The best, easiest buttercream icing for frosting all the cookies and other sweet treats.

Cookies are lovely, but cookies decorated with a swirl of buttercream icing? Irresistible. I’m sharing my easy cookie icing recipe that will put the finishing touch on all of your favorite cookies.

icing being piped onto a cookie.

Everyone needs a go-to cookie icing recipe and this one, my friends, is my most favorite. It has a beautiful texture and is a cross between a glaze and traditional buttercream frosting. It’s pipeable but soft and lightly flavored with vanilla.

It’s the best icing for cookies and can be kept plain white, or you can tint it every color of the rainbow if you want something more colorful.

I love to use it to give my favorite M&M cookies a special touch, but it can be used to ice any cookies or treats that you like. It’s buttery like a buttercream frosting but with a softer, looser texture a few steps up in thickness from a glaze. We just love it.

a spoonful of icing with a piping bag of icing next to it.


  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Softened butter
  • Milk
  • Clear vanilla extract

How to Make It

Cream the confectioner’s sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth.

the ingredients being mixed in a bowl.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla with the mixer running until the icing is smooth and stiff. This will take about five minutes. If you would like to tint your icing add the color at this point.

Transfer the icing to a piping bag and frost your favorite cookies.

some being piped out of the bag.

Buttercream Recipe Tips

  • You can change the flavor of this icing by using different flavored extracts like almond or mint.
  • You can store it in the refrigerator until you can use it. You may need a hand mixer to whip it up again before you ice your treats.
  • Use your favorite food coloring products to tint it any color you like. Or keep it plain white – perfect either way.

Ways to Use It

Try it on these different cookies – they are all fantastic!

assortment of M&M cookies with buttercream frosting

It goes without saying that all of my kids give this easy buttercream icing rave reviews – they just love it when our cookies are dressed up with it!

Give it a try, and you may never return to plain cookies again. You’ll want a swirl of this icing every time!

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buttercream frosting images in collage one just frosting and another on a cookie

Buttercream Icing for Cookies

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 48
Calories: 57 kcal
The best Buttercream Icing for frosting cookies and other sweet treats. It is a cross between a buttercream frosting and icing glaze for the best texture!
icing being piped onto a cookie.


  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract


  • Cream together the confectioner's sugar and butter until smooth.
  • Gradually mix in the milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and stiff, about 5 minutes. Color with food coloring if desired.
  • Frost your favorite cookies and devour!
Calories: 57kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 18mgPotassium: 3mgSugar: 10gVitamin A: 62IUCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
icing being piped onto a cookie.
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh wow! I’m so glad I found this recipe and it’s perfect for our gathering this weekend! So excited to make this and your M&M cookies too! My daughter is going to love helping me!

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