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Easily Turn Leftover Frosting Into Cookies

Easily Turn Leftover Frosting Into Cookies

cookies & brownies, frostings

Leftover Frosting Cookies

When frosting a batch of twenty-four cupcakes, I always end up with one unfrosted cupcake (fine by me as I love plain cake) or gobs of leftover frosting in the bowl.  Leftover frosting gets pawned off to be used as a vegetable dip (That makes it healthy, right?) or to be slathered on crackers.  Once, I even made a cupcake entirely of frosting (Gross or awesome? Your call!).  Sometimes, I freeze my leftover frosting.  In my freezer, it typically dies behind a carton of ice cream and a bag of bones Jonathan plans to use for soup stock.  I now have a new solution for leftover frosting – use it to make leftover frosting cookies!

Easily Turn Leftover Frosting Into Cookies

Smart Baker Apron

Not only does The Smart Baker make excellent products, but Stephanie, one of the founders of The Smart Baker, writes a wonderful food blog called Ice Cream Before Dinner (I like how she thinks!).  She was the winner of the most recent round of Cupcake Roulette on the Cupcake Project Facebook page; I spin the virtual wheel and if I pick your blog, I bake something inspired by it.  I read (OK, I skimmed) Stephanie’s entire blog.  Like me, she’s been writing since 2007, so it was quite the task.  There were so many great recipes to choose from, but I got most excited about her post, Frosting in My Cookie Dough.  In that post, Stephanie explains how to make cookies using leftover frosting!  I had to try the technique!

I experimented with both leftover vanilla bean buttercream frosting (a basic American-style buttercream) and leftover chocolate cream cheese frosting and made cookies by simply adding an egg, flour, baking soda, and salt to each variety.  These will not be the best cookies that you have ever eaten, but if you put a plate of them on the counter, they will disappear.  Any cookie is better than no cookie.  Truth!

The cookies have a cake-like texture and take on the flavor of the frosting they are made from.  I haven’t yet tried this technique with a meringue buttercream, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.  I’m making one later this week so I’ll give it a go and update this post.  Check back!

Update 7/14/14:  I tried this with my mocha almond fudge meringue buttercream.  Because the meringue buttercream isn’t as sweet as American buttercream, the cookies weren’t as sweet.  We all still enjoyed them, but they tasted more like sweet biscuits.  If you want a sweeter cookie and are using a meringue buttercream, I’d suggest adding a touch of sugar to the cookie recipe.

Here’s my version of Stephanie’s recipe.

Leftover Frosting Cookies
4.15 from 7 votes

Easily Turn Leftover Frosting Into Cookies

Re-purpose leftover frosting to make cookies.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 12 small cookies


  • 1/2 cup of leftover frosting
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix everything together.
  3. Place 12 roughly even scoops of cookie dough on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  4. Bake for 13 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned.
  5. Cool on a cooling rack and eat!

Recipe Notes

If the frosting recipe contains salt, you can leave that out of the cookie recipe. Feel free to play around with the recipe by adding chocolate chips or other mix-ins to the cookies.

What do you think?  Would you try leftover frosting cookies?

Love it? Share it!

43 comments on “Easily Turn Leftover Frosting Into Cookies”

  1. Karla Baker says:

    Sounds interesting, but most frosting is so sweet I can’t eat it anyway, so not sure I’d try making cookies. I might just to see what it does, but not sure about that. Did sound interesting though.

  2. Kittish says:

    Does sound interesting. Next time I make frosting I may well give this a try. Well, if I have any left. =)

  3. I’ve been working on a Chocolate Sweet Potato frosting that would work perfectly as a cookie!! Thanks…now I get to eat more frosting!!!!!

  4. Alison says:

    I have a batch of minis on hand in the freezer and the leftover frosting usually goes onto those. Perfect for the lunchbox when school is in session!

  5. Anna says:

    I ALWAYS have extra frosting in Tupperware or ziplock bags in my fridge, and it’s scary how much of it gets eaten straight from the tub or thrown away. I just cleared two containers of cream cheese frosting into a bowl for a triple batch of your recipe with some cinnamon and crushed toffee. My coworkers will eat anything, but I’m really hoping these come out good. I love repurposing leftovers. Thank you for sharing!

  6. AnonyMouse says:

    Would this work with a (failed) marshmallow buttercream frosting? I made a batch yesterday but added wayyyy too much marshmallow fluff, and the ‘frosting’ ended up just… marshmallow tasting glaze, really. Do you think I could rescue it by turning it into cookies?

  7. monica says:

    I used the above recipe with leftover lemon buttercream frosting ( and the cookies were a hit.

  8. H says:

    Just made two versions of these with canned store bought frosting. Added coconut to cream cheese frosting and instant coffee and chocolate chips to chocolate frosting. I was worried because I accidentally added an entire cup of cream cheese frosting in, but they turned out fine, just baked a little longer. I was also worried that there wasn’t enough fat in the cookies, so I buttered the parchment paper, which worked out great. I just knew I had to make them when I saw the recipe. Thank you!!!

  9. Vyzance says:

    Ok, that was just brilliant. I had one full cup of chocolate buttercream leftover in the fridge, I turned them into cookies and they are absolutely delicious! You are my hero. I never throw anything.

