Grace Gaylord is a New York City-based cookie artist and content creator. Using food dye, edible glitter, flour, sugar, and butter, she creates tiny artworks that look good enough to eat, so to speak. She’s made a following across the internet as ‘The Graceful Baker’ for her videos showing how it’s done, especially on TikTok.

However, one of her videos where she quantifies the cost of making the cookies has come under fire. In a previous video, she mentions that one custom cookie would typically cost $10 (€9/£7) if she were to sell them. Grace breaks down the amount of time and money she spends in making them, and there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that her 30-second TikToks don’t show.

The viral video has racked up 3.3M likes on TikTok and whilst a lot of people have scoffed at the price, others see her reasoning for it and have supported her. Check out the video for Grace’s explanation and our interview with her for the full story.

More info: TikTok | Instagram | YouTube

Grace Gaylord (a.k.a. The Graceful Baker) makes hand-designed cookie artworks

Image credits: the.graceful.baker

“I started decorating cookies with royal icing just for fun about 10 years ago,” Grace told Bored Panda. “In 2018, I joined Instagram as ‘The Graceful Baker’ and started my grind as a (part-time) content creator.”

“Content creation for me really took off in December 2020 when I had my first viral hits on YouTube and then April 2021 when I had my first viral set on TikTok. Cookies are still my side hustle as I have a full-time day job, but who knows maybe one day it will be my full-time gig!”

She also told us about what keeps her inspired in her work and said, “My inspiration is two-fold: there’s what inspires me to be a cookie art content creator and there’s what inspires each individual set that I create.”

“My goal as a content creator is to both educate and entertain. The education part of it has taken a new turn this year as I’ve been tackling subjects and themes that I know nothing about. I’ve also been sharing what I’ve learned with my audience,” she explained.

“The second part is what inspires each set I tackle: sometimes it’s a topic that I’m personally very passionate about, other times it was a suggestion from a follower that sparked my interest, and other times it’s just a theme that makes me smile and I know would make others smile too!”

She’s gone viral for explaining why her cookies would cost $10 if she sold them

@thegracefulbakerReply to @petalcheek let’s break this down… #cookies #decorate #oddlysatisfying #icing #smallbusinesstiktok #learnontiktok♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys – Kevin MacLeod

Context is always important and it’s better to form your opinion after getting the whole story. I think Grace would agree with this and she gave us her view on why the video has been doing the rounds.

“Viral videos are always taken out of context (both in terms of the content in the video itself and who I am as a creator) and this one is no exception,” she said.

“The three biggest misconceptions surrounding this video: I sell my cookies (I do not; I am a content creator); the $10 price was for the emoji cookie in the viral video (it was not: it was for the mermaid tail cookie in the video it was responding to); and that I was quoting my actual salary (the answer was all a hypothetical scenario).”

“And then there’s just the lack of understanding of what goes into making royal icing cookies and being a one-woman show, but that’s a topic for another day!”

Grace has built a following online for her cute and decorative cookie designs

Image credits: the.graceful.baker

Image credits: the.graceful.baker

Image credits: the.graceful.baker

Image credits: the.graceful.baker

Image credits: the.graceful.baker

For more context on the situation, Grace gave us a full run-down on the story and how it came about. “The viral video in question was in response to a previous video where someone had asked me about what I would have charged for this set I had made three years ago. In my response, I said what I would have charged 3 years ago and what I would have charged today — that’s where the $10 came from,” she explained.

“The irony of course in all of this is that I don’t actually sell my cookies; I was just doing as a content creator does: answering a question from a follower. Both of these videos were made quite innocently and received some great questions and responses, which I decided to respond to with additional videos.”

As a content creator (and especially an artist) it can be difficult to hear negative feedback, let alone the outright harassment that people dish out online.

“For the most part, I’ve taken the reaction to the video with a hearty grain of salt and haven’t let it bother me,” Grace told us. “I’ve pushed the boundaries a lot more this year with the themes of my sets than I ever have, and with pushing boundaries has come some intense criticism, the kind of criticism that attacks your character and is much harder to ignore.”

“People telling me I charge too much for cookies I don’t even sell? That’s not the kind of criticism that keeps me up at night,” she joked.

“That said, I am only human. It’s been weeks since I posted that video and people are still watching it and leaving (inflammatory) comments all over my TikTok and even on my Instagram. I’ve tried to move on but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the video is still circling and many people are seeing it and my page just now for the first time.”

Some people in the comments criticized Grace and her hypothetical pricing

Grace left us with her advice for anyone that’s creating their own art and encouraged them not to let the critics get them down: “Criticism comes with the territory as a content creator. As the love multiplies, so does the hate, especially as you grow.”

“As a content creator, you have to develop a thick skin. First and foremost make sure that YOU feel good about the content you’re putting out there. You also have to remember that a person’s reaction (whether positive or negative) is a projection of how they feel about themselves, not a direct reflection of you and your work. Learn to take what other people say with a grain of salt: if there’s truth to it, act on it. Otherwise, let it slide.”

Others appreciated all the time and effort that goes into making them, and feel it’s justified