Cookie Icing Recipe

Updated on March 09, 2011
L.A. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
7 answers


I'm a self professed newbie when it comes to baking. Any ideas for how to ice cookies and get that really smooth brightly colored hard finish? I'm thinking of cookies that I've seen seasonally at starbucks. I just bought a large baby chick shaped cookie press from Wilton and am thinking of using it for easter time, and also down the line for a first birthday perhaps.

do I need a bag and tips, or do I just smooth it on with a spatula?
any suggestions on what to use for eyes?
how long do I need to wait for the cookies to firm up?

thanks a bunch.

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answers from Eugene on

I'm a newbie baker and always wanted to try to decorate cookies with hard frosting. I finally found the best recipes for royal icing. Meringue powder was the key ingredient. Wilton makes it and you can get it at and cake supply store or crafts store like Michaels. It's really easy and comes out fantastic!

I also bought Wilton's gel food coloring that makes coloring the royal icing easy and the colors are really bright.

Also, I used the cake decorating bags and tips. It makes clean up quick and they are easy to use.

If you want to do lines, make the icing think enough so the line doesn't spread out. If you want to fill an area (called floating) you want thinner icing. One way is to outline your cookie with thicker icing and then fill it with thinner icing that will spread.

Anyway, the best way to learn is to experiment and play with the icing. Have fun! I learned how to do it last easter, too and had a blast! I used an easter egg shaped cookie and had so much fun making my cookie "easter eggs"!

Also, the thinner the icing, the longer it will take t o dry. It actually took a few days for them to dry the first time I made them, but less than a day the second time. Maybe the weather had something to do with it...

And for eyes, I had fun using some of the pre-made sprinkles and using icing to "glue" them down.


answers from Los Angeles on

Its called royal icing and you use egg white and powdered sugar. Google it.


answers from St. Louis on

The frosting you are talking about is just powdered sugar mixed with water or milk and maybe a hint of vanilla flavoring for taste. Use either yellow or orange to tint the frosting for your chick. This frosting is also used on homeade donuts. You can use a bag that would help you keep it where you want it. And for eyes we always used baby m&m's. Mmmm



answers from Washington DC on

I use the regular cake frosting. If I want a certain color I add food coloring. Wilton has a decorating kit that you can buy that comes with a bunch of colors, tips, etc.

If I'm just doing round cookies, then I just use a knife. If I want design, my sister uses the tips.

Wait for the cookies to be cool before icing (at least 10m) or the icing will run. You can even store them in a ziploc container and frost the next day.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I think you are talking about Royal icing. Here is a link
I am a newbie as well, but I have made this icing twice in the last month and the cookies came out fantastic. Yes, you need some bags and tips. I would recommend getting a package of disposable bags, especially if you are going to be doing multiple colors on the cookies. You also will need meringue powder for this recipe. You can get it from, Walmart in the craft aisle, Michaels craft (in the cake decorating aisle). It was a bit expensive- I paid $8.00 for a canister that will probably last 5-6 batches of cookies.
The key is to make the royal icing, outline the cookie with the frosting (using a small round tip), then thin the icing with water (just use a teaspoon at a time) and then "flood" the cookie with the runny icing. Let it dry for a day. The link I posted has step by step instructions and the site has lots of cute cookie decorating ideas. PS Be forewarned this kind of decorating takes FOREVER! You will be in the kitchen baking, decorating, and cleaning up all day! Just so ya know!
Good luck!



answers from Tallahassee on

Here's my basic cookie icing recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (or any other flavoring you want - vanilla, peppermint, orange, lemon, etc.)
assorted food coloring

1. Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl and stir milk in until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.

2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, paint them with a brush or use a spoon to drizzle icing or smooth it out over the cookie.

You can adjust the thickness/thinness of the icing by adding more powdered sugar to thicken and corn syrup/milk to thin - a little at a time. After a few hours the icing should be nice and shiny and hard enough to stack the cookies.



answers from Minneapolis on

My favorite is the recipe below.

2 cups powder sugar
1 T butter
1 tsp almond extract
add milk as needed to make it the right thickness so the frosting doesn't run off the cookies.

I let the cookies sit out on the table, uncovered, for about a half a day so the frosting hardens pretty good. Store them in a cool spot so the cookies don't stick together.

You don't need any of the fancy bags and tips if you don't want to, however I just bought a kit for under $10 at Target for Valentine's Day cookies (found in baking section). You could use this to drop on eyes for the baby chicks. I would just do different colors of frosting. I really like the food coloring paste rather than the drops as that doesn't change the texture of the frosting and seems to give a more vibrant color.

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