The plot of this short is driven when the people from Cookietown celebrates a carnival in which numerous girls based on cakes, sweets and candies parades on the town so they can become the Cookie Queen. Far from there, on the railroad tracks, a gingerbread hobo man going to see parade hears the cries of a poor sugar cookie girl. Willing to help, he asks how he can help her, which she responds that despite wanting to participate in the parade she can't enter on it because she doesn't have any pretty clothes to wear. Quickly, he comforts the girl and remedies her problem with giving her a makeover, consisting on making a beautiful dress out of frosting and candy hearts decorated with a large violet bow and changing her brown hair with golden taffy ringlets. After liking the makeover, she sneaks at the ending of the parade as the final contestant in the parade: Miss Bonbon.
The judges, who have thus far been disappointed in the candidates, all promptly declare Miss Bonbon the Cookie Queen on sight. The gingerbread man is practically trampled in the sudden surge of the crowd as they carry Miss Bonbon to her throne, where they place a golden crown on her head. In the throne, the judges tell her that she needs a king and present a large layer cake which appears to be a carousel of different vaudeville acts full of candidates from those featured.
Meanwhile, the hobo cookie tries to get a better view of the show by sneaking up between the legs of a distracted guard but is quickly noticed by another one and is chased, forcing to the hobo cookie to hide behind the carousel but not for too long as he's discovered again.
Upon observing that the queen has rejected every candidate, the judges, with no other suitors to present to her, offer to have her marry one of them (or all three of them), only to be interrupted by the guards chasing and attacking the gingerbread man, destroying his hat and the end of a red carpet. The Cookie Queen calls the guards to stop the attack, and choosing the gingerbread man as the king, releasing him immediately and taking his place beside his beloved sugar cookie. Their closing kiss melts the lollipop intended to screen them from view.
"The Cookie Carnival" provides examples of:
- Alcohol Hic: The three jolly rum cookies do this a lot in their song.We're the jolly rum cookies... (hic)Please pardon us if we intrude... (hic)Though all other cookies are baked in a pan,A rum cookie's always stewed!
- The Alcoholic: The three rum cookies are carrying beer bottles and are drunkenly stumbling around during their song.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Averted, as the cookie queen chooses the gingerbread man over the devil's food cakes.
- All There in the Manual: Miss Bonbon's name is never spoken or seen in the short itself.
- Anthropomorphic Food: Everyone in this short is some sort of living candy or pastry.
- Art Shift: As a part of her makeover, the girl of this short is given a Fleischer-esque look, due to her being drawn by former Fleischer animator Grim Natwick.
- Barefoot Poverty: Both the cookie girl and the gingerbread man.
- Beauty Contest: The parade is one where three judges decide who will be the queen based on her beauty.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: This is the main reason why the Cookie Queen chooses the gingerbread man as her king at the end of the short.
- Camp Straight: The Angel Food cakes. Though their mannerisms are quite campy, they are competing for the affections of the Cookie Queen.
- Chekhov's Gun: The red carpet leading to the carnival's thrones is later used by the Hobo Cookie to sneak into the main throne, with its end being damaged by the guards attacking him and giving the Hobo Cookie the look of a king alongside his hat.
- Dance Party Ending: One of the earliest animated examples. The entire town with the exception of the queen and king dances at the end of the short.
- The Dandy: The Dandy Candy Kids
- Giant Waist Ribbon: The gingerbread man adorns Miss Bonbon's new dress with a purple one.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Miss Bonbon is this. Before the makeover, she is a brunette with a heart of gold.
- Improvised Clothes:
- The gingerbread cookie concocts a wonderful dress for the poor cookie girl out of colored frosting, candy hearts, and cupcake wrappers, using a powdered marshmallow as a makeup applicator, some golden taffy as a wig, a candy heart as lipstick, and a shiny flat lollipop as a mirror.
- Near the end, the gingerbread man gets some of his own when the guards chasing him broke his hat, making it look like a crown and accidentally broke the end of the jelly-roll carpet while reacting from the hit, making it look like a kingly robe, with the edges even resembling fur trim. Previously, just as he's going to help the cookie girl, he notices a pea on a near cake and puts it on his Dickey like it's a button.
- Luminescent Blush: The gingerbread man gets one after he notices he's watched while kissing his girlfriend.
- The Makeover: The hobo cookie gives one to Miss Bonbon so she can enter in the parade.
- Marry Them All: The judges suggest to marry all three to the Queen after she rejects every candidate.Judge 1: We've tried our very best to find a king for you.Judge 2: But you've said no to every one, what can we do?Judge 1: My advice would be, marry me!Judge 2: No, me!Judge 3: No, me-e-e-e-e!Judge 1: Perhaps you'd better marry all three!
- No OSHA Compliance: The judges' balcony is so fragile that it breaks and sends them spilling to the ground when they lean over the railing and declare Miss Bonbon the winner.
- Old-School Chivalry: The Old-Fashioned Cookies.We're the Old-Fashioned Cookies, like Mother used to bake!You're the only girl we love; give one of us a break!
- Between shots, the jelly-roll carpet changes from red, to pink, then back to red.
- The gingerbread man isn't seen making shoes for Miss Bonbon, but she is later seen wearing a pair of black high heels.
- Rags to Royalty: Both the protagonist.
- Shout Out: The first girl seen in the parade, Miss Peppermint, resembles Betty Boop.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The queen is interested more in the hobo cookie who helped her than the other candidates.
- Tag Team: With the exception of the three Jolly rum cookies, all the candidates are in pair of two.
- Visual Pun: We get a glimpse of two figures representing the Devil's Food cake, who have devil-like figures.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: Both the gingerbread man and the cookie girl are on the outskirts of the town at the beginning of the short.