Powdered Sugar Glaze: All That You Want to Know

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Popular with names such as flat icing and confectioner’s sugar glaze, powdered sugar glaze is a primary ingredient in baked items and desserts. It is a simple icing that coats donuts or sprinkles over bread, scones, and desserts such as cookies and cakes.

Of all the icing options available, this one is perhaps the simplest type to prepare using only two minimal ingredients namely, some kind of liquid and powdered sugar. Apart from that, it can have several other flavors, such as that of spices and condiments.

powdered sugar glazed

Photo Credit: Stacy via Wikimedia

Constituents of Powdered Sugar Glaze

Powdered sugar glaze is perhaps the quickest icing you can make at home. It is usually whisked together with sugar and some fluid until the mixture gains a consistency that can spread or trickle. Once it is used for icing, it forms a thin layer featuring a solidified glaze.

So, what makes up this glaze? Obviously, it has to be the ingredients that make up such a drizzled glaze. In most homes, a powdered sugar glaze recipe has only milk and sugar. Milk, in general, dilutes the fine sugar powder due to which a sweet drizzle is formed.

At times, cooks prefer using heavy cream as a personally loved substitute for milk. These are the cooks that love a bit more creaminess and richness than expected.

You can even use water as the liquid to prepare the glaze. Regardless of whether you use milk or water, you can add some kind of flavor to the mix for enhancing the overall taste. It is not necessary that the flavor chosen has to be sweet. Even citrus flavors such as a lemon or orange juices, condiments, or zests are good options.

Preparing Powdered Sugar Glaze

The precise quantities of ingredients are actually dependent on the amount of glaze or drizzle you require for your dish. Still, in most cases, one and a half cups of fine, powdered sugar is taken. Then, a tablespoon of cream or milk is added.

Now, more tablespoons of milk or cream are added one by one until the required level of consistency is achieved. Depending on the dish you are making, you will be adding that many numbers of tablespoons of the chosen liquid.

For example, for drizzling the powdered sugar glaze atop the bread, the quantity of cream required would be less than what is needed in case of sweet rolls. Further, it is essential to know that number of tablespoons of milk required are fewer than those of cream.

See also: Caster Sugar Vs. Powdered Sugar

It should also be noted that the richer the milk is in fat, the more will be the number of tablespoons required. This is due to the fact that such kind of milk is thicker. Regardless of the type of cream or milk you select, the bottom line is to add one tablespoon at a time until the intended consistency is obtained.

Flavoring Powdered Sugar Glaze

Once the consistency is achieved in the basic mix of this glaze, the most interesting part starts. This is of flavoring the glaze by adding some suitable flavors.

Well, the options for flavoring are many, right from almond to coconut and from butter to vanilla to boost the overall glaze taste.

Some cooks prefer adding melted butter to the glaze. While this is a personal choice, choosing this flavor is perhaps ideal if the recipe on which the glaze is going to be used is butter-based. Even in case of baked goods, this flavor balances well.

Following are some flavoring options to consider:

  • Apple Cider, cinnamon, and powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla extract, milk, and powdered sugar (traditional donuts have it).
  • Lime zest, lime juice, and powdered sugar.
  • Coffee, milk, and powdered sugar.


You can easily make any kind of powdered sugar glaze. It is quick to customize it fully as per your taste by adding the right flavor and liquid to powdered sugar.

See also: Butterscotch Vs. Caramel