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Sugar cookie glaze recipe. Convenient and dependable. Pinky promise.

This sugar cookie glaze recipe works. 

Years ago when I started sugar cookie decorating, I began with glaze. I didn’t have much luck with the sugar cookie glaze recipe I used back then. I had quite a few problems. Color bleed, too thin of glaze, opaque instead of white, etc.

My first time using glaze icing:

First attempt at using glaze icing imageThis is what happens when you use the wrong icing

Fast forward years later.

I never went back to glaze after I finally got together the perfect sugar cookie icing recipe. I love it and, more importantly, so do my customers.

However, I strive to give you well-rounded information on this site, with no questions left. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I try!

I decided to find a sugar cookie glaze recipe that aids those who, for various reasons, cannot or wish not to use royal icing.

Great news for you! If you are needing a sugar cookie glaze recipe that works and tastes good, here it is! Oh, happy days are here again.

After testing some recipes for you, I landed on this one, I realized if I had to switch to a sugar cookie glaze recipe, I would use this one. So I got something out of the deal instead of just writing this page. If a customer requests glaze, I have a good recipe I can rely on now.

If you need a glaze recipe for these reasons:

  • allergies to eggs
  • the local government does not allow it under cottage rules
  • simply prefer without egg whites or meringue powder.
  • you are vegan now have the recipe below.

Sugar cookie glaze recipe and free download

Here is the recipe. Underneath is a link that you can download for free to print it off.

Very simple.

Sugar Cookie Glaze Recipe

yields: (the standard per cookie is a generous 1 oz) This recipe gives enough to ice about 3 DZ, 3" cookies. If you have a lot of cookies, go ahead and double everything at the start.

½ cup milk (some use water)

½ cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons flavoring

2-pound bag  + 2 cups of quality confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, like C&H or Dominos. Cheaper brands often add extra cornstarch. That will make your colors bleed.

40 drops (about ½ teaspoon) of white food color gel (this also helps to prevent color bleed)

Download the sugar cookie glaze recipe for free by clicking on this image:

Image to click to download sugar cookie glaze recipe

What to expect with this sugar cookie glaze recipe…

Image of summer themed cookies using the sugar cookie glaze recipe.Sugar cookie glaze recipe: no color bleed or fading and soft to the bite yet stackable and shippable.

Here’s a breakdown of the different things you might wonder about this recipe:

     As long as you make sure and use the tips in this free download on the Royal Icing Tips page, you shouldn’t need to worry about color bleeding, unless you live where the humidity is high.

I've been using this recipe faithfully for 2 weeks in a great many orders, in mid to high humidity and this sugar cookie glaze recipe stands up great and compares closely to my royal icing in the way it reacts.

*Please note, I do use a dehydrator (the one I use is on this page, a must-read) as I do with royal icing.

  • hardens to stack

     The key (as above) is making sure you give it plenty of time to dry thoroughly (up to 3 days sometimes).

I am very impressed with the way it hardens. It is well-crusted, and soft to the bite, just like my royal icing recipe.

  • vibrant/deep colors using food gel

     I have found that the colors are good. This does greatly depend on the brand of the gel food colors and the cornstarch in the powdered sugar you use. I use Americolor gels and C&H. I've used Dominos powdered sugar with great results as well.

  • tasty

     The glaze does taste good. Especially if you are adding a quality extract. If no extract is used in the recipe, it’s going to just taste sweet.

  • ease of manipulation

     It incorporates colors well. No big complaints here. I’ve used royal icing for so many years that I am used to how it feels. The glaze, due to using 1/2 cup of light corn syrup is heavy and relatively sticky compared to the fluffiness of RI.

  • ease of thickening with powdered sugar

     I still find it harder to thicken for piping flowers or words. I have seen over the internet that this is the biggest struggle with a sugar cookie glaze recipe, unfortunately.

  • fading colors after a couple of days

 I have found no fading even after 3 days. Again, I use a dehydrator. I believe using them helps combat fading and color bleed with glaze OR royal icing.

  • food color markers work well (see my comparison of different markers by following that link)

     Yep! No problems whatsoever:

Image shows using food color markers and airbrushing on a bee themed cookie. This is a sugar cookie glaze recipe.Sugar cookie glaze recipe using food color markers and airbrushing after 2 days.
  • airbrushing also does wonderful on this sugar cookie glaze recipe:
Bee themed decorating using sugar cookie glaze recipeSugar cookie glaze recipe with airbrushing after 2 days
  • edible images are no different with this glaze than with royal icing:

Other notes you probably need to know:

The glaze is stored the same way as royal icing. If water is used instead of milk or cream, obviously the glaze shelf-life is longer.

After freezing, if you see it separated, simply mix it gently to not cause air bubbles.

For me, glaze takes longer to dry completely. I’m talking for up to 3 days, especially if it’s humid! Just make sure they are good and dry before placing them in the freezer or splotching could occur. Also, they need to be dry if you plan on packaging them. If they aren’t, they could stick to the bag and cause the color to bleed.

As with any cookies, the best way to package them if you are shipping is to stand them on their sides, not flat.

Certainly, you can treat glazed cookies just like royal icing once it has dried well. Stenciling and watercoloring, etc. can easily be used.

Making PYO cookies works perfectly well too! Just make sure they are good and dry from flooding the cookies.

Sugar cookie glaze recipe, why it's safe to leave decorated cookies on the counter

Have you ever wondered why on earth it’s okay for glaze royal icing, or buttercream frosting to set out on decorated cookies when it has milk in it? Seems strange, right? I’ll give you a brief mini-lesson on that strange thing called crenation.

What is that?!

Crenation (I'm paraphrasing from this link):

Because of its density, sugar takes moisture from milk and extracts fluid from bacteria. Therefore, the bacteria dies, triggering osmosis. You see microbes can only survive with adequate moisture. Sugar acts as a vacuum and sucks that moisture out. Bye-bye bacteria!

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