Glossy Chocolate Icing

If I could still eat chocolate, I’d make a batch of this and eat it with a spoon. Made with cocoa powder, this glossy chocolate icing is easy to prepare and makes a wonderful companion for a variety of treats. Today’s batch went onto these chocolate cupcakes with vanilla cream filling, pictured at left.

I’ve made this icing once before and it turned out a bit more drizzly then than it did today, but today’s consistency was much better for my cupcakes. Just be careful to work quickly, as it sets pretty fast. If you’re not able to spread it, add just a bit more milk to thin it slightly, about a half-teaspoon at a time. You can always add more if you need to, but remember that you can never take the liquid back out of an icing once it’s there.


  • 3 tablespoons¬†butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk


In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in cocoa powder, then remove from heat.

Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and stir well until you reach a very smooth consistency; it will become glossy once it’s done. Use immediately, as it sets very fast! Makes enough for about 16 cupcakes.


Sugar Cookie Icing

sugar cookie icingEveryone loves sugar cookies…except me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll certainly eat them, but they’re not my favorite. I’d much rather have a peanut butter cookie with a Hershey’s Kiss on it, or a pumpkin chocolate chip, or a molasses cookie. Sugar cookies are popular though, because they’re so easy to customize.

This is the first time I worked with this icing, which I found over at Sally’s Baking Addiction; it looked much easier to work with than royal icing, and it certainly was. This icing works well with a technique similar to piping and flooding,where you outline your cookie to make a border, then fill in the center – the only difference was that I didn’t use a thinner version of the icing when I flooded the center.

The recipe below is adapted from Sally’s to make enough icing for about 3 dozen cookies. It’s important to note that this icing needs about 24 hours to harden completely; I put iced cookies in single layers in various containers while the icing set.


  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 6-7 tablespoons room temperature water
  • Food coloring, for tinting


In a large mixing bowl, combine sifted powdered sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla.

Add 2 tablespoons water and stir; icing will be very thick and paste-like, so continue to add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a thick drizzling consistency; if you drizzle some of the icing with your spoon, it should hold for just a moment before melting back into the rest.

If tinting, divide icing into bowls and tint with desired colors. I tinted mine pink, orange, light green, and purple.

Place icing in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe a border around the outside of your cookie, then fill in the center using circular motions or swirls to cover most of the center. Using a small offset spatula, gently spread the icing in the center so it reaches the border and makes a smooth layer.

Store cookies in containers, in a single layer, for 24 hours to be sure the icing hardens completely. Once the icing is fully set, you can store the cookies between sheets of waxed paper.