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Frosting vs. Icing: What’s the Difference?

Created October 23, 2019
frosting vs icing
In order to become the seasoned cookie-decorating pro you’ve always wanted to be, you have to know the ins and outs of the two most iconic cookie coatings.

‘Tis the season for all things cookies: decorating parties, plates of goodies piled in the break room and gorgeous Instagram videos of every type of cookie on the planet, all perfectly iced. Or, are they frosted? There’s a difference, people! Basically, frosting is thick and usually used as a coating for baked goods, while icing is on the thinner side and used as a glaze. If you’re going for a bold cookie that can bear all the toppings, frosting is for you. If you love a sweet n’ shiny gloss that makes your cookies look halfway professional, go with icing.

Icing vs. Frosting Comparison

icing vs frosting



Buttercream base

Powdered sugar base

Buttery-sweet taste

Sugary-sweet taste

Good for adding color and texture

Good for adding shine and smoothness

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Our Best Buttercream Frosting

Looking for a classic, no-fail frosting recipe? Use our go-to vanilla buttercream.

Ideas for How to Use Frosting

  • Put frosting in a piping bag to create Insta-worthy designs on your holiday cookies.
  • Spread it on cookies with a butter knife for a simple base and add sprinkles and toppings of your choice.

Easy Cookie Icing

Easy Cookie Icing

There are lots of ways to make cookie icing, but this recipe is by far the easiest method.

Ideas for How to Use Icing

  • Dip a fork in icing and drizzle it over your cookies in a zigzag motion for a lovely minimalist look.
  • Pipe a thin line of frosting around the border of your cookie, let dry, then fill the open space with thinned icing for a super-even coating