treaters are heading to Halloween parties or opting to stay home, making a batch of DIY cookies provides a perfect family activity.
Clever, creepy, cute — there’s no end to how creative you can get with Halloween cookies. Feeling crafty? We’ve collected homemade Halloween cookies you can cut, frost, and decorate to your heart’s content. Short on time? Read on for semi-homemade, extra-easy Halloween cookies using mixes, pre-made cookies, and simple shaping. And if you’re looking for Halloween cookies for special diets, including healthy Halloween cookies, you’ll find recipes for those, too.
So gather up your candy eyeballs, orange sprinkles, and pumpkin- and cat-shaped cookie cutters. Let’s get baking!
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Essential Halloween cookie supplies
Tip #1 for how to decorate Halloween cookies: You want to be ready when the baking mood strikes. Many Halloween cookie decorating ideas in the recipes that follow rely on a few key supplies to pull off the spooky look.
Sprinkles. Get your decorating game on with a starter 4-pack of Halloween sprinkles, jimmies, and nonpareils. You might also need green sprinkles and black jimmies for our Easy Slice and Bake Halloween Creature Cookies, and orange, black, and red sanding sugar for an easy Halloween swirl cookie, say.
Black cocoa powder. For a midnight color in Halloween chocolate chip cookies or spider cookies, combine black cocoa powder — an intense Dutch-process cocoa meant more for coloring than flavor — with regular cocoa powder.
Candy eyeballs. Edible googly eyes give an instant Halloween touch to your cookie monsters. A two-size assortment pack gives you eyeball options.
Candy corn and candy pumpkins. A few strategically placed candy corns on a simple sugar cookie create an instant Halloween mood. This variety pack includes pumpkins, too.
Decorating bags and tips. Disposable piping bags are handy for adding details to baked cookies and for piping meringue to create ghosts. Useful Halloween cake decorating tips include a small round tip for piping details and lettering, and a flat tip for making mummy wraps.
23 homemade Halloween cookies
If nothing makes you happier than mixing up a buttery dough; creating frightfully cute spiders, jack-o'-lanterns, and eyeballs; and adding artful touches to tombstones, then these are the cookies for you. Keep reading for a variety of cutout Halloween cookies, decorated Halloween cookies, cute Halloween cookies, and scary Halloween cookies, each ready for a big bite.
Will it be Frankenstein monsters, or mummies? With this delightful and tasty cookie recipe you can make both from the same dough. The steps and decor are easy enough that older goblins in the house can help. All you need are unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, white chocolate, a couple of flavorings, and decorations.
A little cocoa creates the chocolatey flavor for these handsome sugar Halloween cookies. To decorate them as beautifully as Veronika's Kitchen does, you’ll want to let the first coat of icing dry before adding any faces, dots, or lettering.
Eyeballs are definitely not on the menu most days, but you can make an exception just this once… The easy recipe requires only a simple sugar cookie dough, googly candy eyes, and green colored sugar.
If you’re baking for scary-sensitive kids, these cookies are in the spirit of the season but won’t terrify anyone. Start with sugar cookie dough, add candy pumpkins (for the pumpkin version of candy corn cookies) or orange, yellow and white sprinkles, and you have yourself some pretty adorable Halloween cookies.
These spider cookies take a little bit more effort in the presentation, but if your goal is to create an atmosphere of fright while still eating classic chocolate chip cookies, this is the cookie you want to make. For these, you have to be deliberate about placing the chips in the cookie dough so they’ll be visible. Once they’re baked, the real fun begins — you paint on the spider legs using store-bought cookie icing. If you're dying to make these into peanut butter spider cookies, there's no harm in swapping out the original cookie dough for a peanut butter equivalent and adding chocolate chips.
These cookies might not be for the faint of heart, but they are shockingly easy to make. If you can roll sugar cookie dough into a rope, you can spin the ingredients into a brain-like confection. These are perfect for people preparing for Halloween candy overload — there is no frosting or sprinkles to get in the way of these simple goodies.
This is the kind of tangled web you want your family to get caught in… one made with sugar. This cookie can be as easy or involved as you’d like to make it. You can cut down on prep time with store-bought cookies so you can focus on the magic of royal icing. It requires two different colored icings piped onto the cookie; then you gently drag a toothpick through the icings to simulate a web.
Conjuring up the Nimbus 2000 of cookies is easier than it might seem. The only sorcery involved in getting these off the ground is a little patience. Put simply, you bake the brown sugar cookie dough with the pretzel rods embedded in them. Then let them cool completely before adding melted chocolate to decorate the broomstick.
What's the only thing better than a soft, chewy cookie flavored with pumpkin and four kinds of spices, and rolled in cinnamon-sugar? Why, two cookies, sandwiched with pumpkin cream cheese frosting!
