|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||19%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 27g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A basic cake glaze is the perfect icing for a tube cake, Bundt cake, or coffee cake, and so versatile that you can even drizzle it over muffins, cinnamon rolls, or quick bread. It is delicious and easy to make, calling for just confectioners' (or powdered) sugar, butter, and milk. The glaze hardens when it sets, creating a beautiful, sweet decoration that you'll use often in your baking adventures.
This recipe is very quick requiring only a few minutes of your time. By making the glaze from scratch, you can adjust the amount of milk and confectioners' sugar to create the perfect drizzling, dipping, or frosting consistency for your needs. While this basic icing is vanilla-flavored, there are several variations you can make to match whatever baked good it will glaze.
Milk or water can be used in the recipe; if you use water, make sure it is hot so the glaze is not too thick. This recipe yields 2 cups, which should be enough to glaze one cake or eight individual pastries. You can easily double the recipe if needed.
Click Play to See This Simple Pastry Glaze Recipe Come Together
"This simple glaze is perfect to garnish any cake, doughnut, or pastry needing a finishing touch. After giving your pastry a drizzle or full glaze, allow it to sit a few minutes to harden and create a thin vanilla shell. This recipe is customizable to your taste and can be thinned with more liquid if needed." —Tracy Wilk
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 to 4 tablespoons milk (or hot water, for desired consistency)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium-sized bowl.
Add the melted butter, 2 tablespoons of milk or hot water, and the vanilla to the confectioners' sugar. Stir to blend.
Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, adding a little more milk or hot water if necessary to reach the desired consistency.
Drizzle the finished glaze over a cooled cake, quick bread, coffee cake, cupcakes, or other desserts. Serve and enjoy.
- Cool the cake or pastries completely before glazing. Warm baked goods will make the glaze too runny and it may soak into the crust, making the cake soggy.
- Brush away any loose crumbs on the cake or pastries before decorating.
- If a cake is particularly delicate, put it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before frosting.
- Put a sheet of wax paper under the rack when you glaze a cake. The wax paper will catch drips and make cleanup much easier. You might even be able to reuse some of the drips if they are crumb free.
- It might be quicker to dip cupcakes or muffins in the glaze rather than spreading or drizzling.
- Toasted nuts: Before the glaze hardens, sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans or other nuts.
- Cinnamon sugar: When glazing a spice cake or cinnamon rolls, sprinkle the glaze with cinnamon sugar while it's still soft.
- Richer and creamier glaze: Use heavy cream in place of the milk.
- Citrus glaze: substitute orange or lemon juice for the milk and vanilla and add about 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated zest.
- Mocha glaze: Mix in 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 ounce of melted unsweetened baking chocolate.
- Strawberry icing: puree or mash 1/4 cup of fresh or frozen sliced strawberries. Combine the melted butter and confectioners' sugar with the strawberry puree. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add more confectioners' sugar or some milk as needed for spreading or drizzling.
- Chocolate glaze: increase the butter to 6 tablespoons and melt with 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Reduce the vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon.
- Butter-rum glaze: add 1 1/2 teaspoons of rum flavoring and omit the vanilla extract.
- Tinted glaze: Add a little food coloring to the glaze. Gel food coloring is preferred because it's not as fluid as the liquid variety. Just 1 or 2 drops should do; mix it in and add more if needed.
How to Store
Leftover glaze can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week in an airtight container. You can also freeze the glaze in freezer-safe containers or zipper bags for up to six months. Either way, let the glaze come to room temperature and whip it before using.
How Long Does a Cake Glaze Take to Dry?
The confectioners' sugar sweetens the glaze and makes it set up to a hard finish. The amount of time this takes depends on the consistency; a glaze with less liquid will dry faster. Most glazes should dry within 30 minutes.
What's the Difference Between Icing and Glaze?
The terms icing and glaze are often used interchangeably, and they are made the same way by combining confectioners' sugar with liquid. Technically, icing is thicker than a glaze, but not as thick as frosting, and can be drizzled or spread over baked goods. A glaze is the thinnest of the sweet toppings and easily pourable. With this recipe, you can actually make either a glaze or icing by varying the consistency.