Satisfy your cravings and celebrate Halloween with these gluten-free sugar cookies made with egg-free royal icing. They’re vegan and allergy-friendly, too. These easy-to-make cut-out sugar cookies are soft and tender, making them as delicious as they are cute. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Get ready to bake the most adorable, delicious, soft, and tender gluten-free Halloween cookies that surely will satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your gluten-free diet.
In this article, I’ll share my time-tested recipe for tasty sugar cookies decorated with egg-free royal icing. I promise they will make the perfect addition to your Halloween festivities both as a delicious recipe and fun craft project with the kids.
These cookies meet all the criteria of a delicious allergy-friendly treat without wreaking havoc on your digestive system!
- They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and allergen-friendly.
- The cookies have been carefully crafted to hold their shape when they bake. You can make spooky ghosts, wicked witches, or creepy crawlies.
- The cookies are a bit cakey in texture, and they soften even more as they absorb moisture from the royal icing.
Remember, just because these cookies are gluten-free doesn’t mean they compromise taste or texture. In fact, they’re just as soft, tender, and delicious as any cookie around. No one has to know they’re gluten-free. It’ll be our little secret. Shhh!
Ghoulishly Good Ingredients
Let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make these ghoulishly good gluten-free Halloween cookies:
Gluten-Free Flour: You’ll need 2 ¾ cups of a good gluten-free flour blend. I used Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour because it’s accessible, inexpensive, and good. Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour contains xanthan gum. If your blend doesn’t include xanthan gum, add one teaspoon of it.
Palm Shortening: To ensure these cookies are dairy-free, I used ½ cup palm shortening (or vegetable shortening is okay) instead of butter. You could also use butter or dairy-free butter. Just note that the cookies may spread differently when you use butter. See below for more tips on using butter vs. shortening.
Sugar: You’ll need one cup of white granulated sugar to add sweetness to these cakey sugar cookies.
Egg Substitute: To make these cookies egg-free, I used an egg substitute equal to two eggs. You could, of course, just use two eggs. I used Bob’s Red Mill’s Egg Replacer. See notes for tips on how to use the egg replacer correctly. You’ll see my instructions differ from the instructions on the box as I adjust for the nuances of gluten-free baking.
Salt: You’ll need ¾ teaspoon of salt, which will enhance the flavor of the cookie.
Baking Powder: Baking powder will help give the cookies a slight rise. You’ll need 1 1/2 teaspoons of it.
Vanilla Extract: Add one teaspoon of vanilla extract to enhance the cookie’s flavor.
Egg-Free Royal Icing Ingredients
For the egg-free royal icing, you’ll need the following ingredients:
Powdered Sugar: You’ll need 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar.
Corn Syrup: Corn syrup will give the royal icing shine. Don’t skip it. You’ll need two tablespoons of it. You could also use honey, but the results will vary.
Pumpkin Spice Extract: I love the flavor of pumpkin spice extract, but it may be hard to find at the grocery store. I recommend ordering it online. You’ll need one teaspoon of it. If you can’t find (or don’t want to use) pumpkin extract, use vanilla extract instead. It’ll still taste amazing!
Water: You’ll need about 3-5 tablespoons of water to get the just-right texture for the royal icing. Add a little at a time until the texture is perfect.
Food Coloring: I recommend using gel food coloring to decorate the cookies with bold and fun colors.
How to Make Gluten-Free Halloween Cookies
Making these spooktacular cookies doesn’t take long at all. In fact, they come together quickly so you can spend the bulk of your time decorating them in time for Halloween.
Start by preheating your oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the prepared egg substitute and mix until light and fluffy. Remember, when preparing the egg substitute, I recommend using three tablespoons of water instead of two to adjust for the extra moisture needed in gluten-free baking.
Add the salt, baking powder, and salt, and mix thoroughly, then add the vanilla extract and gluten-free flour (and xanthan gum, if needed) and mix until you have a smooth cookie and malleable dough.
Roll the dough about ¼ inch thick by placing the cookie dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Cut out your cookie shapes using your favorite Halloween cookie cutters.
- To make pumpkins or jack-o’-lantern cookies without a pumpkin cookie cutter, cut a round cookie with a round cookie cutter or use the rim of a drinking glass. Gently using your fingers, press an indent into the top and bottom of the round cookie to make a “pumpkin” shape. Pinch a small scrap of dough for the stem and gently press it into the top of the cookie. Watch my video for a demonstration.
- To make candy corn Halloween cookies, cut acute triangles out of the dough. The easiest way is to cut a rectangle about 2.5-3 inches tall. It can be as long as your rolled dough. Then, cut the rectangle into acute triangles with a base about 2 inches long. Watch my video for a demonstration.
Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will still be soft to the touch but will set as they cool. Don’t let them brown. That means they’ve overbaked!
Allow the cookies ample time to cool before adding icing and decorating.
Egg-Free Royal Icing
To make the egg-free royal icing, whisk together the powdered sugar corn syrup, and pumpkin spice (or vanilla) extract together with the water until the mixture is smooth and thick.
Divide the icing into several small bowls and tint with food coloring, as desired. Fill individual piping bags with the icing.
Ice your cookies, as desired, allowing time for the icing to set before piping additional colors next to or on top of each other.
Spooky Tips for Making Halloween Cookies
Pumpkin Extract: If you don’t have access to pumpkin spice extract, you can use vanilla extract or cinnamon extract instead. Pumpkin spice extract smells and tastes incredible. I suggest ordering it on Amazon since many grocery stores don’t carry it.
For the Egg Substitute: I used two tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill’s Egg Replacer mixed with three tablespoons of water instead of the two tablespoons of water, as noted in the directions on the packaging. I’ve found that two tablespoons of water isn’t enough hydration for gluten-free recipes.
Prefer to Use Eggs? You can use two room-temperature eggs instead of the egg substitute. The cookies may spread; use caution.
Prefer Real Butter? You can use 1/2 cup softened butter or vegan butter instead of the palm shortening. Again, this may cause your cookies to spread; use caution and consider chilling the dough before baking.
Trick or Treat?
These gluten-free Halloween cookies will ensure you have fun and indulge in the festive spirit without sacrificing your dietary needs.
Gather your loved ones, put on your apron, and prepare these hauntingly delicious Halloween cookies made without scary gluten and other allergens.
More Gluten-Free Halloween Recipes
You might also like these gluten-free Halloween recipes:
And these articles:
- Gluten-Free Candy Guide & Halloween Candy Tested for Hidden Gluten
- Simple Gluten-Free Play-Dough Made With 7 Ingredients!
- Are NERDS Gluten-Free? I Nima Tested It for Hidden Gluten
- Is Licorice Gluten Free? The Truth about Twizzlers, Red Vines, and More!
Gluten-Free Halloween Cookies with Egg-Free Royal Icing
- Electric Mixer or standing mixer
- mixing bowls and spatulas
- Piping bags
- Cookie cutters
- 2 Cookie sheets
For the Cookies
- ½ cup palm shortening or vegetable shortening
- 1 cup white sugar
- egg substitute equal to 2 eggs I used Bob's Red Mill's Egg Replacer – see notes
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 ¾ cups gluten-free flour I used Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Flour. If you use a flour blend that doesn’t contain xanthan gum, add 1 tsp of
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Egg-Free Royal Icing
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp corn syrup
- 1 Tsp pumpkin extract or vanilla extract
- 3-5 Tbsp water
- Food coloring
To Make the Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the egg substitute and mix until light and fluffy. (When preparing the egg substitute, I recommend using three tablespoons of water instead of two to adjust for the extra moisture needed in gluten-free baking.) See notes.
- Add the salt, baking powder, and salt, and mix thoroughly.
- Add the vanilla extract and gluten-free flour (and xanthan gum, if needed) and mix until you have a smooth cookie and malleable dough.
- Roll the dough about ¼ inch thick by placing it between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Cut out your cookie shapes using Halloween cookie cutters, or cut out the cookies by hand, as noted below. (Skip the following suggestions if using cookie cutters.)To make pumpkins or jack-o'-lantern cookies without a pumpkin cookie cutter, cut a round cookie with a round cookie cutter or use the rim of a drinking glass. Gently using your fingers, press an indent into the top and bottom of the round cookie to make a "pumpkin" shape. Pinch a small scrap of dough for the stem and gently press it into the top of the cookie. (See video for demonstration)To make candy corn cookies, cut acute triangles out of the dough. The easiest way is to cut a rectangle about 2.5-3 inches tall. It can be as long as your rolled dough. Then, cut the rectangle into acute triangles with a base about 2 inches long. (See video for demonstration)
- Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will still be soft to the touch but will set as they cool. Don't let them brown – that means they've overbaked!
- Allow the cookies ample time to cool (30 min) before adding icing and decorating.
To Make the Egg-Free Royal Icing
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, and pumpkin or vanilla extract together with the water until the mixture is smooth and thick.
- Divide the frosting into several small bowls and tint with food coloring. Fill individual piping bags with the icing.
- Ice your cookies, as desired, allowing time for the icing to set before piping additional colors next to or on top of one other.