Allergy-Friendly Holiday Cookie Decorating

Allergy-Friendly Holiday Cookie Decorating

I really look forward to the holidays — the excitement of the kids, the extra time with friends and family, the holiday lights and festive décor, and yes, even the events that revolve around food.

But once upon a time, these food-centered events brought on stress and anxiety. One such event is the holiday cookie decorating party. Could there ever be a more perfect holiday event for kids? The delicious smells, bright colors, gooey icing, and sweet reward at the end. Add in the fun of decorating with friends, and it is an event not to be missed.

But, my daughter MT, who’s allergic to milk, eggs, and tree nuts, once reacted from just breathing the air in an ice cream parlor. So an event where children have icing and cookie crumbs smeared all over their hands and faces? Yes, it was a panic attack waiting to happen — until we decided to host our own allergy-friendly holiday cookie decorating party.

The benefits?

No worries about kids running around with dairy on their hands and faces

No worries about watching her (and other kids’) every move

No worries about what icing or cookie is MT-safe

No worries about accidental cross-contamination

The tradeoff? A little housecleaning and prep work is all. A fair trade for a worry-free holiday tradition that MT will hopefully cherish as she gets older.

Allergy-Friendly Holiday Cookie And Icing Recipes

  • Dairy- and Egg-Free Gingerbread People: Sunset Magazine has a wonderful recipe that is already egg-free. I substitute dairy-free Earth Balance for butter and omit the espresso powder to make this dairy-free and kid-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies: These cookies, from Gluten-Free Girl, were featured on’s roundup of holiday recipes for 2009.
  • Vegan Royal Icing: If you are okay with using corn syrup, this is a great icing. Instead of almond milk, we use rice milk, and doubling it so it’s thin enough to pipe. It works wonderfully and dries hard. We also use vanilla extract instead of almond extract.
  • Vegan Sugar Cookies and Vegan Royal Icing: This version of Vegan Royal Icing uses agave syrup.

Do you have any favorite allergy-friendly cookie recipes? Please share in the comments!

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