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Made by Manu: Dimensional Tulip Cookie Platter


Last year I shared with you a dimensional cookie platter tutorial comprised of two flowers whose petals, centers, and leaves were contoured. This month I have another similar and very cute dimensional floral tutorial. As I have often done in the past, I designed this tulip cookie with the intent to display it on a tray and share it with friends over tea or coffee. The subject matter is also perfect for spring, Easter, or Mother's Day!

I rated this tutorial "intermediate, as I did my earlier one, because icing the contoured cookies can be tricky. But with the right royal icing consistency, anyone of any skill level can have success! Moreover, there are many other ways to cover contoured cookies without using icing, as @Julia M. Usher has shown us! Julia pioneered the contoured cookie technique a number of years ago, and has inspired me to use it in many of my cookie projects. If you want to master this technique, then check out Julia's two-part demo, recorded live for Watch-Learn-Create Challenge #51, where she not only explains how to make various cookie shapes, from domes to cylinders and more, but also how to cover them using ten (!) different methods and mediums.

What you'll need for this project:
  • Cookie dough of your choice (rolled 1/8 in/0.3 cm thick)
  • 2 nested teardrop cookie cutters (I used the extra-large and large sizes in this four-piece set.)
  • Dimensional Tulip Cookie Templates (in "Attachments" under "Files" at the end of this post; dimensions are also listed below in Step 1)
  • Paring knife
  • 2 to 3 perforated baking mat(s)
  • 2 to 3 (2 1/2-in/6.4-cm) stainless steel cake ring(s) or round cookie cutter(s)
  • Perforated baguette pan (optional; for propping in Step 1)
  • Aluminum foil or other ovenproof props (in lieu of baguette pan)
  • Scribe tool
  • Royal icing:
    • White piping-consistency in pastry bag with PME #1 tip (or equivalent), for outlining all cookies
    • Yellow and green medium thick-consistency, in tipless pastry bags with openings equivalent to PME #2 tip, for flooding contoured cookies and detailing all cookies
    • Yellow and green flood-consistency, in tipless pastry bags with openings equivalent to PME #3 tip, for flooding flat cookies
  • Long plate/tray, for arranging cookies (My plate shown in the post measures 11 3/4 x 6 in/29.8 x 15.2 cm.)

Step 1: Cut, shape, and bake cookies

For this project, you'll need a total of six (6) cookies. Some of them are going to be baked flat and some are going to be contoured. Here's a recap of the shapes and sizes needed:

  • 3 teardrop-shaped cookies, for tulip petals (Again, I used the extra-large and large cutters in this four-piece set.)
    • 2 extra-large (3 x 2 1/4-in/7.6 x 5.7-cm) teardrops, to be contoured
    • 1 large (2 1/4 x 1 5/8-in/5.7 x 4.1-cm) teardrop, to be baked flat
  • 3 hand-cut cookies in different sizes for the stem and leaves. (Again, see my templates in "Attachments" under "Files" at the end of this post.)
    • 1 (7 1/2 x 3/8-in/19.1 x 1.0-cm) stem, to be baked flat
    • 1 (6 3/4 x 1 1/4-in/17.1 x 3.2-cm) leaf, to be baked flat
    • 1 (6 1/2 x 1 1/4-in/16.5 x 3.2-cm) leaf, to be contoured

Please jump to Step 1d for a visual summary of the baked cookies.

a. Roll your favorite cookie dough to a 1/8-inch (0.3-centimeter) thickness, and cut out the three petals using the two teardrop-shaped cookie cutters. Place my templates on the remaining un-cut cookie dough, and use a paring knife to cut around them to create the stem and leaves.

b. Remove the excess dough.

Step 1a and 1b - Cut Dough Using Cookie Cutters and Templates

c. To contour the two extra-large petal cookies and the shorter leaf, I used the same method/tools that I used in my previous tutorials (here, here, and here). Roll up two perforated baking mats, secure each mat with a 2 1/2-inch (6.4-centimeter) stainless steel ring (a cookie cutter of the same size will work too), and place the mats inside a baguette pan to keep them from rolling in the oven. The cookies will bake very evenly, as hot air goes through the rolled perforated mat. They also won't slide, as the perforated mat provides some grip. If you don't have a baguette pan, simply prop the rolled mat with aluminum foil or other ovenproof objects.

Now before placing the petals on the rolled mats you need to imagine them as clock hands. Tilt one petal to the left so that it points to the eleven o'clock position, with its left side parallel to the grid lines on the textured mat. Tilt the other petal to the right so that it points to the one o'clock position, with its right side parallel to the grid lines. Place the leaf on the other rolled mat, and tilt it slightly to the right. Set the three flat cookies on a perforated mat (optional), and bake all six cookies per your recipe's instructions.

d. Here's a visual summary of the baked cookies. The flat cookies are grouped to the left, and the contoured cookies to the right.

Step 1c to 1d - how to Place Cookies on Rolled Perforated Mat Before Baking

e. Here, I turned the contoured cookies upside down so you can better appreciate their shape! That's all!

f. Once my cookies were completely cool, I assembled them prior to decorating, just to test the final display on my plate. I really love the bare look! Do you? If so, feel free to stop reading my tutorial here! Note: If you find you have fit issues and the leaves or stem overhang your plate's edge, carefully trim their ends with a paring knife.

