Since discovering my love for decorating sugar cookies, the idea of a tree with cookie ornaments has been lying in wait in the back of my mind.  It seemed like such a great idea…but then I thought about it, and over thought it and started to worry that it would never work.  What if the cookies were to fragile and broke?  What if I couldn’t find the right apparatus to hold them?  Finally I decided enough worrying, just do it already!  So, I went for it and you know what?   It was really easy.

Want to make your own cookie tree?  Here’s how I did it:

  • First, find the tree – wire like this one, or a more standard miniature decorative tree.  It doesn’t have to be a tree, of course.  I think some random sticks/branches gathered in a vase would make for a beautiful, rustic version.
  • Make sugar cookies of your desired shape.  It’s best to use a symmetrical shape so that the cookies hang evenly.  Use a plastic drinking straw to cut a small hole out of each cookie before baking.  (The dough will back up in the straw.  Squeeze it out periodically to keep it cutting nicely.)
  • After the cookies are baked and cooled, decorate with royal icing as desired.  You can get as complicated as you like but even very simple designs such as this one can be eye-catching when displayed with creativity.  (If desired, you could decorate both sides of the cookies, but this will make them heavier.  I think one side looks just fine.)
  • I brushed mine with a thin layer of pearl dust to add a hint of shimmer to the cookies.
  • Once the royal icing is dried, tie loops of twine or ribbon through the holes in the cookies, and hang them on the tree.
  • This is meant to be a display centerpiece and as such, it should stand out as the focal point.  Placing the tree on an elevated stand or platter helps feature your work.

*I used a set of scalloped round cutters for the cookies and strung them up with gray baker’s twine.

This general concept could be adapted to fit so many different holidays, themes and events.  I can’t wait to play around with it more!



  • Looks beautiful! My question is, did anyone at the party eat the cookie ornaments? Were they supposed to? I don’t think I would eat the cookies if I saw them so beautifully arranged on a tree…



    Oh, these are lovely! Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial!

  • annieseats

    Sure, lots of people ate them :)

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    This is such a wonderful idea, I love it!

  • chickenmeatball

    This is lovely and adorable.

  • This is so beautiful and pretty! I love how simple it looks but is stunning.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    This is such a cute idea. Love it!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Your creativity and ability to make such beautiful treats never ceases to amaze me, lady. :) I LOVE this!

  • This is so cute. But I wouldn’t be able to keep the ornaments on! Must eat…

  • Caroline L.

    Such a fun project! So visually pleasing :)

  • Liz N.

    This sugar cookie ornament tree is completely stunning, Annie! I love all the details! You never cease to amaze me with your creativity!

  • This is so beautiful and elegant! I definitely want to make decorated sugar cookies this Christmas.

  • Helena

    Simply beautiful, thank you.

  • Linda Donzello

    Annie, I made your chocolate peanut butter cup cookies from 11-11-11 this morning. I used Trader Joes miniature peanut butter cups that I had frozen so no chopping. These cookies are fabulous! Thank you

  • andreaquist

    Sooo…how do I get on your party guest list? lol. I’d be willing to drive from Illinois :) Beautiful layout as always. If I had time & energy, I feel like your creations are close to what I would accomplish. One day you will have to share your secret on how you manage to find the time with two young kids (same here) and a full time job (same here as well).

  • Jessica L.

    Oh Annie, this so amazing!! Absolutely adorable!

  • Anne Porretta

    What a stunning (and delicious) table decoration! Being Jewish, I don’t decorate for Christmas, but I would so make these for Hanukkah on a tree type ornament holder. I saw one today that I’m going to buy tomorrow morning! Little gingerbread and sugar cookie dreidles comin’up!

  • Melissa Bo

    Love these! so pretty! =)

  • What a beautiful idea. Your party looked amazing.

  • This is so pretty, I love it :-)

  • Laurel Miller

    Sweet baby Jesus- this is so beautiful. If you wrote a cookbook/entertaining book, it would be a huge success! I would pre-order it :)

  • Ann P.

    Party centerpiece genius!! Edible AND beautiful!

  • Jessica @ Sunny Side Up

    Beautiful, Annie!

  • Pingback: Eat, Drink & Be Merry Party :: Sweet Customers | The TomKat Studio()

  • I just picked up the same, exact tree from Target for 70% off, thanks to their post-Christmas sale. What a great way to use it!