Easy Lemon Glaze for Desserts

Easy lemon glaze on a spoon over a bowl

The Spruce 

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
555 Calories
5g Fat
127g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 555
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 69mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 127g 46%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 4g
Calcium 169mg 13%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Drizzling a lemon glaze over a dessert is an easy way to dress it up, adding a bit of freshness, interest, and extra flavor. This easy lemon glaze recipe is made with only three ingredients: confectioners' sugar, milk, and fresh lemon juice or lemon extract. It's perfect drizzled on pound cakes, rum cakes, Bundt cakes, coffee cakes, sweet rolls, and cookies.

It's also a bit adaptable. If you want it a little thicker, add a bit more sugar; if you want a little bit more lemon juice, adjust accordingly until you have the taste and consistency you want. If you want a different citrus element altogether, use orange, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, or lime. Citrus glazes are especially good with other fruits, but lemon is especially good with blueberry and raspberry.

Glazes are nice for cakes because they add just a bit of flavor without overwhelming the baked good. This differentiates it from icing and frosting. Glazes can be sweet or savory but icing and frosting are generally sweet. An icing sits between a glaze and a frosting in terms of consistency; it's glossy, thin, and sugary, and made from sugar, egg whites, butter, or cream; it's thicker than a glaze, as with royal icing, which is typically used to decorate cookies. Frosting is thicker and fluffier and is what you typically use for cupcakes and birthday cakes. Most frosting recipes include butter unless it is a 7-minute frosting that is made with egg whites. But a glaze is quick, easy, and doesn't require any special equipment.

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Click Play to See This Dessert Lemon Glaze Come Together

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for lemon glaze
    The Spruce 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Test the consistency by dripping the glaze from a spoon to check.

    Lemon glaze in a bowl with a whisk
    The Spruce
  3. Whisk in lemon juice or lemon extract. If you'd like it a bit thinner, then add more milk as needed.

    Lemon juice whisked into confectioners' sugar and milk
    The Spruce
  4. Brush or drizzle the lemon glaze on a warm or cooled cake.

    Lemon glaze being drizzled on Bundt cake
    The Spruce

Tips

  • There are a few things you can do to extract as much juice as possible out of your lemon. First, make sure it is at room temperature. Then using firm pressure, roll it back and forth under your palm on the counter a few times. Alternatively, you can microwave it for 15 seconds. Make sure it is cool to the touch before handling it.

How to Store and Keep Lemon Glaze

Store any leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. To use the refrigerated glaze on a future dessert, let it come to room temperature and whisk to recombine, or heat in a microwave until pourable.