How to Drizzle Icing on Sugar Cookies

Take your cookies from basic to beautiful with a simple drizzle of icing or melted chocolate (no art skills required).

Swedish Vanilla-Butter Cookies

Basic sugar cookies can be transformed into something special with a simple drizzle of homemade icing. Our default is a powdered sugar icing, but you can use the cookie drizzling techniques below with melted chocolate, candy melts, or other icings. Read on to learn how to make icing and how to execute the drizzle. Use this method on other types of cookies, too, for a festive touch that takes mere minutes.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you don't have time to bake cookies, you can just as easily use store-bought ones.

Powdered Sugar Icing

Make a Powdered Sugar Icing

In order to drizzle cookies, you need icing. Here's how to make icing using our basic powdered sugar icing recipe.


  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk or orange juice

In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk or juice. Stir in additional milk or juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches drizzling consistency. Makes 1/2 cup.

Test Kitchen Tip: Many recipes for icing call for confectioners' sugar. What is it? It's granulated sugar that's been crushed into a fine powder. And yes, it's the same thing as powdered sugar.

For chocolate powdered sugar icing: Prepare as above, except add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to the powdered sugar. Do not use orange juice with this.

For a colored icing: Stir in a couple drops of food color. A gel food color will not thin the icing as much, but if you add too much color, you can add a bit more powered sugar to thicken the icing back up.

White Chocolate and Creme de Menthe Shortbread

Drizzling Cookies with a Spoon

To add the drizzle, simply dip a spoon (or the tines of a fork) into the bowl of icing and drizzle over baked and cooled cookies. To avoid a mess, drizzle the cookies on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. When the icing has set, simply throw away the paper.

Drizzling icing in baggie, drizzle green icing

Drizzling Icing with a Resealable Plastic Bag

Transfer your icing to a small, heavy plastic bag. Snip off a small bit (you can always cut it larger if needed; start with a small snip for the most control) from one of the lower corners. Drizzle the icing through the opening in the bag.

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