Happy Halloween friends! Are you dressing up for tonight? Did you bake some delicious treats?

Halloween is such a fun and festive occasion to celebrate with a spooky party! If you’re looking for a last-minute treat, look no further, these Halloween shortbread cookies are quick and super easy to make.

These Italian shortbread cookies are super sweet and aromatic, buttery, extremely crumbly, light and airy, and all dressed up to celebrate the spookiest night of the year!

They are perfect tea-time material, and just as great as homemade gift, or a super quick way to satisfy your cookie cravings.

mini tart baking pan with baking beans on top, next to italian shortbread cookies dough

To make these awesome cookies, I’ve used the traditional recipe for the Italian Shortbread or “pasta frolla”, a basic Italian buttery and aromatic sweet dough. Made with just 4 simple ingredients , it’s extremely versatile and traditionally used for cookies and pies.

 Italian Shortbread Cookies dough rolled and cookies cut into pumpkin shapes, next to The Petite Cook rolling pin and orange pumpkin cookie cutters

This Italian shortbread dough is my favorite to use for baking cookies. The butter + flour + sugar + yolks combo produce a fragrant cookie that’s ridiculously delicious, fragrant and aromatic. Also, I like the cookies to be thick (1/2 inch) so that they do not dry out when I bake them.

pumpkin shaped halloween italian shortbread cookies raw on baking tray covered with parchment paper held by two hands

These cookies are very quick to make and don’t require any special technique, just a a bit of work with your hands, a quick chilling time in the fridge and 10 minutes in the oven. Those spooky Italian shortbread cookies will be ready before you say “Boo!”.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Celebrate #Halloween with the Best Italian Shortbread Cookies! Super easy to make and just 4 ingredients needed!” user=”@PetiteCook” hashtags=”#recipeoftheday”]

Use you favorite cutters to shape the cookies in the form you like. If you want to make these spooky pumpkins, I’ve added all the tools I’ve use at the end of the post (including the cookie cutters!).

Hand putting the pumpkin shaped italian shortbread cookies on baking tray with parchment paper in the oven

How To Customize Your Shortbread Cookies

These shortbread cookies are delicious on their own, but you can also add different aromas or nuts in the dough: vanilla, orange, and toasted hazelnut flour are just a few of my favorites.

Top your cookies with any flavoring you like, from peanut butter, royal icing, to homemade nutella and jam. To make my Halloween shortbread cookies version, I’ve topped mine with a pinch of pumpkin spice in the dough and decorate the cookies with organic food gel and melted dark chocolate.

Pumpkin-shaped Halloween Italian Shortbread Cookies recipe on black background next to half pumpkin

My Kitchen Tools For Making Italian Shortbread Cookies At Home:

You can totally go by hand when the Italian shortbread cookies, however, my loyal Kitchen Aid food processor does a better job than me, and saves me TONS of energy. A classic rolling pin, a large baking tray and some fun-shaped cookie cutters basically all you need, so no much washing up really – YAY!

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Pumpkin-shaped Halloween Italian Shortbread Cookies recipe on black background next to half pumpkin
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Halloween Shortbread Cookies

These Italian shortbread cookies are super sweet and aromatic, buttery, extremely crumbly, light and airy, and all dressed up to celebrate the spookiest night of the year!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 40
Author: The Petite Cook


  • 500 gr / 17.6oz all purpose flour
  • 250 gr / 8.8oz extra cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 200 gr / 7oz confectioner sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

Flavorings (optional):

  • zest of 1 lemon or
  • zest of 1 orange or
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

To decorate:

  • organic orange food gel
  • dark chocolate melted


  • Preheat oven to 360F/180C/160C fan.
  • In a food processor, blend flour and cold butter until you have a sandy fine texture, about 30 sec.
  • Arrange the mixture on a work surface (or a large bowl).
  • Add the confectioner sugar and any flavoring if using. Make a hole in the middle of the mixture and fold in the egg yolks.
  • Work very quickly all the ingredients until you have a even dough.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 5 min if it becomes too warm and sticky to roll.
  • Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut into rounds or using your favorite cookie cutters.
  • Place the cookies on a baking tray covered with parchment and place in the refrigerator for about 5 mins. This will firm up the dough so the cookies won't lose their shape while baking.
  • Bake for 10 mins until fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from the tray and allow to cool.
  • Decorate with food gel and dark chocolate and serve.


You can use normal coarse sugar or confectioner's. I prefer the latter as it makes it easier to work the dough without over-warming it.
Wrap the shortbread dough in cling film and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!


Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

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