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Stir Together this Easy Frosting for Sugar Cookies in Just Minutes

 Be your own master chef by stirring together this ridiculously easy frosting in just minutes. It’s deliciously perfect for rolled sugar cookies.

I’ve recently become a fan of  holiday baking competitions on the Food Network.

I love to watch competitors bake up delicious and gorgeous treats as they race against time.

But there is one thing noticeably absent – recipes!!

I marvel at how they seem to know exactly what and how much to throw into a mixing bowl!

So, today, I’m going to encourage you to do the same when it comes to making homemade frosting.

Easy Frosting for sugar cookies

How to Make Easy Frosting from Scratch (without a recipe!)

My mother-in-law told me decades ago that I was overthinking frosting.

She taught me how to mix together a batch in a cereal bowl in just minutes – without a recipe!

It’s delicious, easy to spread, and takes all the stress out of the frosting step of making rolled sugar cookies.

Here’s how to make your own (no recipe) easy frosting:

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter 
  • Vanilla or almond extract
  • Milk

Supplies for this easy frosting recipe:

  • Cereal bowl (if you’re making a small batch)
  • Mixer and mixing bowl (if you’re making a large batch)
  • Sifter

Video for making this quick & easy sugar cookie icing.

I did a quick video for my Instagram channel while I was making this frosting. If you’d like to see how this is made in real life, here it is!

Step 1: Whip up the butter until it is soft and fluffy

Softened butter – not melted – works best for this step. For this post, I made a half batch of my favorite rolled sugar cookies and froze them overnight. When I wanted to frost them, I started with 1/4 cup softened butter in a cereal bowl and stirred it with a spoon until it was fluffy.

Step 2: Add enough sifted powdered sugar so that the mixture becomes really stiff and hard to stir.

I found that sifted powdered sugar helps achieve a nice, smooth frosting without having to worry about lumps. I just added small amounts of sifted powdered sugar to my fluffy butter until it became super stiff and hard to stir.

Step 3: Add in whatever flavor you choose.

For rolled sugar cookies, I enjoy almond extract as my flavoring. However, vanilla extract is equally yummy. Remember, you are learning to cook like a master chef, so add in the amount of flavoring that you prefer.

Start with a little, and then add more if you need.

For my small batch, I used half a capful of almond extract.

Sugar cookies in the shapes of mittens and stockings spread with easy powdered sugar frosting and sprinkled with decorative sugar.
Add just enough milk to this easy powdered sugar frosting so that the frosting glides easily with a knife and still holds its shape.

Step 4: Add in milk – a small amount at a time – stirring well after each addition

Just like in step 3, add milk in a little at a time (like 1 teaspoon at a time) and stir well after each addition. You will be surprised at how little milk you will need! Keep stirring and mixing until the frosting is thin enough to spread easily – but not runny.

If you accidentally add in too much milk, don’t fret! Just add in a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up again.

Step 5: Divide frosting into different bowls if you want to frost sugar cookies with more than one color.

Once your frosting is the ideal consistency to spread easily, add food coloring of choice.

Frosted rolled sugar cookies on a tray with a bowl of easy frosting beside it.
Sprinkle rolled sugar cookies with decorative colored sugar for another fun touch.

Are you too scared to try this frosting without an actual recipe?

Ok. I understand that, too!;) If you’re looking an actual recipe to follow I found this homemade sugar cookie frosting that looks similar to mine – although it would make a much larger batch.

Update December 2022: I recently did an Instagram reel making this easy sugar cookie frosting. I actually measured everything this time! For a thick icing to pipe with, here was the recipe:

  • 1/4 cup room temperature butter
  • 2 1/3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
  • a tiny bit of Wilton’s moss green paste food colouring

When I wanted to spread the icing instead of pipe it on the cookies, I added in a tiny bit of milk at a time and stirred well after each addition until it was a speadable consistency. Here is an Instagram reel of how I spread on sugar cookie icing.

How do you frost sugar cookies? – Tips for beginners:

  • Frost sugar cookies after the cookies are baked and cooled completely.
  • Use a straight spreader knife – like this one(affiliate link). It helps the icing glide smoothly.
  • Frozen cookies are easier to ice than ones that have been freshly baked. If you have the time, freeze them first.
  • Don’t attempt to frost sugar cookies until they are completely cool – or the icing will start to melt and run.
  • Glide the icing gently back and forth over the cookie to get a swirl affect.
  • Sprinkles and decorative sugar hide a multitude of mistakes and looks very pretty!
  • If you want to use this frosting in a piping bag, add more powdered sugar so the mixture is thicker. It needs to be stiff so it will hold up when piped.

Can these Christmas Sugar Cookies be frozen?

Yes!! I freeze them either before icing them or after. Both works very well.

For more favorite Christmas Cookies Recipes, check these out:

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    1. How much of each ingredient??? I need to know the amount of each. Maybe I’m not as smart as you but mine is either to thick, too thin or doesn’t work on cookies.

  1. Does anyone have an easy glaze frosting recipe. My grandma use to glaze the cookies and they were so delicious

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