Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing

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Yield : 4 cups Prep Time : Cook Time : Ready In :

Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing


The story behind Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing

One of our family traditions during the holidays is to make cut out sugar cookies that we sit down and decorate together into messy, personal, colorful cookies.

Year after year, I try new recipes for the cookies, with varying degrees of success in keeping them crisp when un-iced, but no matter how successful or not I am at that, once we decorate them, it was always the same.  Fail.  The cookies, regardless of looking pretty, would turn into a soft mess of non-goodness.

This year I once again started my quest by trying to perfect our favorite sugar cookie recipe so far, one that I found in my old Sunset Holiday Cook Book first published in 1988.  It’s a good cookie, with a nice crispness and good flavor.

Only problem; it was difficult to roll out.

The dough got too soft too quickly and when I would try to get the cookie shapes onto the cookie sheet, they would become misshapen, lose a foot, or even sometimes their head.  It’s hard to decorate a headless angel.

This year I solved my problem with tweaking their recipe and came up with perfect Christmas Sugar Cookies. The dough was soft enough, but not too soft.  The cookie’s flavor was perfect sugar cookie tasting and they were crisp and tender when they cooled from the oven.  Now my goal was not to screw them up with the icing.

I went to Pinterest.

A recipe was found.  It leads me to’s blog.  And this is the recipe.  Well, it’s mostly the recipe.  We did change it up a bit as we found it a little too loose for our purposes,  so I added additional powdered sugar, about 6 cups rather than the 4 in her recipe.  But the most important part of the recipe was, it didn’t turn my cookies soggy.  Not one little bit.  The icing set-up firm.  The cookies were stackable.  The flavor was great.  And, last but not least, the icing went on easily.


Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing

Perfect Sugar Cookies decked out in Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing


Perfect Sugar Cookie Icing


  • 5 - 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white, (recommend pasteurized eggs for safety) or 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 5 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or lemon or almond or chocolate extract
  • gel-based colors, optional


Step 1

Add all of the ingredients (except the gel-based colors) into a work bowl of your standing mixer or hand-held mixer. On medium-low speed (for freestanding mixer) or on high speed (hand held mixer) beat until soft peaks form, about 7 - 10 minutes with free-standing, or 10 - 12 minutes with handheld. Divide as needed to color or thin, depending on what you are decorating.

Step 2

Allow the cookies to dry overnight, then store in an air-tight container.

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