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Chocolate skeleton cookies are nothing but good old bones! Sweet icing bones and dark chocolate cookies, that is.

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Nothing says Halloween like a Gingerbread Man. Oh…wait…using a gingerbread man cookie cutter—that’s where I was going with this. Change that little shape into a creepy skeleton and you’ve got something. Swap in chocolate cookie dough for the spiced standby and a ghoulish face for the smile, and you have some crazy fun Halloween treats.

Skeleton Cookies

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The simple design makes these a go-to Halloween treat. Skeleton cookies come together in no time. I even added a little sanding sugar sparkle to some.
My chocolate cookie is a dark, rich and buttery roll-and-cut recipe. You can make the cookies ahead and ice them anytime. They can keep in an airtight container for several days.

These Skeleton Cookies are easy to decorate. No need for perfection. No one is counting how many ribs they have or how big their eye sockets are!

The royal icing is the perfect smooth and sweet topper. I use meringue powder instead of raw egg whites, which makes the icing food-safe and easy. container of Wilton meringue powder

How perfectly do the bones make these little gingerbread men look like skeletons? I love it. My skull faces sort of take on a Scream painting look, and no two are the same. That’s the beauty of these little guys. Perfection is not the deal when piping these bones. No one is counting how many ribs they have or how big their eye sockets are!

Cooking tip: Royal icing looks great piped onto cookies (that’s why we food stylists use it!). It solidifies to make a lovely un-smearable decoration. It even tastes sugary and good. However, if you don’t have powdered egg whites around to make it, and/or you love a butter-based frosting, then by all means use that instead. It won’t be as smooth, and it will most certainly smear if it’s touched by curious-kid-hands. It will still be cute and quite tasty!

I’ve used royal icing on several of my Halloween treats, like these Spooky Spiral Cookies.

Spooky Spiral Cookies for Halloween

And I made my Eerie Eyeball Cake eyeballs with royal icing!

cake stand with chocolate cake and eyeball candy on top

It looks good on chocolate cookies, sugar cookies and gingerbread! Keep that gingerbread man cutter handy until December.

These skeleton cookies are so cute packaged as favors in little cellophane bags, or just piled on a party platter. Watch my video to see just how easy they are to make!!

Get the recipe below!


5 from 2 votes
Chocolate Skeleton Cookies
Work Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
2 hrs
Dark as a spooky night, these cookies are made from a rich chocolate dough, with just a hint of cinnamon.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, cream cheese, frosting
Yield: 24 cookies
Calories: 263 kcal
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • cups unsweetened cocoa
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • cups unsalted butter
  • cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe Royal Icing recipe below
  • White sanding sugar
Royal Icing
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 ½ tbsp meringue powder or powdered egg whites
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light, about 2 min. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in two batches, add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Divide dough in half and wrap pieces in plastic wrap, flatten into disks and chill 1 hr or overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 350ºF. On a floured surface roll dough to ¼ inch thick. Cut with a 5-inch gingerbread man cookie cutter and transfer to unlined baking sheets. Reroll scraps once. Bake until cookies spring back when touched, about 12 min. Cool on wire racks.
  4. Prepare 1 recipe Royal Icing. With an electric mixer mix confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and water on low speed, scraping sides of bow,l until icing is the consistency of soft whipped cream, about 10 min. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a #2 plain tip. Decorate with lines for a skeleton. Pipe an outline of a skull and circles for eyes and mouth; flood face with icing. Sprinkle some with sanding sugar. Dry completely.
Recipe Notes

Chocolate skeleton cookies are nothing but good old bones! Sweet icing bones and dark chocolate cookies, that is.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Skeleton Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 263 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 38mg 2%
Potassium 98mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 22g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 7.5%
Calcium 1.4%
Iron 7.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


PIN this recipe:

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Recipe and Food Styling by Tara Bench. Originally published in LHJ Oct 2012. Photography William Brinson. Prop Styling Michele Faro


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