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Bake Cookies Day – Celebrate with These Festive Gumdrop Cookies

December 18 is one of this month’s food holidays and is celebrated each year as Bake Cookies Day. We’ll be honoring the day with some tasty cookies using the colors of Christmas red and green gumdrops.

The best thing about Bake Cookies Day is that it’s a great excuse to eat cookies. Any excuse to sample a Christmas cookie sounds like a good excuse to me!

Even though Bake Cookies Day comes in December, it can actually be celebrated every day of the year, since people bake cookies all year round for bake sales, treats for after school snacks and baked cookies for their child’s class.

Bake Cookies Day is just one of the national days that we celebrate each year devoted to cookies. National Cookie Exchange Day is another.

Gingerbread cookies and baking utensils with words Bake Cookies Day - history of cookies - facts about cookies.

National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out my national day’s guide for more fun days to celebrate.

How are cookies made?

No matter whether you like a simple sugar cookie, gingerbread cookies, or a white chocolate peppermint cookie dipped in chocolate, all cookies have some similarities.

Ingredients for cookies and words Making Cookies on a white mat.

Cookies are made in several stages – first the fat or shortening is creamed with sugar to create a fluffy texture. Baking powder and salt is often added at this stage too.

Next, liquids are added to disperse the ingredients and finally the dry ingredients such as flour (and extra flavorings) are added into the dough.

The end result is a light cookie with a nice bite.

Cookie recipe vary greatly and cookies come in many shapes and sizes. The main ingredients are flour, fat, water, sugar and some form of leavening.

History of cookies

Humans have been enjoying cookies for centuries. The earliest cookie that is documented was in seventh century Persia (now known as Iran.)

 Americans got their first taste of cookies in the 17th century, although it was not given the name cookie until much later.

Stack of oatmeal cookies on a wooden board.

The early English, Scotch, and Dutch immigrants brought the first cookies to the USA. English teacakes and Scottish shortbreads are very similar to our simple butter cookies.

Early Southern colonial housewives were very proud of their cookies, called tea cakes. 

Early Dutch cooks make a confection known as a koekje which means small cake. The name was changed first to cooky and then finally to our term cookie.

Cookies are popular in all countries and countless varieties, flavors and shapes are enjoyed worldwide. They have become a sweet treat that is enjoyed during the festive holiday season and all year round.

Learn cookie facts for Bake Cookies Day

Brush up on your knowledge of this treat with some fun facts about cookies. Some may surprise you!

Platter of Christmas cookies.

  • Amelia Simmons authored the first cookbook that included cookie recipes – American Cookery, published in 1796. The two recipes were called “Cookies” and “Christmas Cookie.”
  • The beloved chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1938 by Ruth Graves Wakefield and Sue Brides.
  • The chocolate-chip cookie is the official cookie for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • One early cookie is the ‘pizzelle’ which was created in Italy.
  • In the USA and Canada a cookie is a small, flat baked treat made with flour, eggs, sugar and some kind of fat. Other ingredients such as raisins and chocolate chips are also added to many cookie recipes.
  • Not everyone calls this sweet treat a cookie. In the UK and Australia, cookies are are often referred to as “biscuits,” and in Scotland, a “cookie” is actually a small bun.
  • Other names for cookies are galletas in Spain, keks or plzchen in Germany, and amaretti and biscotti in Italy.  
  • Most cookies freeze well, so you can have a few now and eat them again later!
  • We eat a lot of cookies! The average person will consume almost 20,000 cookies in their lifetime. That is almost 250 a year!
  • Chocolate chip cookies are the most commonly baked cookies in our homes.
  • Baking can burn off 250-300 calories an hour. (Be careful not to spend those calories on eating cookies later!)
  • The biggest cookie ever made was over 102 feet wide and weighed over 40,000 pounds.
  • Animal crackers are a popular small cookie that is made in the shape of animals and served in a cage-like box.

Cookie recipes for Bake Cookies Day

Cookies come in all shapes and sizes. With Christmas just one week away, it’s natural that our thoughts will turn to Christmas cookies. However, you can make festive cookies all year long.

Cookies with a pad that has a gumdrop cookie recipe on it.

Try some of these holiday cookie recipes:

If you want a sweet holiday recipe that isn’t cookie-based, check out our recipe for hot cross buns. This traditional Easter bread even has its own national day. They are the perfect blend of savory and sweet!

