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Mrs. Neuman’s Icing

(recipe, Sara Perry)


Use this icing to frost Gingerbread Men.


  1. 3 cups powdered sugar
  2. ⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  5. ½ tsp. pure lemon extract
  6. 4 to 6 Tbsp. whole milk or cream, plus more if needed
  7. 2 to 3 drops food coloring, if desired


  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, lemon extract, and 3 to 4 tablespoons milk until blended. It will be lumpy. Stir in the remaining milk until it reaches a spreading consistency. If desired, divide the frosting in half and add food coloring to one half, mixing until the color is uniform. Using a small spatula, spread the colored icing over the cooled cookies. Place the white icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe designs, or spread the white icing over the plain cooled cookies and decorate as desired.


Culinate editor's notes: Don't be tempted to skip the lemon extract in this recipe; the lemon flavor really balances out the spicy gingerbread. Also, consider making only a half-recipe, as this batch of frosting is quite generous in quantity. This recipe comes from Sara Perry's article on holiday desserts.