Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Just so you know I, like Kate, had very good intentions of posting actual food today.  But there’s only so  much time before Halloween and then we can’t post fun things like this for a whole year, so you see we must!  And actually, you can do candy corn themed stuff all the way through Thanksgiving, so live it up!  But I do have an actual dinner recipe on Monday.  For real.  It’s done.  Photographed.  And it even involves vegetables (remember those?)  So stay tuned.  Until then, prepare yourselves for Halloween cuteness overload. I’ve been making these for a long time and I’ve noticed them popping up on blogs everywhere the past few Halloweens, so I thought we’d jump on the bandwagon.  Because they’re just too, too cute.  And lots of too, too cute cookies take some artistic talent and a big chunk of time to complete, but these are actually quick and easy!  There’s no rolling involved and you don’t even need a cookie cutter.  SO easy.

Start with a batch of sugar cookies and divide your dough into three equal portions.  Since these aren’t going to be slathered in frosting, I add extra extract to my dough, like double vanilla and some almond too.  I actually tried a new dough recipe that I loved and I’ll tell you more about later.  I think this would be so cute and yummy with shortbread too.

You’ll leave one of those portions as is (this will be the white part of the candy corn) and then you’ll color one of the remaining portions yellow and one orange.  I always recommend using gel or paste food coloring, but you could use liquid as well.  Wilton brand gel color is pretty easily accessible; grab it off Amazon, or you can find it at craft stores like Michaels.

And here’s a little tip.  When you’re coloring multiple things in a recipe, start from lightest to darkest and then you won’t have to wash everything in between.  In this case, do your yellow first, because a tiny bit of yellow mixed into the orange batch you’ll do after won’t make any difference, but if you get orange in your yellow it could ruin the yellow.  Make sense?

Now you’ll just need a loaf pan.  Any size works, exactness isn’t important here, you can fudge around like you’ll see I did in a minute.  But if you have an option between a larger and a smaller pan, you might want the smaller one.  Just grab a big piece of plastic wrap and place it in the pan.

The first thing you’ll do is place your uncolored cookie dough in the bottom of the pan and spread it out as flat as you can.  It helps to lay a sheet of plastic over the dough and smooth it over with your fingers.  Remove the plastic and then add the layer of orange dough and repeat.

You’re going to have 3 layers here and the height of your dough will determine the size of your cookies.  In my case, I made a small batch of cookie dough, and if I spread it out all the way in my large loaf pan each layer would be so thin that it would produce teeny tiny cookies.  So that’s why you’ll notice I didn’t spread my dough to the very end.  Shoot for about 3/4 inch per layer at least.  You can always make larger cookies if desired.

Finally place your last layer of dough on top, you can see here how I use the plastic to smooth it, which gets it nice and flat.

After the top layer, just wrap the plastic all the way around the dough and place the pan in the refrigerator for a few hours, or the freezer for about 30-60 minutes.  You’ll want this very chilled, all the way through so it cuts nice and smooth.

When it’s done chilling, unwrap and you should have a nice layered loaf of dough.

Now slice that loaf into about 1/4-inch slices, working a few at at time.

To make my cookies look nicer, I use a sharp knife and make a nice clean cut across the uneven top.

Now just slice your rectangle into triangle pieces.  See?  Magical candy corn!  You’ll have some “scrap” pieces of dough from the ends of your rectangle and the top sliver you trimmed off.  Bake those up too, they still taste great!

Pop them on your baking sheet

And if you want, you can sprinkle them with sugar, or coarse sprinkles.

And just bake according to your sugar cookie recipe.

I like the ones with sugar the best because they look sort of sparkly.

Another fun thing you can do is dip the ends in almond bark or white chocolate.  Sometimes I just dip the white part (which will be on the top of some cookies and on the bottom of others) and then cover it with white sprinkles.  This isn’t complicated, and it really is fast to do if you want to dress them up a little.

They’re also cute with just the tippy tops dipped.  I found those orange, yellow, and white sprinkles at Target.


Anyway you do it, these have cute, cute, cute written all over them!


