Fast and Easy White Vanilla Cookie Glaze Recipe

Vanilla Cookie Glaze on a pastry

 The Spruce

  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1/2 cup (24 servings)

Create a fast and easy white frosting with this vanilla glaze recipe. It's incredibly versatile and gives almost any cookie, cupcake, or brownie a delicious boost when spread or drizzled on top. You can also use it on a pound or bundt cake, quick bread, or as a sweet fruit dip.

The glaze requires three ingredients you likely have in the kitchen: powdered (or confectioners') sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. It doesn't require any cooking, just a quick whipping with a whisk or hand mixer, so it's a fantastic last-minute icing for all your baked goods.

The recipe makes 1/2 cup of glaze, which should be enough for 24 cookies or cupcakes, or a single sweet bread or pound cake. Make a double batch, if needed.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Cookie Glaze ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in small bowl.

    Vanilla Cookie Glaze ingredients combined
     The Spruce
  3. Mix well until the glaze is a smooth consistency.

    Vanilla Cookie Glaze ingredients smoothly mixed
    The Spruce 
  4. Pour over your baked goods and enjoy!


  • Powdered sugar is essential for a smooth glaze. If you only have white granulated sugar, it is possible to transform it into powdered sugar. However, you want to ensure it's processed in the blender into a very fine powder or the glaze will be grainy. The trick will work most of the time, but for this recipe, it may be best to make a quick trip to the store instead.

Recipe Variation

  • Add color to the glaze by mixing in a few drops of food coloring.
  • Switch from vanilla to another flavor that complements your recipe by using a different extract. Almond, lemon, orange, and peppermint extracts are all good options. Some, such as almond and mint, are stronger than vanilla extract, so use half the amount, taste the glaze and add a little more if needed.
  • You can also split the vanilla extract in half and add a second extract. For instance, a vanilla-orange glaze can dress up fruit bread and a vanilla-lemon glaze adds pizzaz to a pound cake.
  • A splash of lemon or orange juice can give the glaze a pop of citrus flavor as well.

More Uses for Vanilla Glaze

Besides the obvious cookies and cupcakes, vanilla glaze glams up a whole range of foods.

  • Rim the glass to dress up a sweet cocktail. If it's too runny, stir in more sugar.
  • Cut a slit in fresh strawberries and tuck the glaze inside.
  • Make a sweet dip of the glaze mixed with bananas, chocolate chips, and coconut. Use it for fruits or crispy cookies like shortbread.
  • Spread the glaze on large hard or soft pretzels and cover it with chopped nuts.
  • Use the glaze on raisin-cinnamon bread for a sweet breakfast.
  • Add it to plain store-bought doughnuts.
  • Drizzle over top waffles instead of or along with maple syrup.
  • Make an iced pumpkin bread or iced scones.