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The Best Sugar Cookie Icing & Decorating Tips

The Best Sugar Cookie Icing & Decorating Tips

Cute sugar cookies are a great family project to make for practically any holiday. Most everyone loves cookies and you can customize your cookies to match the season! Make heart cookies for Valentine’s Day, star cookies for Fourth of July and snowflake cookies to celebrate winter. Colorful sugar cookie icing is easy to make with 4 ingredients. I discovered a super efficient method for creating cookie icing designs, without using pastry bags that can be hard to clean.

Adorable Sugar Cookie Icing Tips

The Best Sugar Cookie Icing Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • food coloring

Make the best sugar cookie icing that dries when it cools using these easy stove top instructions. First, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Once melted, mix in enough powered sugar to make a paste. Add 2 tbsp. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir in the rest of the powdered sugar until smooth.

This is where you can experiment a bit. If you need to make a larger quantity of sugar cookie icing, you can add several more cups of powered sugar and more spoonfuls of milk until you’ve made enough icing. More powered sugar will make the icing thicker and more milk will make the icing thinner. Once you have enough sugar cooking icing at the right thickness, turn off the heat and stir in the food coloring.

If making several colors, divide the white sugar cookie icing into separate ramekins. Mix a different color of food coloring into each ramekin of icing. If the sugar cookie icing starts getting stiff and you need to make it thinner, you can reheat the icing in the microwave for 5 seconds at a time.

How to make the best sugar cookie icing

DIY Easy to Use Sugar Cookie Icing Bags

Make your own throw-away icing bags! Use this innovative method for creating intricate icing designs. First, spoon the sugar cookie icing into a sandwich bag and twist the opening closed, allowing extra air out first.

Next, snip off the corner of the bag using scissors, so the icing flows from the bag in a controlled manner. Too small of a hole may cause the bag to rip when you apply pressure. Too large of a hole will make it hard to create precise designs with the sugar cookie icing.

Finally, apply gentle pressure to the twisted-closed icing bag so the icing flows steadily from the corner hole. You can outline and fill in each cookie, create stripes and dots, or make detailed icing designs.

You can easily make several bags of different colored sugar cookie icing. You’ll want to work with each bag of icing quickly so the icing doesn’t cool and become hard to use. You can heat up the sugar cookie icing in the microwave for 5 seconds at at time if it becomes too stiff.

DIY Easy to Use Sugar Cookie Icing Bags

Decorate your cookies by squeezing the icing out of your DIY icing bag to make outlines and designs on each sugar cookie. I like to outline each cookie and make a scribble design, which is faster than perfectly filling in each cookie. I topped each cookie with a mixture of colorful sprinkles and candy pearls.

Decorate sugar cookies using sandwich bags to pipe icing

My kids and I decorated sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day with red and purple icing and colorful sprinkles. These cookies would be cute party favors or surprise treats to give to a friend. Homemade sugar cookies are a fun giftable treat for any holiday!

DIY sugar cookie icing ideas

DIY Sugar Cookie Variations

Chocolate sugar cookies would be a yummy variation to the classic sugar cookie recipe. Just make sure you have plenty of cocoa powder on hand.

Gluten free cookies are another great variation, especially if you are making sugar cookies for a friend or loved one with dietary restrictions. I haven’t tried making gluten free cookies yet but I’d love to find a good gluten free cookie recipe.

Flavored sugar cookie icing would be fun to make. You could mix in any candy flavoring to make flavored icing! I would try making icing flavors such as strawberry, toffee or almond.

How to make the best sugar cookie icing decorating ideas

If you make these adorable sugar cookies for Valentine’s Day, you can pair each one with a homemade Valentine or collectible character card. The colorful sugar cookie icing and festive sprinkles give these cookies a pop of color that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day!

This project is easy to accomplish with kids in an afternoon. Decorating cookies with sugar cookie icing is a creative edible art project and a fun way to make some colorful treats!

Adorable sugar cookies for Valentine's Day

Katie enjoys all things creative; DIY projects, photography, decorating and family adventures. She feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids and many artistic outlets.



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ChastityKim SeghersMonidipa DuttaFatima TorresPreet Recent comment authors
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Chastity
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Chastity

This is a fun activity to do with the kids on a no school day. I love the boldness of the colors you did, very vibrant.

Kim Seghers
Guest

The cookies look so pretty and bright. We make our frosting similar to your recipe. I love making homemade frosting.

Monidipa Dutta
Guest
Monidipa Dutta

Wow, it is not only cute but pretty and delicious. It is awesome.

Fatima Torres
Guest

What a fun idea for the kids to make. We love baking around here.

Preet
Guest
Preet

Ooh. I can’t wait to make this! Cookies is one of my all-time favorite desserts, and I make every recipe I find. This one looks so cute.

alexandra cook
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alexandra cook

I love sweets! I’ll make this easy recipe and give it to my friends, they probably want to taste it too

Shannon Gurnee
Guest

These cookies are so pretty and look delicious! I want some!

Sara Welch
Guest

What a great idea to decorate cookies! These look like a lot of fun too!

Jasmine Hewitt
Guest

i’ll remember these tips next time i make cookies. yours look amazing!

Maggie Unzueta
Guest

These cookies look sooo delicious. My son would love this.

Marysa
Guest

Icing truly does scare me, but these cookies are so cute! Thanks for sharing these tips.. I am inspired to give it a try instead of just buying the premade stuff at the store.

Sincerely Miss J
Guest

These are great tips. I love sugar cookies so I will def. be bookmarking this post.

John Mulindi
Guest

I like the creative you bring to this. So the colours are beautiful. Thanks.

Indu
Guest

Thrilled seeing colorful and playful sugar cookie icing will try myself too now following your icing steps.

Heather
Guest

I’ve always wanted to make cookies like this but they always look so difficult. I think with your instruction, I can do it!

Catherine
Guest

These cookies are so pretty! They came out perfect!

Mimi
Guest

These cookies look yummy! My daughters favorite are frosted sugar cookies so I will have to save this so we can bake together

Chad
Guest

omg all these colors, amazing!!! I bet they taste great as well. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Chad
http://www.mosaicslab.com

Oh to Be a Muse
Guest

I love that you made your own icing bag. Getting the icing just right would have probably been my downfall, so thanks so much for the tip. These sugar cookies turned out so cute!

Myfamilytravelzone
Guest

If the weather is bad this weekend, we’ll try to make cookies with our kids in the kitchen.