This is truly the easiest and the most perfect sugar cookie icing recipe! The icing is delicious, it does not overpower the flavor of the cookies, it’s opaque and can be made thick, hardens without becoming too crunchy, and it’s great for decorating too.
Making homemade cookie icing is incredibly easy, it sets up nicely, does not require any special equipment or ingredients, and tastes better than the store-bought stuff. I also love that you can adjust the consistency to your liking depending on how you’d like to decorate your cookies.
You only need a few simple ingredients to make this easy cookie icing, plus food colorings and sprinkles if using.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Powdered Sugar: The main ingredient in cookie icing! It’s also known as icing sugar or confectioners sugar. Sift it if you’re worried about lumps.
- Corn Syrup: A little bit of light corn syrup will help the icing harden and become shiny when it sets. If you don’t have it, it can be left out and substituted with more milk.
- Milk: Use any type of milk here, even vegan milk works! If you don’t have any, substitute with water.
- Flavoring: You can use a few drops of your favorite extract. I usually do almond or vanilla extract, but you can do coconut, lemon, etc.
- Food Coloring: I always recommend using gel food coloring for the best results. They’re brighter and won’t dilute your icing. Pick up a pack of 12 colors online.
How to Make Easy Sugar Cookie Icing
- In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar with corn syrup, and the extract of choice. Use a whisk or a spoon to mix.
- Add milk about 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
- Divide into bowls (depending on how many colors you want to make), and add food coloring to each.
To Ice Cookies (2 Ways):
- Dip one side of the cookies right in the icing in the bowl, shake off any excess and transfer to a wire rack to set. If using sprinkles, decorate right away before the icing sets.
- Make 2 different consistencies for the icing, a thicker one for outlining the cookies and a thinner one for flooding the cookies. Add to pipping bags, then outline the cookie and wait for 10 minutes so the outline sets. Then flood the inner section of the cookie with a thinner consistency. Decorate with sprinkles if using, then transfer to a wire rack until the icing sets completely (I leave the cookies overnight for the icing to fully set).
- Details: Keep in mind that with this cookie icing you won’t be able to create a lot of detail as you would have if you were using Royal Icing.
- Instead of a piping bag, you can add the flood-consistency icing to your cookies using a squeeze bottle, or you can add a dollop of icing and spread it out using a small spatula, spoon, or brush.
- Consistency: I make my icing for outlining the cookie to have a similar consistency to peanut butter, and for flooding the cookies it should be similar to heavy cream.
How To Store Easy Cookie Icing
This easy cookie icing can be stored at room temperature for about 2 weeks.
Because this icing will dry out eventually, it’s important to keep it sealed up airtight. I recommend that you place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the icing so that no air gets to it.
When you’re ready to use your stored icing, mix it up with a hand mixer so that it’s smooth again.
Cut Out Cookie Inspiration
We’re making new cut-out cookie designs to share with you all the time! Here are a few that will get your imagination working for the next festive occasion:
- Classic Gingerbread Men
- Iced Meltaway Cookies
- Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Maple Icing
- Caramel Apple Decorated Cookies
- Christmas Shortbread Cookies with Icing
- Halloween Skull Sugar Cookies
- Easter Bunny Cookies
- Easter Egg Cookies
- Easy Valentines Day Cut Outs
Yes, these iced cookies freeze very well. You have to make sure that the icing has fully set and dried, then place in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
I usually leave them uncovered on the counter for a few hours until they’re fully thawed.
I hope that you love this easy cookie icing recipe as much as I do, and use it for icing your Christmas cookies every year! Be sure to Pin the recipe for the holidays!