For gourmet diners who appreciate a haunted dessert, create a butter cookie dough with ground cocoa nibs and cut out tombstone shapes. To complete the graveyard theme, set your baked cookies in homemade pot de crème (like very rich chocolate custard) or chocolate pudding, and add “dirt” of ground-up store-bought chocolate wafer cookies.
As soon as these chocolate peanut butter cookie balls come out of the oven, you'll press in googly candy eyes and a mini peanut butter cup (such as Reese's or Rolo) to create a spider body. Once they’re cool, squeeze on the black icing legs.
Cookie artists may want to try their hand decorating spice cookie witches, black cats, broomsticks, and other favorite shapes by carefully painting them with multiple colors of icing. For best results, outline the cookies first with a slightly thicker icing before filling in the details.
Beauty is in the “eye” of the beholder, right? Classic spiral slice-and-bake cookies become delightfully monstrous when decorated with a little candy.
Rather than the long-legged arachnid look of other spider cookies, this recipe goes for more compact creatures. Rich balls of black cocoa dough are rolled in chocolate jimmies and decorated with just as many candy eyes as the baker is in the mood for. Mini peanut butter cups create a sweet place for them to perch.
Crispy chocolate chip cookies get the Halloween treatment with black cocoa and multiple kinds of baking chips: black and orange, peanut butter, and white chocolate. (If the black and orange chips aren't available, try adding black candy melts and orange candy melts just as the cookies emerge from the oven.)
To simplify Halloween cookie baking, The Anthony Kitchen suggests choosing just one or two cookie cutters and sticking to one icing color — here, a quiet gray for the bat cookies that she’s decorated with black sprinkles.
There’s no special talent needed here — just a little food coloring, some candy eyes, and purple nonpareils — to create some of the cutest Halloween cookies out there: dark chocolate sandwich monsters filled with a rich vanilla extract buttercream frosting.
Reminiscent of classic chocolate chip cookies, these have the seasonal additions of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and toffee bits.
Perhaps your vision of the perfect Halloween treat is less about glitzy decor and more about indulging in big, soft whoopie pie spice cookie sandwiches with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. If that’s the case, you’re in luck!
Looking for a cookie where the kids can help? Together you can roll out butter cookie dough and cover it with big patches of sprinkles like a patchwork quilt. Roll it up, chill until firm, and then slice to create easy but eye-catching swirls of color.
Ghastly or great? It all depends on your perspective, but you can bet that pairs of cookie dough rounds filled with raspberry jam, then pierced with “bite marks” so they “bleed” during baking are sure to get an excited response from any young Draculas in the house. These are right up there for best spooky Halloween cookies.
The Mexican tradition of decorating sugar skulls for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1 gets an exuberant interpretation in these colorful skull cookies. Use icing pens to get the details just right.
What to do with your leftover Halloween candy bars? Why, make cookies, of course. There’s no shaping here; just spread candy-flecked dough in an 8-inch square pan, arrange more candy on top, and bake. Then cut into triangles once the cookies are cool.
12 semi-homemade and extra-easy Halloween cookies
How to make Halloween cookies when you're short on time and hoping to get straight to the fun part of decorating? This next group of Halloween cookies will show you the way. Cookie mixes, pre-made cookies, and/or extra-simple shaping mean the treats will be ready to enjoy in short order.
The Wicked Witch of the West could possibly be under one of these hats… but probably not. These witch hat cookies aren’t so much about baking as they are about assembling, but they are worthy of a hauntingly cute spread. All you need for this no-bake confection are chocolate cookies, chocolate kisses, and orange frosting to hold it all together.
It’s some special sorcery that transforms vanilla wafer cookies into eyeballs, and kids can get in on the action. First dunk the cookies in melted white chocolate and add M&M “pupils.” When the chocolate is completely dry, use a toothpick to carefully add the bloodshot look with red food coloring.
No rolling, cutting, or careful decorating here. Make a dark chocolate chip cookie dough batter using mini chocolate chips and cocoa powder, and inside each scoop, seal a surprise, a Halloween Oreo cookie with an orange center. Roll the bundles in colorful Halloween sprinkles, and bake!
Another easy Halloween Oreo cookie recipe, these mummies are simply store-bought cookies coated in melted white chocolate. To create the mummy look, you’ll pipe the white chocolate using a pastry bag with a flat tip, and then tuck in candy eyeballs.
Call off the werewolves, the hunt for monster cookies with a little more bite is over. To make Dracula's Dentures, all you need is red frosting, marshmallows, almond slivers, and cookies cut in half. The frosting acts as the glue to keep the marshmallow teeth and almond fangs in place while giving the cookies a bloody look. They’re a spooky treat that Dracula would approve of.
