Sugar Cookie Icing

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Sugar Cookie Icing is a perfect icing for cookies that can be colored to your liking and used to decorate sugar cookies for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, etc. This icing recipe is so easy to make and the results are like a professional cookie decorator. 

You can whip this icing up in minutes and it comes out firm yet soft enough to bite. Once it hardens it comes out super vibrant and shiny! You can spread the icing or use a piping bag and makes decorating your cookies a breeze.

The Best Icing For Sugar Cookies

I absolutely love this recipe because once it’s hardened, you can stack these cookies without the icing or your decorations being ruined. This is my top favorite icing and cookie to make for the Holidays because it makes a great goodie bag gift to share with friends and family. It has a sweet vanilla flavor that pairs so well with sugar cookies that it will have anyone who tries it raving!

This simple and quick icing can be whipped up and ready to use in no time! Go crazy with your decorations and have fun making super cute and tasty cookies for any occasion. And, don’t forget to make my amazing Sugar Cookies Recipe with a small list of ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

Powdered Sugar: This will be used to thicken the icing, but also add sweetness along with the light corn syrup which will make it shiny.

Vanilla: I prefer using clear vanilla extract so that the icing is bright white.

Food Coloring: This is an optional ingredient, but can be used to decorate and color the frosting.

How To Make Sugar Cookie Icing

Step 1. In a medium-sized bowl, add the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract, and combine until fully incorporated. You can add more milk if the frosting is too thick. I recommend adding a teaspoon at a time until the frosting is pipeable. If you add too much milk, just add more powdered sugar until you reach the desired thickness.

Step 2. If needed, you can color the icing by separating the icing into small bowls and adding your desired colors. Put the prepared frosting into piping bags with a piping tip. You can see the best way to frost the cookies below and decorate them with sprinkles or candies if desired. Once you’ve frosted and decorated the cookies, you can set them aside to harden. You will want the frosting to harden completely before serving, stacking, or storing.

How Long Does This Icing Take To Harden?

This recipe will take up to 24 hours to harden depending on the climate in your household. The top layer of the icing will harden after just a couple of hours. I recommend hardening overnight for the best results.

How To Decorate Sugar Cookie Icing?

You will first want to use the piping bags of icing to outline each of the cookies before flooding the icing into the center. You can use the tip of a toothpick to move the frosting around to fill it out. If you want to add sprinkles or other forms of decorations, I would add them at this point. After you are done decorating, put them in a single layer in an airtight container and store them for up to 24 hours until they are fully hardened.

Can I Make This Ahead Of Time?

Yes! You can definitely make this recipe up to 2 days in advance. You can keep the prepared icing in the fridge in an airtight container until you are ready to use. Before use, you will want need to bring the icing to room temperature.

Do I Have To Use Corn Syrup?

I believe it is a must to use corn syrup in this recipe! This ingredient makes the icing come out shiny and even helps harden the icing faster. So, I recommend keeping this crucial ingredient in the recipe.

Tips & Tricks

  • Its best to use gel food coloring instead of liquid because it blends easier, but you can use liquid if needed. The liquid food coloring can thin out the icing so you may need to add more powdered sugar to thicken the recipe.
  • Gel food coloring does a wonderful job of creating the most vibrant shade for the cookie icing.
  • If you plan on using multiple different colors, you will want to divide the icing into different bowls before adding each color. It’s also best to use separate piping bags for each color.
  • This recipe will make about 1 1/2 cups of icing which should be enough for a dozen cookies. You can double or cut the recipe in half depending on how many cookies you are making.
A plate full of Sugar Cookie Icing cookies.

More Sugar Cookie Recipes:

A stack of cookies with yellow Sugar Cookie Icing on top.
Sugar Cookie Icing feature

Sugar Cookie Icing

Sugar Cookie Icing is a thick and firm icing that can be colored to your liking and used to decorate sugar cookies for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.
Servings: 1.5 cups
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes


  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 3-4 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract use clear vanilla extract if you need the icing to be bright white
  • Gel food coloring optional


  • Combine powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.
  • Divide into small bowls and add food coloring (if desired).
  • Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a piping tip.
  • Pipe frosting on cookies and decorate with sprinkles/candies, if desired.
  • Allow frosting to harden before serving, stacking, or storing (will most likely take several hours depending on your climate).

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