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Halloween sugar cookie orange cat.

Halloween Sugar Cookie Recipe

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: about 2 dozen cookies 1x
  • Category: holiday, dessert, cookies


A classic soft and chewy sugar cookie topped with royal icing.



For the Cookies:

  • 3 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons, 56 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Royal Icing:

  • 6 cups (680 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons meringue powder
  • small splash of almond extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (as needed)


  1. To make the cookies, in a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together shortening and butter until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugar and beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Stop the mixer. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low until a dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure no dry pockets are hidden at the bottom of the bowl. Wrap and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  4. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Roll half of the dough between two lightly floured pieces of parchment paper or on a lightly floured counter to a thick ¼-inch thickness of just under 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 to 3-inch cookie cutter and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until just golden around the edges. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, sift powdered sugar and meringue powder into mixing bowl. Using electric stand mixer, mix dry ingredients on low speed until combined. Add almond extract if using. While mixing on low speed, slowly add warm water to sugar mixture. Add water a few tablespoons at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate before adding more, until reaching desired consistency. Let mix for 3 minutes until fully blended. Cover immediately and store and room temperature until ready to use.
  7. To decorate cookies, use piping bags (I used a disposable piping bag with a Wilton round 4 tip)  to trace royal icing borders around each cookie (let it set for 2 minutes), then use a small offset spatula to “flood” the inside of the border with more icing.  To make spider webs, immediately pipe a thin line of black icing (Wilton round 3 tip) semi-circles over the white and use a toothpick to swipe through all three lines towards the center of the cookie.  Add a little spider if you’d like. Border the cat cookies with black royal icing and flood with black frosting.  Immediately top with lots of sparkly black sprinkles and allow to dry.

Keywords: cookies, halloween, sugar cookies, royal icing, holiday