Go Back
+ servings

Halloween Sugar Cookie Skull

This sweet and spooky dessert is perfect for your Halloween party! Made from a soft sugar cookie dough, served with a cream cheese frosting and topped with fresh fruit.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Halloween, sugar cookie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
cool and decorate time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 20



  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening ( or you may use butter)* please read recipe notes!
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk


  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon room temperature butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk, cream or half and half


  • 1 bunch Moon or Finger grapes, washed, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, stems removed, washed and drained well
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained well
  • 1 small can pineapple tidbits or chopped fresh pineapple, drained well
  • a few fresh raspberries, blueberries (optional)



  1. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar together. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Beat on medium speed until blended well and no butter or shortening is showing in clumps. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. Do not beat on high!

  2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to the butter/sugar mixture.

  3. Mix at low speed just until all flour and milk are mixed into the butter mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again on low. Do not over mix. You may refrigerate at this point, overnight or up to three days before baking.*

  4. Roll dough out into an oval shape either on parchment paper or greased foil on top of cookie sheet to about 1/4 inch thick.

  5. Press the sides in a bit with fingers to form a head (see photos). Refrigerate or freeze dough for 15-30 minutes. Preheat oven while dough is in refrigerator.

  6. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack of oven for about 12-14 minutes or until lightly golden on edges and top. Do not over bake!

  7. Remove from oven when done and let cool completely before frosting and decorating. The cookie may be made up to 2 days before serving. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store on countertop.


  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until soft on medium speed.

  2. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Continue mixing on low.

  3. Add salt and vanilla. Add 1 more cup of powdered sugar. Mix until smooth on medium speed.

  4. Add the milk, a tablespoon at a time. You may only need one tablespoon! Scrape down sides of bowl, and mix until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth. 


  1. Wash and drain fruit in collander and then on paper towels if juicy!

    Arrange the fruit on the cooled, frosted cookie as desired. Store in fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe calls for a mixture of butter and shortening. Using solid shortening will produce a softer cookie that will hold its shape better while baking. That said, you may use all butter in this recipe! No matter the combination, or if using all butter and no shortening, you will need 1 CUP TOTAL of butter,  or butter and shortening combination in the dough. 
  • If using all butter in dough make sure to refrigerate the dough after shaping into a skull (or any other shape). This will help the dough retain its shape during baking.
  • This cookie is easily rolled out and shaped directly on the baking sheet. If you want to transfer to a flat platter, try to bake the skull on a flat cookie sheet and not a jelly roll pan. Transferring the cookie will be easier if it can just slide off. 
  • If the cookie cracks while transferring to another platter or baking sheet, don't worry! The frosting will cover all cracks or breaks in cookie.