Day of the Dead biscuits

Day of the Dead biscuits are so fun to make and look spectacular. My easy Day of the Dead biscuits are made with my basic vanilla biscuit recipe.

Any excuse to try and play with cookie cutters and stamps and I am there! I bought the fabulous Fred Sweet Spirits set and I love the biscuits they produce. Next time I want to try them with sugar paste on a cake. I think they would look lovely.

Sew White Day of the dead vanilla and ginger biscuits 1

Lots of happy skulls on the tray ready for the oven.

Day of the Dead biscuits ready for the oven

The finished cookies ready to enjoy with a cup of tea. You can see they are rather pale but they taste brilliant. This recipe is also brilliant for making biscuits to ice.

the finished Day of the Dead biscuits made with my basic vanilla bsicuit recipe

I love the look of the stamp in the dough.

Stamped design in the Day of the Dead biscuits

I used the decorate stamp on the dough first and then use the cutter side to make the shape.

mexican skull biscuit

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Basic Vanilla Biscuits

Sisley White
This recipe is the simple vanilla biscuit recipe I use for all my biscuits. It also works really well with embossed rolling pins.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Bakes, Biscuits, Sweet Treats
Cuisine British, English
Servings 40 small to medium biscuits
Calories 93 kcal


  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 400 g plain flour / all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger


  • Cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Mix in the egg and vanilla (with the optional and ginger).
  • Sieve in the flour and combine into a a dough. Once the dough has pulled together wrap it in cling film and pop it in for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to just shy of a 1cm thickness.
  • Cut out the shapes you want and pop the pieces on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray.
  • Pop the dough back into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/160 degrees fan oven.
  • Pop the biscuits in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the dough is firm to the touch and just starting to go light brown.
  • You don’t want them going golden brown or they will dry too hard. You can see how pale the finished biscuits are above.
  • Leave to cool on a cooling rack and once cold store in an air tight container.


Add ginger to give them a bit more of a fiery warmth. Use 1 teaspoon if you really like ginger. You can adapt to your taste.
Store for up to 3-5 days in an air tight container.


Calories: 93kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 14mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 131IUCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg

Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

Keyword Basic Vanilla Easter Biscuit, Easter biscuit making
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14 thoughts on “Day of the Dead biscuits”

  1. I have the stamps and am looking forward to trying this recipe at Hallowe’en. How much ginger goes in? and is it powdered ginger or other? thanks.

  2. 5 stars
    I used the dough for my star wars biscuits yesterday for May 4th and while the dough is very soft they came out brilliant. Will be using this recipe again with other stamped cutters!

    Top tip: Cut the shapes out on your baking paper and pull the dough away around them. Otherwise you’ll have to do what I did and get a spatula to carry them on the tray. This ruined some of the shape and stamped design as they moved

  3. 5 stars
    Brilliant recipe Thankyou! I’ve got so many cookies, can I freeze the dough I have left? How is best to defrost if I can please?
    My little girl loves making Christmas versions of these and they don’t change shape during baking!

    • That is so lovely to hear. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
      You can definitely freeze the leftover dough. It is better to freeze before cooking. If you cut them into shapes and then freeze you can cook straight from frozen but add 2-3 minutes to the cook time.

  4. 5 stars
    Use this regularly not just for sugar skulls at Hallowe’en but also other shapes at other times of year, sometimes add different spices etc. for variety but it’s a good basic dough and very easy. Nice one!


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