Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe

This sugar cookie frosting recipe is a powdered sugar frosting that can be used plain or can be colored.

An easy frosting recipe, it takes only minutes to make. Not just for cookies, this decorator frosting recipe can be used for cupcake frosting as well.

To color the frosting, use liquid or paste food colors. Always add colors gradually, drop by drop for liquid colors and dabbed on the end of a toothpick if using paste colors. Mix the coloring into the frosting thoroughly before adding more color. It’s better to use less color than to use too much color as many colored frostings will darken on drying.

Prepare more of each color than you think you will need so that you will not have to mix up another batch. It will be difficult to match the colors exactly if you have to color additional frosting. Keep the colored frosting covered with a damp cloth or paper towel as you work to prevent it from drying out.

With just a few basic colors, you can create many different colors by mixing two colors together. Jazz up cookies or cupcakes with some of these vibrant colors. How to mix colors:

  • To make Orange, add red and yellow (more yellow than red).
  • To make Strawberry, add red and yellow (more red than yellow).
  • To make Lime Green, add yellow and green (more green than yellow).
  • To make Chartreuse, add yellow and green (more yellow than green).
  • To make Violet, add blue and red (more blue than red).
  • To make Maroon, add blue and red (more red than blue).
  • To make Brown, add yellow and red and a smidgen of green.

Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (1 pound) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water, plus extra as needed
  • Assorted food coloring


1. In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/4 cup of water. Beat on low speed until combined. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture is smooth, adding more water as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, until frosting is spreadable.

2. Divide the frosting between 3 small bowls (more or less, depending on the number of different colors you want). Color the frosting by mixing in 1 drop of food coloring at a time, until the desired color is reached. Spread the frosting over the cooled cookies. Add additional decorations if desired.

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