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Lesson 4: How to Make and Handle Parchment Cones

A Preview of Julia M. Usher's Ultimate Cookie Decorating Series

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This is an exclusive for Cookie Connection members - the complete Lesson 4 of my 16-video Ultimate Cookie Decorating Series! Nowhere else is this entire video available for viewing for free. For more info about my video series, please visit my site store here.

Thank you Julia!  I first learned, about 10 years ago, to pipe with parchment bags...and then, after being away from the class, and not practicing until the following Christmas... I forgot how to do it correctly.  I'm so excited to try again.  I appreciate your sharing with this group!

Thank you so much, Julia! I've always been so intimidated by parchment cones. After watching this video, I can't wait to try it! I've been using disposable bags with expensive PME tips that always get lost or chewed up in the garbage disposal. Thanks also for this amazing website. I feel like a kid on a candy (cookie??!!) shop!

Anna, You can, but if the icing is thick (which is what it likely should be if you want the texture from the tip to hold its shape), the cones are more likely to rip.

Hi, Cristina, So glad you have joined us here. Stay tuned for more videos. I'll be releasing about 13 news ones of my own (1 per week) starting in early August.


I also hope that other cookiers will start to share more of their videos here too. Anyone can upload a cookie-related video!!

You're very welcome, Cathy. Glad you enjoyed it. I've got another 13 videos coming soon (for free), though they tend to be a bit more advanced. Working now to compress them enough to get them on this site.

Julia, can't wait for more. I tried this already and can't believe how easy it is both to use and to clean up! I have bags and bottles and make such a mess so this is wonderful. I also liked your tips about piping and practiced quite a bit today after watching your video.

Cathy, I have a 16-video cookie decorating course already out on DVD. There's a fee for it, but it covers all the basics pretty thoroughly. This video is one in the series, as is the Marbling one that is also posted to this site. But the rest are only available through the DVD. You might want to check it out. Lessons include:


1. Intro and Tools I Can't Live Without 
2. 7 Steps to Flawless Rolled Cookies 
3. Making and Cutting with Custom Templates 
4. How to Make and Handle Parchment Cones (what you just saw)
5. Royal Icing and Consistency Adjustments 
6. Top-Coating and Outlining and Flooding 
7. Nose-Dive and Roundabout Dipping 
8. Wet-on-Wet Layering 
9. Marbling 
10. Stenciling 
11. Rubber-Stamping 
12. Wafer-Papering 
13. Dusting and Painting 
14. Flocking (aka Sanding) 
15. Applique Work 
16. Simple Outlines, Beadwork, and Textured Borders 


Also, more info here:

Originally Posted by Royal Icing Diaries:

Julia thanks for such a detailed explanation. I've never used parchment cones before because I've been intimidated by them. I'm going to try these this week.

Great, let me know how it goes!

Hi Julia (and anyone else who may have a tip for me with this)...I have now watched this video a number of times and also purchased your 16-video series - LOVE it so far, so thank you. You've taught me so much already. 


Yesterday I used parchment cones to decorate for the first time. I'm in love! Already I agree that for cleanup and all they are so much better and easier to use. It was a bit awkward in the beginning as I'm somewhat used to the bags and tips now so even holding the parchment cone feels so different, but it became a bit easier and I know it's just a matter of practice. 


I did run into a few issues though and I'm hoping you can clarify. I'm certain it's because I'm so new at this.


I had 6 different colors I was working with and I had the bags propped in my bag holder (the one with the foam on the bottom). After a while, when I went to use the bags, I noticed that the tips of the cones had started to "collapse"and kind of fold over onto the foam, so that when I wanted to pipe with them, I had to manually fiddle with the tips of the bags and squeeze out icing to get it flowing again. I hope that makes sense. The tips also seemed almost wet and getting a bit soggy. I checked the foam and it was barely damp (I originally thought maybe the foam was too wet), and the consistency of the icing seemed fine. 


Is this normal? Should I not be propping the bags up between use? I ended up squeezing the icing out and starting over with a new bag, which I don't want to have to do. What am I doing wrong? 


The other question I have is this - I cut the tip of my bag for one color to approx the size of a #2 or #3 tip so I could outline and flood a few cookies. It worked beautifully. Now when I want to add tiny details I would normally just change my tip to a #0, etc. How do you work around that? Since the bag had already been cut do I need to squeeze the icing back into my bowl and create another bag?  I did try adding less pressure to pipe but I would still want a much smaller opening in the bag to pipe very small details. It seems as though I'll be making bags all day if I have to keep making new tip sizes for decorating so I think I'm just confused on this.


I hope all of this makes sense. Your instructions for making and filling the parchment cones are just perfect and I was able to do it on the first go around. It's the decorating aspect that is confusing me a bit. 


Any advice would be appreciated!



Colleen - I don't store my bags tip down because they smoosh as you discovered. Just lightly wrap the ends with plastic wrap (to prevent the icing from drying too quickly in the tip) and lay them on their sides when not using.


And, yeah, once you cut a really big hole in the tip, you'll need to transfer the icing to a new cone if you want less flow. I usually just make several cones in advance of decorating (which is way faster than cleaning up several bags and metal tips) and just pump the icing directly into a new bag; it doesn't need to go into the bowl again before going into the next bag.


Tips can get a little soft with lots of use, which is another scenario where I will start a new bag.


As with anything, there are tradeoffs and what you prefer may be a matter of what you're used to, but I vastly prefer cones because of lack of cleanup, their superior control for small detail work (they are smaller to handle and can be as small as you want in the tip), and the lack of hand fatigue (it's a lot easier to pipe thick icing through a smaller cone than a large bag). I often flood my cookies a different way though (without cone or bag), which I explain in my top-coating video.

Julia, thanks for clarifying. I figured it was me, and not the process.


I will leave my bags on their side when I'm not using them. That makes more sense. And I love the idea of piping the icing directly into another cone. That's ingenious! 


I'm used to using bags and tips but it's not like I've been using them for years. I've only been decorating for less than a year so I am still experimenting and learning every day. Anything that makes cleanup easier sounds nice and yes, after just one day of decorating with the cones I agree that there is a lot less hand fatigue. I'm going back to try it again now. 


Oh, and I did watch how you topcoat with the brush handle. That's also on my bucket list of things to try. Thanks again for all of your advice, tips, and for being so inspirational to those of us who are trying to learn. 

Originally Posted by Margaret- Blue Sugar Cookie Co.:
Excellent video- totally takes away the confusion on I had on how to work with parchment cones! Thank you!

Thanks, Margaret!