Best Cookie Cutters: A Pastry Chef’s Buying Guide

Amy Hand
Amy Hand

Amy Hand

Amy worked as the head pastry chef and the head chef at multiple restaurants in South Africa. She now shares her professional insights about cooking and kitchen tools here at The Skillful Cook.

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best cookie cutter sets

As a trained pastry chef, I have to admit that I have a whole drawer full of cookie cutters! I literally have one for every occasion because they’re so cheap and come in so many fun shapes!

Cookie cutters are generally hand-sized shapes sculpted from metal or plastic into various characters, letters, numbers, flowers, almost anything you can think of!. They are best suited for cutting sugar cookie dough, or gingerbread rolled out to around ¼ inch thick.

Whether you’re making these cookies with your kids and want fun shapes to decorate together or a cookie-flooding enthusiast who wants to take their art to the next level, you need a good set of cookie cutters to get the base shapes perfect.

This article surveys eight of the best cookie cutters on the market, along with a complete buyer’s guide so you know what to look for when investing in new cookie cutters.

My favorite cookie cutter set is the MCIGICM Basic Cookie Cutter Set because it has an extensive range of sizes and basic shapes for a really good price. 

Best Stainless Steel Cookie Cutters

There are so many wonderful options for great stainless steel cookie cutters

MCIGICM Basic Shape Cookie Cutters – Best Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating: 4⭐
Material:430-grade stainless steel
Size: 1.2-3.1-inches wide
Shapes:3 sizes of star, heart, flower, circle

This MCIGICM Basic Shape Cookie Cutter Set is the perfect starter cookie cutter set if you want variety. This set has all the basic shapes you need to create a whole array of designs for any occasion.

This set is great for making cookies with kids because the shapes are simple and children can cut them out without assistance. Then you can let them run wild with the decorations! If you like making sandwich biscuits, this set is ideal because you can use the smallest cutter to cut out the center of the larger biscuit to create a window into your filling.

Pros:

  • Large variety for an affordable price
  • Stack easily for storage
  • Rustproof and dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Can lose their shape if not handled gently

Bukuwa Round Cookie Cutter Set – Best Round Cookie Cutters

Star Rating:4⭐
Material:18/8 stainless steel
Size: 1”, 1.1”, 1.6”, 1.9”, 2.3”, 2.6”, 2.9”, 3.2”, 3.5”, 3.8”, 4.1”, 4.4”
Shapes:Circle

The Bukuwa Round Cookie Cutter Set is one of the most useful sets I’ve ever purchased. Whether you’re making simple cookies at home or you’re a keen cookie decorator, there are so many options for sizes that you’ll always have the perfect one for your needs. They are slightly taller than regular cookie cutters, so they are very versatile and can be used for sugar cookies and thicker bakes like biscuits or brownies. I’ve even used the largest one to cut the pastry for a hand pie.

All these cutters have a sharp cutting edge with a rolled edge on top, so they are comfortable to handle. They are also durable enough that they won’t lose their shape easily, even after you’ve been using them for a while. The 430-grade stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion than lower grades, even other food-safe ones.

Pros:

  • Stack neatly into one small tin
  • Large variety in size
  • Rustproof and dishwasher safe

Cons:

  • Some cutters may be used less than others

Anne Clark Farm Animal Cookie Cutters – Best Animal Cookie Cutters

Star Rating:4.5⭐
Material:Tin-plated alloy steel
Size: 3.2 x 3.2 x 4.8
Shapes:Barn, cow, tractor, chicken, horse, sheep, pig

Made in the USA, Anne Clark is a household name in the cookie cutter industry, producing quality stainless steel cookie cutters in Vermont since 1989. 

This brand has a lot of fun cookie cutters in its collection, but I wanted to focus on this super cute Anne Clark Farm Animal Cookie Cutter Set. This one is perfect for decorating with kids because the shapes are so fun, and they can learn about the animals as they play. The shapes are defined and a little more unusual than your regular cookie cutters, which I really enjoy. Since these cutters are such high quality, they will hold their intricate shapes over time as long as you store them correctly. Young kids might need some supervision with these ones, because you have to remove the cookies carefully, or they can easily catch and tear in small spaces like the rooster’s feathers or horse’s nose. But these are the perfect cookie cutters for a family fun night in the kitchen!

