This is the only icing I use. I love that all the ingredients are pantry staples and easily bought at any grocery store (with the exception of the white food color, which is an optional ingredient). This icing will dry firm to the touch, but remain soft underneath. It does not get hard or crunchy. Iced cookies can be bagged and stacked approximately 12-18 hours after decorating.


*3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

*3 tablespoons corn syrup

*3 tablespoons water or milk

*3/4 to 1 teaspoon extract

*15 drops brite white food color,optional (I use Americolor)


In a medium bowl and with a spoon, mix together the first four ingredients until fully blended. Add the brite white and mix. The icing should have the consistency of honey, or white school glue. If you need to thicken, add more powdered sugar in small amounts. If you need to thin, add more corn syrup in small amounts. Divide and color.


This icing does not like to get cold. Refrigerating decorated cookies is not recommended, but if you must, wait a full 24 hours before doing so. While there will be nothing wrong with the icing, it will look splotchy. (The brite white will help with this problem, but is not a full fix). The leftover icing CAN be refrigerated, and will remain fresh for 10-14 days. Even when using milk, you don't have to worry about the decorated cookies spoiling. The high sugar content acts as a preservative.


Need more or less icing? Keep the proportions the same: 1 tablespoon corn syrup and 1 tablespoon liquid to every cup of powdered sugar.

Last edited by Julia M. Usher
Original Post
I have noticed that the white gel food coloring (Americolor) I use makes my icing thicker. Fifteen drops for that amount is quite a bit more than I use. Have you used this without the white, and do you think it makes a difference? I learned to decorate cookies with glaze, and was astounded by how much easier it is to work with royal icing. However, glaze really tastes so much better.

I have always just poured milk mixed with real vanilla into a bowl of powdered sugar until I get a thick version of the consistency I want, sometimes with a tiny bit of melted butter for extra flavor. Then color it, wait a while, and add more sugar. (It always gets thinner if covered well, and I think it is because a little extra time is needed for the sugar to completely dissolve.) I am looking to try out many different recipes for royal icing, glaze, and a mix of the two.

I hope to compare them side by side at the same time, so environmental factors are the same for all. Do you think the corn syrup makes a difference in the consistency, or just the shine?
Originally Posted by Marilena:

Hi I'm new to this site and new to icing cookies, also i'm in Australia. Your fourth ingredient is 'extract', sorry for my ignorance, what is extract?

Extracts are usually alcohol-based flavorings with flavored oils in them; they can be any number of flavors from vanilla to citrus to almond . . .

Originally Posted by pip:

I'm confused about glaze icing.  It sounds like the icing poured over bundt cakes. coffee cakes etc., but, I may have misunderstood the recipe.


I'd like to know more about this icing.  Would some dear cookier fill me in please?




In this context, it's an alternative to royal icing for cookies, without the egg whites, so it takes longer to dry and tends to spread and bleed more. But some people love it, because it doesn't bear the risk of salmonella (with raw whites) and it tends to have a softer bite when dry, especially if you add corn syrup to it, as in the recipe above.

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