“You eat with your eyes.” The common adage is key to culinary artists, and in Sheridan Stokes’ Owensville, Indiana, kitchen, it defines the creativity she evokes in each of her eye-catching cookies.
A self-taught baker, Stokes had been selling cakes and cupcakes since 2015 to family and friends. But it wasn’t until her sister Alyssa asked her to make decorative sugar cookies for bridesmaid’s proposals in September 2020 that Stokes’ pastry talents began to manifest. A month later, she launched The Whimsy Whisk.
“I thought there was no way it was going to turn out well, but it did,” she says. “And then I thought ‘Well, it’s time to put myself out there.’”
A passion for baking and a creative mindset allow Stokes to transform ordinary sugar cookies into intricate, themed works of art. She researched social media for how to construct the delicately designed pastries, learning tips from YouTube videos and Instagram reels and adding her own touch to confections. She works evenings and on weekends outside her full-time job in hedge fund administration services to fulfill orders. Each cookie is individually heat sealed in a clear cellophane bag to maintain freshness up to two weeks.
Stokes enjoys letting her artistry roam free. Her favorite part, she says, is the meticulously hand-piped calligraphy.
“It gives me the creative outlet I was looking for,” she says. “I love being able to see their face too, when they see them and it’s 10 times what they imagined.”
But don’t let these extravagant cookies fool you; they taste delicious, too.
“My main goal is to debunk the notion that pretty cookies don’t taste good,” Stokes says. “Of course they can, and they should.”
Photos by Zach Straw.