Sugar Cookie Icing


This sugar cookie icing dries hard and shiny and the colors stay bright. Choose as many different food colorings as you desire.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
1 dozen cookies' worth

Take your cookies up a notch with this top-rated sugar cookie icing. It's easy, impressive, and it comes together super quickly with ingredients you probably already have on hand. You're going to want to bookmark this recipe — you'll come back to it again and again.

Glaze Icing vs. Royal Icing vs. Fondant

Sugar cookies are often decorated with royal icing (a hard icing made from egg whites, powdered sugar, and citrus juice) or fondant (a sugary confection that can be used as a filling, decoration, or icing). These options produce professional results, but can be finicky and may be intimidating for beginner bakers.

This recipe makes a simple glaze icing. It's a bit stickier than its more complicated relatives, but it hardens well enough to stack the cookies in a bag or storage container without making a mess. It comes together in minutes and produces gorgeous, glossy results. This sugar cookie icing is the perfect choice for beginners or bakers who are short on time.

Sugar Cookie Icing Ingredients

You probably already have everything you need to make this top-rated sugar cookie icing:

Confectioners' Sugar
This sugar cookie icing starts with confectioners' sugar (also known as powdered or icing sugar), which creates a smoother texture than granulated sugar.

Whole milk thins the icing and ensures a spreadable, easy-to-work-with consistency.

Corn Syrup
Light corn syrup adds shine and helps the icing harden.

Almond Extract
A dash of clear almond extract lends subtle nutty flavor. You can substitute vanilla extract if you like (make sure to use clear extract if you're going for a bright white color).

Food Coloring (Optional)
Depending on how you plan to decorate your cookies, you might want to add a few drops of food coloring or food gel.

How to Make Sugar Cookie Icing

You'll find the full recipe below, but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this easy sugar cookie icing: Stir confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth, then add corn syrup and extract. Add more corn syrup if the icing is too thick, or more sugar if the icing is too thin.

How to Add Color to Sugar Cookie Icing

If you want to add some color, just divide the icing into separate bowls and stir in drops of food coloring or food gel until the desired colors are reached.

How to Ice Sugar Cookies

Dip the cookies in the icing or paint the icing on with a food-grade brush.

For more intricate designs, pour the icing into squeeze bottles or piping bags fitted with tips. Outline the edges of the cookie with the icing, then flood the cookies with more icing. Use a toothpick to spread it around and to pop any air bubbles.

Allow the icing to harden at room temperature.

Need a sugar cookie recipe? Reviewers suggest pairing this icing with The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies or Sugar Cookie Cutouts.

How to Store Sugar Cookie Icing

Store sugar cookie icing in a squeeze bottle or airtight storage container in the fridge for up to three days. Cold icing is hard to work with, so let it come to room temperature before using.

How to Store Iced Sugar Cookies

Make sure the icing is completely hardened before you pack the cookies away. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. If you're stacking them, place parchment paper or wax paper between each layer to prevent sticking.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This recipe works like magic," raves Vivian Li. "It's the first time for me making icing and I couldn't figure out how so much sugar and so little fluid could turn into a glossy white sugar icing. But it was like magic — one minute I'm stirring clumpy white sugar, and in a second the sugar turns into a glossy, gel-like bowl of icing. Fun!"

"This was a very easy, quick recipe," according to DAPEARCES. "I let my kids use (new) paintbrushes with the frosting to paint their cookies. The frosting was a great consistency, not too runny, not too stiff. The frosting set up wonderfully, perfect for stacking in a tin for gift-giving."

"Excellent," says Nanner. "Used several times now on the Sugar Cookie Cutouts recipe on this site by GLJCAT and the two complement one another beautifully, producing an attractive and tasty cookie that is not too sweet. Is now my go-to recipe."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 teaspoons milk

  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract


  • assorted food coloring


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    Overhead of sugar cookie and icing ingredients.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Stir together confectioners' sugar and milk in a small bowl until smooth.

    Overhead of milk being poured and whisked into a bowl of sugar.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

    Sugar mixture being whisked in a bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.

    Overhead of smooth icing being whisked in a bowl.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity.

    Overhead of blue, purple, green, and pink icings in bowls next to a plate of sugar cookies.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

    Sugar cookies on a wire rack getting covered in different colored icings and sprinkles.


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

42 Calories
11g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 42
% Daily Value *
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Total Sugars 10g
Calcium 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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