Forming cookie dough into decorative shapes would be a whole lot harder without cookie cutters. They give you the ability to quickly and precisely stamp out cookie shapes themed for any occasion, in patterns ranging from simple to ornate. Here's an overview of the different kinds of cookie cutters on the market.


Cookie cutters can be made out of metal, plastic, and wood. You can even use a drinking glass to cut a simple circle out of cookie dough

Metal, Plastic, Copper Cookie Cutters
Photos by Meredith


Look for tin, aluminum, stainless steel, or copper. They can come with or without a handle for easier use, especially for cutting large batches of cookies. Note that handles can make the cutters a little harder to store

  • Tin cutters are inexpensive and very pliable. Wash by hand and dry immediately to prevent rust. Store loosely to prevent bending.
  • Aluminum cutters are also very pliable and inexpensive, but they won't rust. Store loosely to prevent bending.
  • Stainless steel cutters are much more sturdy and won't rust as easily as tin.
  • Copper is the most expensive, but it is highly decorative and collectible. It also tends to be more sturdy and keeps its shape better. Copper cookie cutters can tarnish over time, but they won't rust.


Very popular and inexpensive. Plastic cookie cutters come with or without handles.

  • Soft edges make them easy on little hands.
  • Easy to wash and store. Use care in the dishwasher because they could melt or warp.
Cookie Cutters with and without Handles
Photo by Meredith

Specialty Molds

These unique cutters take cookie-making fun to another level.

3D Cookie Cutters

There are two types of 3D cutters:

  • Dough is cut into shapes that can be baked and assembled into three-dimensional. standing cookies.
  • Dough is cut out and embossed with raised patterns.
3d Cookie Cutter
Photos by Meredith

Springerle Molds

Springerle cookies are a traditional German baked treat flavored with anise. Patterns are embossed in the dough either with a special rolling pin or with individual wooden molds.

Springerle Molds
Photos by Meredith

Cookie Press

A cookie press holds spritz cookie dough in a cylindrical tube and extrudes it through interchangeable disks to form shaped cookies. Cookie presses can be manual or electric.

Cookie Press
Photo by Meredith

Vintage Cookie Cutters

These highly prized artifacts are often handed down through generations. Look for them in thrift stores, antique shops, and yard sales, too. As long as they're clean and free from rust, they can still turn out cookies like old pros.

Vintage Cookie Cutters
Photos by Meredith


You can find shapes that celebrate almost every holiday and special occasion. Christmas cookie cutters are especially popular, with Valentine's Day and Easter running close behind.

Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter Cookie Cutters
Photos by Meredith


If you just can't find a ready-made shape that's exactly right for what you have in mind, you can fashion your own unique cookie cutters. There are numerous crafting blogs that take you through the process for how to make cookie cutters, including this one from Craftsy.


Cookie cutters have such decorative shapes, that collectors often display them instead of stashing them away between uses. If you do box them up, be careful not to pack thin metal cutters too tightly together, otherwise they'll easily bend and lose their shapes. Copper and plastic cutters usually hold their shapes very well in storage.

Nesting cutters use storage space efficiently, and sets usually come in reusable packages.

Nesting and Packaged Cookie Cutters
Photos by Meredith