Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe

filed under: Decorating · Food + Drink on October 28, 2009

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe is a sweet homemade frosting that is made with just four ingredients and can be adapted to your favorite flavor and color. Be sure to check out my Sugar Cookie Decorating 101 for tips on decorating sugar cookies.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe

I love sugar cookies year-round, but they are especially popular around the holidays. It’s such a fun cookie to play around with. They are the perfect cookie for making into your favorite shapes and, of course, decorating! This frosting recipe is an easy recipe to make and be as colorful and flavorful as you want it to be.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe Ingredients

Confectioners’ sugar: Be sure to sift the confectioners’ sugar (also known as icing sugar) before adding the other ingredients. This will remove any lumps that may be in the sugar.

Milk: Whole milk will give you the best consistency in the frosting. Amounts of milk may vary depending on seasonality.

Corn syrup: Light corn syrup is in the frosting recipe gives the frosting a glossy finish and adds a little more moisture to it.

Lemon juice: As with the milk, the amount of lemon juice added to the recipe will be determined by the temperature of your kitchen and the overall climate.

How to Make Sugar Cookie Frosting

First, to make this sugar cookie frosting, sift the confectioners’ sugar to remove any lumps. Next, add all the ingredients to a bowl, starting with the minimum amounts of milk and lemon juice. Use a spatula to combine the ingredients together. If you need a thicker frosting, say for outlining your cookies, add LESS milk, just a drop at a time.

If you have already outlined your cookies and need to fill in or ‘spill’ your cookies, you can add more milk (as much as you would need) to make your frosting very runny. A great way to check the consistency of your frosting if you need to fill a cookie is to use the ‘ten-second rule’.

For this ten-second rule, run your spoon along the bottom of the bowl of frosting. You will want to be able to see the bottom of the bowl for at least a few seconds. If ten seconds pass and you can still see the bottom of the bowl you will need to add a little more milk.

Variations to Sugar Cookie Frosting

  • If you are using food coloring, be sure to use LESS milk. Most food colorings are liquid and can make your frosting runnier. If you are using gel food coloring, your milk quantity can remain the same.
  • To add different flavors, you can add drops of vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon, etc. to flavor your frosting.
  • If you want more shine, use more corn syrup and less milk.

Looking for More Sugar Cookie Recipes?

Sugar Cookie Bars

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe {Copycat Swig Cookie}

Amish Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe is a sweet homemade frosting that is made with just four ingredients and can be adapted to your favorite flavor and color.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Amanda
  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, as needed depending on seasonality and desired consistency
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 -3 drops lemon juice, as needed depending on seasonality and desired consistency
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar to remove lumps.

  2. To a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and mix with a spatula until combined.

  3. Add more milk and/or lemon juice as needed to achieve desired consistency.


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  • mandy evans says:

    Please add twice as much corn syrup and milk, a little at a time. With the regular amount it is just powdery. After you do all that, it has a nice flow and sheen. Beautiful!

  • Kerrie says:

    I’ve never iced a sugar cookie. Will the icing be hard or will it be softer because you say its a glaze? Would the icing smush if the cookies were touched?

  • Luci says:


    I am in awe with your decorated sugar cookies. Please tell me your secret in your printing on the cookies. Just amazing! Do you use a store bought gel icing when you write on the cookies? Can you add food coloring to your glaze? I wanted to make button sugar cookies for my daughter’s graduation party. I need help with the printing… any hints for me?


  • Stacy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I am scared to use raw eggs and always run out to buy powdered meringue (which I never have on hand) to make royal icing. This is much easier and the ingredients are always stocked. 🙂

  • compare meds says:

    awesome recipe tips , i will try at home ,thanks….

  • nonya says:

    i sorta liked it

  • Dawn c ng says:

    I love your glaze recipe. Works so nicely and so little hassle. No need for the mixer and all that. LOVE it. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


  • shirley pease says:

    please help if you can, i tried making powdered sugar frosting and when i add the liquid it turns the sugar beige, i was trying for white frosting, i am using organic powdered sugar
    thank you

  • Talia says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe!

  • streetdirectory says:

    After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added
    I receive four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be
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  • Food Catering in Houston says:

    This is incredible and easy. Thank you for this recipe of yours. I hope you’ll bake a lot of yummy cookies and share your tips and secrets on making such delicacies. I am an admin of, and I would be very happy to include this on my menu list.

    • Amanda says:

      I am not interested in you using my recipe. Thanks.

  • Michelle says:

    Does this “royal icing” harden so I can package or stack without the design getting messed up? Thank you!

    • Amanda says:

      Yes, in about 24 hours.

  • mabel says:

    Hola soy de argentina,el jarabe de maiz es la glucosa? Gracias

  • Donna says:

    Do you have a cookbook? I’ve seen a lot of your recipes on Facebook and would love to have them on hand. Your treats always look amazing. I’m still trying to figure out how you get your cookies to look like roses, I don’t think I’m piping them right and I haven’t been able to find a video to show how. If you can help me that would be great! Thank you for sharing your recipes!!❤️