Easy Sugar Cookie Icing

Make the most delicious sugar cooking icing with only two ingredients! This super simple recipe is made without corn syrup. You can make it as thick (think multi-colored decorating) or thin (think glaze) as you like!

If you like this recipe for your cookies, you’ll also love this lemon cream cheese frosting or chocolate icing recipe for your cakes.

sugar cookies with icing on cooling rack

The Easiest Icing Ever!

Many holidays call for sugar cookies in a variety of shapes and sizes. When you get that itch to roll out the dough, first start with this sugar cookie recipe. (It’s the best.) Once you have your cookies cooled, all you need is two – yes, two – ingredients to make delicious icing for your cookies.

You start with the simple ingredients of powdered sugar and milk.  And, of course, make sure you have your sugar cookies baked and cooled.

powdered sugar and milk mixed in a bowl with fork

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  1. Mix: Combine the powdered sugar and milk by mixing with a fork until smooth.  The powdered sugar will dissolve as you stir.
  2. Color:  Add your favorite food coloring (optional) to create unique colors for your cookies.
  3. Pipe: Using an icing bag or even a sandwich bag, pipe the icing onto your cooled cookies. Use a knife to spread.
icing in sandwich bags

Icing Tips and Tricks

Make your icing thicker. If you want your icing to be thicker, add more powdered sugar and stir.

Make your icing more thin (like a glaze). Add more milk. Just a little bit goes a long way!

Make your icing right before you use it. This icing does start to dry out and harden, which is what makes it so great for cookies! That being said, if you make it too far ahead of time, it will start to harden and make it much harder to add to the cookies.

How to pipe without a piping bag. I use sandwich bags! Fill a sandwich bag with icing after adding the food coloring. Seal the sandwich bag. Snip the corner and pipe onto cookies.

using knife to spread icing on cookie

Icing FAQs

Does this icing harden?

Yes! If you use the exact recipe, the milk will evaporate and harden. It’s not super hard but creates a thick outer crust to allow you to stack your dried cookies.

How do I store the cookies once I’ve added the icing?

Once the icing has hardened, I store them in a large rectangular food storage container with a layer of wax paper between each layer of cookies.

Can you freeze these cookies?

Yes, you can. However, the darker colors added to the icing will discolor after freezing. That’s why I recommend freezing your cookies without icing. Then add icing to the cookies once defrosted and ready to serve.

Do I need to refrigerate the cookies after I add the icing?

No. The cookies with icing are fine at room temperature stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Can I add vanilla extract to the frosting for my little vanilla fan?

Yes. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and add more to taste.

What kind of milk should I use for this recipe?

I use 2% of whole milk with success. I would avoid using skim.

Watch How Easy It Is To Make This Icing

best sugar cookie icing
Created by: Lynette Rice

Easy Sugar Cookie Icing (2 Ingredients)


Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 1
1
Make the most delicious sugar cooking icing with only two ingredients! This super simple recipe is made without corn syrup. You can make it as thick (think multi-colored decorating) or thin (think glaze) as you like!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk

Instructions

  • Mix: Combine the powdered sugar and milk in a bowl by mixing with a fork until smooth.  The powdered sugar will dissolve as you stir.
  • Color:  Add your favorite food coloring (optional) to create unique colors for your cookies.
  • Pipe: Using an icing bag or even a sandwich bag, pipe the icing onto your cooled cookies. Use a knife to spread.

Notes

Make your icing thicker. If you want your icing to be thicker, add more powdered sugar and stir.
Make your icing more like a glaze. Add more milk. Just a little bit goes a long way!
How to pipe without a piping bag. I use sandwich bags! Fill a sandwich bag with icing after adding the food coloring. Seal the sandwich bag. Snip the corner and pipe onto cookies.
Make your icing right before you use it. This icing does start to dry out and harden, which is what makes it so great for cookies! That being said, if you make it too far ahead of time, it will start to harden and make it much harder to add to the cookies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 12kcal | Carbohydrates: 126g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 30mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Calcium: 25mg

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Recipe Rating




280 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was a savior for a last minute sugar cookie making debacle. I didn’t have milk, so I just used heavy whipping cream. I added extra to get a runnier batch because I was being lazy and wasn’t in the market to spend time perfecting the frosting. I just whipped some sprinkles on top of them to try and cover my imperfections.

    OH, and I also added some maple extract to give the glaze a little pop of something!

    1. Lynette Rice says:

      Yum! Love the idea of the added maple extract.

  2. Mia Cossworth says:

    5 stars
    This worked perfectly for my cookies for my mom! Thank you so much- especially because I was in a rush!! I 100% recommend this recipe!

    1. Lynette Rice says:

      Yay! So glad you all enjoyed it!

  3. 5 stars
    Pretty basic royal icing recipe if you don’t want to use corn syrup or eggs. I like to remember that for thicker icing, use more powdered sugar (keep adding until it is how you like it)!

  4. First time ever trying royal icing and this was so perfect! The cookies turned out perfect! I wish I could upload a picture. Thank you for the recipe and the instructions. ❤️

  5. 5 stars
    I improvised a bit with this recipe, using Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai instead of milk and I stirred in 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and sugar. It turned out phenomenal! Thank you.

    1. Yum! Love your changes!

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you for your recipes and explaining them to simple folks like me. God BLESS you and your family and thank you for your time and good information!

    1. Thank you! And love your name. 😉

  7. 3 stars
    Very watery and not good tasting

    1. Mine too. I added a lot more powdered sugar, and I’m hoping it does harden up. This would be a great recipe if you’re looking for a glaze.

  8. Can you use Almond or coconut milk in this recipe?