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Day of the Dead Cookies (Fave dei morti)

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An easy, tasty cookie recipe for Dia de Los Muertos.

If you’re looking for simple, delicious recipes to celebrate Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead on November 2nd, you’ll love these amazing Day of the Dead cookies. They are made from a tasty sugar cookie and decorated with colorful royal icing to resemble the edible sugar skulls. Eat or place them on altars as offerings in Mexican tradition, where people remember family and loved ones that passed away.


  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour (plus extra)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Butter (softened)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Milk
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Milk (plus extra)
  • ¼ cup Light Corn Syrup
    • add Black Food Coloring
    • add Teal Food Coloring
    • add Orange Food  Coloring
    • add Green Food Coloring
    • add Purple Food Coloring
    • add Yellow Food Coloring


  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and airy.
  3. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla until the mixture becomes smooth, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  4. Shape the dough into a disk, then wrap it in plastic. Put in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  5. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

  6. Flour a work surface. Roll out the dough so it’s about 1/8-inch thick.

  7. Cut out the dough using a skull-shaped cookie cutter and arrange the cookies on the baking trays.

  8. Place them in the freezer for 10 minutes.

  9. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.

  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  11. Whisk powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla in a bowl.

  12. Transfer ¼ of the icing to a piping bag. Outline the edges of the cooled cookies.

  13. Pour half of the remaining icing into a second bowl.

  14. Whisk milk in one teaspoon at a time until it takes on a somewhat liquid consistency.

  15. Pour into a second piping bag, then cover the cookies with icing.

  16. Divide the remaining icing into 6 bowls.

  17. Dye each with one color of food coloring.

  18. Transfer each colored icing into a piping bag and decorate the cookies.


Tips for Making Sugar Skull Cookies

You can make your Día de los Muertos cookies a few days in advance. Keep them fresh by storing them in an airtight container. You can even refrigerate them – just let them come up to room temperature before serving.

Freezing the dough before baking the cookies will help them keep their shape – don’t skip this step!

If you use unsalted butter, be sure to add a pinch of salt to your dough.

How to Store Día de los Muertos Cookies

Keep your cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Frozen Day of the Dead cookies will last for 3 months.

Notes: Use room temperature ingredients to make your cookies. They’ll combine more easily and yield a better-quality dough.

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