Sugar Cookie Icing 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 Icing 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 icing recipe is an easy recipe to make and be as colorful and flavorful as you want it to be.

Sugar Cookie Icing

Icing 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.

Adding corn syrup and milk to confectioners sugar for Sugar Cookie Icing

How to Make Sugar Cookie Icing

First, to make this sugar cookie icing, 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.

What is the 10-Second Rule?

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.

Sugar Cookie Icing Being Swirled with Offset Spatula

Variations to Sugar Cookie Icing

  • 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.

The ORIGINAL Ugly Sweater Christmas Cookie!I used this icing to make my Original Ugly Sweater Cookies. You can see how beautifully it sets and is firm enough to gently stack!

Looking for More Sugar Cookie Recipes?

Sugar Cookie Bars

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Recipe {Copycat Swig Cookie}

Amish Sugar Cookies

5 from 2 votes

Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe is a sweet homemade icing that is made with just four ingredients and can be adapted to your favorite flavor and color.


  • 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


  • Sift the confectioners' sugar to remove lumps.
  • To a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and mix with a spatula until combined.
  • Add more milk and/or lemon juice as needed to achieve desired consistency.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. looks lovely Amanda!
    Remember I emailed you regarding my daughter’s birthday? Well, we arent doing a party this time (God had better plans) but Im still going to make a round layer cake with buttercream frosting and butterflies in a garden on it. I’ll post pictures in my blog about how it went.

  2. your blog is beautiful! i’ve been playing with your sugar cookie frosting, and i’m wondering if you ever have problems with the icing getting a little ‘cloudy’ after it sets. too many air bubbles? thanks for your help! kat

  3. So I’m curious what is the difference between royal icing with or without meringue powder? I mean do they taste different or is one differn to work with than the other?

  4. When did humans start drinking cows milk, or any other type of
    non-human milk? Did they feed it to just infants first, or humans of
    all ages? Is it possible to know why they started?

  5. My icing keeps clouding up after it sets, what am I doing wrong?
    It looses it shine, help.

  6. Hi there, I always wanted to try some cookies with royal icing and this recipe sounds like even I could do it 😉
    My problem is, I only have golden syrup, is that similar to corn syrup. I’m from Germany and haven’t found corn syrup here anywhere 🙁

  7. I love how your cookies look! Was wondering how you got the base of the icing to flow and follow the shape of the cookie so nicely. Would really want to try this out!:)

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