Glaze, Icing Misunderstood

There are many mediums that can be used to decorate cookies…royal icing, fondant, “royalish icing”, rolled  and regular buttercream, and one of the most misunderstood, glaze, also known as corn syrup icing.

It might be a little disloyal, but I don’t believe that royal icing is the only way to decorate a cookie.  I think that each person needs to find a medium and make it their own.

Still, I hear a lot of people say, “I prefer the taste of glaze but it’s not good for detailed cookies.”

I have discussed this several times with my friend Pam, and have even tried glaze myself.

Now that I have, I am even more impressed with the ladies that use it.  It’s not as easy as they make it appear, BUT it’s not impossible to make detailed, gorgeous cookies using glaze.

Here are some cookies from my favorite ladies of glaze. {click on the photos to see more of their amazing work} 
Of course, there’s Cookie Crazie Pam,

And Amanda, AKA, i am baker…

Dawn, who owns her own bakery in Berkley, Michigan,
And my friend Susan, who recently sent me some of her AMAZING cookies for a cookie swap {that’s a whole other story =)}…
This said, I’m going to turn things over to Pam, to demonstrate EXACTLY how she creates super detailed cookies with this misunderstood medium.

Sometimes I get  frustrated when people insist that glaze is inferior to royal icing and that not that much can be done with it. I wholeheartedly disagree! It’s true……glaze has its limitations and quirks as does ANY icing, but if you’re patient enough, you can do almost everything with glaze that you can with royal icing.

Today I chose to make a flower bouquet because it is one of those cookies that takes lots of time, patience, and details. It seemed like the perfect cookie for “showing off” glaze. :)
For the bouquet, I used the heart bouquet cutter from Ecrandal.  Since I wanted to use a simple string ribbon around the stems, I chose to cut off the bow once I cut the cookie.

Next, I outlined and flooded the entire cookie with dark green.

While the base was still wet, I took my lighter green and made various “leaves” and lines to add a busyness to the background that would be peeking through.

After this, I would let the cookie sit for 10 minutes or more before I added more details. Each one of the following photos shows my additions every few minutes. 
And now, the finished cookie. :)
If you prefer glaze, don’t give up on it.  With a little patience and practice, you can create cookies just as gorgeous as any decorated with royal icing or any other medium. 
Thanks Callye, for letting me demonstrate a little bit of the complexity you can get from glaze. :)

I hope this will encourage everyone, especially those who might not have had good luck with royal icing to try something else.

Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you Pam, for this tutorial =)


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  1. 11
    Psholl says:

    This is not a reply for Laura (sorry Laura), it's a question for Pam. I can't figure out how to post a comment here. Again, Sorry Laura

    Hi Pam, I love glace icing. I love how it tastes and looks and I prefer it to royal icing because it's not as chalky. However, just about every time I use it I find that my colors start to fade and I get white blotches. What is that and how can I stop it?

  2. 12
    knittybaker says:

    Thanks Callye and Pam for the post. I've tried both royal icing and glaze. I love the look of glaze (shiny) but it's harder to get used to so I've been using royal icing. Your post is very encouraging. I will need to practice with glaze now :).

  3. 13
    cookiecrazielady says:

    Hi Psoll. The fading and white blotches are common. :( sigh……but I think it might be related to how cold the cookies are when they dry. I had a really bad time in February with Valentine cookies, when it was very cold outside. I dry my cookies at the dining table next to a sliding glass window. I'm hoping that is due to of the cold….because I can solve that. I haven't completely confirmed this theory, but I'm anxious to get that problem licked. (no pun intended. :))

  4. 14
    cookiecrazielady says:

    Jennday1…..check out my tutorials on glaze on my blog. I use the 10 second rule. Yes, to thicken you add powdered sugar….to thin you add tiny amounts of water.

  5. 15
    cookies and cups says:

    I love this post! I have used both and like the taste of glaze better, but have trouble making it look as pretty as royal. Obviously it can be done because Pam does it to perfection so I need to get out there and practice some more :))))

  6. 16
    Psholl says:

    Thanks for responding Pam. I hate to tell you but I don't think it's the cold. This seems to happen to me in winter, spring, summer and fall. I haven't been making many cookies lately, but I was a cookie fool a few years ago and it kept happening, but not all the time and I can't figure it out. I even asked Toba Garrett and she said she has the same problems sometimes, but is not sure why either. I read on CC that with Toba's recipe it doesn't require you to mix long enough. I haven't tried to mix longer, but the next time I do cookies, I definitely will.

  7. 17
    Diane says:

    great post, I'm a glaze girl my self, I've used both but always revert back to the glaze.

  8. 18
    ande1058 says:

    I know this isn’t a current post anymore, but some people have commented on how when they use glace/glaze icing, they get white spots/streaks. I have been decorating cookies with glace icing for 5+ years now (though nowhere near as amazing as any of the mentioned cookie artists), and I’ve NEVER had a problem with spots/streaking. I add white food coloring to my whole batch before separating it into the different colors and this really seems to work for me. I hope this information helps.

    • 18.1
      Stacy says:

      I’ve been using corn syrup icing to decorated my sugar cookies & I’m consistent w/my recipe & I’m noticing that the day after glazing my sugar cookies, some of them begin to spot (white spots) and they continue to leave blotchy white spots the next day too. Does anyone know why this happens and what I can do to prevent it from happening? I’ve even used a dehumidifier & turned on the AC to rule out if it’s a weather related problem & I haven’t noticed any difference. And I’ve even added white gel pasted to the recipe to see if that helps & still, the dreaded blotches appear :)


      My Ingredients:

      Powdered sugar
      corn syrup
      almond extract
      clear vanilla extract

  9. 19
    Marnie G says:

    I only use corn syrup glaze and make 100′s of cookies with it. I used to get the blotchy white spots on the icing but think I have solved it. I freeze my cookies after I’ve let them completely cool. Then only deorste them once they have come have to room temp. Then after the icing is set and completely dry I bag them in an airtight bag. I have frozen them at this point and brought them out to thaw completely and they look and taste great for 2 weeks after.


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