Powdered Sugar Glaze

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Published: 01/22/2021 | Updated: 01/19/2024

Powdered sugar glaze is one of the easiest ways to dress up desserts and add an extra touch of sweetness. So easy to make with only 3 ingredients that you probably already have!

a black bowl of Powdered Sugar Glaze with a whisk pulling some upwards

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as finishing off a dessert with a glaze that drips perfectly down the sides. It somehow makes the entire dessert look and taste better!

And it’s amazing how much it elevates the dessert once you realize how simple it is to make. Every baker should have this quick and easy recipe tucked away so they can use it repeatedly.

I’ve used this basic recipe for powdered sugar glaze when I’m taking a dessert somewhere and want it to look extra special. I’ve used it if I want to add sprinkles or chocolate shavings to a dessert and need something to help them stick.

I’ve always used it if my dessert doesn’t come out of the pan correctly or look “good” for any reason. Drizzling this glaze over the top covers a multitude of mistakes and no one will ever be the wiser!

Ingredients for Powdered Sugar Glaze

The only ingredients you need are:

  • powdered sugar
  • milk
  • vanilla extract

Other recipes might include softened butter, but I’ve never felt it necessary. These 3 basic ingredients are all I ever use!

a bowl of powdered sugar, bowl of milk and bottle of vanilla extract

Powdered Sugar: The correct way to begin making this recipe is to sift your powdered sugar. Especially if it’s been sitting for any length of time. This helps make sure you won’t have any lumps in your final glaze. Nothing ruins the look of a glaze more than lumps everywhere.

Milk: Whole milk is the best for this recipe or you can even use heavy whipping cream. I’ll be honest, though, we pretty much only keep skim milk in our house so it’s what I normally use for this recipe and it still always turns out great.

Vanilla Extract: If you’re familiar with vanilla extract, you know that it is dark in color. This will slightly tint your glaze so it’s more of an off-white color than a straight white. The glaze I made for these pictures uses extract, so you can tell that it still looks white but it is a little more of a subdued shade of white. If you need a stark white for your dessert recipes, you can use a clear vanilla flavoring that won’t lend any tint to it.

To make your glaze, just add your ingredients together and whisk until smooth. You really get the best results if you use a whisk rather than a spoon. It will make it a much smoother glaze consistency in the end.

a black bowl of Powdered Sugar Glaze with a whisk pulling some upwards

How Can You Flavor Powdered Sugar Glaze

It’s SO simple to flavor your glaze! Just omit the vanilla extract and replace it with a different flavor.

4 bottles of different extracts

It’s really as simple as that! If you’re replacing it with a citrus extract, you can have your citrus glaze. You can also add a little zest from the fruit if you want.

For example, if you use lemon extract, you can also stir in about a teaspoon or two of lemon zest for an added zing!

a lemon muffin drizzled with glaze

You can also omit the milk and replace that with a different flavored liquid.

If you want a coffee glaze, omit the milk and add the same amount of cold coffee.

Or omit the milk and add rum, kahlua or any other favorite liquor for the liquid.


 Can I make it ahead?

Yes, you can make your powdered sugar glaze ahead of time. To do this, simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to use it, just take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before using it.

In conclusion, powdered sugar glaze is a versatile and easy-to-make addition that can add sweetness, shine, and flavor to cakes and baked goods. As a basic form of icing, it’s an excellent beginner recipe for those starting their baking journey. Give it a try for a simple yet satisfying dessert.


You can also add cinnamon or nutmeg if you want more of a fall flavor to your simple glaze! A little nutmeg glaze would go perfectly drizzled over a pear crumb muffin!

Favorite Ways to Use Powdered Sugar Glaze

I use it so frequently that it’s hard to narrow down my favorite ways, but here are a few to get you started!

Or you can just buy a store bought baked dessert or baked good like I did with the lemon muffin pictured. Just dress it up with a glaze to put your touch on it and no one will ever know!

a whisk drizzling glaze on a lemon muffin

Powdered Sugar Glaze

Powdered sugar glaze is one of the easiest ways to dress up desserts and add an extra touch of sweetness. So easy to make with only 3 ingredients that you probably already have!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: powdered sugar glaze
Calories: 966kcal
Author: The Endless Appetite


  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar sifted
  • 2-4 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract


  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk well until completely smooth. Start with only 2 tablespoons of milk and add more until you reach the drizzling consistency you want.

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pinterest image for Powdered Sugar Glaze

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