Candy Corn Sugar Cookies
With a bit of food coloring and clever layering, regular (and delish!) sugar cookies are made fabulously festive for fall!
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  1. 1 batch sugar cookie dough
  2. yellow and orange food coloring
  1. Sanding sugar, coarse raw sugar, or sprinkles
  2. almond bark or white chocolate, melted
  1. Divide prepared sugar cookie dough into three equal portions. Leave one as is and color one other portion yellow and another portion orange.
  2. Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap. Gently press layer of uncolored dough into bottom of pan and smooth flat, keeping it at least 1/2-3/4 inches high (you don’t have to use the whole pan if you have a small batch of dough) or larger if desired. Layer orange dough on top of previous layer and smooth. Finally layer yellow dough and smooth on top. Wrap plastic over dough and chill until firm, 30-60 minutes in freezer or 1-2 hours in fridge. Or you can store the dough in fridge for 2-3 days before baking.
  3. Remove plastic and slice loaf into 1/4 inch slices. Trim top of slice to make straight line. Cut each slice into triangle shape and dip top side in sugar if desired. Bake according to sugar cookie directions. Cool completely and then if desired, dip ends in almond bark or white chocolate and decorate with sprinkles.
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America’s Test Kitchen: Also, if you missed this from Facebook, I got to guest-blog on the America’s Test Kitchen blog , The Feed!  It was so much fun and I’m honored I got to be involved with one of my most favorite cooking institutions.  If you haven’t seen it yet, click here to check it out; you can see what it looks like to cook a meal involving 24 limes at once!  Also,  I’m going to be giving away a copy of the fantastic book I featured right here on OBB in the coming weeks so stay tuned!


 *Disclaimer: this post includes affiliate links, which just means that when you purchase items through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us keep working hard to create recipes for you!




  1. cute! love the step by step pictures!my daughter bakes cakes & uses the Wilton’s, I just started using it in my cookie dough & love it! don’t know why it took me so long! lol

  2. Very cute! The thing I don’t like about sugar cookies is rolling them out, gathering the scraps, and rolling them out again ad infinitum. Since these have no rolling, I might be able to convince myself to do something cute for my kids. Or WITH my kids if I get really ambitious.

    Here’s a question that will sound really dumb but I’m going to ask it anyway. How did you get your sugar sprinkles nice and even on your cookies and all the way to the edge without spilling them all over your pan?

    1. That’s a great question Ellie! Instead of sprinkling the sugar on top, I pour it onto a shallow plate and then I take my cookies and gently press one side in and then place them on the pan. It’s really quick and easy and you don’t waste any of the sugar either since you can just pour back the unused amount.

  3. I always start my day off at work by checking out what you ladies post on here, always puts me in a good mood to see the cute treats you come up with. I looove these! So cute. Maybe a Sunday, funday activity πŸ™‚

  4. These are adorable. I love the step by step photos too, definitely help with showing how it is done and make me want to make them even more.

  5. Oh my — these are SO cute! I love that they are pretty simple to make, yet look so complicated! Thanks for ANOTHER fabulous recipe — I LOVE your blog!

  6. If you are picky about the traditional order of the colors (yellow for the large end, white for the small tip), I saw one girl make them with white on both ends & then dipped the large side in yellow tinted chocolate (or you could use sprinkles) so they all are all the same colors instead of switching.

    1. That’s a good idea Tiffany! As I was making these, I said to my husband, “I know there will be people out there who will freak out because some of the cookies have the colors inverted” haha. Not that *you* are freaking out, but you know there’s people out there that are! lol

      1. I am totally that person! So glad you gave me that idea, however I’m going to put yellow on top and bottom then dip the tips in white chocolate so it will be perfect. I was trying to make myself live with it but I couldn’t get my head to do it . This way they will be perfect!

  7. The list just keeps getting longer of cute things I want to make for the Empty Nester’s party on Friday. I’m going to have to keep my fingers crossed that on Friday morning there isn’t one more thing you post that I feel I HAVE to make because this party has to be THE party of the year. My daughter says ‘they’ say, “Go big or go home!” so there you have it. I gotta go big!

    If I made these today, I could freeze them until Friday, don’t you think?

    1. Oh ya, you could totally freeze them. If I’m making sugar cookies for an event I almost always freeze them. Just put them in the freezer as soon as they’re cooled to room temp to keep them freshest (I wouldn’t freeze them dipped if you’re going to do that part).

