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I bake these creepy skeleton cookies every year for Halloween, but they work also for Day of the Dead. You can use any cut-out-cookie recipe as the base. I usually cut out 2 different-shaped figures using my gingerbread men cookie cutters.

Recipe Summary

45 mins
8 mins
6 hrs 20 mins
7 hrs 13 mins
40 cookies


Original recipe yields 40 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cream sugar and butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and almond flavoring and mix well.

  • Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a second bowl. Add flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture and mix to combine. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  • Dust a work surface with 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and roll out dough into a 1/4-inch-thick circle. Cut out figure shapes with a gingerbread man cookie cutter and arrange cut-out cookies on prepared baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheets carefully and transfer to wire racks. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  • Stir 1 cup confectioners' sugar and milk together in a small bowl until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until icing is smooth and glossy. Add more corn syrup if icing is too thick.

  • Spoon icing into a piping bag with a small plain tip. Draw a filled-out circle inside the head for the skull and a skeleton on the body, including 3 horizontal lines for the ribs. Let cookies stand until icing dries completely, about 2 hour, best overnight.

  • Use black decorating gel to draw eyes, a nose, and a mouth on the skull and let cookies dry again, about 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

131 calories; protein 1.5g; carbohydrates 20.4g; fat 4.9g; cholesterol 20.4mg; sodium 94.5mg. Full Nutrition