Especially for Holiday season Matante Jeanne wrote a styling article on how to decorate cookie cakes. Learn with Jeanne, a food styling expert how to make cookie cake and decorate with fresh rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and frosted cranberries. 

The Holiday season is at our doorstep and for many of us, that means Holiday cookies. Decorated or not, there are so many flavours and designs out there to choose from…not to mention all those beautifully decorated gingerbread houses! Holiday cookies are so versatile, so this year let’s combine them with classic Holiday cakes and make pretty cookie cakes for dessert tables everywhere.

Cookie cake with frosting and fruits

1. Choose Your Favourite Holiday Cookie

Most of us have a favourite Holiday cookie: vanilla, chocolate, gingerbread…all great options! Choose your favourite cookie flavour and prepare your cookie dough.  It can also be store bought cookies, from a cookie mix or cookies from a cookie exchange, as long as the cookies are flat enough to stack vertically without toppling over. Your cookies can be round, square, rectangular, tree-shaped or snowflake-shaped, it’s really up to you! Keep in mind that you’ll need at least two or three cookies of each shape (about 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thickness each) to stack them.

Baked cookies

2. Choose Your Cookie Cake Size

For a giant cookie cake, I recommend going with round, square or tree shapes; you can use a 10-inch cake round for reference and make sure the entire cookie fits on the cake round. If you have large cookie cutters, fantastic, but if not, you can draw a shape on parchment paper, cut it out and use it to create your own design. Remember, the shapes don’t have to be perfect: you’ll be adding frosting and decorations on both layers! For mini cakes, you can use your favourite cookie cutters: a 4-inch round cookie cutter is a great size for this kind of treat. 

Unbaked heart cookie Cutting out cookie stars Cookie Christmas tree with lemon, raspberries, strawberries on the side.

3. Choose Your Favourite Frosting

There are a few really tasty frosting options here: classic buttercream (vanilla, chocolate or anything in between), Swiss meringue buttercream or a decadent mascarpone whipped cream.  Cookie cakes have a high frosting-to-cookie ratio so choose a frosting you really enjoy! Fill a piping bag with frosting: for giant cookie cakes, use a 1/2 inch (1cm) round piping tip, and for small cookie cakes, use a 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) round piping tip. 

Christmas cookie cake with cranberries

4. Build your cookie cake

Start by placing a cookie on your serving platter or cake round. Pipe frosting swirls over the entire surface of the cookie. Gently place a second cookie on top of the frosting so the edges line up with those of the bottom cookie. Pipe frosting swirls over the entire surface of the top cookie. If you want to keep going and add a third layer, go for it! I don’t recommend more than three layers however, to avoid the cake collapsing or toppling over.  

Decorated cake with cookie and cranberries.

5. Decorate!

Decorate the cake with fresh rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and frosted cranberries. Gently place these elements on the top layer of your cookie cake, alternating fresh herbs and cranberries directly on the frosting.  If you have fresh cranberries, small chocolates or mini cookies, you can add some as well. For tips on how to prepare fresh rosemary, thyme and frosted cranberries, head over to Food Styling: How to Decorate a Cake or read more styling tips on

Christmas cookie cake with cranberries

Happy Holiday baking and all the best this season! 


Close photo of cake with cookie heart and rosemary.

Holiday Styling Tip: Cookie Cakes is written by Matante Jeanne. Jeanne shares seasonal food styling ideas using fresh herbs, flowers and berries on her blog: Matante Jeanne. Follow Jeanne on Instagram.

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