Best Cookie Cutters
For nearly unsurpassed quality and comfort, the K&S Artisan Heavy Duty Biscuit Cutter Set may be marketed towards other forms of baking, but it certainly excels in the cookie cutter realm. This 11-piece, stainless steel set is graduated from 1-inch up to 3.5-inches and comes with a handy tin for storage. The cutters themselves are 1.25-inches deep and topped with a fat, rounded edge that is comfortable to press, no matter the density of the dough.
With so many pieces to choose from, we wish that K&S had stamped or laser-engraved each cutter with the size, or at least made the measuring print-out handier by drawing it to scale. We recognize that an 11-piece round set is less fun without creative shapes, but consider the versatility for baking everything from cookies, to doughnuts, to bite-sized hors d'oeuvres. The welded seams not only create flawless cuts but help ensure that this dishwasher safe set stays rust-free for years of creative cooking and baking.
For those aspiring professionals who aren't sure if they really need an 11-piece round set, the KSPOWWIN 5-Piece Stainless Steel Cutters provide near top-quality performance at a fraction of the price of directly comparable sets. These five cutters graduate from 1.7 to 3.3-inches, and are just as deep (1.25-inches) and sharp as our top-scoring K&S set above. Similarly, the stainless steel cutters have a comfortably wide, rounded top edge.
The main differences between this set and the K&S really come down to durability: the KSPOWWIN set isn't seamlessly welded, nor does it come with a storage case. Still, while you may miss out on a few pieces, you certainly will not miss out on any baking performance with this cost-effective, professional-quality set.
If you are looking to bake cookies for holidays, birthdays, special events, or just for the fun of it, the Wilton 101-Piece Cookie Cutters Set should have you covered. This tub of plastic forms is particularly kid-friendly, with tons of playful shapes that are all topped with an extra-wide lip for easy pressing. Not only do they produce oversized cookies, but the cutters do a surprisingly good job of lifting cookie dough — again, a bonus for baking with kids. The wide, ½-inch deep cutters are both dishwasher safe and incredibly easy to hand clean. Although the heavy-duty plastic is durable, we admit that you will never get as clean of a cut from plastic as you will from metal.
When it comes to holidays, this set is certainly Christian-leaning, even though it includes plenty of other shapes, including the full alphabet. Again, as a literal tub, it is also not particularly easy to store — we actually had a very difficult time getting the cutters back in after use. But at a price of less than 15-cents per piece, the Wilton 101 Set is hard to beat when it comes to price-point.
A little outside of the box of traditional cookie cutters, the OXO Good Grips Cookie Press is designed to create bite-sized cookies with consistency. This press particularly excels as a spritz-cookie-making machine. Twelve stainless steel disks offer a variety of shapes, from cute teddybears, to classic hearts, to more intricate fleur-de-lis. Like all OXO Good Grips products, you can expect that this one is designed with comfort and ergonomics in-mind — notably, it is both right- and left-hand friendly.
When it comes to cranking out spritz, we appreciated that the plunger seal on the Cookie Press is so exact that it is practically self-cleaning — you can switch over dough colors without having to wash in between batches. Although dough can jam if too stiff, this specialty tool provides concise instructions and specific recipes that will turn your kitchen into a holiday cookie factory.
Spritz cookies are much like sugar cookies, sweet and buttery with enough integrity to hold intricate shapes while baking. They don't require additional rolling or chilling, which helps them come out more tender than something like a shortbread. The name spritz comes from the German Spritzgebäck — spritzen means "to squirt" — named because the dough is specifically meant to be used in a cookie press and squirted through a fancy metal plate.
Another break from the traditional, the R&M International 4-Piece Cookie Stampers are a sort of hybrid between a classic cookie stamp and a cookie cutter. In one smooth, three-part motion, you are able to cut, imprint, and drop these small cookies onto a baking sheet. Unlike others we tested, the plunger is metal and presses further out than others for a cleaner cut. It takes a few practice cookies to figure out even pressure, but these plastic presses cut surprisingly well and are able to inlay an intricate snowflake pattern that just begs to be delicately decorated.
Although hand washing is recommended, we found no issues with putting these through the dishwasher to help remove the bits of dough that can find their way into the internal housing. From cookies, to fondants, to pastries, the R&M Stampers emboss beautiful designs onto any baked good — the company says the versatility of these presses even stretches as far as pottery design. Now that's versatility!
For those who find small cookie cutters awkward to handle, the HULISEN Biscuit Cutter Set is designed with large, arching handles for improved comfort and pressing power. Designed for biscuits, these are the deepest cutters we tested, measuring just shy of 1.75-inches deep. Also available in a 5-piece set, the 3-piece stainless steel set offers a range from 1.75 to 3.75-inches and are thoughtfully laser-engraved with their sizes. If you love cookies but also can't get by without baking biscuits, this is a great set to consider.
