Hosting a Cookie Swap


When newly married, I was eager to have a cookie swap party.  An opportunity to open my home to friends & acquaintances, to share our beloved cookie/candy to box up to take home.  There were platters with printed tags for each friends goodie to match.  Recipes of each cookie compiled into a book, and one batch for eating on the spot.  We finished the evening with a movie.  This encapsulates all that is wonderful with the world, especially the holidays.  

What I love even more about a cookie swap is it gives an opportunity to invite people that aren't necessarily my inner circle, but share a love of cooking.  I see it as a community cookie swap.  If you have food allergies, then this is a great opportunity to invite people who eat similarly.  How to throw a cookie swap party:

What you'll need:

  • about 6-12 people to invite
  • recipes
  • tags for cookie (printed or handwritten)
  • platters 
  • boxes, tins, or containers 
  • warm beverages 
  • movie, game (optional)
  • cookies or candy

1. Your List

Make a list of 6-12 people that you would like to invite.  This is a great opportunity to invite people who love to bake and share their latest invention.  However, you could also invite a nice mix of those who are the novices & pros, ensuring that you simply want everyone's company.  Send a simple evite, providing your guests with the typical information, along with what they need to bring.  If you're inviting 12 people, say something like this: 

You're invited to the newly instated cookie swap.  Bring your favorite cookie to share & swap, along with a container to take home your assortment of cookies.  You'll need to bake 13 dozen total, one dozen for each guest and one dozen to sample at the party.  

2. Recipes

I like being able to provide everyone in attendance a little booklet of the cookie recipes.  If you decide to have a recipe booklet, include this in the invitation "Bring 12 printed out copies of your cookie recipe on a half sheet of paper to share." 

3. Tags

Have some cardstock available to form little tent tags, where each guest can write their cookie name on it, in order to place it next to the matching platter of cookies.

4. Platters

You will need some large platters to put the cookies on for display.  These cookies should be the sample ones, while the remaining cookies stay in the box or container.  

5. Containers

In your invite, clarify that each person bring a large enough container, tin, or plates, in order to take home their cookies.  When I did a cookie swap, I provided some extra boxes I picked up at The Paper Zone, along with pretty ribbon.  I also had some syran wrap & aluminum foil for those who brought plates.  Some people might like to pre-package their dozen for each person before coming to the party, which is great as well.

6. Beverages

As the host, provide some of your favorite warm drinks for guests. 

7. Game or Movie

If you choose to do a movie, make that clear in the invitation, in order to give your guests clear expectations.  A fun holiday movie is best.  If you don't do a movie, then provide some fun game, Apples to Apples is a great group game. 

8. Cookies to Share & Take 

Lastly, we need the cookies to sample & to take home.  By hosting a cookie swap, it allows each guest to sample & giveaway cookies, while only baking one cookie.  If you want to make it a candy making/cookie swap, be sure to include that in the invite.


LoveFeast's Holiday Cookie Exchange

Be sure to join me over at LoveFeastTable with their virtual Cookie Exchange.  


What are your favorite holiday cookies?  Are you a traditionalist or find something new each year type of baker?


A Year Ago: Lemon Ricotta Muffins

Two Years Ago: Cranberry-Orange Crostata