Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange

12.08.17 - BY RSVP International
cookie exchange

From sugar cookies to gingersnaps to snickerdoodles, nothing beats a delicious cookie during the holidays. With so many mouthwatering cookie recipes to love, finding the time to bake in between gatherings, shopping, and other obligations seems as impossible as a jolly St. Nick squeezing down the chimney. The solution? Host a cookie exchange! Cookie swaps simplify holiday baking, save money, and give you a plethora of yummy treats to sample. And as a bonus, you get to spend time with loved ones during the hustle and bustle of the season.

Here’s how it works:

What Is A Cookie Exchange?

Hosting a cookie exchange is relatively simple. Start by picking a date and inviting a few friends. Depending on the number of people, some hosts have attendees make their goodies ahead of time, while others offer up their ovens and bake right alongside their guests. Either way, the goal is to have each person make enough of one kind of cookie to share with the group. That way everyone goes home with a variety of treats to enjoy throughout the Christmas season or give away as gifts!

Each guest should end up with roughly a dozen of each type of cookie, so make sure everyone plans ingredients and baking times accordingly. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of traditional cookie recipes either. Marshmallow treats, truffles, fudge, and other shareable sweets are always welcome!

On the Day of the Cookie Swap


When the day of the cookie exchange arrives, the hostess will want to set up:

  • A baking and decorating area (if necessary) with cookie cutters, sprinkles, candies and other decorating goodies
  • A packaging station with tins, boxes, plastic wrap, baggies, gift labels, and ribbons to wrap up the final products
  • A sampling station so everyone can indulge and try their holiday treats

Keeping your kitchen organized and having designated areas for various tasks will help keep things moving along and simplify the process.

Besides bringing their premade cookies or necessary ingredients, encourage attendees to bring copies of their cookie recipe to share with the rest of the group. Guests may also want to bring their favorite cookie cutters and decorations to use and some ribbons, gift boxes, and other packaging goodies to share!

Make It Fun & Festive  


While the cookies themselves are enough to put anyone in the holiday spirit, some additional merriment and holiday touches are always appreciated. Add even more Christmas cheer to your cookie swap by:

  • Providing holiday-themed drinks like hot chocolate or eggnog
  • Blasting some classic holiday tunes
  • Encouraging guests to wear a holiday sweater, hat, or apron
  • A festive gift or goodie bag for your guests to take home


Also, consider making extra cookies for someone less fortunate, or dropping off some treats to firefighters and first responders that work over the holidays! Take that holiday spirit to the max!

In need of some Christmas cookie inspiration? Check out these Red Velvet crinkle cookies and other favorites on our Pinterest board! Don’t forget to show us your cookie exchange creations on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram by tagging us #rsvpinthewild! Happy Holidays!