How to Host a Holiday Cookie Exchange

Hey guys, it’s Diana from The Girl Creative and I’m really excited to share with you some fun information on how to host a holiday cookie exchange. This whole concept of the cookie exchange was foreign to me up until a few years ago when a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to host one with her. From the second I heard all the details I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Unfortunately, we were a little late with the planning and it never got off the ground. Boo. I don’t want that to happen to you so I’m going to share with you all of the information you need to know about hosting a cookie exchange (or cookie swap) so you can get started with your planning.

How to host a holiday cookie exchange

The whole idea behind a cookie exchange (besides getting a bunch of your girlfriends together for a fun time) is to get your hands on a variety of holiday cookies without going through the trouble of baking them all yourself. Each guest should bring about 3-4 dozen cookies of one kind. At the exchange you will share your cookies with your friends and then you each leave with 3-4 dozen cookies of several varieties. This is perfect for those who love to give cookie gifts during the holidays.

Every great party starts with a great invitation.

Cookie Exchange Invitations

Craft Paper Invite :: Bonjour Berry

Invite with Wisk :: She Paperie

Chalkboard Invite :: Emmy Jo’s Parties

Each guest should bring along a copy of their cookie recipe to share.  As a hostess, you might want to have some blank recipe cards on hand just in case.
cookie exchange recipe cards

Holiday Recipe Card :: Reasons to Skip the Housework

Chalkboard Recipe Card :: The Girl Creative

Gingerbread Recipe Card :: How to Nest for Less

Each guest may want to bring some baggies along to help bring their cookies home. Here are some other creative ways to package cookies if you are giving them as gifts.

Creative Cookie Packaging

Recycled Foil and Clear Wrap Boxes :: Aunt Peaches

Petal Pusher Boxes :: HomeSpun Threads

Recycled Pringles Can :: A Baker’s House

Or course what is a cookie exchange without the delicious cookies?  Here are some yummy cookies that would make a great choice to share at a cookie exchange.

cookie exchange cookie recipes

White Chocolate Peppermint M&M Cookies :: No. 2 Pencil

Melted Snowman Cookies :: Better Homes and Gardens

Homemade Peppermint Oreos :: I Heart Nap Time

 And lastly, wow your guests by sending them home with a fun and festive favor to say “thanks” for coming!

cookie exchange favor ideas

Cookie Cutter with Thank You Tag :: Joy Ever After

Tic Tacs :: Somewhat Simple

Hot Cocoa Wands :: Celebrating Everyday Life

Have you ever hosted or been to a cookie exchange? What was your experience? Share your tips or ideas in the comments. See you next time!

About The Creative Team of Somewhat Simple

We are a creative group of ladies who strive to make our families happier and our homes prettier. Follow along as we bring you creative content that is sure to inspire!


  1. LOVE this post!!! I want to plan a cookie exchange now!!!!!

  2. Funny you should post this because I just decided I wanted to host a cookie exchange!! There are some super helpful tips here, too! I will definitely be on the lookout for cute take-home gifts!,

  3. Hi. I always thought each guest was to bring 1 dozen cookies for each person attending? Example if you invite 10 people, each person brings 10 dozen of their cookie and then you go home with 10 dozen different cookies?!!
    If your guest are only bringing 2-3 dozen, how do you split them up? Just equally…
    I’m hungry :)

    • The fun this about a cookie exchange is there are no set rules. Each hostess can design her party to be whatever she wants it to be. If your party is huge, making a dozen cookies for each person might be difficult. I think everyone just divides the cookies out evenly so you are still leaving with the same amount of cookies – they just might not be a full dozen of each kind. Hope that makes sense. :) P.S. I’m ALWAYS hungry! ha ha

  4. This would be really fun to do, along with a hot chocolate bar where you have a big vat of hot chocolate along with different toppings or add ins! For mine I would suggest each person put their cookies in half dozen packages so it is easy to swap and not as much mess to clean up, with maybe one open package for sampling. I have wanted to do this for a while, so maybe this is the year!

    • That sounds awesome! Who wouldn’t love a hot chocolate bar! You’d be the talk of the town with that one. :) I like the idea of bringing the cookies separated. What a great idea!

  5. Great ideas! I just brought up the idea to my Facebook friends of having a cookie exchange and many of them seem to be on board! I hope it all works out!


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