While we’re all about the Halloween spooks and scares, these Friendly Ghost Sugar Cookies have real personality. Will your ghost be sneaky, with its face frozen in a smirk as it flies off with the coveted candy corn; spooky, with its mouth set in a precipitous O; or warm and cuddly, with a soft smile sweeter than all that Halloween candy? Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one—you can make an entire collection of sweet, spooky, and sneaky ghosts to suit every Halloween character. They’re entirely customizable. You can omit the candy and make a plain ghost cookie, but these cute-as-can-be ghosts cuddling pieces of candy corn are more unique and charming than your run-of-the-mill ghost.Not only do they look adorable (especially when paired with our Candy Corn Sugar Cookies), but they’re quite simple to make using our Easy Sugar Cookie recipe. Even beginner cookie decorators can accomplish this task. A few tips in executing these cute cookies: Outline the cookies close enough to the edge that the icing will cover the entire cookie, but not too close that the icing will spill over the sides. When flooding, start piping from the outside in, and use a toothpick to shepherd extra icing into any blank gaps. Lastly, be sure the white base layer of your cookies has enough time to dry before piping on the face—this will prevent the colors from bleeding into each other. Happy piping!

Zoe Denenberg


Credit: Zoe Denenberg; Prop Styling: Rachel Mulcahy

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
About 2 dozen cookies


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Make Easy Sugar Cookies, cut with ghost-shaped cookie cutter. Make Royal Icing.

  • Load a piping bag with piping-consistency white icing; fit piping bag with small round tip (#2). Portion remaining Royal Icing into 2 small bowls. In first bowl, mix additional tablespoons of water into icing gradually, until it reaches a slightly loose flooding consistency. Load flooding-consistency white icing into a piping bag (no need to fit the bag with a metal tip; simply snip the tip of the piping bag to create a small opening, approx. 1/8 inch). In second bowl, mix black food coloring into icing until it’s dark and richly pigmented; load black icing into piping bag fitted with very small round tip (#1).

  • Outline ghost cookies with piping-consistency white royal icing. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then flood cookies with flooding-consistency white royal icing. Let dry for 2-3 hours.

  • When white icing has completely dried, use black icing to pipe eyes and mouth.

  • Pipe a line of white icing onto the back of a piece of candy corn. Place the candy corn on the ghost cookie and pipe two thick lines halfway around the candy corn to resemble the ghost’s hands. Let dry for 1-2 hours.