      And your party is going to be EPIC! Wish I could come. I would be perfectly willing to sell my children for a day to be considered an “empty nester” πŸ™‚

      1. I am that daughter. And perhaps what I really should have said in my email to my mother was, “Stick to your original list and stop looking at OBB!!!” You are going to make her stay awake all night every night this week while she hashes and rehashes out this party in her mind. So no more, I say, no more!

  8. I’ve been enjoying all the Halloween cookie ideas. My kid’s have lots of school parties coming up. I’m going to make these candy corn sugar cookies & the cute “bats.” So fun. I also checked out you’re America’s Test Kitchen post and have to ask: where did you find your ceramic egg holder?!?

  9. Oh my goodness, I cannot wait to try these out. My son & niece will just love these {and the adults will too}. Thanks for the great idea! This blog ALWAYS makes me smile!

  10. Thanks for the never ending ADORABLE ideas that look so difficult, yet even us uncreative, untalented people can do πŸ™‚

  11. Awesome!! I’m making dessert for a family in our ward that just had a baby and I was trying to decide whether or not to go with an old favorite, or try something new…and you have convinced me to try something new =) Can’t wait to get these cooking!!

  12. I have a love/hate relationship with your site! I LOVE everything on it, but HATE that there never seem to be enough hours in the day to make all these fantastic goodies!!! These I will definetly be trying though!! Along with the candy corn cupcakes! πŸ™‚

  13. These are just about the cutest cookies I’ve ever seen. I wanted to make them for a church activity and wondered about how many the recipe yielded. Also, how tall would you say they were (the ones you made, I know I can make them bigger if needed). Thanks so much!

    1. No, I do regular sugar all the time and it works fine. Depending on the cookie sometimes it just sort of melts in, but it works. I used a really fine sparkle/sugar for the ones in the photo and it was perfect.

  14. Bayli, Bronco and I just made these for an after school snack, and they were SO a hit. We just did a half batch of your sugar cookie dough, and I’m really REALLY wishing we made a whole batch. They are so cute and so yummy. I hate dealing with frosting or icing, so these are perfect for me. Thanks!

  15. Hahaha- I’m not freaking out, but my OCD-ishness is having a hard time with the reverse colors. I got over it though, since I have the dough in my freezer right now (I’m going to make the kids eat the backwards ones first). I also made the orange section a bit thicker than the other two. I can’t wait to see how they turn out.

    My kids thank you. πŸ™‚

  16. I just saw these cookies on Pinterest last week and made up a double batch. They were a hit! One tip: I slathered them in a clear doughnut glaze when they were fresh from the oven. Mix 1/2 c. cold water with 3 c. powdered sugar and whisk well. That way, it sweetened up the cookies, but since the glaze was clear, you could still see the cute candy corn colors.

  17. I made these last week and didn’t have a loaf pan so I used an 8×8. I didn’t have your detailed tutorial, so I didn’t realize just how small they would be. But I have to say, they were about 3/4in high each, and they were the CUTEST little things I have ever made. The batch made over 300!! But I put them in a candy jar, and they were excellent.

  18. Love this! I am a teacher and I am always look for a cute snack to take to our class Halloween party. Brilliant! I have already whipped up a batch so I will have an excuse to use the oven on this cold October night.

  19. I tried the thin glaze that someone suggested, they taste great- you just need to make sure you put them on a wire rack to cool and let the glaze harden so they don’t get soggy.

  20. Gosh…my wonder if I can adjust these to make Finding Nemo sugar cookies. My daughter’s b-day party is on Sunday and I’ve stressing about what to put in the party bag giveaways..only about 7 kids coming so I want to make it personal. I guess I could just use orange food coloring and fish cookie cutter and maybe two rows of orange and white. Hmmm…if it works out I’ll send a pic! Wish me a gotta find a fish shaped cookie cutter. \(*0*)//

  21. It would be really yummy to add lots of orange rind to the orange section and almond flavor in the yellow and white. Yum-O!

