Becca Fox

Food. Fun. Travel. Cake.

Decorated Sugar Cookies

One of my favorite holiday traditions is making my hand-decorated sugar cookies. I have been making these for years but always found royal-icing to be a pain. I finally found a beautiful but simple icing recipe that can be used as both a glaze and for detailing.

My sugar cookie recipe is one I have used since college. It is a no-fail recipe and makes gorgeous cookies. I would love to see your photos of the cookies you make and decorate! Please post in comments below or tag me on social media @beccafoxtn … happy baking!

Sugar Cookies

I got this cookie recipe from the back of a Great Value bag of sugar (crazy!) and I've used it since college. It works great with all cookie cutter shapes and tastes delish! I make my cookies a little thicker, so this recipe makes about 24 cookies for me. 


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 Tbsp milk (almond milk is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter and beat until creamy.

  2. Next, add milk, egg and vanilla to the mixing bowl & blend.

  3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, baking powder & salt & mix with a fork until blended.

  4. With the mixing bowl going at the lowest speed, gradually add the dry mix to the wet ingredients until a thick dough forms. 

  5. Once the thick dough forms, separate into two balls / flatten into discs on plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour to help the dough become a little more firm which is easier for cutting out cookies! 

  6. Once cookie dough is slightly chilled, roll out on a well-floured surface. I roll mine out until they're between 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick (I prefer thicker cookies!). 

  7. Place on a baking sheet & bake in an oven, preheated to 400 degrees. 

  8. Bake cookies approximately 8 - 10 minutes, before they turn golden. Let sit for a few seconds on the sheet, then move to a cooling rack to fully cool before icing. 


Sugar Cookie Icing

You can use this icing for both the glaze and the detailing! This recipe makes enough to glaze about 24 cookies. You cannot mess it up. I repeat, you cannot mess it up. Add more or less powdered sugar to change consistency, based on application!


  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-2.5 Tbsp milk (almond milk is fine)


  1. Sift your powdered sugar to make sure it is smooth and fine for the mixing of your icing!

  2. Once your powdered sugar has been sifted, mix in the vanilla and milk with a wisk until it is smooth. 

  3. Glaze: Use the recipe above +1 - 2 T of milk. Your icing should be runny. You can put the glaze on a shallow plate with a lip or in a shallow bowl that is wide enough for dipping your cookies. All you do is hold your cookie & dip the front into the glaze. Then set to dry, on a cooling rack set on top of a jelly roll pan or parchment paper. 

  4. Detailing: Use the same recipe above and your icing should be thick. Thick enough to hold shape & not drip out of your icing bag but not too thick, where you can't pipe it through a size 3 or 4 icing tip. 

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