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How to Frost Cookies like a Pro using Canned Frosting… with your kids!

How to frost cookies like a pro using CANNED frosting... with your kids too!

Fancy pants sugar cookies.

We’ve all seen them. You know the ones I’m talking about… with that flawless, smooth royal icing and those ridiculously gorgeous artistic designs. You’re not really sure if you’re supposed to eat them or not, because they’re just so pretty. It can’t really be food… can it?

And then you try to make them yourself… because all those tutorials make it look so easy! Hashtag yeah right.

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For me, the whole shebang of baking up sugar cookies, making a batch of royal icing, coloring all of the royal icing, making the royal icing colors in two different consistencies (one for lining, one for flooding), popping all the air bubbles with a toothpick, then waiting for each layer to dry before adding more layers…. just isn’t worth it. Sound familiar?

What if I told you there was an easier way? A WAY easier way.

How to frost cookies like a pro using CANNED frosting... with your kids too!

Yup. It’s as easy as canned frosting and food coloring.

Ok, so sure– you’re not going to get that same hardened finish that royal icing produces. Canned frosting doesn’t work that way. BUT you can get beautifully shaped designs with a smooth glossy finish that is both gorgeous and completely achievable! And it doesn’t come with compliments of a migraine thankyouverymuch!

I’ve been using this trick for years (look at these super cute chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs from a few years ago!), and it’s my favorite, most reliable cheater method for decorating sugar cookies. Here’s the gist of it…

Start with a can of Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy frosting in vanilla (or any other “white” flavor). I usually split the can in half– either making two different colors or keeping one half white.

Using a piping bag (I’ve even used a freezer bag before when I didn’t have any “official” piping bags on hand) and a #5 tip, outline the cookies. At room temperature, canned frosting is the perfect consistency for lining cookies.

Now here comes the sneaky part…

How to frost cookies like a pro using CANNED frosting... with your kids too!

Microwave that frosting for about 20 seconds. You should be able to drizzle it with a spoon (and be sure to stir it well so that it’s the same consistency all the way through).

Once it’s all gorgeous and smooth and melty, use a small spoon to fill in the outlined shape with the melted frosting…

How to frost cookies like a pro using CANNED frosting... with your kids too!

Isn’t that gorgeous?? (I mean, ok… mine might be a little sloppy– but hey! I was photographing at the same time!)

I kept these pretty simple and just used one layer and one color of frosting, because I had a kid-friendly idea in mind from the start (I’m getting there in a second). But if you go back to this Easter Sugar Cookie post from 2011, you can see how easy it is to add layers of frosting and create really pretty designs, just like you can with royal icing!

Here’s a quick tip: if you are frosting multiple layers (frosting on top of frosting), give the cookies a quick chill in between layers. It sturdies the frosting up, making it even easier to work with.

So I mentioned that this was a kid-friendly project…

How to frost cookies like a pro using CANNED frosting... with your kids too!

My 4-year old had a BLAST decorating these “Christmas trees” with sprinkles and candies. I love that I can quickly frost these cookies in a nice and neat way, and then let her add the sprinkles. It makes for a better presentation, but without sucking all the fun out! And don’t you think these would just make darling plates of cookies for teachers and neighbors?

I’ve mentioned before how much I love Betty Crocker’s “Christmas Cookies with Kids” Hub, which is where I got the inspiration for these Christmas trees. The idea behind the site is to provide inspiration and guidance for creating cookies with your kids during the holidays– and creating memories too!

I love that I can use a Betty Crocker cookie mix (PS- did you notice how these cookies totally hold their shape? THANKS Betty!!) and Betty Crocker frosting to create something simple, beautiful, and completely stress-free. It lets me actually enjoy the time spent decorating (and eating!) treats with my family, instead of wrecking my kitchen and becoming “crabby Mom.”

If you haven’t visited Betty Crocker’s “Christmas Cookies with Kids” Hub, what are you waiting for?? Gather the family together and pick out a fun project you can do together tonight! And be sure to connect with Betty on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Betty Crocker . The opinions and text are all mine.

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.