  22. Ok, so this post was so darling, I just had to try them! When I baked them they puffed out and turned out more like eggs than the crisp triangles like yours. I refrigerated the dough for several hours, and wiped my knife periodically to keep the lines crisp, but I don’t know what I did wrong?? Did you cut them with the knife in the photo? I still have some dough left, so any tips? Thanks!

    1. Cami, I didn’t cut mine after baking, but you totally can (I experimented with that). They do puff out a little for sure, but they should still look like triangles. Make sure your dough is VERY chilled. I recommend the freezer. You can then try slicing them and chilling them again after they are cut and on the cookie sheet. If you still want them to have cleaner lines, slice the edges right after they come out of the oven while they’re still hot.

  23. You could totally make these into the indian cany corn by using some of your chocolate sugar cookie dough from a previous post. Hmmmm . . .:0)

  24. I have been following your site for quite a while now and have to say love your recipes. I made these yesterday and everyone loved them. I sent some to school today with my 5 yr old for his class. Tommorrow is his birthday and wanted something different than cupcakes to take. Thanks for such a cute idea!

  25. These are great! I’ve already made two batches, however, if I may suggest: you need to add the link in this webpage to the sugar cookie recipe so people (I) don’t have to search for it. Thanks again for all the WONDERFUL recipes, I’m a true follower πŸ™‚

  26. Okay, so when it says “butter”, be sure you use butter…. and don’t be impatient like me & try it with margarine just b/c you don’t have butter in the house today. My dough was super sticky to start with & hours later it hasn’t firmed up yet. I did finally mess with it to get slices & triangles, and although not nice crisp edges, they did turn out pretty cute! My girls are going to love them! Thanks for the great ideas! πŸ™‚

  27. This may be a silly question. When you add the food coloring do you do it while you’re mixing the dough or after it’s mixed? I mixed up the dough and sliced it into thirds and then added the coloring. It does’t seem like it mixed in very evenly. But they are chilling in the freezer now, so they may still come out looking right.

  28. I didn’t get crisp edges either. They went in different directions when they baked. About 1/2 remained triangles – tasted good though.

  29. I made these cookies for a Halloween party and it was a big hit! Easy to make and the colors blended well. For the next time, I would add more food coloring to get a richer color.
    Thanks for a terrific receipt & idea! πŸ™‚

  30. I bought your cook book and made some of the recipes on a family vacation (UEA for the Utah crowd) this week. The recipes were a huge hit. Love your style.
    Where can I get a blog like yours? I need one and yours is the best I have seen!

  31. Just wanted to let you know that our Primary kids in Lagos, Nigeria loved these. I made them for a special treat for them after they did their Primary program yesterday (which went really well and I’m SO relieved that it is over!). They were the easiest cut-out sugar cookies I’ve ever made, and they made so many! Half of our kids (only 20) are American or British expats and half are Nigerian. I don’t think the Nigerians really understood the candy corn reference, but the Americans sure did. And they all thought they were great! I’m going to do this with Christmas trees for Christmas!

  32. I made these on Friday to hand out at our trunk-or-treat – they were a HUGE hit. So cute and yummy. I used your sugar cookie dough recipe – that’s my new favorite.

  33. The linked recipe was awesome. I did two things differently just because…I forgot I only had white whole wheat flour. Went ahead anyway and although the color was muted, they tasted great (extra fiber too!). And, I didn’t read the spreading in the pan correctly and although mine came out much smaller, they were no less tasty. I will definitely do this again. I just can’t decide on which flour to use since the white whole wheat tasted so great.

  34. I couldn’t wait to make these cookies once I saw them posted on your site–which I love by the way! I made them on Saturday to bring in to a Halloween pot luck at work today. They were a huge hit. If I have the time tonight, I will write it up for posting on my site tomorrow. As you said–cute, cute, cute!

  35. I also made these for the Primary Program Treats. The Kids and adults LOVED them. Everyone was so impressed that I made them myself. I will be making these again for sure. It went so quick to bake them since I didn’t have to roll them out just a few cuts and they were done. I made two batches of the sugar cookies from the cookbook, cooked them on Friday night and they were still soft on Sunday. Thanks!

  36. Made them. LOVED them. Husband did too – that’s a pretty big deal! Adding more extract makes them soooooo tasty! THANK YOU!