Step 1f - Test Arrangement of Bare Cookies

g to i. I overlapped the two large contoured teardrops to create the outer part of the flower. As you can see, the petal on top covers part of the petal beneath, so it won't be necessary to flood that area. Use a scribe tool to score a curved line (along the edge of the top petal) into the covered petal. This line will serve as a piping guide for the petal outline in the next step.

Step 1g to 1i - Score Piping Guide on Petal

Step 2: Outline, flood, and detail cookies

a. Use white piping-consistency royal icing in a pastry bag with a PME#1 tip (or equivalent) to outline all of the cookies. Place the contoured cookies on the rolled mats to aid with even flooding in the next step.

b. Using yellow medium thick-consistency royal icing and a PME #2 tip (or equivalent), flood the two large contoured petals. Using green medium thick-consistency icing and the same size tip (or equivalent), flood the contoured leaf. Please refer to Step 3 of my previous flower tutorial where I explained in detail all of the tips and tricks for flooding a contoured cookie; that tutorial also includes a video of this process. The main things to remember are: (1) use a medium thick-consistency royal icing for flooding (somewhat thicker than normal flood-consistency) to prevent the icing from overflowing the cookie outline; (2) place the contoured leaf and petal cookies on the rolled perforated mat such that the area to be flooded is in the uppermost position possible (this step will also minimize draining of icing down the cookie sides); (3) flood the cookies starting from their centers and moving toward their outlines; (4) use the tip of your bag as a scribe tool to smooth/level the icing as you go, as it won't settle into a flat plane as easily as normal flood-consistency icing; and then (5) place the cookies in front of a fan or in a dehydrator to quick-set the icing.

c. Now use yellow flood-consistency royal icing and a PME #3 tip (or equivalent) to flood the remaining flat petal. (There's less risk of icing overflowing the outlines on flat cookies, so normal flood-consistency icing will settle into a flat plane quickly with little to no manipulation with a scribe tool.) Again, use green flood-consistency royal icing and a PME #3 tip (or equivalent) to flood the remaining flat leaf and stem. Let the icing dry until set enough to safely pipe on top of it in the next step.

Step 2a to 2 c - Outline and Flood All Cookies

d and e. Detail all of the petals and stem/leaves by outlining them with yellow and green medium thick-consistency royal icing, respectively, and a PME #2 tip (or equivalent). Now let the icing dry completely before assembling the cookies.

Step 2d and 2e - Detail All Flooded Cookies

Step 3: Assemble cookies

a. Select a long plate to display the cookies. Again, mine shown here is 11 3/4 x 6 inches (9.8 x 15.2 centimeters).

b. Place the flat leaf and the stem at the bottom of the plate.

c. Place the the small flat teardrop cookie near the top of the stem.

Step 3a to 3 c - Assemble Cookies

d. Place the semi-iced petal cookie on top of the small petal cookie.

e. Overlap the fully iced petal cookie on top of the semi-iced petal cookie.

f. Last, place the contoured leaf cookie on top of the stem cookie.

Step 3d to 3f - Arrange Cookies on Plate

Your tulip is now assembled (how easy was that?!) and ready to be shared with a friend. All you need to do now is prep some tea or coffee to pair with this pretty platter! Alternatively, place the arrangement in a box and send it to your Mom as a lovely Mother's Day gift.

Dimensional Tulip Cookie Patter

As always, I made a variation, as I love to do! In the photo below, I covered the tulip petals with SugarVeil® Confectionery Icing, tinted with yellow gel food coloring and molded in the SugarVeil® Rose Mantilla Mat. To attach the lace to the naked cookie, I used a damp paint brush to slightly moisten the cookie surface, and then stuck the lace on top, taking cake to keep it pleat-free and to trim away the excess at the cookie edges. While on the topic of SugarVeil®, don't forget that you can get 10% off all of their products at any time if you SHOP HERE using code JULIA! Thank you, @Julia M. Usher, for sharing these special savings with us! [EDITOR'S NOTE: My pleasure! And, in full disclosure-mode, that "SHOP HERE" link is my affiliate link. All affiliate earnings help pay for the upkeep of this site. ~JMU]

Dimensional Tulip Cookie Patter - Variation Using SugarVeil

Ciao and happy springtime (it couldn't get here fast enough for me!), Manu

Manuela Pezzopane, affectionately called Manu by her friends and family, is the author of the blog feature Made by Manu, where each month she shares the method behind a magical cookie of her own making. In March 2022, Manu also assumed the role of host of our rebranded and reformatted Cookie Connection Challenges: Watch-Learn-Create Series, which debuted in a virtual video format in July 2022. A fan of everything handmade, Manu professes to have tried every possible hobby. However, it wasn’t until the end of 2014, when an American friend invited her to a Christmas cookie exchange, that she first discovered decorated cookies. In 2015, after watching Julia M. Usher's videos and signing up on Cookie Connection, Manu finally attempted her own designs. Since then, cookie decorating has become Manu’s passion, and her mesmerizing video shorts have earned her a large and loyal following throughout the global cookie community. Manu harks from Rome, Italy, where she currently resides. You can email Manu at, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or explore her past challenges and large library of Made by Manu tutorials here on Cookie Connection.

Photo credit: Manuela Pezzopane

Note: Made by Manu is a Cookie Connection blog feature written by Manuela Pezzopane, where each month she shares the method behind a magical cookie of her own making. This article expresses the views of the author, and not necessarily those of this site, its owners, its administrators, or its employees. To read all of Manuela's past Made by Manu tutorials, click here. And to see all of Cookie Connection's tutorials, click here.


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