These cutters are a bit limited in their versatility due to their narrow size-range. They are also professional-grade cutters that carry a professional-level price tag per piece. While a bit unnecessary for soft cookie dough, these ergonomically designed cutters are ideal for turning out sheets of biscuits and doughnuts with ease.
As a plastic set of round cutters, the NELPLA Two Sided Cookie Cutters sets itself apart from the pack with its dual-edged design. One side is smooth while the other is scalloped, and both sides cut surprisingly well for plastic — however, it is worth noting that any plastic cutter will produce a rounder cookie edge when compared to metal. Notably, this graduated 6-piece set nests like stack-up-cups for babies so that they easily stay together despite their lack of container.
These plastic cutters score well across the board and really only lose points in-terms of comfort. Because both sides can be used for cutting, there's no comfortable place to put your fingers when pressing. You certainly won't cut yourself, but you'll need to press a little more gingerly. However, the NELPLA's dual-purpose design is like buying two sets for the price of one, and at a price-point that is nearly unbeatable when you consider their cost per cutter.
The Ann Clark Christmas Set is a quintessential holiday collection. This 11-piece, USA-made, alloy steel set cuts cleanly and creates ideally sized Christmas cookies in a variety of classic shapes that bake well every time. We do wonder about the choice to include a sweater and light bulb-shaped cutter, but most of the set is pretty crowd-pleasing, with familiar shapes like a star, snowman, candy cane, and reindeer.
Not quite an heirloom set of holiday cookie cutters, the steelon this Ann Clark set is flimsy — without a case, a few shapes were even bent out-of-shape on arrival. And while these are not uncomfortable to press, a more rounded edge or a wider lip would distribute weight better and be more comfortable. Personal preferences aside, this is a reasonably-priced, classic set of cookie cutters that will turn out holiday favorites.
Nearly identical in performance to our choice R&M Stampers, the Joiner Crust Cutters are a 4-piece stamp set that adds seasonal cheer to your baked goods. Although these small stamps make delicate cookies, they aren't quite as intricate as their rivals, so the embossed designs set much clearer when baking. Ideal for cookies and crust embellishments alike, these are a great option for those that want to celebrate the season as a whole instead of one particular holiday.
The main difference between this Joiner set and the higher-scoring R&M stampers is in the mechanism: these have a fully plastic build, including a plastic plunger that does not push quite as far through the cutter as the R&M. This means the cookies don't release quite as well. However, these are offered at nearly half the price, and we found them to work great for both print cookies and pie crust decoration.
As we pulled these large, intricate cutters from their case, we had high hopes for the Ateco Snowflake Cutter Set. Indeed, this nesting, 6-piece stainless steel set is a quality set — one, unfortunately, that simply underperforms in key ways. With graduated shapes that range from 2 to 6-inches in diameter, this set offers enough variety in size to make it particularly efficient in using every little bit of dough — the smaller flakes seem to fit in well around the edges of the biggest cookies, helping you optimize every delicious morsel.
Unfortunately, although beautiful as a mold, the intricate dendrite design is so fine at the tips that those spots burn before the rest of the cookie is fully cooked. Additionally, there is very little difference between the shape of the cutting edge and the "rounded" edge, making them very uncomfortable to press. Ateco offers a variety of shapes that appear to have more rounded tops and simpler designs, so we wouldn't write-off this otherwise quality set of cutters based solely on this particular set.
Much like the Ann Clark collection, the Geefuun Large Fall Thanksgiving Set is a classic set of crowd-pleasing shapes. Slightly more versatile than its Thanksgiving-namesake implies, this set includes classic leaf and pumpkin shapes that are just as fitting to bake in September as they are in November. Comparable in quality, comfort, and cut to their direct competitor, these classic cutters don't cost nearly as much and offer a more secular take on the season.
The Geefunn lose points when it comes time to clean, however. Not only is tin-plated steel not dishwasher safe, but it must be dried immediately after washing to prevent rust — the manufacturer recommends drying them in your oven while it cools to avoid hand-drying. This extra step aside, if you are looking to save a few dollars, then this set certainly offers quality performance at a more affordable price-point.
Why You Should Trust Us
One of our kitchen experts, Aaron Rice, took on the not-so-difficult task of baking lots of cookies — with the added bonus of spreading holiday cheer. Aided by the superior baking skills of his wife, Jill, the two set to baking a dozen cookies with each set — nearly 200 cookies in total for this review. Beyond endurance-baking sessions, both are devoted to the sharing of good food, having worked on farms and in-and-around professional kitchens for the better portion of a decade. In the summers, they co-manage an on-site market garden for a fine-dining restaurant in Santa Fe, NM.
