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

Halloween Shortbread Cookies

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 40
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!
Print Recipe


  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 250 g extra cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 200 g confectioner sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

Flavorings (optional):

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon 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 ½ 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.