Vanilla Icing or Glaze for Cake and Cookies

Vanilla Icing/Vanilla Glaze
The Spruce
Ratings (46)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 16 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
73 Calories
2g Fat
15g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Use this easy thin icing for pound cake, a Bundt cake, or cookies. Thin the icing as much or as little as you like to make a spreadable or drizzling consistency. This glaze pairs with most baked desserts, so try it out on a variety of dishes.


  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar (sift before measuring)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all icing ingredients in small mixing bowl.

    combine ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Stir until smooth and well blended.

    mix in bowl
     The Spruce
  3. Adjust for spreading consistency if necessary, adding more milk or more confectioners' sugar.

  4. Spread the icing or drizzle on warm cookies, Bundt cake, muffins, or pound cake.


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Tips and Variations

  • Orange Icing: Replace the vanilla and milk with orange juice and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of finely grated orange zest.

  • Lemon Icing: Replace the milk and vanilla with fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest. Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract, if desired.

  • If desired, sprinkle the iced cake or dessert with cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts, or toasted coconut before the icing sets.

  • For cupcakes, doughnuts, or muffins, it might be easier to dip them in the icing.

  • When glazing a cake, place it on a rack over a sheet of wax paper or foil to catch the drips.

  • Extra icing may be frozen in freezer containers or zip-close freezer bags. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.