How to celebrate Bake Cookies Day

Would you like to celebrate Bake Cookies Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.

Woman making star shaped cookies.

  • Spend the day baking cookies with your kids.
  • Share photos of your baked cookies on social media using the hashtag #BakeCookiesDay.
  • Leave a plate of the gumdrop cookies below as a gift of cookies for Santa. He will love them! If you have kids, make sure to check out our posts with Santa’s address and Santa’s phone number.
  • Bring a plate of baked cookies to a cookie swap. This is a great way to share your favorite recipes and also get some new ones from friends. Since you’ll be baking for the holidays anyway, it makes a good idea to turn the process into a chance to celebrate with friends.
  •  Cookie swap ideas aren’t just for Christmas. You can bake cookies for any holiday where you would normally make a lot of cookies, like Halloween or Easter.
  • Bake some cookies and use them to make Christmas tree ornaments.
  • Host a baking cookie contest. It’s a great way to enjoy time with family or friends and have a bake off. Vote to see who wins this year’s best cookie baker.
  • Look for the word “cookie” in this Christmas word search and unscramble it from this Christmas word scramble.
  • Spread the word about Bake Cookies Day on social media. Here is a tweet to get you started:
We love to bake cookies all year round, but did you know there is actually a #BakeCookieDay? It's celebrated on December 18. Head to Always the Holidays to find out more about the day and get a tasty gumdrop cookies recipe.… Click To Tweet

More December 18 national days

Did you enjoy learning about Bake Cookies Day? Well you’re in luck, December 18 is host to more than just one national day! 

Wooden block calendar for December with holiday decorations.

Here is a complete list of all the December 18 national days:

  • Bake Cookies Day
  • National Roast Suckling Pig Day
  • National Ham Salad Day
  • National Migrants Day
  • National Twin Day
  • Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day
  • Arabic Language Day
  • Flake Appreciation Day

More holiday themed national days in December

There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in December.

To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the national days in December.  If you enjoy puzzles, also check out the December word search printable of national days.

Room decorated with a Christmas tree, and presents.

Be sure to also check out these other holiday inspired national days this month:

Pin this post on National Bake Cookies Day for later

Would you like a reminder of this recipe for gumdrop cookies to celebrate National Bake Cookies Day? Just pin this image to one of your baking boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

Platter of cookies with words Bake Cookies Day - how are cookies made - history of cookies - facts about cookies.

Christmas gumdrop cookie recipe

The perfect way to celebrate Bake Cookies Day is to make a fun Christmas cookie. These festive gumdrop cookies are easy to make and very tasty.

You can use baking gumdrops especially designed for cooking, or you can cut up larger gumdrops. Try to avoid really soft gumdrops which won’t hold up well in the oven.

Plate of cookies and words Christmas Gumdrop Cookies.

They would also make a wonderful addition to your annual cookie swap on National Cookie Exchange Day, celebrated on December 22.

One of my favorite candy choices during the holiday season are gumdrops. Let’s use this sweet treat to flavor some Christmas cookies in style.

Let’s make gumdrop cookies for Bake Cookies Day!

The cookies are full of flavor with a nice mixture of brown sugar, vanilla extract and butter combined with all purpose flour. Red and green Christmas gumdrops give the cookies some extra color and texture for the festive season.Red and green gum drops lined up in rows.

If you are making these gumdrop cookies for Christmas, use only the red and green gumdrops.  The other colors are fine for other times of the year.

You could even personalize the cookies for each season depending on the colors you use.

Use red, pink and white gumdrops to represent the colors Valentine’s Day. Purple, green and yellow for Mardi Gras and green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Yield: Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Christmas Gumdrop Cookies

Plate of cookies made with gumdrops.

This recipe for gum drop cookies uses colorful red and green gumdrops to add a nice look and texture to these delicious Christmas cookies.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1/4 cup of butter flavored shortening
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of red and green gumdrops


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 º F.
  2. Beat the shortening and butter at a medium speed with your mixer until softened and well combined.
  3. Add 1/2 of the flour, then the granulated sugar and beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Now add the brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract and baking soda.
  5. Beat until well mixed, scraping the sides often.
  6. For the last step, add the rest of the flour and mix well.
  7. Fold in the red and green gumdrops.
  8. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
  10. Cool on the baking sheet for one minute and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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