  37. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! I’ve made three batches so far. The first batch was for a Halloween party but was gobbled up by some unnamed person and her husband…shared a few with the kids–you know, have to give them sweets sparingly πŸ™‚ So now batch two and three are in the fridge. I won’t bake them until I have to package them up for the party! P.S. I think I am going to use this recipe method for Christmas cookies…chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and cherry….we’ll see! (I will cut as rectangles, not triangles).

  38. Do you have any recommendations as to how to frost them a little bit, without covering up the layered colors? I want to add some royal icing , drizzled but will that ruin the design?!

  39. Can you belive I made these tonight with 8 kids under 10 (we participate in a date night swap, tonight was our turn to host the kids) and they were so easy! Cutting them out was a breeze, kids loved decorating with sugar and sprinkles, and they were cute to boot! Thanks for sharing your clever ideas with the rest of us!

  40. I made these yesterday for our mother/daughter book club. They were so fun and so cute. And I loved the ease of making 100 little cut-out cookies so quickly! Thanks for the idea!

  41. Made these last night … And I might have to make more tonight. Too easy to eat several at a time because of their size πŸ™‚ For something a little extra, I melted chocolate and spread it on the bottom of about half the cookies, and let them set up on wax paper. Yum!

  42. I made these today! They turned out so cute and were such a hit at my family party! I made your sugar cookie recipe and it’s to die for! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  43. Made these for a Halloween party over the weekend and they were a HUGE hit with kids and adults! Thanks!!!

  44. I am making these tomorrow for a belated Halloween party. Question for those who already made them….did you double the vanilla or almond flavoring as suggested? I’m afraid it might be too strong.

  45. I made these on Halloween, but I made shortbread cookies instead of sugar, which went wonderfully with the white chocolate. They were smaller then I thought they would be but still a great idea, and a huge hit. thanks!

  46. You can definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  47. Made these last Hallowee, and they were a huge hit! Several asked for the recipe. Will make them every year from now on. Thanks a bunch!

  48. so you’re basically saying that u like the williams sanoma sugar cookie recipe better than your other sugar cookie recipe??? you said you’d “talk more about it later,” but i can’t find any other posts from u about it??

    1. No, I’m not saying that. I love our sugar cookie recipe- they’re different styles of cookies. You can google the WS recipe and try it out!

  49. Just wanted to tell you what a hit these are every time I make them- seriously everyone LOVES them. I personally love them because they’re so small therefore I end up eating a MILLION. Your sugar cookie recipe is divine and the layering and slicing method in this recipe is ingenious! Thank you!

  50. I can`t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your website. You have saved me. I tried another cookie recipe & got stuck in the middle & ruined the dough. Your step by step instructions & pictures are wonderful. Now, I will start again to make these cookies with your help & cute tricks. Thank you. Thank you. Marti

  51. Thanks for posting this idea! I have my dough chilling in the refrigerator right now, and I am SOOOO excited!

  52. Silly me…thought I could cut corners and save some time with store bought sugar cookie dough. Big mistake since they didn’t hold up their shape at all…I kind of expected that going into it so the family and I have some yummy cookies to snack on this evening after dinner…lol.

    1. Check out the links at the very top of our blog page!

  53. I wish you were allowed to bring homemade goodies into school! I’m sure my sons 1st grade class would LOVE these!! Maybe I’ll make them for the office staff…

  54. I have been making these for years and they are delicious. I have always wanted larger cookies but couldn’t figure out how to make it. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    1. Yes, but know that it will get quite hard and you’ll need to plan for time to thaw it out at room temp the next day.

  55. Love these! How cute, made them for a bake sale. Super easy and adorable they were a hit…and yummy too. I took out the portion needed for ‘white’ part (the Norma dough color, then added yellow to remaining, portioned out yellow dough then added a bit of red to remaining to get my orange portion. All that since I had no orange food coloring, worked out though, less dishes to clean.

    1. I make the recipe from our site 99% of the time so I’d go with that one! But both of those ones linked are delish. If I remember correctly, the recipe linked from Williams-sonoma has a lighter crumb and our recipe is a little softer. So depending on what you’re going for…

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