How to Ice Sugar Cookies – The Easy Way with Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

LAST UPDATED: Dec 14, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Dec 14, 2019 | By: Julie Blanner

Did you know that you don’t have to compromise taste when icing your sugar cookies? This sugar cookie buttercream frosting goes on smoothly and hardens just like royal icing. Learn how to ice sugar cookies, with yummy buttercream icing, the easy way! Made with just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to make.

buttercream frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles

Originally shared December 21, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, we had lunch at a bakery and Adalyn begged for a decorated sugar cookie and I obliged. After eating her lunch, she took one bite and said “mom, this isn’t very good.” I couldn’t argue.  

Royal icing is often hard and flavorless with a hint of tart citrus. It’s like fondant on cake. It’s beautiful, but the taste and texture lack flavor.

That’s why I always use buttercream to ice sugar cookies! It’s the perfect compliment to a great sugar cookie. It’s delightfully sweet, soft in texture and just as beautiful!  

This Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting is a delicious go to to ice sugar cookies and is so quick and easy, too!

I always choose taste over aesthetics, but I don’t feel that using buttercream is much of a compromise at all! I will warn you, it’s difficult to stop at just 1 cookie! 

I’m also sharing how to ice sugar cookies with buttercream with ease!

Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

You need just three ingredients for this sugar cookie frosting!

  • Butter – salted or unsalted, your preference.
  • Powdered Sugar – also known as confectioners’ sugar.
  • Milk – any will do from skim to heavy cream.

How to Make Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

It won’t take more than five minutes to whip up a batch of this frosting

  1. Beat butter until smooth.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar, followed by milk.

Dipping a cookie into frosting

How To Frost Sugar Cookies With Buttercream

You can watch the video in this post for the easy tutorial to use buttercream sugar cookie icing without the fuss and stress.

  1. Add icing to a shallow bowl and warm it until smooth (about 30 seconds).
  2. Keeping fingers on the edge of the cookie, dip it and allow it to drip.
  3. Place the cookie on wax or parchment paper to dry
  4. If you’re adding sprinkles, add them immediately.

Note: You may need to warm the icing a time or two throughout the dipping process, depending on how many cookies you have to ice. It typically takes about 20 minutes to ice 6 dozen sugar cookies! It’s quick, pretty and most importantly, delicious!

Two iced cookies on parchment

I like to use white icing for my cookies and then decorate them with sprinkles for a hit of color. You can of course also color your buttercream with food coloring for more vibrant cookies. I find the kids love decorating these too, so they’re a great way to get them into the kitchen.

buttercream frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles

Top Tips For Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

  • Let your cookies cool to room temperature before icing them.
  • You may need to warm the icing a time or two throughout the dipping process, depending on how many cookies you have to ice.
  • Place the frosted cookies on parchment paper.

Don’t miss my tips for easy cutout sugar cookies!

White cookies in star shapes

More Amazing Cookie Recipes

If you try this buttercream for sugar cookies, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too! For more easy recipes and simple living ideas, subscribe to my newsletter!

buttercream sugar cookie icing

Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting

Julie Blanner
3 ingredient Sugar Cookie Frosting that is melt-in-your-mouth amazing! Top your favorite sugar cookies with this incredible classic Sugar Cookie Frosting.
4.95 from 19 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 166 kcal


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • Beat butter until smooth.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, followed by milk.



Tips to Ice with Sugar Cookie Icing
  1. Let your cookies cool to room temperature before icing them.
  2. Warm the icing and dip your cookies.
  3. Place the frosted cookies on parchment paper.
  4. Add the sprinkles immediately to the icing.


Calories:166kcalCarbohydrates:25gFat:7gSaturated Fat:4gCholesterol:20mgSodium:69mgPotassium:5mgSugar:24gVitamin A:240IUCalcium:5mg
Keywords buttercream, christmas frosted cookies, icing, Melt in Your Mouth Buttercream Icing for Sugar Cookies, Sugar Cookie Buttercream Frosting, sugar cookie icing, sugar cookies
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner

mini loaves of bread gift wrapped