If you’ve got eight minutes, you’ve got time to take this years’ sugar cookies to the next level. Light, fluffy and absolutely perfect for decorating your favorite Christmas cookies, our Sugar Cookie Frosting is enhanced with a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla to ensure your cookies don’t turn out pungently sweet. Instead, you’ll find every bite balanced and blissfully delicious.
Add food coloring to dress this recipe up for any occasion, and bonus alert: this is a Sugar Cookie Frosting that hardens, making your cookies stackable and ideal for travel and gift-giving galore!
SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING INGREDIENTS
- Powdered Sugar – Powdered sugar is the premier sugar for frostings. But, what is powdered sugar anyway? It’s granulated sugar that has been pulverized to a fine powder and mixed with a small amount of cornstarch. The cornstarch is added to the fine sugar as an anti-caking agent and keeping the granules from clumping together.
- Shortening – You will need plain, room temperature vegetable shortening for this recipe.
- Milk – Take care when adding the milk. Too much and your Sugar Cookie Frosting will be soupy, too little and your frosting will have a difficult time coming together.
- Vanilla and Salt – Without vanilla extract and salt, the frosting would be completely one dimensional, singing of only one note — that note is (sadly) super sweet. These two ingredients are essential to a stellar frosting.
HOW TO MAKE SUGAR COOKIE FROSTING
- Add Ingredients to Mixer – Add all of the frosting ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and begin mixing on low. If you begin mixing on high, beware — sugar will fly! Don’t have a stand mixer? No problem! You can use a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl instead.
- Mix On Medium-High – Once the sugar is mostly mixed in, increase the speed to medium-high, and blend it together until smooth and creamy.
- Spread or Save For Later – Use your Sugar Cookie Frosting right away or store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
HOW TO ADD COLOR TO FROSTING?
There are two different types of food coloring you used for frosting. One is traditional liquid food coloring and the other is called gel food coloring (often sold at specialty craft stores). Gel food coloring is much more pigmented than liquid food coloring, but be wary — you’ll find a little bit goes a long, long way.
The general rule of thumb when adding food coloring to your Sugar Cookie Frosting is this: You can add, but you can’t take away! Add the coloring in small increments, and mix well after each addition until you reach the desired pigment.
HOW DO YOU FROST SUGAR COOKIES?
To frost Sugar Cookies, add a dollop of frosting to the top of each cookie and spread to the edges using either the back of a spoon or a small offset spatula. If you like the creviced, wavy-line look of a frosted cookie, use a gentle back and forth motion as you spread the frosting.
HOW TO STORE SUGAR COOKIE FROSTINGS
While sugar is technically a preservative, it’s best to store your homemade Sugar Cookie Frosting in the refrigerator. The frosting will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Note, you may need to set it out for an hour or so before reusing it so that it becomes easily spreadable once again.
5 MORE FROSTED DESSERTS YOU’LL LOVE
- Christmas Cookies with Icing feature buttery, flavorful sugar cookies topped with a decadent buttercream icing. Yes, please!
- Royally Iced Sugar Cookies are beautiful and perfect for gifting as they can be stacked and easily transported. This recipe makes easy work of making royal icing, along with detailed tips for icing your cookies.
- Red Velvet Brownies are the perfect holiday dessert! Made from scratch and equipped with a simple Cream Cheese Frosting, they never disappoint.
- Oreo Cupcakes are the perfect combination of vanilla and chocolate! Featuring a super moist, chocolate cupcake base and a generous topping of dreamy Cookies and Cream Buttercream Frosting!
- Walnut Brownies are a homemade rendition of your childhoods favorite brownie — Little Debbie Brownies! Fudgy brownies are topped with a melty spoonful of chocolate icing and speckled with crunchy walnuts.
Light, fluffy and perfect for decorating cookies, this 8-minute Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe is easily enhanced by a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla!
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
- 1/3 cup milk (preferably at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and begin mixing on low. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl.
Once the sugar is mostly mixed in, increase the speed to medium-high, and blend until smooth and creamy.
Use right away or store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.