Before getting to the fun of baking, our team of experts performed their due diligence of research, spending hours online scouring through some of the top products on the market. We then purchased all of these cookie cutter sets at retail value to bring you an unbiased and objective review. We compared all of these sets side-by-side during a week of intensive testing, analyzing every detail, and backing that up with actual baking experience. Whether you need a new set of holiday cut-outs or are a professional baker looking for a more versatile set of tools, our comprehensive guide will surely help you find the cookie cutters that best suit the needs of your kitchen.
Analysis and Test Results
Good for more than just holiday baking, a quality set of cookie cutters is a versatile tool that every chef and baker should have in their kitchen toolbox. We agree that holiday-specific sets are, well, holiday-specific. But a round set can be used for cookies, biscuits, doughnuts, English muffins, mousse molds, dumplings, bite-sized hors d'oeuvres, and… you get the point. We tested a wide variety from professional, stainless steel rounds to classic holiday cut-outs to kid-friendly plastic sets. To directly compare these different models, we considered four ubiquitous characteristics: cutting performance, comfort, ease of use, and quality. By then comparing these cutters side-by-side, we are able to rank them relative to one another. So while plastic will never cut as cleanly as stainless steel, every product we tested is a worthy addition to any kitchen.
Achieving clean-cut cookies, like most cooking and baking skills, comes down to time and practice. Namely, it is a balance between managing your dough's temperature and applying firm yet even pressure. However, it certainly has to do with the material of the cutter as well. Metal cutters tend to produce better results than plastic due to the hardness of the material. Duller plastic edges often require you to twist or turn the cutter, which can mess with the shape of the cookie. Heavy-duty stainless steel cutters, like the K&S Artisan or KSPOWWIN cut the cleanest, though we were impressed with the dual-sided NELPLA plastic cutters as well.
Cutting is really only half of the game — once you cut through the dough, you also must successfully lift it and transfer it onto a baking sheet. While simple shapes may seem like they should be easier, without intricate edges or pinch points, these often don't hold dough as well during the transfer phase. For a smooth process, stamps like the R&M International or Joiner Crust Cutters are hard to beat for their simplified cut, stamp, and drop mechanism. The OXO Good Grips press also produces nearly identical cookies with one press of the plunger — just as long as you make sure that the dough stays at a consistent, workable temperature.
Turning out sheets of cookies is harder than you might think, and without a comfortable press, certain cutters can be particularly tough on your palms. While clear-cutting stainless steel models are the ideal for professionals, plastic may be better for comfort, especially when baking with kids because the softer material is easier on little hands. After cranking out hundreds of cookies for this review, we can attest to the fact that comfort in your cutter makes a huge difference.
We preferred the extra-wide lip of the Wilton 101-Piece set for this reason in particular. And for those who seek out ergonomics for all of their kitchenware, the tall, arched handles of the HULISEN stainless steel set is by far the easiest to handle, regardless of the type of dough you are working with. Though for the professionals, the wide, rounded lip on both the K&S Artisan and KSPOWWIN sets are a close second to the HULISEN cutters. And as we've come to expect from all OXO Good Grips products, their Cookie Press is designed with comfort in-mind and is easily handled by both right- and left-handed individuals.
Ease of Use
Like all kitchen products we test, ease of use is always at the forefront of our minds — if a tool is not both practical and easy to use, we find it more often sits in the drawer. For this category, we primarily focused on versatility based on size, shape, special features, and whether or not they were more specialized (like for a particular holiday) or more universally accessible. Of course, we also took into account cleaning and storage — two factors that can vary greatly for cookie cutters.
Many of the round stainless steel cutters won out in this regard — including the K&S Artisan, HULISEN, and KSPOWWIN sets — namely because these rounds are versatile well-beyond baking cookies, and the stainless steel is both dishwasher safe and rust-resistant. We also appreciate the simple durability and ease of cleaning of plastic cutters like the NELPLA and Wilton sets. Both of these sets are particularly versatile: the Wilton set, more obviously, thanks to its variety of shapes; and the NELPLA for its dual-sided design, which is highly efficient, even if it is not as comfortable to use as many other cutters we tested.
Lastly, though not least importantly, we rated all of these cookie cutters based on their overall quality. Like ease of use, the more durable and long-lasting a product is, the more inherently valuable it becomes. It may come as no surprise that stainless steel ranks at the top of the list for quality, although not all stainless steel models are created equally. The K&S Artisan cutters stand-out from the pack thanks to their fully-welded seams.
Others, like the Ann Clark and Geefuun sets, are classics that will likely see repeated use year-in and year-out during the holidays. But both are rather flimsy, and neither are stainless steel, which makes them more prone to rusting. For added protection in storage, we award extra points to the K&S Artisan and Ateco sets, the only two we tested that include cases.
Cookies are a way to share home-baked love and shouldn't just be relegated to the holidays. Find yourself a quality set of cookie cutters, and help spread joy year-round — we know we all could use a bit more of that in our lives right now.
— Aaron Rice