This quick and easy cookie icing is perfect for sugar, gingerbread, oatmeal, shortbread, and your favorite cutout cookies. This shiny homemade recipe will get hard as it dries and has a beautiful glossy appearance. It is so pretty and great-tasting with sweet powdered sugar and a hint of vanilla.
This recipe is similar to royal icing except it does not have egg whites and instead uses corn syrup to ensure it hardens. Since this powdered sugar cookie glaze is set firm and hardens when it dries, it is perfect for use when making a lot of holiday cookies. It is easy to work with and since it hardens, you can make a lot of cookies at once that can be stored without the worry of them sticking to one another.
Whenever you want to frost and decorate cookies, this is the best icing. It pairs perfectly with my CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD COOKIES - they are to die for with all the spice of gingerbread but with rich cocoa too. You can stack the cookies once dry to store or to plate with other desserts you may be sharing or giving as Christmas gifts. I find this homemade cookie icing is perfect also for Valentine's Day, Easter, Independence Day, or other holidays when decorating your favorite sugar cookies or other cut-outs is a tradition.
Simple Ingredients for Cookie Icing
There are only 4 ingredients in this homemade cookie frosting recipe. Most of them your pantry probably already has. If you want to make this icing vegan, you can substitute the milk for water and it will still work and be delicious.
How to Make Homemade Icing that Hardens
The key to making cookie icing/frosting that hardens is the Karo corn syrup. When you make this recipe with light corn syrup, the icing will harden in about an hour. It makes it so the cookies can be stacked, stored, or kept together without worrying that your pretty designs will get messed up. This is ideal for when you want to make a lot and stack them on cookie platters to display or wrap them up for cookie holiday gifts.
Cookie Icing with Confectioners Powdered Sugar
First, sift (or use a fork to fluff and separate if you do not own a sifter) powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add 4 teaspoon of milk, 2 teaspoon of corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously with a fork until icing starts to come together.
To be sure it all comes together, make sure to also use a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges. Continue to stir with a fork until it is smooth and ready to go. Then you can switch to a spoon or other utensil you may want to use to begin decorating.
If needed, add additional milk or water to thin the icing. It will be the correct consistency if it slowly drips from a spoon or fork as you tip it.
Add Food Coloring to Cookie Icing
For colored icing, separate a bit of plain white icing into small bowls and add drops of gel food coloring and mix thoroughly to combine. Add additional coloring for deeper/darker colors as desired. I recommend a gel food coloring for this so the additional liquid from food coloring drops doesn't react with the base recipe which may cause it not to harden as well.
Decorate Holiday Cookies
The fun of baking during the holidays is more than just how tasty it all is. Being creative to decorate any cookie cutter shapes with fun colors or even sprinkles and other edible decorations is the best part. This icing recipe is great for any cookie. Here are some suggestions on what cookies to put this icing on:
- Chocolate Gingerbread
- Cottontail Rabbit Cookies
- Sugar Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin
- Bar Cookies
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Easy Cookie Icing
- 1 & ⅔ C confectioners powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoon whole milk
- 2 teaspoon light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- gel food coloring Optional
- Sift (or using a fork to fluff and separate) powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl.
- Add 3 teaspoon of milk, 2 teaspoon of corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously with a fork until icing starts to come together. Using a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges. Continue to stir with a fork until it is smooth and ready to go.
- If needed, add additional milk to thin icing more. It will be the correct consistency if it slowly drips from a spoon or fork as you tip it.
- OPTIONAL - For colored icing, divide a bit of icing into small bowls and add drops of gel food coloring and mix thoroughly to combine. Add additional coloring for deeper/darker colors as desired.
- The icing will thicken and start to harden if not worked with. You can mix vigorously to have it come back to life so it is easier to drip, dip, spread, or pipe onto cookies.
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