Ghost Sugar Cookies

These adorable ghost sugar cookies are perfect for the spooky season! The cookies are soft and light with the perfect balance of vanilla and almond that every sugar cookie needs. The dough is super simple to whip up and is guaranteed no-spread which means you can be creative with your intricate shapes and they will come out of the oven looking the same as they went in! The royal icing adds the finishing crunch to your cookie making them absolutely fab-boo-lous (had to get at least one boo pun in there!).

Credit: Baked by Sarah, Ghost Sugar Cookies

The dough is simple and quick to make, with readily available ingredients. After chilling for 30 minutes, the dough can be cut out and the cookies can be placed straight into the oven to bake, for only 8 minutes! Let them cool, top the with Royal icing and they’re ready to pop in your mouth! Simple!

What special equipment do I need for these cookies?

  • Ghost cookie cutter or see Tips
  • Stand mixer with the dough handle attached (optional)
  • Baking paper
  • Piping bag and extra small round piping nozzle

What ingredients do I need?

  • Butter – Unsalted cold butter is preferable
  • Caster sugar – White refined caster sugar or fine caster sugar is preferred
  • Eggs – Medium free range eggs at room temperature or cold
  • Gluten free flour* – A gluten free flour blend such as Doves Farm Plain Flour with added Xanthan gum or Schär- Mix C is perfect for this recipe, otherwise a standard flour blend will work fine. The most important factor is that the flour blend does not contain baking soda or baking powder. This will make the cookies rise and spread too much!
  • Vanilla paste – Vanilla essence, extract or vanilla paste can be used as long as it is gluten-free
  • Ground almonds – Blanched ground almonds look better and leave the cookies looking nice and pale
  • Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten-free recipes and there are no exceptions here
  • Salt – Salt is needed in order to offset the sugar
  • Icing sugar – Standard icing sugar, sifted to avoid a lumpy frosting
  • Royal Icing – Homemade or a mix. If you’re less confident with making Royal icing, as it can be somewhat finicky, buy a Royal icing mix that’s easy to whip up with a splash of water
  • Black food colouring – Use gel rather than drops so as not to upset the balance of liquid in the ingredients


  • Rolling the dough out between two sheets of baking paper will make it easier to cut the cookies after chilling and prevent having to use a floured surface to avoid the dough sticking which will many the dough drier
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of around 5mm and chill for at least 30 minutes before cutting out the cookies to bake. Bake the cookies immediately, rolling out and chilling any excess cut-offs in the meantime.
  • If you don’t have a ghost cookie cutter, create the outline of a ghost on paper, cut out and use as an outline for your cookies that you can cut around with a sharp knife.

Ghost Sugar Cookies

These adorable ghost sugar cookies are easy to whip up with a super easy no-spread almond dough topped with a sweet crunchy royal icing. Perfect for Halloween!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 8-10 minutes

Chilling Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 25 cookies

Difficulty: easy

Author: Sarah | Baked by Sarah, Gluten Free


For the linzer cookies:
  • 250g gluten free plain flour *(See Note)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence or paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
For the Royal icing :
  • 300g Royal icing
  • Few drops black gel food colouring


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C Fan and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until combined.
  3. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla paste and whisk until well combined. Try not to overmix as an over aerated mixture will give too much rise to the cookies.
  4. Add the flour, ground almonds, salt and xanthan gum and mix until a dough forms. If using a stand mixer, the dough handle can be used.
  5. Roll the dough out to a 5mm thickness between two pieces of baking paper so as to avoid using any extra flour as this will dry out the dough.
  6. Place the rolled out dough into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Once chilled, cut out the cookies using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter and place on the baking tray at 1 inch intervals.
  8. Bake on the middle shelf for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will still be pale in colour but starting to turn golden around the edges.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a cooling wrack whilst preparing the Royal icing.
  10. Create a batch of white Royal icing which can be used for the body of the ghost. Set aside a spoonful of icing in a separate bowl and mix with two or three drops of black gel food colouring to be used later for the eyes and mouth of the ghost.
  11. Using a piping bag with an extra small round hole piping nozzle fitted, create and outline with the Royal icing and then flood the cookies. Use a toothpick to smooth out the icing and pop any air bubbles that might come up.
  12. Set aside to harden before piping on the eyes and mouth using the black Royal icing.
  13. Let the cookies harden overnight to allow them to set completely.

Happy Baking!

Tried this recipe? Let me know what you think!

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