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A plate of Calavera Sugar Skull Cookies - skull shaped cookies with a fondant icing and decorated to resemble the colorful Mexican Day Of The Dead skulls. As pretty as they are tasty.



When you need a great activity for the kids to celebrate Halloween in the age of Covid…make a batch of Calavera Sugar Skull Cookies!  Sugar cookies, flavored with almond and vanilla, rolled fondant, and edible markers make this a delicious and easy Halloween project.



1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted ice-cold butter, sliced into cubes

2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 pound package white fondant

Powdered sugar, for dusting surface before rolling cookie dough and fondant

Corn syrup

Edible markers


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, turn the mixer on a medium-high speed and beat the cold butter cubes and sugar together until light in color and creamy.

Pour in the heavy cream, almond extract, and vanilla extract.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.

Reduce the mixer speed to low.

Next, add the flour. Baking powder, and salt.  Mix slowly until all ingredients are well incorporated and a thick dough has formed.  If the dough is sticky, add more flour, a teaspoon at a time.

Lightly dust a large cutting board or flat surface with powdered sugar.

Remove half of the dough from the mixer bowl and shape it into a ball on the sugared surface.

Roll the dough out until it is ¼-inch thick.

Use your cookie cutter to cut the skulls into the dough.  

Place the skulls on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 7 – 9 minutes until they start to turn golden around the edges.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

On the same flat surface that you rolled out the cookie dough, dust it again with powdered sugar.

Knead the fondant until it’s pliable and then roll out on the dusted surface until it is very thin.

Use the same cookie cutter to cut out the skulls – one for each cookie.  

When the cookies are cool, use a silicone pastry brush to brush a very thin coating of corn syrup on the cookie.  This will act as the glue for the white skull ‘icing’.

Lay a fondant skull on top and use a small fondant roller or drinking glass to lightly smooth it out.

Repeat with the remaining cookies and skull ‘icing’.

Use the edible markers to draw on the decorations on each cookie.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes + decorating time
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: calavera sugar skull cookies, sugar cookies, decorated sugar cookies, dessert recipes, fondant, kid friendly recipes, Halloween, Day Of The Dead