The holiday season is about being with family, friends, and celebrating with delicious food. A cookie exchange party is a perfect way to share in the spirit of the holidays. A cookie exchange or cookie swap is a way to bring together a group of people to trade unique cookies while enjoying the social gathering. It is an opportunity to show off your baking skills, try new recipes, and give some home-made gifts to friends. Here’s a guide to help you plan your own cookie exchange party.


When you plan a cookie exchange party, the first step is to send out your invitations. The invitation should include all the details, such as the date, time, and place of the event, as well as the theme or type of cookies that you expect guests to bring. You may also choose to include the expectations for the quantity of cookies each guest should bring, which is usually two dozen. Don’t forget to ask for any special dietary restrictions to ensure that everyone can enjoy the party.

Cookie Themes

Choosing the cookie theme is one of the most important parts of hosting a cookie exchange party. Instead of having a free-for-all swap, try to designate certain types or categories of cookies for the exchange. Assigning a cookie theme can help bring unity to the event. Here are some great cookie exchange theme ideas:

• All cookies should be chocolate
• All cookies should be made with fruit
• All cookies should have an international flavor
• Have each guest bring a recipe along with their cookies so that guests can try each other’s recipes
• All cookies should be decorated
• Have guests bring a unique variety of cookies that they have never had before


Once you have decided the theme of the cookie exchange, the next step is to set up the room. Select a large enough space that can accommodate all your guests and the cookies they bring. It should also be large enough to allow people to stand and move around comfortably. Setup a table with a decorative cloth, cookie platters, and labels for the cookie varieties. You can also provide other items like cups, plates, and napkins. If you choose to make recipe cards available, make sure to have a station for them as well.

Tasting and Swapping

Once everyone arrives, you’ll want to begin the tasting and swapping. Let each guest put their cookies on the designated platters and label them according to the cookie flavor. Give each guest a few minutes to try out a few different kinds of cookies and let them trade off whatever types look and sound interesting. If having a recipe exchange, encourage each guest to talk about the cookies they brought and offer copies of the recipe to anyone who is interested.


Everyone deserves a prize for participating in the cookie exchange. Have some fun door prizes that correspond to the cookie theme. Here are some ideas you can use:

• Gift cards to baking supplies stores
• Specialty baking tools
• Cookie-themed aprons or oven mitts
• Baking books and magazines
• Cookie cutters

Other Activities

If you’d like to have some other activities besides swapping cookies at your cookie exchange party, here are some ideas:

• Play a game of Cookie Trivia
• Decorate your own cookie and have a contest for the best design
• Have a cookie-cutter craft station for children and adults
• Make your own hot cocoa bar with all types of add-ins like marshmallows, peppermint sticks, whipped cream, and chocolate chips
• Have a cookie decorating station with different frosting and sprinkles.

Gift Wrapping Station

Once everyone has finished tasting, swapping and decorating the cookies, it’s time to wrap the cookies for takeaway. Have a gift-wrapping station set up for everyone to package all the goodies they could bring home. This could include colorful wrapping paper, ribbon, and decorations to make the cookies more presentable.


At the end of the party, it’s time to say goodbye and thank your guests for coming. As a token of appreciation, you can place a small thank-you note with each cookie bag as a reminder of your special occasion and the friendship shared.

Hosting a cookie exchange party is a lovely way to bring friends and family together and celebrate the holiday season. It is a great way to exchange recipes, try new cookie varieties, and share stories in a relaxed and social setting. Hopefully, the steps outlined in this guide will help you plan an unforgettable cookie exchange party this holiday season.

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