Sweet Designs: Tunde Dugantsi’s Hungarian Gingerbread Art

Tunde Dugantsi demonstrates a piping technique to Marlene Walstra during the cookie decorating class on Feb. 13, 2021. Dugantsi’s monthly classes are for any skill level.

“Gingerbread is a very old tradition in Hungary,” Tunde Dugansti said, owner of the cookie decorating business Tunde’s Creations in Bowling Green. 

Despite growing up and living in Hungary until moving to the United States in 2004, Dugansti never decorated gingerbread cookies until 2013. She started decorating cookies with her kids and saw it as a way to connect to her Hungarian roots, teaching herself new techniques and designs through, as she says, “YouTube University.” She began teaching classes as people saw her progress on social media and asked her to show them how to decorate. She now teaches a monthly group class, holds private classes, has a subscription service for two video classes a month, teaches master classes, attends and teaches at Cookie Cons across the country and holds various online classes. 

“I love the company around [cookie decorating,]” Dugansti said. “It’s a very nice way to connect with people.” 

After things were shut down due to COVID-19, Dugansti had to cancel in-person classes for some time before cutting down class sizes from twelve to six people, as well as teaching more online classes. Since the cookie decorating community in Bowling Green is still growing, teaching virtually gave her the opportunity to connect with people throughout the world in places such as Greece, Iceland and Canada with her cookie decorating. She also sent out cookie kits and taught sessions virtually to families across the country so they could get together to decorate cookies. 

“Now people who couldn’t travel here can learn [cookie decorating] as well,” Dugansti said. “Especially these days it can take your mind off of the mess of things around you.”