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Host a Thanksgiving Cookie Contest

Host a Thanksgiving Cookie Contest

Prepping for Thanksgiving dinner is a task that typically excludes the kids. It’s no wonder they get antsy while waiting as adults prepare the meal. Here’s an idea: Include the kids this year with a fun and festive Thanksgiving food-prep activity that keeps them busy and adds to the dessert menu! Host a Turkey Cookie Decorating Party and you can check two to-do’s from your task list: Happy Kids + Dessert Is Done!

Whether you invite family and friends to decorate cookies the day of, or decide to host a gathering several days before Thanksgiving, these quick-and-easy tips will turn your Turkey Decorating Party into a total success.


The secret to a successful cookie decorating party is prep, prep, prep. Bake the cookies ahead of time, whip the frosting and gather the toppings, set up a decorating station. Make sure to grab a BAKER’S SECRET® 13-PC SWEET BAKING SET – these essentials tools in bright, fun colors will keep the kiddos inspired and prepared with all the right gadgets they’ll need to make their masterpieces. And with everything ready by the time your guests arrive, all you have to do is sit back, watch and relax!

For the Cookies:

You don’t need specially shaped cutters to make cute Thanksgiving cookies! Simply cut your favorite sugar cookie recipe into a variety of round shapes with the BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS 3-PC BISCUIT CUTTER SET, bake until golden, then gather the following fixings and prepare to party!

  • Baked sugar cookies
  • Chocolate frosting
  • Vanilla frosting
  • Candy corn
  • Candy eyes
  • Other autumn-themed candies and sprinkles
  • Gel icing in a variety of colors (red, orange, blue, green, etc.)

For the Decorating Stations:

Arrange the party area properly and you’ll maximize everyone’s fun! Having all the tools and ingredients you need within reach will help guests get creative while keeping the decorating area clean and uncluttered. Here’s how to set up ready-to-go stations:

  • Make a Creative Workspace. Give partygoers their own designated decorating area by setting out a BAKER’S SECRET® SIGNATURE™ MEDIUM COOKIE SHEET for each guest. They’ll have enough space to decorate and store their colorful creations, so there won’t be any worry about which cookies belong to which artist.
  • Offer Easy-Grab Inspiration. Make it easy for guests to reach all the decorating supplies by filling several sets of BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS 4-PC MEASURING CUPS with candy corn, edible candy eyes and other autumn-themed candies or sprinkles.
  • Set Out Simple Tools. Place a BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS SMALL ORANGE SILICONE SPATULA at every creation station. These smaller spatulas are perfect for evenly spreading frosting and icing on cookies. Giving every guest their own will keep the creative juices flowing, since no one will have to wait for a shared spatula. Once decorating is done, tie a bow around each spatula and send it home as a party favor.


Though the purpose of a cookie contest is to let guests’ imaginations go wild, it’s always a good idea to offer a bit of inspiration before they start. Prepare a plate of pre-decorated cookies to demonstrate how easy it is to turn plain cookies into adorable Thanksgiving turkeys. Here’s a simple primer that will help you do it, too:

  1. Spread chocolate or vanilla frosting over the top of each cookie.
  2. Use candy corn to create a fan of feathers, curved around the top of the cookie with the narrow ends facing inward.
  3. Press 2 candy eyes in the center of each cookie to make the gobbler’s eyes.
  4. Stick the wide portion of a piece of candy corn into the center of the cookie below the eyes for the turkey beak.
  5. Use red gel icing to make the characteristic turkey wattle by drawing a small raindrop shape just below the candy corn beak.

Great job! You’ve just decorated the most adorable little gobbler cookies on the planet!


After guests have had ample time to get their turkey-cookie decorating on, invite them to choose their best creation, then hold a decorating contest with the selected cookies.

Line up the participants for a turkey parade, first. Have everyone show off their cookies, snap a picture if you please, or invite a panel of “judges” to add a bit of comedy as they rate and review each cookie.

Choose a winner and award them their own colorful baking bouquet. Tie together a bright blue BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS ORANGE 11″ SILICONE WHISK and matching BAKER’S SECRET® ESSENTIALS ORANGE SPOONTULA with a bright-blue ribbon to celebrate your winner’s cookie savvy!


Cleanup should be a cinch. Simply gather your Baker’s Secret® cookie sheets and measuring cups from the table, wash and put away. Voila! The mess is easily tidied and your serving area is ready for Thanksgiving.

Kids will never forget this event and adults won’t either. By adding a festive spin to Thanksgiving, you’re sure to bake up some sweet holiday memories. Who knows? Your Turkey Decorating Cookie Contest may become a fun new tradition to be handed down for generations to come!