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Basic Powdered Sugar Glaze

Powdered sugar glaze is a basic icing used to glaze donuts or to coat or drizzle over many other desserts such as bundt cakes, quick breads, cookies, and scones. This is by far the easiest type of icing to put together, with just two ingredients. The glaze can also be flavored in endless ways. Pin it for Later »

Powdered sugar glaze being poured on a pastry

Powdered Sugar Glaze Overview

Skill Level: Beginner

Powdered sugar glaze, also known as confectioner’s sugar glaze or flat icing, is a very simple mixture of powdered sugar and some type of liquid. Sugar glaze can be used to drizzle over pound cake, quick breads, cookies, and scones. This is also the kind of icing that is used as a glaze for glazed donuts.

Powdered sugar glaze is by far the quickest and easiest type of icing. Powdered sugar is whisked together with some type of liquid until it has a consistency that can be drizzled. After the glaze is used to ice baked goods, it forms a thin skin hardening the glaze.

The liquid used in a powdered sugar glaze can be simply water or milk mixed with a flavoring, or the liquid itself can impart flavor. Citrus juice like orange, lemon, or lime juices can be used as well as any kind of liquore.

Powdered Sugar Glaze Ratio

Powdered sugar glaze can truly be made without a recipe by just adding some liquid bit by bit to powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. That said, I find it usually takes a ratio of 3-4 parts powdered sugar to 1 part liquid by volume to make a glaze that is thin enough to drizzle over baked goods.

Basic Powdered Sugar Glaze

Powdered Sugar Glaze Flavor Options

  • Vanilla Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Milk, Vanilla Extract (this is the kind of glaze used to make classic glazed donuts)
  • Almond Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Milk, Almond Extract
  • Lemon Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Lemon Juice, Lemon Zest
  • Orange Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Orange Juice, Orange Zest
  • Lime Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Lime Juice, Lime Zest
  • Coffee Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Coffee
  • Apple Cider Glaze: Powdered Sugar, Apple Cider, Cinnamon

Powdered Sugar Glaze Ingredient Functions

  • Powdered sugar, also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar, sweetens the glaze and causes it to firm up.
  • Any kind of liquid can be used to both flavor and thin out the glaze to a consistency that can be drizzled.
  • Extracts, spices, zests can be added to flavor the glaze.

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Powdered sugar glaze poured over a pastry

Powdered Sugar Glaze

Yield: About 1/2 Cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This is a basic powdered sugar glaze reicpe that can be made with milk for a plain sweet glaze or can be made with citrus juice for a tart glaze. You can add any extracts or spices into this glaze to create different flavors. 


  • 1 cup (126 gr) powdered, confectioners, or icing sugar
  • 2-4 TBSP (30-59 ml) liquid of choice
  • extracts, spices, or zests as desired


  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until you have a consistency that can be drizzled. If it becomes too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it back up.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow to come back to room temperature and rewhisk before drizzling.


  • Vanilla Glaze (Donut Glaze): Use milk as the liquid and add 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Almond Glaze: Use milk as the liquid and add 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • Lemon Glaze: Use lemon juice as the liquid and add 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Orange Glaze: Use orange juice as the liquid and add 1 tsp orange zest
  • Lime Glaze:  Use lime juice as the liquid and add 1 tsp lime zest
  • Coffee Glaze: Use coffee as the liquid
  • Apple Cider Glaze: Use apple cider as the liquid and add 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0

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5 comments on “Basic Powdered Sugar Glaze”

  1. Hi,
    I tried this, and when I mixed the ingredients, I got a bit of a “grainy” result. Like the sugar wouldn’t dissolve properly.
    Did this ever happen to you? Could it be the icing sugar’s quality or sth? I tried it with 2 brands to no avail. It looked and tasted like it had dust in it and I cannot figure this out!:)
    Any help would be appreciated!

    • Hey Jim. I know this is late reply. But maybe try to sift the sugar before adding other ingredients?

      • Thank you! I figured it out, I was using melted better too at the end for a richer result, and adding a little orange juice or zest before, was “cutting” the butter, causing this awful result. So no butter in my glaze anymore, when I add anything with acidity:)

  2. Thank you for the great video for making the scones. I had quite a mess the first few times I made them from other recipes. As I watched your video while I tried again I can say that it was quite a bit easier. Of course now that they are working out my family wants them available every day.

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