Sugar Cookie Icing {Great for Decorating}

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This is the perfect sugar cookie icing. It is sweet, delicious, and doesn’t overpower the flavor of your sugar cookie recipe. It is the best decorating icing too!

Decorating sugar cookies doesn’t need to be intimidating. It’s not difficult to make and it’s fun to create once you get the hang of it! I’m going to show you how!

Sugar cookies iced with sugar cookie icing and sprinkles.

What is Sugar Cookie Icing

This sugar cookie icing hardens smooth, firm and glossy. You can add sprinkles and sparkles. Once dried, these cookies can be stacked and stored or frozen and enjoyed later.    

For the average cookie baker, sugar cookie icing or decorating icing is more than enough to make some fun and pretty designs. 

How to Make Sugar Cookie Icing

This easy powdered sugar cookie icing is hardly 3 steps and can be colored to whichever color you desire!

  1. Beat all ingredients, except milk, together (see recipe below).
  2. Add milk slowly until the desired consistency is reached.
  3. Separate into bowls and add food coloring!

Color For Icing

I would highly suggest using gel food coloring for icing. It produces vibrant colors and doesn’t add extra liquid to the icing (even 1/4 teaspoon of liquid can change the consistency).

Left image showing icing ingredients in a glass bowl, right image showing all ingredients mixed together.

How Thick to Make the Icing

If you’ve watched cookie decorating videos on Instagram (I’m obsessed with them) you’ll notice both a thick icing (almost thick like a peanut butter consistency) used to outline the shape and an icing a bit thinner to fill the inside (more like a gravy consistency). If you’re making fancy cookies, you’ll likely want both consistencies.

I decorate cookies just for my family so to be honest, I’m not looking for perfection and I usually make only one consistency.

To get the right consistency. If it doesn’t, add a little more milk (1/2 teaspoon at a time, it doesn’t take much). If it’s too runny, add a little more powdered sugar.

You can test one cookie to make sure it doesn’t run off the edges and holds it shape well enough but still spreads.

How to Ice Sugar Cookies

This is always the fun part! Spread out lots of bowls of fun edible decorations like sprinkles, non-pareils, dragees, or even colored whips of licorice.

To Ice Cookies:

  • Use a piping bag with a #2 cake decorating tip and outline sugar cookies.
  • Once the cookie outline has set for about 10 minutes, then you can ‘flood’ the inner section of the cookie with the same or another color.
  • Top with sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or a variety of fun toppings!

If you are new to piping with icing, practice your ‘drawing’ on a piece of parchment paper until you get the hang of it. Instant sugar art!

Can You Freeze Cookies

Yes, you can freeze iced cookies! Ensure they icing has fully dried. Place your finished sugar cookies in an air-tight container or freezer bag and pop in the freezer for up to three months.

To defrost, remove cookies from the freezer and pop in the refrigerator overnight or leave at room temperature from a few hours!

Sugar Cookie Icing

An easy cookie icing that hardens quickly and tastes delicious!

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract clear
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk divided
  • food coloring gel is best

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  1. Beat powdered sugar, vanilla, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon milk in a small bowl until smooth.

  2. Add milk a little at a time to reach desired consistency.

  3. Stir in food coloring to reach desired color. Decorate cookies and allow frosting to set.

*Number of cookies iced will depend on size and amount of icing used on each cookie.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 27, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 1mg, Carbohydrates: 7g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 1g, Vitamin A: 1%, Calcium: 1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword sugar cookie icing

Recipe slightly adapted from

Christmas Tree sugar cookie decorated with sugar cookie icing and sprinkles.
A Christmas tree sugar cookie decorated with sugar cookie icing.
Top image - sugar cookie icing in a glass bowl. Bottom image - Sugar cookies (Christmas trees and circles) decorated with sugar cookie icing and sprinkles.

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