“Too pretty to eat” Local cookie artist has a sweet hobby


SETH DUKES

Newsroom Coordinator


Robin Lancaster, of Flaherty, didn’t attend the School of the Art Institute or the Rhode Island School of Design. She’s not formally trained in art at all outside of a class in high school. However, you certainly wouldn’t know that just by looking at her deliciously designed cookies, which many recipients have told her are just way too pretty to eat.

By day, Lancaster works as an Employee Benefits Administration Director for Cummins, but in her spare time, she loves to bake and decorate cookies.

These cookies aren’t just topped with a little frosting and some sprinkles. From decorative lettering and designs to intricate portraits of individuals, Lancaster’s cookies look more like works of art than something to eat.

Lancaster says that, about six years ago, her daughter was having a birthday party. Lancaster wanted to make some cookies for the party, which was Alice in Wonderland themed, so she started researching online and found a recipe for cookies and royal icing. The rest, as they say, is history. She has always been crafty, a lover of painting and making Derby hats. Her mother was also artistic, and Lancaster says she thinks she gets her talent from her.

“I really see baking as therapy for me,” said Lancaster. “I get off in my own little world and get creative.”

She usually makes cookies for friends and families that are having special events like birthdays, weddings, and baby showers. She also makes cookies to donate for local events.

“I really like to make other people happy,” she said. “It’s fun to see the smile on people’s faces whenever I make them cookies.”

She calls her venture “Robin’s Sugar Nest”, a name that her family helped her choose. Her children also encouraged her to create an Instagram page to share her cookies, @robinssugarnest.

Each batch takes between 8 to 10 hours to complete, and Lancaster says that her prices vary based on the design.

“I’ve been told I am too cheap,” she said.

Because cookie making is a hobby for her and because she still has a full-time job, Lancaster says that she can’t accept every request that comes her way. However, she’s hopeful to start teaching classes on cookie baking and decorating after she retires. Until then, she gets a lot of joy bringing more smiles to people whenever she can.

“People say ‘they’re too pretty to eat,’ but then people love the taste of them,” said Lancaster. “It’s always nice to hear that they’re not only pretty, but they taste delicious.”

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