Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies

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Take your cookie baking up a notch with this Slice and Bake Cookie recipe! Transform regular sugar cookie dough into fun Halloween cookies with surprise designs inside.

Plate of baked Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies with a bite taken out of the front cookie.

🍪 How to Make Slice & Bake Cookies

I have a love-hate relationship with the slice-and-bake cookies you can buy at the grocery store. I LOVE the idea of them—the fact that you can slice into a tube of ordinary sugar cookie dough and discover a pumpkin, or a Christmas tree, or a heart on the inside absolutely delights my inner child. It’s magical!

Unfortunately, I like the IDEA of these cookies more than the final product. What can I say? I’m a sucker for home-made desserts, and there’s no way that cookies from a tube can compare to sugar cookies that have been made with real butter, the best vanilla extract, and of course, love.

2 rolls of slice and bake Halloween cookies with a knife cutting into the ghost roll.

That’s why I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you today! I’ve cracked the code on making SUPER FUN slice and bake sugar cookies, with hidden designs inside! These are Halloween themed, obviously, but you can use this technique for any theme, any holiday, any shape, any color scheme…you get the idea. Fair warning: these are time consuming because there are a few chilling periods involved, but the technique is not hard, and if you like to play with your food, it’s ridiculously fun. Plus, I made a video showing you exactly how it’s done!

If you want more Halloween baking inspiration, don’t miss our Witch’s Brew Halloween punch, Zombie Brain Brownie Bites, Monster Cake, and super-spooky Melting Chocolate Skulls.

5 rolls of Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies on a marble surface.

🧾 What You’ll Need

Must-Have Equipment

The cookies themselves call for standard baking ingredients you probably have one hand — butter, eggs, flour, etc. But to create the vibrant colors and intricate shapes, you’ll want to pick up a few specific items: (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)

  • Mini Halloween Cookie Cutters: To make the shapes in the middle, you’ll want to use miniature cookie cutters, preferably around 1-1.5″. This set of mini cutters has a fun variety of Halloween shapes.
  • Black Gel Food Coloring: Black is a HARD color to achieve, and it typically takes a lot of food coloring to get to true black. I like to use Americolor Super Black Gel Food Coloring because it’s a strong, vibrant color, and doesn’t have an aftertaste. It will dye your tongue a blue-black, however, so be warned in advance.
  • White Gel Food Coloring: If you want bright white ghost cookies, you’ll want to add some Americolor Bright White Gel Food Coloring to your dough.
  • Additional Food Coloring: In addition to black and white, I used the following colors in these cookies: Electric Purple, Regal Purple, Lemon Yellow, Orange, and Super Red.
Ghost roll of Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies covered in pink sprinkles and sitting in a pan full of pink sprinkles.

📋 Instructions

Here’s an overview of how to make Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies, using the black cat cookies as an example. The same technique is used for all of the cookies, so once you get the basics down, you can make any design you’d like. Full instructions and a tutorial video are included in the recipe card down below.

2 photo process picture of separating the dough and then coloring them into vibrant shades to make the Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies.

Divide and color the cookie dough

  • After making the sugar cookie dough, decide how many colors you want to make, and portion out the dough.
  • Knead gel food coloring into the cookie dough until the colors are evenly distributed. Wrap the colors you aren’t using in plastic wrap so they don’t start to dry out.
2 photo process picture of cutting out black cats and placing them on parchment paper to freeze and form the interior of Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies.

Make the interior shapes

  • Roll out black cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper until it is around 1/4-inch thick, and refrigerate until firm.
  • Use a small cookie cutter to cut out black cat shapes from the black dough. Place the cats on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze until firm, 10-15 minutes.
Frozen cat shaped dough being spread with egg white mixture and then pressed to another cat shape to form the interior of the Slice and Bake Halloween Cookie roll.
  • Once the cats are firm, lightly brush one with egg white and press another cat on top. Continue to press the cats together until you have a long column of black cats.
  • As you’re stacking them, make sure you press them together well, and pinch any extremities, like their legs and tails, together as well. Once all the cats are in one column, freeze again until very firm, 20-30 minutes.
2 photo process picture of interior cookie shape gently pressed together into a long roll and then pressing the outside layer of dough to form Slice and Bake Halloween Cookie roll

Wrap soft dough around the inner shape

  • When the column of cats is well-chilled, pinch off a section of the room temperature purple dough and roll it into a long skinny rope.
  • Press the rope onto the cats, pushing it into any crevices and making sure that there are no air pockets between the black dough and the purple dough.
2 photo process picture of pressing the Slice and Bake Halloween Cookie dough around a black cat shape and then rolling the outside smooth to form a long circular roll shape.
  • Pinch, roll, and press the purple dough all around the cats until the cat column is completely surrounded. Work quickly so the cats don’t start to get too soft and misshapen.
  • If the dough becomes soft and hard to work with, return it to the refrigerator or freezer briefly to chill.
  • Roll the cookie dough log on your work surface until it becomes round.
2 photo process picture of rolling the dough for Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies in sprinkles and then cutting the roll.

