Best Christmas Cookie Decorating Ideas

assorted gingerbread cookies
Photo: iStock
Check out these creative designs from some of our favorite bloggers -- and get inspired to bake this holiday season!
  1. Festive Sugar Cookies

    Photo by My Sweet & Saucy Blog

    Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing look like festive holiday ornaments.

    Tip: Outline the cookie shape with stiff royal icing and then fill in the cookie with loose royal icing. Once the loose icing has set (about four hours), use the stiff icing to outline the cookie once more and to add other fun details.

    Source: My Sweet & Saucy

  2. Chocolate-Covered Cookie Dough Pops

    Photo by What Megan's Making Blog

    Balls of cookie dough (without the egg) are dipped in melted chocolate and sprinkles. Lollipop sticks make the treats easy to enjoy.

    Tip: Add the lollipop sticks to the dough before refrigerating. Once the dough is very cold, it's ready for dipping. As an alternative to the sticks, try toothpicks and create a little appetizer tray of cookies.

    Source: What Megan's Making

  3. Snoopy Sugar Cookies

    Photo by Pink Apron Baker Blog

    Sugar cookie cutouts with bright frosting depict one of our favorite holiday classics: A Charlie Brown Christmas.

    Tip: To help your cookies keep their shape during baking, arrange balls of dough on your cookie sheet and then freeze it all for about five minutes before you pop it into the oven.

    Source: Pink Apron Baker

  4. Santa Bellies

    Photo by Tidy Mom Blog

    This spirited (and so simple) design is easy to re-create with cookie dough and icing.

    Tip: Roll out your dough between two pieces of parchment paper; then place it on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Cold dough is difficult to roll out.

    Source: Tidy Mom

  5. “Mr. Melty” Snowman Cookies

    Photo by The Decorated Cookie Blog

    This untraditional take on a snowman turns an otherwise odd-shaped cookie into a fun treat.

    Tip: Save time by using pens with edible ink to draw your designs, or try different candies as decorations.

    Source: The Decorated Cookie

  6. Winter Penguins

    Photo by Flour Box Bakery

    Each cookie here is decorated a little differently to make them look more interesting on the plate.

    Tip: Use parchment paper for even browning. Chill your dough for at least two hours to help with the flavor and to prevent the cookie from spreading.

    Source: Flour Box Bakery

  7. Very Merry Assortment

    Photo by Flour Box Bakery

    A batch of uniquely decorated cookie cutouts makes a great hostess gift.

    Tip: Royal icing looks pretty on cookies -- and dries completely, which means it won't smudge if you're packing up your goodies for shipping.

    Source: Flour Box Bakery

  8. Ornament Cookies

    Photo by A Master Creation

    Buy cookie cutters in different ornament shapes and decorate away.

    Tip: Tired of ornament cookies? Look for inspiration from your tree or favorite holiday centerpiece.

    Source: A Master Creation

  9. Santa Cookies

    Photo by The Bearfoot Baker Blog

    Edible pearls make a standout beard for these Santa cookies.

    Tip: Not much of a decorator? Purchase fun cookie cutters and then simply frost the cookies.

    Source: The Bearfoot Baker

  10. 12 Days of Christmas Cookie Countdown

    Photo by De Koekenbakkers/The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle Blog

    These fancy cutouts make ticking away the days to Christmas even more fun.

    Tip: Sketch designs before you begin so you have an idea of what the final product will look like. Keep it budget-friendly by reusing cutters from last year.

    Source: DeKoekenbakkers/The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle

  11. Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

    Photo by Bakergirl

    Chocolate-dipped pretzels and M&M's put a festive spin on traditional peanut butter cookies.

    Tip: Shape dough into balls and gently pinch at the bottom before baking; then immediately press pretzels and candy into the cookies when removed from the oven.

    Source: Bakergirl

  12. Chocolate Crinkle Kiss Cookies

    Photo by Bakergirl

    Chocolate Hershey's Kisses add a unique and easy twist to these traditional crinkle cookies.

    Tip: Freeze your chocolate Kisses before baking; then press the candy into the cookies right after they come out of the oven. Put the cookies in the freezer until the chocolate has set.

    Source: Bakergirl

  13. Elf Cookies

    Photo by Bake at 350 Blog

    Elf cutouts are a fun alternative to the popular Santa and snowmen shapes.

    Tip: Bake the cookies one day and decorate them the next. Once the cookies are dry, leave them uncovered for at least six hours. The icing needs that long to set, but don't worry -- the cookies won't go stale.

    Source: Bake at 350

  14. Two Turtle Doves

    Photo by Lila Loa Blog

    Dough cut by hand is decorated with two turtle doves for a sweet treat that's sure to be a conversation starter.

    Tip: To check the consistency of your icing, draw a line through it with a knife. It should take about 15 to 20 seconds for the line to disappear. If the icing's too thin, it will run off the edges of the cookie. If it's too thick, you won't get a smooth finish on your designs.

    Source: Lila Loa

  15. Glitter Ornament Cookies

    Photo by EAT Emily & Amy's Treats

    Edible glitter gives these sugar cookies their irresistible sparkle.

    Tip: No time for homemade dough? Purchase premade dough and roll it out to speed things up.

    Source: EAT Emily & Amy's Treats

  16. Snowflake Cookies

    Photo by EAT Emily & Amy's Treats

    Edible beads give these snowflake cookies a bit of glitz.

    Tip: A tiny frosting tip and royal icing are best for creating intricate designs on cookies.

    Source: EAT Emily & Amy's Treats