Powdered Sugar Glaze

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The ultimate powdered sugar glaze recipe that takes just 5 minutes and 3 ingredients. A simple glaze icing perfect to drizzle over cakes, cookies, and pastries.

Searching for the perfect finishing touch for your baked goods? Look no further than our powdered sugar glaze recipe that’s quick, easy, and sure to impress. This simple glaze icing can be whipped up in a mere 5 minutes, using just 3 essential ingredients.

The beauty of this powdered sugar icing is in its versatility. Not only will we guide you on how to make glaze icing with ease, but we’ll also explore variations to ensure your desserts stand out.

a spoon drizzling powdered sugar glaze on pistachio bread

About this Powdered Sugar Glaze Recipe:

  • Flavor: The flavor is up to you! Add vanilla extract for a traditional flavor, but we’ll share more flavor ideas below.
  • Texture: It’s smooth, silky, and will melt in your mouth. It’s perfectly drizzle-able.
  • Method: 5 minutes. A small bowl. And a whisk. That’s all you need.

What is a powdered sugar glaze?

One thing I’ve had readers ask me about is the elusive “powdered sugar frosting” recipe that many old-fashioned recipes call for. Old cookbooks just assume that you know exactly how to make this icing that uses powdered sugar and is often drizzled over cakes, quick breads and cookies.

This easy icing recipe will give you a simple solution to the desserts that need a little drizzle icing on top.


Powdered sugar glaze has in its very basic form 3 ingredients:

  • powdered sugar
  • heavy cream
  • vanilla extract

Although you can use different ingredients for the cream and flavoring, powdered sugar is the only constant in every variation.

How to Make Glaze Icing

  • Sift the powdered sugar into a medium-size bowl. Sifting helps ensure there are no clumps of powdered sugar to make your glaze lumpy.
  • Add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you’d like your icing or drizzle to be, whisking in between each addition.
  • Add vanilla extract (or your favorite flavor) and whisk well.

To make the glaze a thicker consistency to spread like a frosting on bread, add less cream.

If you want a light drizzle that easily flows off the spoon, you’ll add more cream.

a note about the liquid in the recipe

If you use milk, juice or any liquid that is thinner than heavy cream, you’ll need fewer tablespoons. The higher the fat content of the milk you use, the more tablespoons you’ll need because the milk is thicker. Remember to add the liquid one tablespoon at at time until you reach the desired consistency.

Spreading powdered sugar glaze on a loaf of cinnamon bread

Powdered Sugar Glaze Flavors

Once you have the basic powdered sugar and cream recipe down, the fun part comes! Here are some ideas about flavors you can add:

Add a half teaspoon a time until it tastes like what you want it to.

Add Melted Butter to Glaze

Depending on the recipe, I add a tablespoon of melted salted butter to my powdered sugar glaze. The salted butter cuts the sweetness of the glaze and adds a richness to the baked good.

Adding butter as an ingredient is great when you are making:

half a loaf of quick bread with powdered sugar glaze

Recipe Variations

  • For citrus glaze, substitute lemon juice or orange juice in place of the cream. You can see how I did this in this bundt cake and on these cookies.
  • Love cream cheese? Soften it and add it to your glaze for drizzling on carrot cake bread.
  • What about apple flavor? Use apple cider in place of the cream as we did on these apple butter muffins.
  • Crazy for peanut butter? Try adding peanut butter and drizzle it over a chocolate cake.
spoon drizzling glaze over bread
spoon drizzling glaze over bread

Powdered Sugar Glaze

4.65 from 142 votes
The ultimate powdered sugar glaze recipe that takes just 5 minutes and 3 ingredients. A simple glaze icing perfect to drizzle over cakes, cookies, and pastries.
Servings 8
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

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  • Sift the powdered sugar into a medium-size bowl.
  • Add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you'd like your icing or drizzle to be, whisking in between each addition.
  • Add vanilla extract (or your favorite flavor).
  • Whisk well and immediately drizzle or spread over cookies, cakes or breads.


  • Powdered sugar is sometimes called icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar.
  • Use a non-dairy milk if you’d like.
  • Instead of cream you can use milk, half and half or even lemon juice or apple cider. Whatever liquid you choose, just add it slowly to the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is at the right consistency.


Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 2mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Calcium: 4mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 106
Keyword easy glaze recipe, glaze icing recipe, how to make glaze, powdered sugar glaze

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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4 years ago

Hi. I’m making a raspberry cheese crumb cake and it calls for almond extract in the recipe. Would you recommend almond extract in the glaze or stick with good, old fashioned vanilla? Thank yuh in advance!

Laurie G.
4 years ago

5 stars
Thanks for sharing! I must have looked at fifteen recipes for ps glaze this morning, but your tip about melted butter is what put me on the right path – – I browned my butter! Browned butter, powdered sugar, a touch of vanilla and some half and half to smooth it all out. It is delish!

Allison Greene
5 years ago

Why does my glaze always taste like straight powder sugar no matter the flavoring I use. Does it need fat like heavy cream?

3 years ago

5 stars
When I make my glaze, I use Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream coffee creamer. Mmmm… deliciousness!

5 years ago

5 stars
Heavy cream makes the flavor for me. Sooo yummy. I’ll never use anything else.

4 years ago

5 stars
How would I go about wrapping a cake with this icing to keep it fresh? If I use plastic wrap the icing sticks to it and comes off when I unwrap it. I would love a way to keep the cake (it has cream cheese filling) fresh without messing up the icing.

5 years ago

5 stars
I have never used anything but water before, I guess that’s why I’m Googling how to make a glaze icing. LIL
I am going to make this for my lemon curd crumb cake right now ❣️
Thank you So Much ????

1 year ago

5 stars
I made banana bread for the first time during the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited to have it for breakfast the next morning….but when I woke up, I realized I forgot the sugar!!! A sad surprise. “How can I fix this?” I thought. I’m new to baking but a veteran in cooking so I do know a thing or two. My mind thought of “sugar glaze” as a jumping off point. I had no idea I would strike white gold with this recipe making my banana nut bread suddenly edible

Natashia Phelan
4 years ago

5 stars
This is the first time I liked how powdered sugar glaze turned out. I used 1/2 and 1/2…added some vanilla…drizzled it one apple spice cake. Thank you!

5 years ago

5 stars
would this be a good glaze for Apple Bread Pudding or do you have another suggestion?

6 years ago

Hi, I have been trying to make glaze but everytime i try it is end up being crunchy. I use powered sugar and even hot milk then i try to mix it with hand mixer it was better but it has a crunch still. What should i do to make smooth glaze? Maybe i should melt the glaze over double boiler maybe it will melt the sugar crystal. In every recipe it seems too easy to make but i have never achieved that. (I think every powder sugar is same since i am in the different country. It doesn’t matter… Read more »

1 year ago

Will it keep in the refrigerator or freezer?

Judi Tracy
1 year ago

5 stars
Worked perfectly- added melted butter to a little cream and added slowly- was delicious on chocolate cake! So easy…

3 years ago

5 stars
Love it

3 years ago

5 stars
Thank you for this recipe! It was my first time making glaze and I used a combo of heavy cream and half and half. The glaze was used for my pumpkin bread.