Easy Lemon Glaze for Desserts

Easy lemon glaze

The Spruce 

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 cup (10 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
555 Calories
5g Fat
127g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1/2 cup (10 servings)
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.


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 the milk until smooth. Test the consistency by dripping the glaze from a spoon to check the consistency.

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

    Whisk in lemon juice
    The Spruce
  4. Brush or drizzle the lemon glaze on a warm or cooled cake.

    Drizzle lemon glaze on the cake
    The Spruce
  5. Store any leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.


  • There are a few things you can do to extract the most 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.
  • To use the refrigerated glaze on a future dessert, let it come to room temperature or heat in a microwave until pourable.

Glaze vs. Icing vs. Frosting

These three cake toppings are similar, but there are distinct differences among them. Glazes can be sweet or savory and have many applications, whereas icing and frosting generally serve one purpose.

A dessert glaze is typically made with confectioners' sugar, milk or water, flavoring, and sometimes food color. It can have a thin or thicker consistency but is usually transparent and pourable and applied to cookies, pastries, and cakes. In many cases, it is made intentionally thin so it can drip down the sides of a cake for effect.

Icing is more like a glaze than it is like frosting. It is glossy, thin, and sugary, and it's made with sugar, egg whites, butter, or cream. It can be thicker than a glaze, particularly when it is royal icing and used to decorate cookies. Frosting is thicker and fluffier than both a glaze and icing, and it's used to fill and coat the outside of a cake. Most frostings include butter unless it is a 7-minute frosting that is made with egg whites.