Chill, Slice, and Bake

  • Pour sugar sprinkles in a shallow pan, and roll the cookie dough log around in the sprinkles until the outside is covered. Refrigerate the dough until it is completely firm.
  • Slice the log into rounds about 1/2-inch thick, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake until slightly puffy and set around the edges.
Baked Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

💡 Tips and FAQs  

5 rolls of Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies laying side by side on a marble surface.
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Don’t miss the step-by-step tutorial showing how to make Slice & Bake Cookiescheck out the web story here!

Leave a review!

If you make this recipe, let us know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on the recipe below, and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram @elabau, or use #sugarhero on IG!

Plate of baked Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies with a bite taken out of the front cookie.

Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies

4.45 from 9 votes
These Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies are easy, fun Halloween sugar cookies with surprise designs hidden inside!
This recipe provides instructions for making the black cat cookie design, just as an example, but you can use the same basic concept to make an endless variety of designs, just by swapping out the colors and shapes. Please see the note at the bottom for additional instructions for making the bat and pumpkin variations.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 2 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Yield 28 cookies
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients
 

CUSTOMIZE: 28 cookies

Instructions
 

  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and set aside for now.
  • Combine the cold cubed butter and the sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat them on medium speed just until they're mixed together and there are no longer any chunks of butter. The key is to get a homogenous texture, but not beat until it's light and fluffy—we don't want to beat too much air into the dough, because that will cause the cookies to spread!
  • Add the vanilla extract and one egg, and beat to combine. Add the second egg and beat until it's incorporated.
  • Stop the mixer and add the flour, and mix on low speed until most of the flour is incorporated and just a few streaks remain. Finish mixing the dough with a spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
  • Separate out about a fifth of the dough. Mix purple gel food coloring into the larger portion of the dough—you can either use your mixer, or knead it in by hand. If you’re using your hands, I HIGHLY recommend wearing plastic gloves to keep your hands clean! Note that the dough will be a lighter color once it bakes. Wrap the purple dough in cling wrap and leave it at room temperature.
  • Mix the black gel food coloring into the smaller portion of dough. Roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper until it is around 1/4-inch thick, and refrigerate until firm.
  • Use a small cookie cutter to cut out black cat shapes from the black dough. Space them together as close as possible, and once you’ve cut out as many black cats as you can, re-roll the dough and cut out more. Place the cats on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze until firm, 10-15 minutes.
  • Whisk the egg white with a teaspoon of water. Once the cats are firm, lightly brush one with egg white and press another cat on top. Continue to press the cats together until you have a long column of black cats. If it gets unwieldy, you can make several smaller columns, or return the cats to the freezer for a few minutes to firm up again. As you’re stacking them, make sure you press them together well, and pinch any extremities, like their legs and tails, together as well. Once all the cats are in one column, freeze again until very firm, 20-30 minutes.
  • When the cats are firm, pinch off a section of the purple dough and roll it into a long skinny rope. Press the rope onto the cats, pushing it into any crevices and making sure that there are no air pockets between the black dough and the purple dough.
  • Pinch, roll, and press the purple dough all around the cats until the cat column is completely surrounded. Now roll the cookie dough log on your work surface until it becomes round.
  • Put the black sugar sprinkles in a shallow pan, and roll the cookie dough log around in the sprinkles until the outside is covered. Wrap the log tightly in cling wrap, and refrigerate until completely firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Slice the end off of the cookie dough log (the end will always be misshapen—more for you to snack on!) then slice cookie rounds a little more than ½-inch thick. Place the cookies on the baking sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes, until slightly puffy and set around the edges. Don’t wait for them to take on any color, and don’t overbake! These are best when still soft in the middle. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Video

Recipe Notes

Bat variation:
After the dough is made, take out 1/5 of it and dye it black for the bats. Take a quarter of the remaining dough and dye it yellow for the moon, then dye the rest of the dough dark blue. Make a column of bats just as you would for the black cats. Once the column is firm, roll the yellow dough into a fat tube the length of the bats. Take a knife and cut a slit along the length of the tube, going to about the center of the circle. Paint one edge of the bat’s wings with egg whites. Insert the wings into the slit in the yellow tube, to make it seem as if the bats were flying in front of the moon. Press the tube firmly around the bat wings, then freeze everything until firm. Cover the bat/moon with blue cookie dough and proceed with the rest of the instructions.
 
Pumpkin Variation:
After the dough is made, take out 1/5 of it and dye it orange for the pumpkins. Divide the remaining dough in half and color half of it white and half of it yellow. Make a column of pumpkins just as you would for the black cats. Once the column is firm, roll out the white dough into a rectangle the length of the column, and wrap it around the pumpkins, pressing firmly to get it in any crevices. Roll to make the log round, then freeze for just 5-10 minutes. Then roll out the yellow dough in a similar way and wrap that around the white dough, rolling the log again to make it round. Sprinkle, chill, slice, and bake as usual.

MEASURING TIPS

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.

Nutrition

Calories: 178 kcal | Carbohydrates: 26 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0.3 g | Cholesterol: 29 mg | Sodium: 49 mg | Potassium: 28 mg | Fiber: 0.5 g | Sugar: 12 g | Vitamin A: 219 IU | Calcium: 7 mg | Iron: 1 mg
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2 photo collage of Slice and Bake Halloween Cookies with text overlay for Pinterest.
What You'll Need:
Editor's Note

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  For more information, see my Disclaimer and Disclosure Policy.

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