This sugar cookie frosting is absolutely the BEST! It is Creamy with the perfect amount of sweetness and super smooth to layer on top of sugar cookies. It is a simple two step buttercream based frosting that pairs perfectly with soft, chewy sugar cookies.
Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe
This recipe for sugar cookie frosting goes back to a recipe I grew up making with my mom and she made with hers! It is a creamy and smooth buttercream based frosting that we love to use on sugar cookies, but can also be used for cakes and cupcakes as well. With only 5 simple ingredients and two steps to make it, you will use this recipe time and time again!
This recipe can be used on any sugar cookie, but this Soft Sugar Cookie is my FAVORITE recipe to use this frosting on since the balance of sweetness is just right and the cookie and frosting both have the extra soft texture.
The secret to this recipe is using real butter with the perfect ratio of vanilla and salt to give it the signature flavor that others rave about. That flavor combined with using the right amount of cream to make it smooth and dreamy so that it perfectly spreads perfectly on your sugar cookies is
If you are looking for sugar cookie icing to create designs with that will harden, check out this royal icing recipe.
How to Make Sugar Cookie Frosting
This recipe is super simple and comes together in minutes! I will go though the steps here, but make sure to refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Sugar Cookie Frosting Ingredients
- Salted Butter, softened
- Powdered sugar
- Heavy cream
Step 1: To start, whip the butter with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add in the salt and vanilla and mix to combine.
Step 2: Then add in the powdered sugar and cream alternately mixing between each addition, until you have used all of the powdered sugar and the frosting reaches a smooth consistency that will hold peaks*.
*Holding peaks simply means if you stick a knife in and pull it up that the frosting will come to a peak and hold it instead of falling over or melting back into itself.
Can I substitute Milk or Half and Half in this frosting recipe?
I think the recipe tastes best when made with heavy cream. It gives it a smoothness and richness that can’t be beat! If you are in a pinch though, you can use half and half or any kind of milk and still get a good result with this recipe.
Can I use unsalted butter in this easy sugar cookie frosting?
I use salted butter because it is what i keep on hand (and I think it is super delicious!) If you want to use unsalted butter, just add an extra 1/4 tsp salt into the recipe.
How do I color the Sugar Cookie Icing?
You can use any food coloring you like to color this frosting as desired. You can split the batch up and then create multiple colors from one batch. I like to use this cookie frosting coloring color chart to get ideas!
How do I make the frosting thinner?
If you find that your sugar cookie frosting is too thick to mix smoothly, you can thin it out by placing it back in the mixer then mixing in additional cream 1 tbsp at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
How do I make the frosting thicker?
If your sugar cookie frosting is too thin and you would like it to be more thick and fluffy, you can place it in the mixer and mix it with additional powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
Can I make the sugar cookie frosting ahead of time?
This frosting can be made ahead of time. Once you complete the recipe, store the frosting in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to a week. Once you are ready to use the frosting, let it come to near room temperature (sit on the counter for 30-45 minutes) then mix well and use as desired.
How do I store leftover Sugar Cookie Frosting?
Leftover frosting can be eaten by the spoonful… just kidding! It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Once you are ready to use the frosting, let it come to near room temperature (sit on the counter for 30-45 minutes) then mix well and use as desired.
I hope you get a chance to make this easy sugar cookie frosting and that your family is as obsessed with it as mine is!
If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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Sugar Cookie Frosting
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 32 oz powdered sugar (1 bag)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 cup heavy cream
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer. The add the salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Gradually alternate adding the powdered sugar and heavy cream until all of the sugar is added and the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
- Store in an air tight container until ready to use. Enjoy!
- Frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let it warm to near room temperature and mix well before spreading on cookies.
- Half and half or milk can be substituted for cream in a pinch.
- If unsalted butter is used, add an extra 1/4 tsp of salt to the frosting.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)