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Sugar Cookie Icing

This sugar cookie icing is made with only 4 ingredients and comes together in just 5 minutes! Great for beginners and tastes amazing. You’ll have perfectly decorated sugar cookies in no time!

decorated Christmas sugar cookies on counter

Favorite Way To Decorate Cookies

One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is decorate Christmas sugar cookies. I love to use Christmas-shaped cookie cutters, festive sprinkles and different types of cookie icing. So fun!

This sugar cookie icing is probably my favorite for decorating sugar cookies. It’s easy, hardens quickly, has a glossy look and tastes delicious. Plus it works for all types of cookies too, such as butter cookies, shortbread cookies and gingerbread man cookies.

Sometimes frosting your own cookies with homemade cookie icing can be intimidating, but trust me, this icing recipe couldn’t be any easier! It’s perfect to make for a holiday cookie exchange and will leave your friends and family raving over how cute your cookies turned out!

frosting sugar cookies with icing

4 Simple Ingredients

This icing recipe requires only 4 simple ingredients. These ingredients are staples for me around the holidays, so I already had everything I needed to get started.

  • Powdered sugar: This is how the icing gets it’s sweet flavor. I don’t usually sift my powdered sugar, but you can if yours is super lumpy.
  • Light corn syrup: This gives it a nice gloss and keeps the icing from losing it’s shine after it dries.
  • Milk: You don’t need a lot…just enough for it to thin out the consistency a little.
  • Vanilla extract: I love adding in vanilla for a boost of extra flavor. You could always switch up the flavoring and use almond or lemon extract.

How to Make Icing for Cookies

  1. Combine. Whisk together ingredients in a bowl until smooth and glossy.
  2. Color. If desired, tint cookie icing with food coloring of choice.
  3. Frost. Spread icing on cookies using a knife, spoon or frosting bag or bottle.

TIP: If you are piping around the edges of your cookies, the icing should be thick (like toothpaste). Then when filling the center, add 1/2 teaspoon more milk at a time to reach desired filling consistency.

TIP: If you are piping around the edges of your cookies, the icing should be thick (like toothpaste). Then when filling the center, add 1/2 teaspoon more milk at a time to reach desired filling consistency.

sugar cookie icing in piping bags

Helpful Tips

  • Consistency. For the outer edge, the consistency should be thicker, like toothpaste. The center should be the consistency of honey.
  • Icing method. You can dip the cookies into the icing or use a frosting bag or bottle. You could also use a knife or spoon. Whichever method you prefer.
  • Extra decorations. If adding sprinkles, make sure to add them immediately after you frost your cookies. The sugar cookie icing dries quickly!
  • Keep them shiny. It helps to dry the cookies in front of a heater fan to keep the icing shiny.
  • Freezing. The icing sets up really nicely once dried and you can easily stack or freeze them.

Make Ahead Instructions

You can easily make this icing ahead of time to frost your cookies later. Simply prepare as directed, then store in the fridge in an airtight container with no air leaking in. I recommend filling the container completely, sealing with plastic wrap and then the lid.

Let it come to room temperature before using. You may also need to add a little more milk and corn syrup if it has thickened too much.

decorated Christmas sugar cookies

More Ways to Decorate Cookies:

icing recipe

Sugar Cookie Icing

4.82 from 16 votes
This sugar cookie icing is made with only 4 ingredients and comes together in just 5 minutes! Great for beginners and tastes amazing. You'll have perfectly decorated sugar cookies in no time!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons milk (more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (can also use almond extract)

Optional: food coloring

    Instructions

    • Whisk together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, milk and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk until icing is smooth and glossy. It should be thick if you are using it as a piping. Add a 1/2 teaspoon more milk at a time to make the filling consistency. Tint the icing with food color, if desired. 
    • Spread the icing onto the cookies using a knife, spoon or frosting bag or bottle. 
      cookie icing
    • Decorate cookies as desired. Allow icing to harden.
      sugar cookie icing

    Notes

    Make Ahead: You can easily make this icing ahead of time to frost your cookies later. Simply prepare as directed, then store in the fridge in an airtight container or zip top bag with no air leaking in. Set out about 30 minutes before using. 
    Drying tip: It helps to dry the cookies in front of a heater fan to keep the icing shiny.

    Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 10g | Calcium: 1mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Jamielyn Nye

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