Fruit Cookie Sugar Skulls

Sugar skulls or cookies are often used during Day of the Dead celebrations, but many people struggle with intricate decorations. This larger format uses a variety of colorful fruit to make for an easier decorating experience that is no less beautiful.

Serves: 16Prep: 25 minutesCook: 18 minutesTotal: 43 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16


  • 1⁄2 cup + 2 Tbsp. salted butter, softened and divided
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
  • Thinly sliced fruits like strawberries, mango, kiwi, grapes and berries


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat ½ cup butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating until thoroughly mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Place dough on prepared baking pan and press into a ¼” thick skull shape. Chill for 10 minutes before baking.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown around edges.
  • Place pan on wire rack and cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, powdered sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Spread cookie with frosting. Arrange fruits in a decorative skull pattern.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.
  • Tip: It is best to serve this cookie the same day it is decorated. The cookie can be baked a few days in advance and stored covered. The frosting can also be made a day ahead and stored refrigerated. Allow frosting to come to room temperature before spreading.