Tips for Hosting a Cookie Decorating Party

Burberry-bedecked snowman
Allison Beck

Burberry-bedecked snowman

While intricately decorated cookies are found year-round in a variety of seasonal shapes and sizes, there are probably more cookie decorating parties in the month of December than in the remaining 11 months of the year, combined. Whether you’re making cookies to give away as holiday gifts, or just having fun with friends, hosting a party centered around this seasonal activity popular because people love cookies and “playing” with food.

While hosting your own cookie decorating party is not that difficult, cookie decorating is much more enjoyable with a couple of tips from the pros. We asked experienced cake and cookie decorator Jay Muse, the owner of the recently opened Lulu Cake Boutique in New York City to share his tips and tricks with us.

1. Be Inspired. This year, Jay and his team turned to holiday stationery for inspiration when decorating their star, wreath, ornament, and Burberry-bedecked snowmen cookies. You can also look at magazines, or be inspired by cookies you see in shops — just channel your creativity through things that catch your eye. Jay also suggests looking at the packaging your cookie cutters come in for inspiration.

2. Have the right equipment. Working with quality ingredients and an array of decorative garnishes makes cookie decorating that much more fun. Start off with a good sugar cookie recipe. You will also want to make plenty of royal icing — this is what you’ll use to pipe borders and fill in the spaces, when decorating.


Essential Tools:

Cookie Cutters 

Baking sheets and Silpat

Cooling racks 

Spatulas, for moving cookies 

Knives, for spreading icing

Pastry bags 

Pastry tips 

Brush, for painting on glitter, optional


Optional Decorative Garnishes:

Food coloring 

Sanding sugars 

Disco glitters 

Other decorative items like quins or silver balls

Ribbon, if you want to make cookie ornaments


3. Plan ahead. Don’t have your guests bake the cookies and decorate them in the same day, unless you want to party to be a multi-hour affair (4-6 hours). The cookies need time to bake and time to cool, then you’ll want to allocate a couple of hours for decorating. Don’t forget to have plenty of space for your guests to work, and you will need to provide packaging for your guests to take their treats home, as well.

Click here to see How to Decorate Cookies like a Professional.