Sugar Cookie Icing

Everyone needs a good sugar cookie icing recipe in their recipe collection.  I don’t make cut-out cookies often, but when I do the icing is a must for presentation points!

This icing is sweet which makes it perfect to use with sugar cookies.  In fact, I would use this icing recipe with other cookies like gingerbread cookies.  You can customize the icing to any color you want.  Plus, initially its consistency is thin so that it’s easy to use for icing the cookies, but then it hardens up nicely.

I love to decorate my home, so it makes a lot of sense that I love to decorate my cookies.  Who wouldn’t enjoy some dessert decor?!     🙂


Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe:
(Ices about 25 to 30 sugar cookies)


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (aka powdered sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (optional) food coloring


  1. In a medium size bowl, pour in the powdered sugar first and then add all the milk into the middle of the sugar pile.  Stir the powdered sugar slowly into the milk until smooth.  If the mixture is thick, add tiny amounts of milk at a time until the icing is smooth.
  2. Stir in corn syrup and vanilla extract until the icing is glossy.
  3. If you are using food coloring, then add the food coloring.


When measuring the  sugar, use a spoon to loosely pile the powdered sugar into the measuring cup and then level it off with a butter knife.  Add the powdered sugar to the bowl first and then create a little well in the middle to add all the milk in one spot.  Using a butter knife, stir the milk, slowly incorporating the powdered sugar…  Trust me, be patient on this step.  I know I tend to be in a rush and I’m always thinking about the next step.  But you will have the best success if take your time on this step.


After you stir in the corn syrup and vanilla extract you will have made an off-white icing (because most vanilla extract has a brown tint) and if that’s the color you want then you are done with the recipe.  However, if you want another color then add food coloring.  This is my favorite part about homemade icing because you can customize your icing to the exact color you want.  Food coloring has an intense amount of color in a tiny amount.  So add a little bit of food coloring at a time.  You can always add more until you’ve achieved your desired color.  I used red gel food coloring and it doesn’t take much to get a pink shade.


As soon as you are done the icing will be a little runny.  As it sits over time it will harden.  I find it’s easiest to ice the cookies as soon as I’m done making the icing.


Make sure you let the iced cookies set before plating.  Have fun icing your cookies!



Adapted from: All Recipes


  1. Crystal says:

    Clear vanilla extract would give you a perfect white. It’s sold locally to us. I can let you know where if you want some! I use it almost exclusively over brown vanilla.

    1. Tina says:

      You are right! I can’t remember if I knew about clear vanilla extract back then or if I didn’t have any on hand. Either way, it tastes the same and it’s a matter of preference for the color that you’re going for.

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