How to Make Cookie Frosting

How To Make Cookie FrostingThere’s a reason the term “That’s just the icing on the cake” has come to mean more of a good thing. Everyone loves icing, or frosting as some call it. It makes everything taste better and looks so lovely. It can take us back to our childhoods and turn us into giggling kids again when we indulge in it.

Fans of the sweet stuff will find that they’re hooked on decorating gourmet cookies once they get the recipe down. It’s so much fun to create seasonal cookies that really bring joy to those who see and eat them.

If you’re thinking about starting to make decorated cookies, you’ll need a good recipe. Think of all those cookies you see in bakeries and in gift baskets that have vibrant frosting that looks absolutely perfect. Have you ever wondered how they got that way? Well, first, they start with a good recipe with the freshest ingredients. But the reason they look so bright and festive is that they no doubt used powdered food coloring as opposed to liquid.

Most bakers looking for a frosting color will go to the supermarket and pick up one of those packs of generic food coloring. They come in just a few primary colors and you’re limited in results. The results of adding a liquid to a frosting mixture will result in pastel colors. They’re never going to be as vibrant as the cookies in stores if you use liquid.

Go to the candy aisle in the crafting store and you’ll find that there are dozens of colors of powdered frosting tints. They come in powder form so that when you add them to a frosting mixture, they stay true to their colors.

You can get ruby reds and grass greens as well as metallic and other colors from a wide palate. The powdered food coloring can be the difference between a dull cookie and a wow!

Here’s a simple recipe for sugar cookie frosting. It’s light and airy. So easy to whip up, you’ll never be left with dry cookies again. Try your hand at different amounts of tints and use clean paintbrushes in different sizes.

Paint your cookies. Layer colors. See what you come up with. There’s no wrong way to do it.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe (from

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring (almond flavoring is also good)

Stir sugar and milk together in a bowl until icing mixture is smooth; beat in corn syrup and vanilla until icing mixture is smooth and glossy in appearance. Add food coloring to desired shade. Ice cookie and set aside for the icing to harden.

Try Royal Icing as well if you want the kind of frosting that stays stiff.

Royal Icing Using Egg Whites (from

  • 2 large (60 grams) egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
  • Royal Icing Using Meringue Powder:
  • 4 cups (440 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (30 grams) meringue powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla, lemon, almond)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup (120 - 180 ml) warm water

Beat together and frost cookies.

Note: Food Coloring (I use Gel Pastes that can be found at cake decorating and party stores or else on-line)

More Cookie Help:

  1. How to Make your own Cookie Cutters
  2. How to Make a Cookie Bouquet
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