Pros:

  • Unique shapes
  • High-quality stainless steel
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than other brands 
  • Small dough pieces can get stuck in the cutter

Xzhloym Alphabet Cookie Cutter Set – Best Alphabet Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating:4.5⭐
Material: Stainless steel
Size:1.7-3.3”
Shapes: 26 capital letters, A-Z

The Xzhloym Alphabet Cookie Cutter Set is another set that is both educational and fun to work with. These are fun to make with kids because they can learn their letters and get a delicious snack at the same time. But they’re also great for any form of celebration because you can spell out anything you want with a delicious decorated cookie.

You will need to be delicate working with these because the letters are not very wide and dough can get easily caught in the corners. If they are getting stuck, I recommend rolling your cookie dough out between parchment paper and refrigerating until it firms up, because this will make the cookies stiffer, help them keep their shape and prevent them from breaking.

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Versatile
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Hand wash recommended
  • Some letters may be fiddly to remove

Q-Baker Holiday Cookie Cutters – Best Holiday Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating:4.5⭐
Material:Stainless steel
Size:22-3.9” wide, 3.1- 4.3” tall
Shapes:Snowflake, Christmas tree, candy cane, gingerbread man, snowman

This Q-Baker Christmas Cookie Cutter Set is just what you need to keep the kids occupied next holiday season! What could be better than spending an afternoon in the Christmas holidays baking and decorating cookies with your little ones? On the other hand, a set of these cookies, hand decorated by you, also make great handmade Christmas gifts so they can be enjoyed by all ages.

Be very careful when storing these cutters; the shapes are delicate, and they can easily distort if they are handled roughly or stored incorrectly.

Pros:

  • Fun shapes
  • Larger-than-average cookie cutters

Cons:

  • Hand Wash only
  • Only useful during the holiday season


Q-Baker Halloween Cookie Cutter Set – Best Halloween Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating: 4.5⭐
Material:430 stainless steel
Size: 2.5-3.32” wide, 1.95-3.6” tall
Shapes: Cat, ghost, witch’s hat, pumpkin, bat

Like the Christmas set I just talked about, baking with this Q-Baker Halloween Cookie Cutter Set is another tasty holiday activity that the kids will love! Though, honestly, I know a lot of spooky-loving adults that would be so excited to decorate some Halloween cookies.

As with some of the previous cookie cutters, these shapes have some thin and delicate areas that can easily get stuck in the edges, so you will need to help the little ones cut these out. The bat is particularly fiddly, but it’s such a cute cutter that it’s worth the extra effort.

Pros:

  • Seasonal shapes
  • Good quality for an affordable price

Cons:

  • Hand Wash only

Bonropin Under the Sea Creatures Cookie Cutter Set – Best Novelty Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating:4.5⭐
Material: Stainless steel
Size:1.42-4” wide, 1,51-3,26” tall
Shapes:Mermaid tail, starfish, shell, shark, fish, octopus, seahorse, seal

This Bonropin Under the Sea Cookie Cutter Set is one of my favorites on this list because it’s so unique, and sea creatures are so cute! I especially love the seahorse and the octopus because they’re shapes you don’t see very often. I should point out that my favorites are also the most intricate to cut out, so they require some dexterity and well-chilled cookie dough.

I picture these as edible decorations for an ‘under the sea’ themed birthday party for someone of any age! That’s the beauty of designs like these; any person can appreciate them, even if it’s just for a second before they gobble it down!

Pros:

  • Great price for a set of 8
  • Unusual shapes
  • Tests your flood icing skills

Cons:

  • Some cutters are very delicate to remove
  • Hand wash only

Xzhloym 9 Piece Flower Cookies Cutter Set – Best Floral Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating: 4⭐
Material:Stainless steel
Size: 2-3” wide, 2-3.6” tall
Shapes:Rose, tulip, lilac, cherry blossom, plum blossom, frangipani, daisy, sunflower, bouquet

If you love flowers, this Xzhloym 9pc Flower Cookie Cutter Set is the one for you!

Although icing flower cookies with kids is fun, I think this set is perfect for those who are really getting into flooding biscuits. When simply cut out, some shapes will look a little simplistic, but they come to like when they are iced. Each flower has its own unique texture and color that will challenge you, but once you’ve iced your way through this set, you’ll be flooding like a pro!

Pros:

  • Great value for money
  • Rustproof

Cons:

  • More challenging to ice
  • Stems or petals can easily break off

MrCookie Mini Dinosaur Cookie Cutter Set – Best Mini Cookie Cutter Set

Star Rating:4.5⭐
Material:Stainless steel
Size:1.97-3.15” wide
Shapes:11 dinosaur shapes and a broken dinosaur eggshell

I am a sucker for a cute dinosaur, so this MrCookie Mini Dinosaur Cookie Cutter Set immediately caught my eye! These vary in size, but they are all rather small and delicate. They make perfect little bite-sized cookies that are ideal for jazzing up a school work lunch with something fun and tasty.

