Start a New Christmas Tradition: Family Cookie-Decorating Contest

Updated November 8, 2018
Idea #16
Grab the sugar cookies and frosting! This year, make Christmas cookie time even more fun by holding a family cookie decorating contest. MORE+ LESS-

Fun fact: Pillsbury holds the Guinness World Record for the most cookies iced in an hour (1,169, to be exact!) Start a new tradition with the family and set a cookie-decorating record this year—and try to best the number next year. A little competitive and a whole lot of fun, this day will be one to remember!

Prep for the Contest

There are a few things you’ll want to do before your cookie decorating contest starts. First, decide what type of cookie you want everyone to decorate, and bake the cookies the day before the contest. Popular cookies include gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. We recommend starting with Pillsbury™ sugar cookies! Everyone loves a sugar cookie around the holidays, and they are the perfect blank canvas.

Basic Iced Holiday Sugar Cookies

Bake cookies in a variety of shapes—mittens, stars, Christmas trees and snowmen are all fun options! Or, you can simply slice and bake the cookies to make that classic circle shape (the dough is already round!). Store the cookies in an airtight container until the decorating begins.

Make sure your pantry is stocked with decorating ingredients. You’ll need frosting in a variety of colors and plenty of Christmas sprinkles. You can also use crushed candy like peppermints or chocolate chips for decorating.

The Rules

Sugar cookie decorating

Now that you have all of your cookie decorating materials, it’s time to get a little competitive!

Rule 1: Set the timer for one minute, five or 10—however long you want to give everyone is up to you—and decorate as many cookies as you can with frosting and toppings in the allotted time.

Rule 2: Have FUN!

Some cookies will look great, some may look a little sloppy, some will make you laugh, but the most important thing is the time spent together and the fun that comes along with it. All ages can participate—from the little kiddos to the adults, everyone will have a blast decorating cookies under a timer. Crank the Christmas music while you work to give everyone a little extra motivation and to spread the Christmas cheer.

When time is up, count the total number of cookies decorated as a family. Write this number down so you can try to beat it next year! Take a picture of the cookie creations and keep a photo memory album or share a photo on Facebook to remember your cookie decorating fun.


The hard part is done. And in this game, the best prize is one everyone gets to enjoy, which is eating their cookies! If you want to pack some for later, store your cookies in a cookie tin or plastic container, separating each layer with wax paper.