What Is The Best Kind Of Food Coloring To Use For Sugar Cookie Frosting
When it comes to tinting sugar cookie frosting, I always, always go with gel food coloring. Powdered food coloring works too. It doesnt thin the frosting like the liquid dyes do and the colors are much more vibrant. Also, I dont know if youve ever checked out the cake decorating section at your local craft store, but holy moly, there are so many colors to choose from these days.
Now if you really dont want to go with the gel or powdered colors and youve got those cute little bottles with gnome hats on them, just reduce the amount of liquid you use or add extra powdered sugar. No judgement.
Another popular option is to use natural food colors like spirulina for green, beet root powder for pink/red, butterfly pea flower for blue, and turmeric for yellow. Not much is needed for beautiful colors. There are also several brands that sell natural food colors online and in health food stores.
You can even use pulverized freeze-dried berries and other fruits to add natural color and fruity flavor to sugar cookie frosting.
You Will Love This Cookie Icing:
- Easy to make with a fork, whisk, and bowl
- No special equipment
- Can use squeeze bottle or piping tips to decorate
- Manageable for young bakers and/or beginners
- Doesnt dry into hard cement texture
- After it dries, you can stack, freeze, and transport cookies
You can use this icing on cookie cutter cookies such as these sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, and chocolate sugar cookies. You could even use it on shortbread cookies or drizzled on spritz cookies. I even used it on some of these pictured Halloween cookies and these Christmas sugar cookies.
Tips And Tricks To Make Sugar Cookie Frosting That Hardens
- Eliminate Clumps. Use a sieve to sift the sugar and get rid of any clumps. This is one of the best ways to get a perfectly smooth consistency when you cream the butter and sugar!
- Use Room Temperature Butter. Room temperature butter is the easiest to combine with other ingredients and guarantees a soft, fluffy texture for your frosting. Avoid using melted butter as it wont combine properly with the powdered sugar youll get frosting that lacks structure and doesnt set properly.
- Keep It Covered. Frosting is easiest to spread and decorate with when its soft, so try to keep it covered when youre not using it! If your frosting starts to get too hard while youre decorating, give it another mix or add a little bit of milk to help to soften it.
- Dry Before Stacking. While this is a sugar cookie frosting that hardens, youll want to give your frosted cookies enough time to dry fully before storing and stacking them.
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Best Cookie Icing For Decorating
Cookie icing is a type of icing that is specifically designed for decorating cookies. It is usually made from powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract, and can be flavored with various extracts or food coloring.
Cookie icing is typically used to pipe designs on cookies, or to flood the cookies with a thin layer of icing.
How To Make Powdered Sugar Icing For Cookies
Step 1: Add powdered sugar into medium-sized bowl and add milk, vanilla, almond extract, and salt.
Step 2: Use a rubber spatula to mix until smooth. The consistency should be thick enough that it wont run off cookies, but thin enough that the icing melts back in on itself when you drizzle a spoonful over the bowl.
Tip: If your icing looks too dry, add 1 teaspoon of milk until it looks like the consistency in the video above. If it is too thin, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar until it looks like the consistency in the video.
Step 3: Once you reach the correct consistency, add food coloring. I recommend squeezing a dot of food coloring on a paper plate, dipping the tip of a toothpick through it, then swiping it through the icing. This will allow you to control the amount of color you add.
Tip: To achieve this peach color, I did 2 swipes of red with 1 swipe of yellow. If making Christmas cookies, check out my formulas for How To Make Dark Green Icing .
Step 4: Once colored, spoon the icing into a tipless piping bag . To ice the cookies, pipe an outline around the edge of the cookie then working your way from the outside in, fill in the center.
Step 5: Immediately after piping on the icing, use a toothpick to spread out the icing and fill in any holes. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
Tip: For more decorating ideas, check out my 7 Easy Sugar Cookie Decorating Techniques guide!
More icing & frosting recipes:
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Add In The Cream 1 Tablespoon At A Time While Continuing To Run The Mixer + Add Vanilla
This is where the icing really starts to get, well, creamy! While youre running the mixer on low speed, add in 1 tablespoon at a time of cream to the bowl. You really should only need 5 tablespoons of cream , so dont get carried away with adding too much!
Add the vanilla & pinch of salt after you add in the cream and continue to mix.
Some will suggest using a clear vanilla extract if you want crisp white frosting. I used my regular dark brown Mexican vanilla extract that I use for everything when I bake, and I really didnt think it made that big of a dent in the white tint of the frosting. You can see in all of the photos of these cookies how the white turned out.
See, look how creamy it gets!
How To Make Royal Icing
Add the powdered sugar and meringue powder to a large bowl and whisk them together. I like to use my KitchenAid stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment but the paddle attachment or hand mixer will also work.
Add the water and vanilla extract while the mixer is running on medium-low speed. Then increase to medium-high speed until it forms stiff peaks and the icing loses some of it’s glossiness, about 5 minutes.
I don’t like using high speed because I feel like it adds too much air to the royal icing.
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Pillsbury Halloween Funfetti Frosting Vanilla 156 Oz
- Perfect for Halloween
- Funfetti Vanilla frosting with sprinkles
- Frosting goes great with Halloween Funfetti Cakc mix
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Easy or elaborate, Pillsbury Funfetti frosting adds the crowning touch to your sweet creation. Our frosting delivers a velvety texture and rich decadent taste. Beyond just frosting a cake, get creative with cookies, brownies, cupcakes, the possibilities are endless.
The Only Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe Youll Ever Need
A good Sugar Cookie Frosting recipe is a necessity for anyone who likes to decorate cookies. But theres a problem with most recipes: they dont taste good!
Sugar Cookie Frosting is usually bland and often grainy. It will help you make cute cookies, but you wont enjoy eating them. And wheres the fun in that?
Thats why I love this recipe so much. Its a frosting that youll actually want to eat. The secret? I add a little almond extract, as well as vanilla extract, to give this frosting a rich and complex flavor.
Youll love whipping this up for any occasion or celebration, and its perfectly customizable. Color it for holidays, its perfect for making a tasty Christmas cookie. It goes perfectly with our favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe! Enjoy!!
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Tasty By Wilton Royal Icing 101 Kit
- This kit makes it easy to learn how to use royal icing to decorate cookies, plus make custom sprinkles and cake toppers
- Personalize cakes, cookies, cupcakes and more with royal icing decorations you make yourself
- Easy-to-follow instruction card is included, plus get access to additional online videos of how to do each project
- Contains egg and milk made on equipment that also processes soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts
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Dont let the fancy name fool you, royal icing is super easy to use. Youve seen it on sugar cookies, but you can also use it to make custom sprinkles, personalized cupcake toppers or to write on cakes.
This kit has everything you need to learn how to use royal icing. So, grab a kit and make royal icing your next crowning achievement. This 8×9. 75×2. 125 inch package contains six decorating bags, three parchment paper sheets, one small round tip, one large round tip, royal icing mix, food coloring in assorted colors and instruction card.
|Assembled Product Dimensions||9.75 x 8.00 x 2.25 Inches|
The Best Sugar Cookie Frosting Ever
Have you ever hosted a cookie party? You bake a whole bunch of sugar cookies, gather all the different sprinkles, make several colors of frosting, and invite friends over to decorate a plate of cookies they can take home and share with their family. You can host a cookie party anytime of year . Good, messy, creative, delicious fun.
This go-to sugar cookie frosting recipe has come from years of tinkering with a basic American buttercream. American buttercream = butter + powdered sugar frosting, as opposed to European buttercream recipes that include whole eggs, yolks, or whites, a sugar syrup, and loads of butter.
For the perfect sugar cookies, you just have to go with a powdered sugar frosting, because when decorating with sugar cookie frosting, it should eventually set up or dry on the surface. Other types wont do that. You also want a slightly stiffer frosting that can be piped, if desired, and hold its shape afterwards. American buttercream holds up in warm kitchens too.
There is a third type of sugar cookie frosting called Royal Icing. Royal Icing is made from egg whites and powdered sugar. It is ideal for intricate decorations. It can be thicker and stiffer for piping, and thinner to use as flood icing. Youve probably seen those addictive cookie decorating videos where the design is piped out in thin lines and then the more liquid frosting is piped in and it floods to the piped border.
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Betty Crocker Icing Cookie Decorating Blue 7 Oz
Cookie icing is the easy way to decorate your cookies! Icing sets up quickly, so you an stack your cookies to store them. This package contains 210ml of icing, and decorates twelve 5. 1cm cookies. Made in USA.
Reviews From Real Customers
I like this icing. Needed the icing to set up quickly so we could transport easily. This sets up in about 15 minutes, getting progressively harder as you wait. You cut the tip to whatever thickness you want.
For children I would cut the tip at the second line so it is easier for them to squeeze out the frosting. Have them practice on a piece of plastic wrap first. Its a beautiful vibrant red color. Can be used for string work, but work quickly.
Allrecipes Community Tips And Praise
“This recipe works like magic,” raves Vivian Li. “It’s the first time for me making icing and I couldn’t figure out how so much sugar and so little fluid could turn into a glossy white sugar icing. But it was like magic one minute I’m stirring clumpy white sugar, and in a second the sugar turns into a glossy, gel-like bowl of icing. Fun!”
“This was a very easy, quick recipe,” according to DAPEARCES. “I let my kids use paintbrushes with the frosting to paint their cookies. The frosting was a great consistency, not too runny, not too stiff. The frosting set up wonderfully, perfect for stacking in a tin for gift-giving.”
“Excellent,” says Nanner. “Used several times now on the Sugar Cookie Cutouts recipe on this site by GLJCAT and the two complement one another beautifully, producing an attractive and tasty cookie that is not too sweet. Is now my go-to recipe.”
Editorial contributions by Corey Williams
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What You Need To Make This Recipe
Egg whites when separating the eggs, make sure you dont get any yolk mixed in with the white. If you get yolk into the whites, itll prevent it from whipping up into fluffy whites. Try to use fresh eggs as they will whip up quicker and be more stable than older eggs. I recommend using pasteurized raw eggs if youre concerned about the use of egg whites.
Confectioners sugar you might also find this labeled as powdered sugar, icing sugar, or 10X sugar at your local grocery store. The sugar thickens your icing, so dont be tempted to add too much at once.
Use Milk To Adjust Consistency
A small amount of whole milk hydrates the powdered sugar and ensures the sugar and butter combine easily. Dont add it all at once because then its harder to incorporate air into the mixture. Adding in the final tablespoon of liquid right at the end helps to smooth out the frosting consistency while still staying fluffy.
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Whip But Not Too Much
First, the butter mixes by itself to break down the stick and lightly aerate the fat. You then mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract on low speed until just combined. If you keep the agitation minimal, like only using a spatula, the consistency will be very dense and fudge-like. Whipping a few minutes on medium-high speed dissolves most of the sugar and incorporates just enough air so that the frosting becomes light and fluffy.
If you over whip the mixture, you will see large air pockets develop, which becomes a better product for decorating cakes than cookies. However, its easy to adjust the consistency to be thinner by gradually adding small amounts of milk or thicker with more powdered sugar.
Buttercream Cookie Frosting Vs Royal Icing What Is The Difference
So this buttercream frosting gives sugar cookies the creamiest, softest, most nuanced flavor. But is buttercream frosting for every cookie?
I know, I know, some of you are going to want to stack sugar cookies for shipping. No, you cant use buttercream if youre doing that. You need royal icing and a royal amount of patience. Royal icing hardens to a candy-like texture that holds its shape during apocalypses, should you run into any.
THIS frosting is sweet, dreamy buttercream, and is meant for jamming into your mouth immediately after slapping it on top of the Softest Sugar Cookie of Your Life. No apologies. If you insist on using royal icing , be very careful not to break the cookies. These cookies are much more delicate than your average sugar cookie, meaning they break easier when shipping.
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Why Wont My Royal Icing Dry Or Harden
If your icing isnt drying, you might have gotten oil into your icing, which will prevent it from setting. Sometimes humidity will also affect your icing and itll take longer to dry. If its raining, or very humid, you can give your cookies a little longer to dry. If your cookies arent dry after 24 hours, chances are they arent going to dry, and the only thing you can do is scrape off the icing and start over.
This Cookie Icing Requires Planning Ahead
The icing needs at least 24 hours to dry, but you can certainly eat them prior to the icing drying. This is much longer than royal icing, which usually dries in 2 hours.
PS: If you want to decorate cookies with buttercream frosting instead, use this vanilla buttercream. Feel free to keep it on the thicker side by reducing 1 Tablespoon of milk/cream.
Looking for more holiday baking inspiration? Here are 75+ Christmas cookies with all my best success guides & tips.
- Yield:about 1.5 cups icing
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How To Stack Frosted Sugar Cookies:
- Regardless how hard your frosting is, I dont suggest stacking the cookies more than 2-3 cookies deep. The extra weight cant cause the frosting to get smushed.
I usually stack my cookies 2-deep with parchment paper or wax paper between the cookies. This helps protect the cookies a bit more. I begin with a single layer in the bottom of my air-tight container, place a piece of parchment paper on top, then place another single layer on top.
What About Royal Icing
Royal icing is what professional bakers typically use for this kind of cookie decorating. Its made with either whipped egg whites or whipped meringue powder along with powdered sugar and water, and it tends to be a little more stable and thicker than straight powdered sugar icing.
Royal icing is great for fine-detailed decorating work and Martha Stewart, but for the most part, Im just not that fancy. I am totally happy with a cookie simply flooded with a layer of crunchy, sugary icing. I also like the fact that straight powdered sugar icing can be made with a fork and bowl in just a few seconds and doesnt require any disclaimers about raw eggs when sharing the resulting cookies.
These cookies might not be quite what the pros would go for, but for friends and family, these fuss-free, homemade, hand-iced sugar cookies are a credit to the cookie tray.
If you are curious about royal icing, here are a few recipes and tutorials about working with it:
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