This easy Halloween Cookies Recipe creates cookies that are festive, cute, fun, and most importantly: soft, chewy and delicious! Made with black cocoa, they taste a lot like OREOS and are decorated with Ghoul's Mix m&m's and candy eyeballs.
They are the perfect easy treat to take to a party or to just have fun with your kids! The black cocoa powder has a mellow chocolate flavor, so even though these are dark, the flavor is more like an OREO, and not like dark chocolate.
This was inspired by our Halloween Bark which is also fun and easy. It would go great paired with our spooky Halloween Charcuterie Board or with our Oreo Cheesecake Cookies and Fall Maple Cookies. For more holiday cookies check out our New Year's Eve Cookies and our 4th of July Cookies, and Cadbury Egg Easter Cookies.
Below is a list of ingredients needed for this recipe. Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla- basic cookie staple ingredients. We recipe tested extensively to get the right amounts for the perfect flavor and texture.
- black cocoa powder - we tested this recipe repeatedly and found that we and our taste testers absolutely loved them with black cocoa powder. It has this really delicious almost OREO type flavor and makes them black and so fun looking!
- flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda - not all cookies have baking powder, but after testing we decided they needed to be a little lighter and less dense, so added some baking powder and it worked perfectly.
- M&Ms ghoul's mix and candy eyeballs - you can use whatever candy you'd like to make these festive for Halloween. This was our favorite combination that we enjoyed.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Halloween Cookies
Use these process shots to help get the results you are wanting. The pictures can help with texture and be a visual guide for best results.
1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Using a bowl and hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on high for 1 more minute.
3. Add black cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix on low just until combined. Mix in half of the M&Ms.
4. Roll dough into dough balls, about 1 ½ inch in diameter. Press more m&m's and the candy eyeballs onto the tops and sides of dough balls. This enables the candies to be seen and to be more noticeable. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until tops are matte and edges are set.
Hint: Don't get too much flour! Fluff up your flour and gently spoon it into your measuring cup, then scrape the flat side of a knife across the top of your measuring cup.
Substitutions and Variations
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- regular cocoa powder - you can absolutely use regular cocoa powder! Substitute the regular cocoa powder 1:1. Then substitute the baking powder for baking soda. When adding the flour, start with 2 Tablespoons less, then add the rest if dough is too sticky.. We have found that regular cocoa powder is somehow drier.
- dark chocolate- Black cocoa powder has a mellow chocolate taste.. It tastes a LOT like an OREO. For a dark chocolate flavor, we recommend adding in 2 Tablespoons of regular cocoa powder and 2 less Tablespoons flour.
- dairy free- these can be made dairy free by substituting your favorite plant butter for the regular butter, then get another type of Halloween candy to replace the m & m's.
- Peanut Butter - use the Ghoul's Mix peanut butter m & m's (my personal favorite way to make them) instead of regular m & m's.
- Thanksgiving/ Fall - use the substitution above for regular cocoa powder so they are brown, then use Reese's pieces.
- Christmas/ other holidays - simply use the seasonal/ holiday m & m's mix for the holiday you want to make cookies for.
- Crispy - for crispy cookies, wait for the tops to turn matte and the edges to set, then cook an additional 3 minutes.
Give the time necessary when beating the butter and sugar together. People always want to know why my cookies are so good- this is the answer. I beat the butter and sugar for a long time.
Be careful not to over bake! Since the cookies are black, you'll want to look for edges that are set and the tops of the cookies should be matte. Remove them from the oven then leave them on the tray to continue baking for 5-10 more minutes.
How to Serve Halloween Cookies
Serve these up at a Halloween party or just a fun celebratory night in with the family. Pair it with some of our fun Halloween recipes and your other favorite Halloween treats!
Store the Halloween cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave for 4-10 seconds to soften up.
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. We recommend freezing them within one hour of baking for best results when thawed.
Don't mix all the m&m's in! Only mix in half. Make your dough balls, then press m&m's and candy eyeballs slightly into the dough on the tops and sides. Otherwise, it's harder to see the beautiful colors and especially the eyeballs.
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup black dutch processed cocoa powder see substitutions above for other cocoa options
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 ounce Ghoul's Mix M&M's
- .88 ounce eyeball sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- Beat butter and sugar together in a bowl on high speed for 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and beat one more minute. See photos above for a great visual.
- Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and black cocoa powder and mix on low just until combined. Stir in half of the m&m's.
- Form dough into balls and press the remaining m&m's and the candy eyeballs into the tops and sides of each dough ball. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. The tops should turn matte and the edges will be set. Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Make yummy chocolate cookies using black cocoa powder, ghoul's mix m&m's and candy eyeballs! Check out our recipe!