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10 holiday cookie baking tools you need right now

Chocolate chip, sugar cookies, gingerbread men, oh my!

KitchenAid mixer, cookie dough tubs, and cookie sheet on a green background. Credit: KitchenAid / Cheryl's Cookies / Reviewed

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Everyone loves the idea of making cookies during the holiday season, but sometimes it just seems like such an undertaking. You’ve got to clear not only counter space but also an afternoon to get everything done.

But what if making and decorating holiday cookies was not only easy but fun? It can be with the right gear and frame of mind. We’ve put together a list of our favorite baking essentials and extras to get you in the holiday baking spirit.

T Fal cookie tray on a green background.
Credit: T Fal / Reviewed

This T Fal cookie tray is essential this holiday season.

Here’s a no-brainer: If you’re going to make Christmas cookies, you’re probably going to want a cookie sheet. (Unless you’re making bars, but we digress.) We love Airbake's T Fal non-stick cookie sheet, which is rimless, making it especially handy when you’re trying to slide still-warm cookies off in one piece. Get a few: It’s always best to have a few trays going, either in or out of the oven, especially when you’re cooking for a guy as hungry as Santa.

$28 at Amazon

2. The only stand mixer you’ll ever need

KitchenAid mixer on a green background.
Credit: KitchenAid / Reviewed

Blend your ingredients to perfection with this KitchenAid mixer.

While it’s certainly possible to mix cookie batter by hand or even use a hand mixer to get everything done, there’s really no substitute for the best stand mixer. You can hit the switch for the speed you want, step away for a second, and then when you come back it’s all just done for you. Plus, we swear: If you have one of these, you will use it all the time, for everything. We speak from experience.

Our favorite is the tried and true KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer, which we called the “quintessential stand mixer.” It’s expensive, but it will last you for years—if not decades—so it’s absolutely worth it.

$449 at Amazon

3. Mixing bowls for prep work

Cuisinart mixing bowls on a green background.
Credit: Cuisinart / Reviewed

Mix your ingredients with the help of this Cuisinart pairing.

If you’re mixing by hand or even if you need to separate dry and wet ingredients, you’ve got to have a set of mixing bowls. Our pick is the set of three Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids. They’re easy to clean, incredibly durable, and the lids mean that you can mix something up and then store it in the fridge between bakes or while you’re waiting for your buddy to come over and help. They’re just easy.

$40 at Amazon

4. A full set of good, easily washable measuring cups

Bellemain measuring cups on a green background.
Credit: Bellmain / Reviewed

Precisely measure ingredients with these Bellemain measuring cups.

Any cookie recipe is going to require at least some degree of measuring. While most people probably already have a set of measuring cups in their cabinets, it doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade to our favorite, the Bellemain Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set. Better yet, get a second set. That way, when you’ve got to use that quarter cup for both peanut butter and oats, you’re not having to run to the sink over and over.

$21 at Amazon

5. A set or two of good quality measuring spoons

Cusipro measuring spoons on a green background.
Credit: Cusipro / Reviewed

Precisely measure ingredients out with these Cusipro measuring spoons.

Take everything we said about measuring cups above, and apply it to measuring spoons down here. A great set will make all the difference. We love the Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set, which is inexpensive, yet incredibly effective. They even fit in most spice jars which is a big plus, especially when you’re baking.

$16 at Amazon

6. A non-frustrating rolling pin

J.K. Adams rolling pin on a green background.
Credit: J.K. Adams / Reviewed

Perfectly roll out cookie dough with this J.K. Adams rolling pin.

If you’re planning on making anything that requires a solid rolling pin—gingerbread men, for instance, or beautifully decorated sugar cookies—then we recommend the J.K. Adams Plain Maple Rolling Dowel. It might look a little underwhelming, but that’s what makes it great.

As our reviewer writes, “When they say there’s beauty in simplicity, they’re talking about this wooden rolling pin. It’s just a sturdy wooden cylinder of a medium-heavy weight, nothing more, nothing less. But during testing, it rolled out perfect dough every time.”

$26 at Amazon

Christmas cookie cutters and a birthday cake on a green background.
Credit: Wilton Store / Reviewed

This Wilton Store bundle will be your one-stop shop for Christmas cookie cutters.

If you’re making traditional cutout cookies, pick up a set of cookie cutters. You’re going to want some good ones because bad cookie cutters can turn a fun afternoon of baking into a frustrating battle with sticky plastic and missing gingerbread arms.

Amazon users love Wilton’s set of 101 different cookie cutters, which might seem excessive, but think of it this way: You’ll never have to buy other cookie shapes again. The set includes ten different holiday-themed cutters, including four differently sized gingerbread people. They’ve got no sharp edges, which means they’re great to use with kids, too!

$28 at Amazon

OXO baking set on a green background.
Credit: OXO / Reviewed

This OXO set has everything you'll need to perfect Christmas cookies.

If you’re more into thumbprint cookies or maybe some good old-fashioned sprinkle-laden butter cookies, you’re going to need a cookie press. Amazon users love OXO’s version, which comes with 12 durable stainless steel discs featuring different cookie designs, including a very festive snowflake, tree, and wreath. Buyers say it’s easy to use, easy to clean, and helps make the cookie-making process extra fun.

$34 at Amazon

9. An adorable all-in-one decorating kit

Cakebe Store baking set pieces on a green background
Credit: Cakebe Store / Reviewed

Make sure your icing is applied with perfection, thanks to this Cakebe Store selection.

Finding the right piece of cookie decorating equipment at the right time can be a nightmare. Cakebe’s 68-piece decorating kit takes all the questions and struggles out of figuring out how to decorate Christmas cookies.

There are 36 different icing tips in the kit, plus a booklet, which features pictures of the design each one produces. There are also icing bags, bag clips, and even a storage box to keep it all together.

$28 at Amazon

Cheryl's Cookie Dough container and dough balls on a tray on a green background.
Credit: Cheryl's Cookies / Reviewed

Opt for pre-made Christmas cookie doughs Cheryl's help.

Do you want to decorate and ice cookies but don’t want to measure, mix and roll? Cheryl’s Cookies has a pre-made kit for that.

Cheryl’s pre-made tubs of both chocolate chip cookie dough and sugar cookie dough require the bare minimum of baking while still benefitting from the smells of freshly baked cookies in your kitchen. Both mixes can either be scooped out with a good ice cream scoop for standard round shapes, or rolled out and cut into holiday shapes with the tools we listed above.

$40 at Cheryl's Cookies

$40 at Cheryl's Cookies

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