Obviously, these will be a great hit with kids, whether you’re making them together or you’re whipping them up as snacks at a themed birthday party. But they would also be a great cookie cutter for practicing really intricate flooding and piping work because they are so small.

Pros:

  • Fun, kid-friendly shapes
  • Small and bite sized
  • Great value for money for so many cutters

Cons:

  • Cookie dough can easily get stuck
  • Only recommended for children 7 and older

Quality Cookie Cutters – A Buyer’s Guide

I’ve introduced you to eight of my favorite cookie cutters on the market, but how do you know which one is for you? I’ve written a buyer’s guide for you so you can consider every factor before you buy. As a pastry chef, I have used so many cookie cutters I have lost count, so you can trust me to steer you well!

Your Baking Style 

The type of cutter you choose depends on your baker’s style. I would recommend the cookie cutters in this list to anyone who makes gingerbread and sugar cookies often. 

If you are a cookie decorator, you will likely have an extensive growing collection of different cookie cutters, so you have a variety to work with. But if you are making cookies with your kids, simple shapes are a great place to start when they’re little, and you can always buy more complex, fun shapes later when they can handle them.

Construction, Durability, and Longevity

The sign of a high-quality cookie cutter is that it doesn’t easily distort and change its shape. But they are generally made from very thin stainless steel, so there will always be a chance of distortion, especially with more complex shapes.

The key to your cookie cutters’ longevity is drying them well after cleaning and storing them in a sturdy container, or somewhere they won’t get squashed.

Ease of Use and Cleaning

Ease of use is the number one factor for me regarding cookie cutters. I want them to make a clean cut, not adversely affect the texture of the dough and have a comfortable rolled edge on the other side. 

I have not included any silicone cookie molds in this list. They are technically cookie shapers rather than cookie cutters, and I find that using them always leads to my cookie dough becoming overworked. My advice is to go for stainless steel every time because it’s so effective.

When it comes to cleaning, I personally hand wash all my cookie cutters, regardless of whether the brand claims that they are dishwasher safe or not. This is the best way to avoid rust, especially if you dry them thoroughly before putting them away.

Health and Safety

The only safety factor to consider for cookie cutters is rust. Low-quality metal cutters can easily rust and flake off into your cookie dough. But so-called stainless steel cutters may also rust if you don’t hand wash them and dry them well before putting them away. If, by some chance, your cookie cutter does rust, dispose of it right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best material for cookie cutters?

In my extensive experience, stainless steel is the best material for cookie cutters. They have a sharp edge that gives you a clean cut for an affordable price. Since the material is so thin and pliable, you can find stainless steel cookie cutters in almost every shape imaginable.

What makes a cookie cutter good?

A good cookie cutter should have a sharp edge that cuts through the cookie dough without crushing or distorting it. It should also have an open back so you can pop the cookie out and a rolled edge to make pushing it down and removing them easy and comfortable.

What is the difference between a cookie cutter and a biscuit cutter?

Cookie cutters are generally used to cut sugar cookies or gingerbread, which is only around ¼ inch thick. This means they are pretty shallow and would get lost in a thick dough. Biscuit cutters, on the other hand, are designed to cut through biscuit dough that is around ½ inch thick. The sides of these cutters are higher, and they often have a handle and fluted sides.

What is the difference between a cookie cutter and a cookie stamp?

In this guide, I have stuck to traditional cookie cutters, but cookie stamps are also a fun option. Basically, a cookie cutter is a shape made from stainless steel with an open back, while a cookie stamp is a closed-backed stamp with a handle and a design carved into the face. This is pressed onto the cookie dough to print the image into the cookie dough and cut it around the edges at the same time.

Summary

A good set of stainless steel cookie cutters are a cheap and fun way to invest in your baking cupboard. Out of all the products surveyed, I would recommend the MCIGICM Basic Shape Cookie Cutter Set for all your basic shapes and the Bonropin Under the Sea Cookie Cutter Set for something a little more fun and different.

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Amy Hand
About The Author
After finding the chef life a little too high-paced, Amy decided to take her cooking skills and use them to teach others through food writing. She uses her knowledge as a pastry chef and experience as a head chef to write articles that are engaging and helpful while being as entertaining as possible.

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