Cookies are beautiful when baked right but they are made especially beautiful with the addition of decorated cookie icing. A good baker knows the importance of decorating their baked goods. That's why a person can actually have a career as just a food stylist these days.

As such, it's almost mandatory for bakers to know a good recipe for icing. Fortunately, decorative cookie icing is pretty simple to make thanks to a memorable formula consisting of a 2:1:1/2 ratio of powdered sugar to water to corn syrup. Throw in a little flavoring like vanilla extract and a few drops of food coloring to complete.

It's made even easier with the help of a stand mixer if available. In fact, this equipment is pretty mandatory for the job in most cases.

Decorative cookie icing goes well with just about any type of cookie and can last for up to two weeks when refrigerated. For those who are also on the lookout for some good cookie recipes while they're at it, here's one for sugar cookies to try. For the chocolate lovers out there, this recipe for chewy chocolate cookies should do.

The recipe


  • 480 g powdered sugar
  • 120 ml water
  • 60 g corn syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 g) vanilla extract
  • Food coloring as desired


  1. Combine the powdered sugar, water, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Run on low speed until the mixture turns smooth. If the decorative cookie icing is too thick, add a little more water by the tablespoon until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Add a few drops of the food coloring while the icing is still processing. Keep adding by the drop until it reaches the right tint.
  3. Pipe the decorative icing on finished cookies. Let the icing harden in room temperature before serving or storing the cookies. Seal and refrigerate any remaining icing for future use. Can last for up to 2 weeks.

Serves: 665 grams


  • Chocolate - Add one tablespoon of cocoa powder to the mixture before processing in the stand mixer.
  • Cinnamon - Substitute cinnamon for the vanilla extract.
  • Lemon - Substitute lemon juice and lemon extract for the water and vanilla extract respectively. Use yellow food coloring to tint the icing.
  • Peanut Butter - Add one tablespoon of peanut butter to the mix.
  • Strawberry - Substitute strawberry puree for the water.
  • Coconut - Substitute coconut milk for the water.
  • Orange - Substitute sixty milliliters of orange juice for half of the water.