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8 Cute Cookie Decorating Party Ideas

Is it really the holiday season if you haven’t decorated cookies? Whether it’s for gifting or just for fun, decorating cookies is the quintessential holiday activity. So why not turn it into an event with a cookie decorating party? It’s a messy, good time that doesn’t require a whole lot of set-up, and leaves everyone with a delicious party favor! These cookie decorating party ideas will make it fun for bakers of all ages and levels. Grab some fun cookie cutters, dough, frosting, and sprinkles, find a space, and let the decorating begin!

1. Mix it up

The basic equipment set of sugar cookies paired with tubs of red and green frosting is for amateurs. Take your cookie decorating to the next level with some creative alternatives and extras. Bake gingerbread cookies, too, to switch it up. Find some edible pens and use them to write Christmas slogans on the cookies, and hit up the holiday section of Target for some pretty plates to take your presentation up a notch.

If you don’t plan on eating all of the cookies yourselves or want to make extra, consider decorating cookies specifically for a local food pantry. Cookies may not be their most needed items, but everyone deserves a holiday treat. Just look into their donation guidelines beforehand to see if they accept homemade baked goods.

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2. Bake in a beautiful venue

You don’t have to sacrifice your own kitchen for a cookie decorating party. Peerspace can help you find an affordable place to rent by the hour that has ample table space and all of the kitchen amenities you need. Or, if you plan on bringing your cookies pre-baked, you can book just about any venue that has enough tables and chairs. Find a cozy loft, a cafe, or even a beautiful home. You can even search specifically for a location with a fireplace for an extra-festive winter party.

3. Create movie-themed cookies

Trees and candy canes are classic cookie shapes, but there’s so many more ideas to explore with your cookie art! Get creative and draw inspiration from your favorite holiday movies. Create a collection of cookie characters from Elf, A Christmas Story, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. For a collaborative cookie decorating party idea, give everyone a character to make and build a whole cast of cookies together.

4. Set up a hot cocoa bar 

Cookies and cocoa pair quite well, so wash those cookies down with the most festive winter drink! Gather up or buy a set of the most Christmas-y mugs (or ask everyone to bring their own favorite mug). Don’t forget the whipped cream (which comes in different flavors) mini marshmallows, snowflake marshmallow cutouts, and sprinkles. If you don’t have a Keurig for making single-serve Swiss Miss, you can make a large batch of hot cocoa using a crock pot. For a decadent hot cocoa bar, check out this how-to guide.

5. Serve appetizers 

After making so many cookies, you and your guests might be craving real food. Serve festive appetizers at your cookie party like cheese and Ritz snowflake crackers, a colorful fruit and veggie plate filled with fruits and vegetables, puff pastry bites, or bruschetta. No time to make your own snacks? The frozen section of Trader Joe’s is packed with appetizers you can just pop in the oven!

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6. Make it a game

Here are two cookie decorating party ideas that will make an otherwise quiet activity fun and competitive:

Raise the stakes of what could be a casual cookie decorating party and turn it into a contest. Select winners for categories like Most Original, Most Creative, Most Delicious, and Most Weird.

Or, play cookie Pictionary. Start by writing down a bunch of holiday phrases and icons like song titles, sleigh bells, chimney, etc. on slips of paper and mix them up in a jar. Have everyone draw a slip of paper and keep it hidden from the rest of the guests. Then ask everyone to make a cookie that represents the word or phrase on their paper, and then, just like in regular Pictionary, everyone will guess what the cookies are supposed to be representing.

Make the games extra special and give out prizes to the winners. Great, budget-friendly prizes can be things like seasonal candles, baking supplies, festive aprons, pretty, decorative plates, or cute Christmas or winter-themed coffee mugs.

7. Bake some dog-friendly treats, too

Don’t leave your four-legged friends out of the festivities! Make a batch of dog-friendly cookies with peanut butter (no salt is safest), and send everyone home with a doggy bag of treats for their pets. You can get festive plastic treat bags at any craft store or the dollar store. For more festive dog treat recipes, check out this blog. (And yes, you can even decorate the treats too, as long as you use dog-safe ingredients).

8. Check Instagram for inspiration

Want to go beyond the rookie cookie decorating methods of slathering on frosting and dumping on some sprinkles? Open the Instagram app and search “Christmas cookies” in the Discover tab. You’ll be transported into the world of edible art where cookies are a blank canvas and the possibilities are endless. If you are getting overwhelmed and trapped in the endless feed (we’ve all been there), here are some accounts you can check out to get started: @tinytudorcookies, @sugarly_,  @thegingerbites, and @baileylanebakingco. Who knows? You could discover your new passion! Many of the bakers with the most Instagrammable sweets started out as just hobbyists.

Whether you decorate cakes for a living or your specialty is throwing a roll of Tollhouse in the oven and calling it baking, decorating cookies is a fun, creative holiday activity for bakers of all skill sets. So pull up your Christmas playlist, turn on some classic movies, tie on your aprons, and get into your creative zone! With these cookie decorating party ideas, the holiday tradition will be extra sweet this year. 

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