These mummy cookies are a Frankenstein no-bake sugar bomb. Similar to the Halloween Oreo cookies above, Nutter Butter cookies are dipped in warmed white candy melts. After the cookies have cooled, all you do is attach the candy eyes and pipe the warmed candy melts in a zip-top plastic bag onto the cookies. Presto change-o, you have some yummy mummies.
A chocolate chip cookie mix gets a few easy upgrades to create festive treats: Fold colorful sprinkles into the batter and cut small rounds from the baked pan of cookies — or simply cut squares. Then beat together a simple frosting and pipe it on top as “ghosts.” (You can use a zip-top bag with the tip cut off for the piping.)
Turn baked cookies from a sugar cookie mix into purrrfectly adorable black cats using chocolate frosting and sprinkles, black licorice whiskers, and candy eyes, noses, and ears.
How many eyes does a monster have? Lots, your own little monsters might tell you, and they can help press candy eyes into the warm baked cookies to prove the point. These drop cookies go together quickly, even though the dough is homemade.
Meltaways are the same sandy-textured cookies called Russian teacakes or wedding cakes, but here, there are no nuts in the dough. Instead, you color the dough orange and roll balls in black and white sprinkles.
As with many Halloween cookies, this one's all about the decor. Simply dunk Rice Krispie Treats in melted chocolate, then decorate with black icing and candy eyes, and you’ve got yourself some pretty fancy-looking sweets.
Since you start with a store-bought brownie mix and a container of frosting, most of the total time to make these Halloween brownies is cooling and freezing. For cooks who don't have a piping bag, the recipe explains how to squeeze the icing from the corner of small plastic bags to create the jack-o’-lantern faces.
8 Halloween cookies for special diets
Good news: Halloween cookies can still be on the menu, even if you follow an egg-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo, or keto diet!
Less gross than sticking your hand in a bowl of brains, these witch-finger cookies get a thumbs up for disturbing and delicious. Basically, they’re made with a shortbread dough (so they’re egg-free!) mixed with a heavy dose of green food coloring and shaped into the bony claws of a witch.
Soft spiced pumpkin cookies made with vegan butter and spices are generously covered with frosting reminiscent of traditional cream cheese frosting. The secret ingredient for that bit of “cream cheese” tang? A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
Low-carb and keto diet-friendly, these shortbread mummy cookies are made with almond flour, coconut flour, butter, and Swerve sugar substitute.
Who would think that such cute pumpkin cookie faces could be keto-friendly? The ingredients are similar to the previous recipe, but here the dough is colored a cheery orange with turmeric, the stems with matcha tea, and the faces with unsweetened chocolate.
Like many other cookies in this category, these Paleo diet-friendly cookies are gluten-free, but they opt for a more natural approach. Unrefined sweeteners include coconut sugar and honey. Since they’re tinted with plant-based food coloring, the colors tend to be more gentle than garish.
Meringues may be a brilliant idea if you have certain dietary restrictions, as they’re both gluten-free and dairy-free and can be formed into all sorts of creative shapes like poufy ghost cookies. Do we hear a boo?
Even if you don’t follow a special diet, you may want to bake sweet meringue bones on a baking sheet in a low oven until they’re dry and gruesomely crunchy.
Here’s proof that gluten-free can still be plenty cute! Candy sprinkle and googly eyes turn almond butter-dark chocolate cookies into adorable monsters.
3 healthy Halloween cookies
Everybody interprets “healthy” a little bit differently, and here are a few ways to go if you’re looking for something that's a step up from typical Halloween fare.
Made with canned chickpeas, ripe bananas, maple syrup, peanut butter, and rolled oats, among other ingredients, these cheerfully ghastly-looking monsters are definitely nourishing. A touch of food coloring (go for a natural kind, if you like) creates the appropriate ghoulish shades. The only refined sugar is in the candy eyes.
No trick! The combination of almond butter, oats, dates, dark chocolate, and pretzels adds up to a treat worth a repeat. And they’re only slightly creepy crawly.
If “healthy” in your house means classic sugar cookies are okay, but hold the artificial coloring, then you’ll cheer for treats topped with gory-looking but extremely tasty raspberry “blood” spatters. Bonus: The round shape requires no special cookie cutters.
Looking for more tricks and treats?
We have buckets more spooky and tasty Halloween ideas to explore! How about some frightfully delicious Halloween cupcakes or caramel apples? Fill out the spread with Halloween appetizers, Halloween cocktails for the grown-ups, dirt cups and other Halloween desserts, and maybe some healthy last-minute treats.