About Jesicakes

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A BFA Painting and Drawing graduate gone cookie designer and decorator.  I bring my knowledge of art, composition, and color to pastries to create the perfect cookies and cakes for your events or occasions.
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Butterfly and Circles Decorating Tutorials

 This weekend I helped out at Compost for Brooklyn's Block Party.  I donated packs of decorated gluten free sugar cookie butterflies with gluten free chocolate chip cookies for their bake sale.  I also helped out at the booth then lead a decorating demo for the kids at the block party and let them have their go at decorating!  Afterwards I came home and made video tutorials for decorating butterflies.

Decorating using "pulling" is such a fun way to decorate.  I think every butterfly I made was different.  It's such a great way to experiment with what you can do with royal icing!  It's a process that requires speed though, so I couldn't really do photo tutorials so I tried my go at videos!  Unfortunately I didn't put my camera quality on high, so the video isn't HD (by any means) but I think you can still see everything fine and hopefully I explain it well too.  So the first video is the butterflies above, and also these "monarch" style butterflies:
I also did a second video for decorating circles with pulls to make borders and starbursts.

 Since I don't want to post any photos of anyone (especially kids) without permission, here's two of me doing the demo:
These are the packs that I sold at the bake sale.  I think they looked really cute I was so happy with them.  Plus as always I'm happy to offer a gluten free option! In case you missed it, my Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie post is here:
And just in case you want reference photos (or just to look at some pretty photos), here are all the butterflies I sold.  If you want to know how to do a specific one let me know and I can try explaining it in a comment!
And for good measure, because I was making about 3 doz butterflies...some manatees for my grandma...because I have a manatee cutter so why not!?
Have fun decorating!! And if you have any questions feel free to comment!


  1. Totally watched your videos! :)

    1. I hope they made sense and could be followed easily!

  2. I love your recipes! I was just wondering what sugar cookie recipe you used for the butterflies, etc.? I've been trying to find a good gluten-free recipe (my poor boyfriend hasn't had a decent cookie in years!) Thanks!

    1. Hi, thanks so much! For this I was in a bit of a rush and having a mix I made failed in the past, I just used Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour rather than mixing my own. It's works in this recipe (just sub 1:1 with you're favourite wheat flour sugar cookie recipe), but I really don't like it in much things though I don't like using garbanzo flour. But that was how we made it in a bakery I worked in.

      I know now what I did wrongly but I never did try and correct it because when I was going to I made this chocolate version of sugar dough and never really looked back: http://jesicakes.blogspot.com/2012/10/chocolate-sugar-cookies.html
      It's so much more delicious than regular sugar dough and the decorations pop so much nicer than on a plain sugar cookie.

      If you just want to make "plain" sugar cookies not decorated you can try these ones too. They have a touch of lemon in them that really brightens them up

      If you have your heart set on plain sugar cookies instead of the chocolate for decorated I can help you make a recipe if you have some time to wait.

    2. Thanks so much for your answer! I ended up doing an experiment of my own which worked pretty well! (a bit of spreading, but I think it could be solved with just chilling by dough a bit more before baking the cookies. I have been dying to try the chocolate sugar cookies and just thought I'd try my hand at the regular first!

    3. That's great! If there was a bit of spreading, you're right just chill it longer. I actually put mine in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before baking and they come out nice and crisply shaped. That's normally the problem to most spreading problems with sugar dough =)

  3. I was so fascinated with your videos that I made some sugar cookies
    today and plan to give the decorating a try tomorrow. I use Land O
    Lakes gluten free sugar cookie recipe on their website and they are delicious! My gluten-eating friends and family love them. Excited to
    try "pulling". You seem to have explained it very well in detail.
    Thanks alot!

    1. Thanks so much! Pulling details is so much fun...you can get really creative with it and create some amazing effects. I'm glad my tutorials helped!

      There is such a stigma with gluten free! Everyone assumes it's dry or tasteless or has a bad aftertaste but really no one can tell if it's done correctly! Everyone I give my treats to never knows they are and is shocked when they find out they are because they're so delicious! Glad that recipe worked so well for you!

    2. I did try the pulling method on my cookies and they came out nice but discovered too late (after the icing was in the bags)
      that my icing was not as thin as yours. Next time (and there will be a next time soon) I will make it thinner. Thank you so much for sharing this. Also tried your banana bread cookies, yum. You are one talented person!

    3. Thank you again! And yeah, the base icing should be pretty loose...not too loose though you don't want it to overflow outside the outline. The icing for the dots you're pulling can be a kind of medium consistency...too loose and it'll spread a lot and too thick and the pull will look too stiff.

      The more you decorate the better you get at judging and more you'll learn how you like your icing. So practice a lot! I'm sure you friends and family won't mind getting the test ones lol.

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