Cookie Icing Recipe

This simple cookie icing recipe is one that I always turn to whenever we are decorating cookies around our house. It has been in my family for as long as I can remember and isn’t going away anytime soon!

Cookie Icing Recipe | ©

It works great for spreading or piping onto cookies, whichever you prefer. You can also easily make the cookie icing thinner or thicker based on your preferences. You’ll add a little bit more sugar for it to be thicker and a little more milk for it to be thinner. Totally up to you to get the cookie icing to the consistency you prefer.

Cookie Icing Recipe | ©


Here’s my family’s cookie icing recipe perfect for using with our sugar cookie recipe that I’ll share tomorrow. You definitely don’t want to miss it!

Cookie Icing Recipe

Total Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cookie icing recipe perfect for using for decorating or icing sugar cookies or other types of cookies. Get this simple, family heirloom cookie icing recipe you are sure to love.
5 from 2 votes
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  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla clear preferred


  1. Stir all ingredients together to make sure well-combined and smooth.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch


Happy Cookie Making!


22 comments on “Cookie Icing Recipe”

  1. THank you for this, Robyn!! I have been looking for a good icing recipe for days and this is it! Yes!! Looks perfect!

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  4. Does this harden up after drying so the cookies can be boxed up/stacked without ruining them? I usually use royal icing to decorate but I’d prefer a meringue free option if it will harden.

  5. How long does it take this icing to dry?

    • It really will depend on your particular environment and how thick you add the icing. The dryer your weather, the faster it will dry, but for me in the humid south, it takes longer on those really humid or rainy days. I hope that makes sense.

  6. I love all your recipes.

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  8. Hi, I just found your blog and love the recipes! Is it okay to make this ahead or will it harden overnight? I’m hosting a holiday party at my daughter’s kindergarten and wonder if I could make this the night before since we’re setting up during class. Thanks!

  9. Plan on trying several of your recipes this year. First time to your site.

  10. Wanted to use this icing for our upcoming cookie decorating party for the kiddies. How would you recommend storing and dispensing of this icing? Is it liquidy enough that it can be in squirt bottles? Or should it be in a bowl with plastic knives for applying? The kids are ages 3-5yrs, and while I suspect they will be eaten before leaving our house, I don’t want the icing to be super runny Thanks!

    • It works great in squirt bottles. That’s how we generally use it for decorating cookies when my son was smaller or when we use when making gingerbread houses, etc. I hope you enjoy it!

  11. Hi Robyn, Can I add food colouring to this icing recipe? I want to make pink icing (Im making your biscuits in a heart shape) for my daughters first birthday 🙂

  12. Super easy and delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing!
    We used Wilton gel color to make orange icing for pumpkin cooked. Then candy markets to decorate. Worked really well 🙂

  13. I’m sorry but I have a dumb question, I do love to bake but I have never made sugar cookies from scratch. I have noticed all the recipes for sugar cookies I have been looking at, never state what type of butter to use. Salted or unsalted, if the recipes just state softened butter. What’s the rule of thumb to go by?

    • Hi Michelle,
      Most professional bakers will recommend that you use unsalted butter in baking. I will tell you though that I use salted butter. Salted butter keeps longer in the refrigerator and is what I keep on hand. So, I would say go with what you have and enjoy! 🙂

  14. Approximentaly how many cookies does this icing work for?

  15. Thank you – perfect for valentines cookies! I left the cookies out overnight to allow the icing to harden (shortbread, no cookies were harmed!). I halved the recipe and went ahead with coloured vanilla because I added red food colouring.

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