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Halloween Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Have fun making Halloween cookies with royal icing.   These are simple sugar cookies with royal icing with cream of tartar recipe.  Kids will have some Halloween fun making decorated royal icing Halloween cookies
Course Dessert, snacks
Cuisine American
Keyword Halloween cookies, Halloween cookies with royal icing, royal icing Halloween cookies, royal icing with cream of tartar, simple sugar cookies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Decorating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 25
Calories 240kcal
Author Evelyn


For the Cookies

For the powdered sugar icing

For the Royal Icing to make the decorations


To make the cookies

  • Beat together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract, and egg, until smooth and creamy.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients using the paddle attachment of the mixer
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Roll dough in portions to about 1/8- 1/4 inch thickness and cut with your choice of cookie cutters. (I even grabbed my Valentine’s Day lips cookie cutter and made vampire teetSo be creative and feel free to use your other cookie cutters in fun ways.
  • For the Black Cookies: Dye a small portion of the dough black for the bats and the vampire capes. To do this, we separated a small amount of the dough into a separate glass bowl and then, using gloves (to prevent dyeing our fingers), we kneaded the color into the dough until it was all one even color. It can then be worked with the same as the other dough.
  • Bake on a cool cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil or a baking mat for approximately 7 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes then move the cookies to a cooling rack.

For the Icing

  • In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. Stir well.
  • Add milk, 1 tsp at a time until the frosting is of desired consistency to frost cookies.
  • Finally, color with gel food coloring, mixed to your desired color.
  • (I use almond extract instead of the traditional vanilla for 2 reasons. First, I have found that the flavor is much better. Second, vanilla darkens my white icing, making it look brown and dirty. Since the almond extract is clear, I don’t have that problem)
  • Ice your cooled cookies with the icing and set on a rack to dry

For the Royal Icing Decorations

  • Beat meringue powder and water on high for approximately 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice and mix until smooth. You don’t want the icing too thin, so it will not run when you are creating your designs. *Traditionally, Royal Icing is made with Egg Whites. However, I have small children and it is not recommended that children (or pregnant women for you that this applies teat uncooked or undercooked eggs. Therefore, I have provided this recipe instead. It worked beautifully and tasted great.
  • This makes for a good amount of icing, divide the icing into separate bowls, one for each color of your choosing and mix in the gel food coloring of each color.
  • Place each color into a plastic squeeze bottle to allow for easy tracing of the decoration designs.

For the Designs

  • Draw jack-o-lantern mouths, triangle eyes, vampire teeth, and widow’s peaks to create the templates for the icing decorations. The possibilities are endless, so feel free to be creative here.
  • I printed these on a small square of card stock. I then taped it to a rectangular piece of cardboard to create a “handle” on my template (A tongue depressor or popsicle stick works also). I then taped a piece of wax paper, just big enough for my design, to the countertop where I was working. I slid the template between the wax paper and the counter and then traced my design, using the desired colors with the squeeze bottles of icing.
  • After the design is done remove the template from under the wax paper and set aside the design to dry. Repeat this as the need for your choice of cookies. It is best to let the icing dry at least overnight so that it is firm when you remove it from the wax paper.
  • After the cookies are with the powdered sugar icing, remove the royal icing decorations from the wax paper and arranged them on cookies. Remember to be very gentle removing these from the wax paper to prevent them from breaking or cracking. Either use a toothpick to gently prod the icing decorations off the wax paper, or place the wax paper on the edge of the counter or table and roll it down over the edge. This will easily dislodge the pieces.
  • Then simply arranged them on the cookies with the rest of the decorations


Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg