How to Ice Sugar Cookies

In 5 Simple Steps

Ice Sugar Cookies

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Have you ever wondered how to ice—or flood—sugar cookies, but just didn't know where to start? Well, here's an easy five-step photo tutorial that will show you how to ice your sugar cookies flawlessly, from start to finish.

It just takes two icings: one thicker and one thinner, along with a few squeeze bottles. If you don't have squeeze bottles, you can use pastry bags with a small round tip opening instead. The squeeze bottles are easier to store and to manage when doing small and intricate designs, so they are preferable. But if you don't have them, not a problem!

The best part about this technique is that you can use this method to ice any sugar cookie throughout the year: Easter, Valentine's Day, Christmas, or just for a sweet treat whenever you'd like. Make several different colors of icings to create beautiful and festive designs! 

Stick with us and you'll be a professional in no time!

  • 01 of 05

    Create Two Icings

    pink icing and yellow icing

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Create one thicker icing for edging the cookies. This will create a border for when you flood the cookie with the thinner icing. Then, create a slightly thinner icing—called flood icing—that you will use to do the filling in of the cookies.

    The ingredients needed to make both batches of icing are identical.


    • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
    • 2-3 tablespoons egg white powder, also called meringue powder (can be found at craft stores in the cake decorating aisle)
    • 2 tablespoons water (or milk)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • Food coloring gel paste
    1. Whisk all ingredients except food coloring together in a large bowl, until smooth. Then, split the icing into two bowls.
    2. Add 1 additional teaspoon of water to the first bowl and mix to combine. This will act as your icing for the edging.
    3. Add 3 additional teaspoons of water to the second bowl and mix to combine. This will act as your thinner icing for the interior. 
    4. If desired, dye each batch the color of your choice using food coloring gel paste (liquid food coloring will further thin out the consistency of the frosting and gel paste color is more vibrant).
    5. Place the icing into separate squeeze bottles. Use different sizes or label them so that you know which one is the thicker and which one is the thinner icing.
  • 02 of 05

    Edge the Cookies

    Squeeze bottle with orange icing creating edge on cookie

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Use the thicker icing to create an edge along the cookie. Make sure the edge is one complete line that connects the entire rim of the cookie; otherwise the thinner icing will spill through the edge, giving a new meaning to "flooding" cookies. 

  • 03 of 05

    Flood the Cookies

    Flooding with pink icing inside white icing edge on cookie

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Grab the thinner flooding icing and drizzle the icing all over the inside of the cookie. Since it's thinner, it will spread to fill most of the cookie. Try to squeeze the frosting as close to the thicker edge as possible without squeezing too much, so it won't spill over. 

  • 04 of 05

    Steady the Waters

    Toothpick to spreading the pink icing/frosting on cookie

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    For the sections that the frosting did not fill, use a toothpick to spread the frosting and evenly disperse the icing to cover the bare patches.

    You can also use the toothpick to pop any small bubbles that might form on the surface of the icing. 

    If you are looking to add sprinkles or candy pearls, now is a good time to add them. This will ensure that they will stick to the icing, creating a better bond so that the sprinkles and/or candy pearls don't fall off later.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Allow a Day of Rest

    Ice Sugar Cookies

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Allow the cookies to dry completely so that the icing can harden. (This may take up to 24 hours, depending on how thin the inner icing came out).

    Once the icing has dried, you can add additional designs with the thicker icing. Since the frosting has completely hardened, the thicker designs will sit on top of the cookie and will not bleed or spread.