Easy cookie icing only has 2 ingredients and takes minutes to make. This homemade icing can be used to decorate any cookie recipe, and is perfect for beginners or baking with kids! Use this cookie icing recipe to decorate my easy sugar cookies!
Hi hi! Just popping in to share this super simple 2 ingredient sugar cookie icing with you! I've made a whole lot of sugar cookies in my time, and while royal icing is super pretty and great for piping intricate details, it can be a little more fiddly to make, and to be honest, it's not my favourite thing to eat.
Enter this super easy, almost instant sugar cooking icing. Made with just two ingredients, and relying on a basic ratio, it's perfect for decorating your cookies if you are looking for a simple cookie icing recipe. It works great on sugar cookies but also makes an amazing gingerbread cookie icing.
While it's not as pretty as royal icing, it can still be used to pipe basic details on cookies, and it's great for providing a base for loads of sprinkles. This cookie icing dries hard, and is perfect for if you're decorating cookies with kids or you just want something nice and easy, and super delicious. So, make yourself a batch of sugar cookie dough, or a batch of gingerbread cookies, and get decorating!
Easy Sugar Cookie Icing
Here's why I love this super easy sugar cookie icing:
- It couldn't be easier. This two ingredient icing is just a stir together situation, meaning that it comes together in minutes.
- You can adjust the consistency. Add more or less milk to your liking if you would like this cookie icing to be thinner or thicker depending on your project.
- Tastes delicious. This cookie icing has that super nostalgic, crunchy sweet icing flavour. Both my husband and I immediately said it reminded us of childhood.
- Easy to pipe. While it's not as neat as something like a royal icing, this simple sugar cookie icing can be piped to make basic designs on a cookie.
- No raw egg whites. Sometimes royal icing has an egg white base, which can be avoided with meringue powder, but I wanted to provide a safe, easy sugar cookie icing recipe you don't have to worry about raw eggs with.
How to make sugar cookie icing - why using a scale makes things easy.
This easy sugar cookie icing is so quick to make - the only ingredients are powdered sugar (icing sugar), and milk. You stir it together, and you are good to go. The great thing about this icing recipe is that it is done by ratio, so is super easy to scale.
The ideal icing ratio for an easy to work with cookie icing: 100g powdered sugar : 15g whole milk.
Because we are working with a ratio, you can scale this recipe up or down as you like. I usually make 300g worth of powdered sugar worth of icing, but the great thing about it being so simple is that you can easily make more if you run out!
Easy Sugar Cookie icing vs Royal Icing vs Cookie Frosting
This sugar cookie icing is a simple cookie glaze style icing - just made with powdered sugar and water.
Royal icing is made with a base of either egg whites or meringue powder, and is opaque white, and sets super hard. It is the icing that is used for super intricate piping, and also for flooding cookies.
Sugar cookie frosting is more of a buttercream style icing, and is often either piped on or spread onto the top of the cookie.
How to use sugar cookie icing to decorate cookies
I used this easy sugar cookie icing to decorate a batch of sugar cookies in a couple of different ways. The great part about making sugar cookies is that you can really make them your own here - do whatever takes your fancy, but if you need some ideas:
- Full sprinkle coverage. To make these, I piped a line of cookie icing around the edge of the cookie, then filled it in. I found having two piping bags set up helped for this - one with a smaller hole snipped in it to do the outline, then one with a larger hole in it to do the 'flooding' (the filling in). Once you have covered your cookie in icing, give it a shake to level it off, then dip the whole surface onto a plate covered with sprinkles of your choice. Leave to dry completely.
- The 'wreath'. This is a super easy way to decorate cookies - pipe an outline of cookie icing around the edge of your cookie, then either dip it into sprinkles, or sprinkle with whatever you like. I did some with gold sprinkles for a cute festive look. This also works great with things like christmas tree shaped cookies - just pipe a border and cover with sprinkles.
- Piping. If you want to get a little fancy, this sugar cookie icing can be used to pipe super basic details - I went for some christmas bauble inspired piping, but you can do whatever takes your fancy!
