When you have been baking and decorating sugar cookies for as many years as I have, you come to really appreciate some staple recipes like this fantastic Sugar Cookie Frosting (that hardens)!
The wonderful bonus of this frosting is that it will set up and harden, which means that you can stack your decorated cookies for storing, sharing, and shipping to loved ones!
I LOVE sharing my decorated cookies (and it gets them out of the house so they don't ALL get eaten!), so being able to stack, freeze, package and even ship them out via mail is very important to us.
My royal icing that we use for sugar cookie decorating will also set up for these purposes, but sometimes you want a different look...or maybe you need to get something decorated quickly.
In the case of ease and speed, I usually like to frost my holiday cut out sugar cookies. I don't have to wait as long to use my baked sugar cookies when frosting them vs using royal icing. Plus, this sugar cookie frosting hardens up and sets faster than royal icing.
This sugar cookie frosting is also an excellent choice for ultra or super white frosting, as your base is already white (vegetable shortening), so you won't need any other methods of whitening your frosting. You can even replace buttercream frosting in cake decorating with our sugar cookie frosting, as it holds up well to high heat and humidity.
If the thought of using shortening doesn't sound so appealing, remember to add a generous amount of extract flavoring, and you really won't be able to tell the difference!
My super easy no chill rolled sugar cookie recipe is a great time saver when you're in a crunch but still want that classic cut out sugar cookie appearance!
If you're looking for the best classic rolled sugar cookies, then you'll want to try my tried and true favorite version that I have been using for decades!!
Remember that really old recipe that your Grandma used? It may just be my vintage recipe for sugar cookies!
Looking for more holiday cookie ideas? Try my Chocolate Peppermint No Bake Cookies for a delightful twist on a favorite cookie, or my kid favorite holiday treat No Bake Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Chip Crisps.
*If you want to try to substitute some butter into this frosting (which would make it a buttercream frosting), you will change the resulting texture and the ability of this frosting to 'set up' for storing!
**I typically freeze my baked and decorated cookies, then stack them neatly with wax paper dividers before shipping them out to friends and family. They will thaw during transit, but it helps when paired with careful packaging!
Best Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipes
- No Chill Rolled Sugar Cookies
- Classic Sugar Cookies (our favorite for rolled and cut out sugar cookies)
- Vintage Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookie Frosting (that hardens)
- ½ cup shortening (we use Crisco, you can use butter flavored if desired)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or extract flavoring of choice)
- 4 cups confectioners sugar (½ of a 2 lb bag)
- 4 tablespoon heavy cream (2-4 tablespoon, start with 2 tablespoon)
- food coloring (if desired)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl, combine the shortening and vanilla extract using the whisk attachment. Beat until well combined and a creamy consistency.
- Add the confectioners sugar and heavy cream in alternating amounts, starting with the first cup of confectioners sugar. Then add a drizzle of heavy cream (½ to 1 tablespoon at a time), and alternate again until all of the confectioners sugar has been incorporated.
- Add enough heavy cream when alternating so that your stand mixer or handheld mixer can work with the frosting as it comes together (if the frosting is too stiff, add more liquid).
- The amount of liquid can vary greatly depending on your temperature and humidity (weather conditions). Use enough liquid to get a consistency that is typically thicker than store bought frosting, but that will still pipe or spread easily when applied to cookies.
- *Adding food coloring is optional, and you can add whatever type of food coloring you have on hand. For best results, use gel food coloring whenever possible.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!