This easy Powdered Sugar Glaze recipe has only three ingredients! It’s the perfect icing for cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and donuts.
We use this same recipe to make a glaze for cake and donuts, as well as icing for cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies. It can easily be thinned and thickened or flavored and tinted.
What You’ll Find In This Post
- What You’ll Need To Make Powdered Sugar Glaze
- How To Make A Glaze
- Other Ways To Make It
- What is the best way to tint powdered sugar icing?
- Make Ahead and Storage
- Ways To Use Powdered Sugar Glaze
- What Others Want To Know
- How To Make Glaze Without Powdered Sugar
- More Frosting Recipes
What You’ll Need To Make Powdered Sugar Glaze
This basic powdered sugar glaze is made of powdered sugar and half-n-half, and you can take it up a notch by adding a dab of vanilla extract.
- Sugar: Powdered sugar, which is also known as confectioners sugar and icing sugar, is made of finely ground sugar. It also contains a small amount of corn starch to prevent clumping. It works well in this easy glaze recipe because it dissolves into the half-and-half, making the icing smooth.
- Cream: I prefer using half-n-half, which is known as half cream in some places, in this recipe. It is thinner than heavy cream, so you don’t need as much. Yet, it is thicker than milk and gives the glaze a richer flavor.
- Vanilla: I always add a little vanilla extract for flavoring.
How To Make A Glaze
To make a glaze icing, simply put the powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
I use a whisk to combine the powdered sugar glaze, but a fork or a spoon would work too. Just keep stirring until the icing is smooth. Remember that at first, it will seem like there isn’t enough liquid, but keep stirring, and it will become smooth!
If your powdered sugar glaze is too thick, stir in more half-n-half a teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you desire.
On the other hand, if the confectioners’ glaze is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency.
Other Ways To Make It
Chocolate Powdered Sugar Glaze
You can easily use the recipe to make a chocolate powdered sugar glaze! This variation is delicious on chocolate donuts and bundt cakes.
- Sift together one cup of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Add 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of half-n-half and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Whisk until smooth. You can add more cream if the mixture is too thick.
- For a creamier, smoother texture, you can also stir in two tablespoons of melted butter.
Flavored Powdered Sugar Glaze
When I make this recipe for glaze for cake and sugar cookies, I typically use vanilla extract as the flavoring. But other extracts or flavorings can be used instead of vanilla, depending on how you plan to use the icing. Try using almond extract, coconut flavoring, maple flavoring, peppermint extract, or banana flavoring.
Another option for making flavored glazes is to substitute the half-n-half with another liquid. For lemon glaze, use lemon juice instead of half-n-half. If you want an orange flavor, substitute orange juice.
Butter Instead of Cream
You can use melted butter instead of cream for a buttery-flavored frosting! But keep in mind that this glaze will be more yellow in color.
- Melt four tablespoons of butter in a medium bowl.
- Add one cup of powdered sugar, one tablespoon of hot water, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Whisk the mixture until smooth. Add more hot water, a little at a time, as needed.
What is the best way to tint powdered sugar icing?
I always use gel paste food coloring to tint this sugar glaze icing recipe. Gel food coloring adds intense color without changing the consistency of icings and frostings. Tinted powder sugar icing is perfect for frosting sugar cookies during the holidays. Check out my sugar cookie icing guide for lots of tips and ideas! This is how my mom taught me to make icing for sugar cookies when I was a kid, and it is still the easiest way to frost them!
On the other hand, if you want a truer white icing glaze or frosting, instead of tinting it a color, use a clear vanilla extract. It is a clear flavoring, unlike pure vanilla extract, which is dark brown in color.
Make Ahead and Storage
Make Ahead: Powdered sugar glaze only takes a couple of minutes to whip up, but there are times when it is more convenient to make it ahead of time. This is especially true when you are decorating sugar cookies and need to make multiple colors. You can mix it up and then store it until you are ready to use it.
Room Temperature: You can store it in an airtight, sealed container at room temperature for up to two days.
Refrigerator: Store the confectioners sugar icing in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Allow it to come to room temperature, and then stir it until smooth. Add more cream if needed.
Freezer: You can store it in a freezer-safe, airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, bring it to room temperature and then stir it until it is smooth again. Add more half-n-half as needed.
Ways To Use Powdered Sugar Glaze
This cake glaze recipe is perfect for all of your baked goods! You can drizzle it on top of cakes, spread it over cinnamon rolls, or use it as a dip.
- Dip – It makes a great dip for donut sticks, churros, and apple fritters.
- Icing – Use it as icing for sugar cookies, oatmeal cookies, and pumpkin cookies.
- Drizzle – This is a delicious drizzle icing that will harden on baked goods! Use a spoon to drizzle it over cinnamon rolls, cinnamon coffee cake, pumpkin scones, and pumpkin bundt cake.
What Others Want To Know
You can use either milk, half-n-half, or heavy cream to make powdered sugar icing. Since milk is the thinnest, you will need a bit less than you would if using heavy cream. And the opposite is true; if you use heavy cream, you will need to use a bit more.
You can make homemade powdered sugar if you don’t have any on hand! Put one cup of granulated sugar and one tablespoon of corn starch in a food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse for about 30 seconds or until it reaches the consistency of confectioners’ sugar.
Confectioners sugar, powdered sugar, and icing sugar are all the same kind of sugar.
How To Make Glaze Without Powdered Sugar
Another commonly asked question is how to make glaze without powdered sugar. You can make it in the same way you make simple syrup: with granulated sugar and water. Or you can use another liquid, such as lemon juice, milk, or cream, instead of water. This type of glaze is thinner than powdered sugar glaze, and it will harden on your baked goods as it cools.
- You’ll need two parts sugar to one part liquid. So, for example, use 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
- Heat the sugar and water (or other liquid) in a saucepan on the stovetop until the sugar is melted without bringing it to a boil. You can also warm it in the microwave.
- Add vanilla extract or another flavoring after removing it from the heat.
- Then, slowly pour the granulated sugar glaze over your coffee cake, pound cake, or bundt cake, allowing it to soak in as you go.
More Frosting Recipes
- Cream Cheese Frosting is very smooth, creamy, and spreadable.
- Buttercream Frosting is so good that you’ll never use store-bought frosting again!
- Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe is light and airy while still holding its shape.
- Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting melts in your mouth!
- Glace Icing is similar to powdered sugar glaze, but it also includes corn syrup for a shinier, smoother finish.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
- Put all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Store any leftover glaze in an airtight container in the refrigerator.