Adding flavor to sugar cookie icing
I kept my sugar cookie icing super super basic, as I was using it to decorate a vanilla heavy sugar cookie recipe, but here are some options if you would like to add flavor to your cookie icing:
- Extracts. You can add any extract to this sugar cookie icing that you like - you choose what to use! Just remember that it will affect the consistency of the icing if you use a liquid extract, so subtract that quantity from the overall amount of milk added to the icing to compensate. If you like almond extract, you could put it in here (I don't like it so I can't recommend how much to use sorry). Just be aware that if you use a flavoring that is not clear it may affect the overall color of your icing.
- Lemon. This recipe would be lovely made with lemon juice instead of milk if you wanted a lemony flavor. It may be more of a cookie glaze in terms of how opaque it is, but you can also adjust by adding in more powdered sugar to change the consistency to what you need.
How to store sugar cookie icing
This icing is definitely best used immediately after making, but if you did need to store it, the best way would be in the piping bag - place a chip clip or something similar on both ends to stop any leaking and store at room temperature. You will have to either snip the end off and transfer the icing to a new bag or cut a new hole in the end to get rid of any crusty build up so that the icing flows easier.
Alternatively you could store your cookie icing in an airtight container or bowl with plastic wrap pressed against the surface to stop any crusting.
How to stop icing from escaping the piping bag
I find that the best way to stop icing from oozing out the piping bag is to place a clip on the end. This stops the cookie icing from sneaking out while you are piping and is especially helpful if you have small hands helping you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tools and equipment do you use?
You can find a full list of the tools and equipment I use on my products page
Can this cookie icing be colored?
Yes - you can tint this sugar cookie icing with whatever colour you want! I usually use gel food coloring but liquid will work too - just remember that if you do use liquid food coloring, that it will water down the cookie icing, so you may need to add in a little powdered sugar to get the right consistency.
Use a separate mixing bowl for your different colors of icing. If you are making multiple colors you may want to scale up the recipe slightly so that you have enough to fill each piping bag. I usually make the white icing in a larger quantity than the other colors as that is the one that gets the most use.
How many cookies does this icing recipe cover?
This depends on the size of the cookies, and how you are decorating them. If you are using a lot on each cookie, it will obviously not go as far. However as it is easy to make, you can very quickly make more as needed.
Can this sugar cookie icing recipe be piped?
Yes - I used it to pipe super basic patterns on my sugar cookies. I use plastic piping bags, but you could also easily use a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off - just make sure that it is well sealed!
Does this cookie icing set hard?
Yes, once this cookie icing is piped on or used to decorate cookies, it will set hard. Leave to sit out at room temperature to allow the cookies to dry. Once they are hard, store at room temperature in an airtight container.
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
2 Ingredient Sugar Cookie Icing
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 15 servings 1x
- Category: icing
- Method: frosting
- Cuisine: american
Easy cookie icing only has 2 ingredients and takes minutes to make. This homemade icing can be used to decorate any cookie recipe, and is perfect for beginners or baking with kids!
- 300g powdered sugar, sifted
- 45g whole milk, cold from the fridge is fine.
- Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add the milk. Whisk well using a fork or a whisk until the cookie icing is a smooth consistency.
- Add more milk or more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.
- Use immediately - this is a crusting icing so you need to make sure that it is not exposed to air for too long so that it does not go crusty. I like to transfer mine to a piping bag to use straight away.
- Once the cookies are decorated, place onto a wire rack and leave to dry at room temperature for at least a few hours, until the icing is set.
Keywords: cookie icing, easy cookie icing, icing recipe
love this! less fussy than royal icing and easy to use
Such a great icing!! It's not too sweet like royal icing can be and actually tastes really really good. Thank you!
Cannot believe how easy this was!
Made this to pipe on the Easy Gingerbread Cookies on this site. I had forgotten to add cardamom to the cookies, so added it to the icing in the form of Burlap and Barrel's cardamom extract, in addition to using lemon juice as the liquid in the icing. It was so good, my kid was licking it off the cookies. He has since been schooled, and now eats the whole cookie. This combination, atop a gingerbread cookie, is just perfect.
Hhahahah I love this - good to know you taught him the ways! I gotta try with cardamom in the icing!
Easiest icing recipe. Perfect for when the kids want to decorate cookies. I’ll use this recipe often.
Great icing that was easy to make and delicious paired with the sugar cookies! The two ingredients made it easy to make more as I needed it and I love that it dries quickly. Will definitely use again!