  10. Nicole says:

    I made too much frosting for my already sweet brownies, and ended up with a full cup of leftover too sweet frosting. Yuck. I followed this recipe, then sprinkled some shredded coconut on top and tiny dusting of salt on each cookie, then double baked them to make salted chocolate coconut biscotti! Needless to say it was a hit. Thanks for the awesome recipe! I am never going to have left over frosting again! <3

  11. SuperWifey says:

    My mother bought 3 cans of Cotton Candy Flavored frosting on clearance. She used one on cupcakes and they were awful! She was going to throw out the other 2 cans but I took them to see if I could do anything with them. After some online searching, I stumbled across your recipe. Fabulous idea and wonderful cookies, even with awful frosting. :)
    I followed your recipe exactly and added rainbow sprinkles to the batter (as Stephanie suggested in her original recipe.) They turned out great but I wanted to mention a few things that might help others.
    1. The batter is gooey! Don’t worry, it will still make cookies.
    2. Space the cookie scoops out… These bad boys expand! I ended up with 2 sheets of cookies melted into one another before I figured how far apart they needed to be.
    3. Cook them thoroughly and let them cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper. If not, they are too soft and fall apart. Once they were properly spaced, the suggested 13 minutes was perfect. They were a little crunchy but not burnt.

  12. Naomi says:

    I just made these, they are great! I used a super sweet chocolate icing that I had made, and the cookies were not too sweet at all. I threw in about 1/3 cup of sweetened coconut and still not really sweet. So these were great! What a wonderful use of leftover icing, and now I can give some away to my neighbors so I don’t end up eating them all…haha.

  13. Danielle says:

    I made several batched of this with 2 different frosting recipies and for all 3 batches i made i was all dry and crumbly, i had to add water or liquid of some kind for it to actually all mix together and form a batter of any kind. Did anyone else have this issue? any suggestions?

  14. Brody says:

    Cool post. I was making Nanaimo Bars today and tried to experiment by altering the middle layer (which is essentially a custard-flavoured buttercream). After that kind of failed, I didn’t want to throw away all the ingredients I had used (custard powder, icing sugar, eggs, milk, butter) so I found your page and tried the cookies.
    I didn’t measure exactly and my mixture was different to begin with – so my cookies are a bit more like muffin-textured, but still very edible – I hate to waste!


  15. Joycie says:

    Really glad I found this recipe! Had so much Green Tea buttercream leftover!! Turned out quite well! The flour really helped with the sweetness too! Super happy! Such a great idea & so yum!

  16. Linda Cerqua says:

    I just wanted let you know that I made these left over icing cookies. They turned out really great. They were not sweet. They are like a cake cookie.

  17. ILove2Bake says:

    My goodness!! Who says they are not perfect. They turned out better than so many other recipes I’ve tried before. I placed one colorful M&M in the center of each and they looked just perfect!! Can’t wait to share in the pot luck day after. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Kristina says:

    I made this with boiled frosting (aka 7 minute frosting) and did not have good luck with it. Probably this works better with frosting containing butter or other fat, or else it needs added oil. Also cinnamon would have been a great idea. These were really blah even though I did add peanut butter and cranberries when I realized how tough and plain the dough was.

  19. The cookies came out fluffy like a biscuit… My husband loved it because they were not too sweet. Super easy and fast!

  20. FalkorSmaSh says:

    Really great little recipe. I used a homemade chocolate butter cream and made 10 big fluffy cookies and they fantastic. Next time I’ll use 1/2 c flour and 1/2 c quick oats with a little water!

  21. Susie says:

    We always mad graham cracker cookies: put a swath of frosting between two graham crackers. Chill and eat!!!

  22. Effy Fred says:


  23. Melissa "Dahmer" Bistrican says:

    I made these last night using some leftover peppermint buttercream, and added a 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and HOLY COW, this is BRILLIANT! The boyfriend was impressed, too. I’m so happy to be able to make use if the seemingly ever-present leftover frosting in my fridge. <3

  24. Where’s the recipe I can’t see it

  25. Sasha says:

    I just made these added chocolate chips and made ice cream sandwiches (leftover frosting and ice cream from my son’s birthday. Glad I could use things up in such a delicious way!

  26. Marian Schwarz says:

    I doubled the recipe, forgot to add any egg, added some water, and got scones! Pretty tasty, especially with a good cup of coffee. I started out with sweet vanilla icing, I think I’ll try adding one egg and maybe a touch of sugar next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Katrina Mehmen says:

    Wow I made thes a while a go and they are delicious thanks for the awesome idea! They where great!

  28. Lori Craven says:

    I tried your recipe but my cookies came out kind of dry…any help with that?

  29. Esther says:

    So I had cream cheese frosting and Swiss meringue buttercream leftover. I used 1/4 cup each, added a splash of vanilla and a handful of fresh raspberries. I scooped 1″ rounds using a cookie scoop, made a thumbprint in the middle w wet hands and piped a little cream cheese frosting. They turned out so good! They’re not crispy cookies, they’re like soft fluffy almost cakes “breakfast cookies”. At least that’s what I’m telling myself and the reason for making a second batch right this second. So good.

  30. Subarna says:

    I tried this recipe, filled the biscuits with Raspberry preserve, and some with Nutella. Turned out really well. Thanks.

  31. Shannon Daum says:

    Overall, these were great cookies….. with a few adjustments for my taste. I don’t like my cookies overly sweet so I made these by the exact recipe the first time and they honestly weren’t sweet at all and tasted more like flour. I’m thinking it was probably because the frosting I used was whipped and so its natural less sweet in comparison to normal. (We are a whipped family and never use regular butter cream). The second time I made them, I made a few changes. First, I added 1 tsp of sugar. Second, I only added 3/4 cup flour and added by TBSP after until it was firm enough. Finally, the first time I made them, they reminded me of chocolate crinkles because of the texture and the top of them cracking open. Because of this, I rolled them in powdered sugar before baking. They turned out being just sweet enough and the cracked powdered coating added a finished look to them! :)

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