This tried-and-true cookie cake icing is the perfect consistency for piping onto cookie cakes, it has that classic bakery flavor, and it’s easy to whip up whenever you need it. It’s truly the best cookie cake frosting ever!
Why I Love This Cookie Cake Icing
- It’s a proven recipe: Hundreds of readers have used my cookie cake icing recipe with success after my Homemade Cookie Cake Recipe ranked at the top of Google. You won’t be disappointed!
- It has the perfect flavor and consistency: It tastes like the frosting you get on cookies from the mall, with that little bit of crust on the outside that makes it extra yummy. If you’re looking for a homemade Great American Cookie icing recipe, this comes close!
- It’s versatile: This is the frosting I use on my Homemade Cookie Cake, Sheet Pan Cookie Cake, and Double Layer Cookie Cake (we adjust the amounts to make the sheet cake & layered cookie cake). Of course, you can also use it on any of my cookie cake recipes or even sandwich it in between regular cookies too (like my Chewy Mini M&M Cookies).
Best Piping Tip for Cookie Cakes
I like to use a large star piping tip when piping frosting onto the border of a cookie cake.
It’s super easy to use & makes your cookie cakes look like they came from a bakery! If you don’t have the cake decorating skills to write or pipe an elaborate design, this tip lets you get a professional look with practically no effort at all.
Second, it’s just the right size for this cookie cake frosting recipe. The frosting is thick and stiff, so the large tip works well. If you try to use it with a smaller star tip, you may have trouble with it coming out.
How to Decorate a Cookie Cake
I like to make cookie cake icing stiffer vs. super fluffy, which means it holds its piped shape & hardens better. This makes your frosted cookie cake easier to serve, slice, and store. The frosting doesn’t get crunchy, but it does develop a thin crust.
Here are some fun cookie cake frosting ideas anyone can do:
- Add border: Use the large star piping tip above to create a simple border. You can leave this as-is, or add sprinkles.
- Color it! Color it with Wilton gel for a pretty hue. See my trick for getting pastels in my How to Make Light Pink Frosting post.
- Use stencils: Use the printable number stencils from my Giant Birthday Cookie Cake.
- Sprinkles: Frost the whole cake with an offset spatula and add sprinkles to the top.
- Add phrases! Get a letterboard cake topper kit to make adding a message to your cookie cake super easy!
If you’re making a giant cookie cake recipe in my DIY Cookie Cake Pan, I recommend removing the edges before you decorate it!
Not only is this the best icing for cookie cakes, it’s also the most customizable! Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- Funfetti: Add sprinkles on top or use my chewy funfetti cookie cake recipe, if you want something even more festive!
- Cookies & Cream: Mix Oreo crumbs into the vanilla frosting, like in my oreo cookie pizza.
- Lemon: Add 1/2 -1 teaspoon of lemon extract or use the frosting recipe in my lemon cookie cake (developed for a sugar cookie cake!).
- Vanilla Almond: Use this on a Frosted Sugar Cookie Cake.
- Chocolate: If you want a chocolate cookie cake frosting recipe, try the one in my chewy s’mores cookie cake.
- Peanut Butter: Use the frosting recipe in peanut butter cookie cake.
This cookie cake frosting was originally published with my classic cookie cake recipe. Here’s what readers have to say about it:
This is THE BEST COOKIE CAKE EVER!! I make it all the time for friends and family and they all love it and say it’s way better than store bought. Everyone always ask to buy one from me because they’re so good! – Emily
I have made this cookie cake a dozen times already, my family prefers it to the store-bought cookie cakes!!! Thanks so much – Lyndell
I am a bit of a cookie cake snob. This is absolutely fabulous – chewy, buttery, with flecks of chocolate throughout. The icing is light, fluffy and adds a bit of delight towards the end of your slice of cookie cake. I highly recommend this recipe! – Megan
Storage & Freezing
- Storing: This cookie cake frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature and then re-whip it before piping.
- Freezing: Freeze any leftover frosting for 2 to 3 months in a freezer bag or airtight container. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight then re-whip it before piping.
Fun Themed Cookie Cake Decorating Ideas:
Best Cookie Cake Icing
This cookie cake frosting is perfect for all your cookie cake needs! It's easy to make, simple to pipe, and it hardens beautifully!
This recipe makes roughly 1 ½ cups of frosting; enough to add a border & message to a 12" round cookie cake. For layered or larger sizes, use the amounts in my Sheet Pan Cookie Cake or Layered Cookie Cake!
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened to room temperature
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
Before you begin! If you make this, will you do me a huge favor and leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe? This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
Beat the softened butter on medium-high speed for 2-minutes until smooth.
Turn the mixer to low speed then add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. You may need to stop and scrape down sides.
Add vanilla extract and salt and turn mixer to medium speed. One tablespoon at a time, add milk. Beat on high for 2-3 minutes until creamy and the frosting is at a good consistency to pipe.
If it looks too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it looks too stiff, add a tiny bit of milk until you get to the desired consistency.
If adding sprinkes, be sure to add them right way before the frosting hardens.
See notes below for storing instructions.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe! This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
- Storage Note: This homemade buttercream will start developing a crust, which makes it a great frosting to make a day ahead. Because of the sugar content, you don’t need to refrigerate the frosted cookie cake if you plan to enjoy it within 1-2 days. If you are making ahead earlier, I’d suggest waiting to frost until day of OR gently wrap the frosted cookie after the frosting sets and place in the fridge.
- This recipe makes enough to create a generous border and write a message in center or use my number stencil.
- You can use Wilton gel to color it; use the toothpick trick from my How to Make Light Pink Frosting post to make light pastel colors.
- Be sure to add sprinkles right way before the frosting hardens.
- If you plan on writing a message, I recommend thinning half the frosting with 1 to 2 teaspoons of milk.
Nutrition is auto-calculated and should be used as an estimate only. Values calculated for frosting only, based on 12 servings.