Cookie Decorating Glaze

Cookie Decorating Glaze

The Recipe:

decorating glaze

Lemon Flavoured cookie glaze

Cream cheese helps keep this from getting cloyingly sweet. Easy to make and fun to use. This could probably be used for other purposes – drizzle on a cake? Colour and flavour as you like or use it straight.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup


  • 224 g confectioner's sugar (2 cups)
  • 3 TBSP milk
  • 28 g cream cheese softened (1 oz)
  • food colouring (optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon extract (this is oil based which is fainter – alcohol based, start with ½ tsp!)


  • Whisk together in a bowl until mixed and smooth
  • decorate away, let set at least 30 minutes before serving, several hours before storing.


  • The glaze fades – I mean look at all that white stuff you’re putting in – so add colour until the glaze is a shade or two darker than what you want the final colour to be.
  • I spread the cookies out on wax paper, inevitably, there are stray drips and puddles – these are handy for testing to see when the cookies are ready to store. 
  • If you get toddler level excited with the glaze and there’s pools of it, you might want to let them set for a while in situ, then move to a cooling rack once the over spill is sturdy enough to not drip off, but still needs more time to fully set.


Omit the lemon extract and try these flavour options:

1. Fully citrus glaze:
Use lemon, lime or orange juice in place of milk
2. Coffee Glaze:
1¼ tsp instant espresso or coffee powder
3: Nuts:
½ tsp almond, coconut, or hazelnut extract (I’d double that if you’re using subtler extract than the usual alcohol based stuff)
Honestly, that last one – doesn’t have to be a nut flavour – any extract – vanilla? rose? strawberry? Whatever works for the recipe you’re decorating.
Keyword cookies, decorating, glaze, holiday, sugar

The Waffle:

This was the favorite topping for the Rich Rolled Cardamom cookies. Cinnamon sugar won for looks on the cats because I have a soft spot in my heart for tabbies. Princess sugar was nice because I grew up using coloured sugar, but the flavor was washed or baked out. This wins for flavor and for the creative outlet and kid activity time decorating.

My biggest piece of advice: don’t get hung up on doing an outline and filling it in, this stuff is a bit too runny for that. Move the glaze around with the back of a spoon, you’ll get nice clean fills that way.

If you’re swirling colours – it’s slightly better not to do a base and add colours – but have pools or stripes that you either leave gaps between or push into each other with the back of the spoon, having a white base, then adding pools and stripes of other colours to swirl lead to too much glaze on the cookie.

Have fun swirling and marbling colours – a toothpick can help you drag them around to make some classic designs.

You can add dimension by letting the first layer of glaze set some, then decorating on top.