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This orange glaze is made with fresh orange juice and orange zest to give it an extra burst of citrusy flavor. It’s a breeze to make and it makes the perfect drizzle for cakes, muffins, and more!

orange glaze in bowl
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Simple Citrus Glaze

I love to use citrus glazes on my baked goods and while lemon might be the more popular choice, I think a sweet orange glaze never disappoints! A glaze can really dress up a simple dessert and the best part is that it only takes a couple of minutes to make!

This orange glaze recipe is a fun variation on my powdered sugar glaze and is flavored with the bright freshness of orange juice and zest. It’s a pale orange color flecked with pieces of orange zest, which looks so pretty on top of cakes, especially bundt cakes! You can also alter the thickness of your icing by adding more or less powdered sugar.

It really can’t get any easier to make this orange icing. Simply add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth. It’s so quick to whip up this icing and drizzle it over scones, muffins, bread, cinnamon rolls, and even cookies!

orange glaze ingredients on counter

You Need Just 4 Simple Ingredients

  • Powdered Sugar: You can add more or less sugar to the other ingredients depending on how thick or thin you want your glaze to be.
  • Fresh orange juice: Look for the freshest oranges you can find. Cara Cara oranges are the best oranges, in my opinion, but use what you can get your hands on.
  • Orange zest: Use a zester or a Microplane grater to peel off the zest. Make sure to only take the orange part as the white pith tastes too bitter.
  • Vanilla: I like to use pure vanilla extract. Adding vanilla magically enhances the flavor of the icing!

How To Get the Most Juice From Your Orange

If the orange feels a bit hard, you can soften it up by heating it in the microwave for 10 seconds and then rolling it on the countertop with the weight of your hand pressing the orange down. Softening the orange up will make it easier to squeeze out the juice. 

How to Make Orange Glaze in 3 Easy Steps

You’ll see from the steps below just how simple this icing is to make. You can whisk it up in a matter of minutes which makes it an ideal recipe to have on hand when you want to dress up your bakes in a hurry!

  1. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, zest, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Stir until everything is smooth.
  2. Taste the glaze and see if you would like to add more vanilla or orange juice/zest. 
  3. Drizzle the glaze on top of bread, muffins, rolls, or any of your other favorite desserts!
orange glaze in bowl

Tips for Making the Recipe

  • When you’re shopping for oranges, look for ones that have a healthy peel on the outside without many blemishes. You’ll be using the zest, so it’s important to have a good peel to start with.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to determine if an orange is fresh. I always look for ones with smooth, firm skin and that are quite heavy in my hand. This usually indicates a juicier orange. Also, if the orange is very fragrant, that can be a good sign that your orange is ripe and ready!
  • If your icing is too runny, add a tablespoon more powdered sugar. If your icing is thicker than you need, add a teaspoon at a time of orange juice (or water) until you have achieved the right consistency.
  • This recipe is easy enough to whip up by hand, however, if you do use a stand mixer, be sure that it’s on low speed.

Swap Your Citrus

For a change in flavor, this recipe works for lemon, grapefruit, lime, and key lime too!

Storing the Glaze

You can make this glaze ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

When you’re ready to use it, remove it from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature then whisk everything together and a drop or 2 of water to the glaze if you need to loosen it a bit.

pouring orange glaze over bread

Ideas for Using Orange Glaze

There are so many ways in which you can use orange glaze icing. Try pairing it with some of the sweets below or using it on your favorite desserts:

  • Spoon it over a loaf of cranberry orange bread or a loaf cake.
  • Use a thicker glaze to spread over orange sweet rolls. You could also leave it a thinner glaze and pour it on top, allowing it to melt right into the roll.
  • The next time you bake sugar cookies jazz them up with a glaze.

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pouring orange glaze over bread

Orange Glaze

5 from 3 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This orange glaze is made with fresh orange juice and orange zest to give it an extra burst of citrusy flavor. It’s a breeze to make and it makes the perfect drizzle for cakes, muffins, and more!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Whisk together the powdered sugar, orange juice, zest and vanilla in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
    orange glaze ingredients on counter
  • Taste and add more vanilla or orange juice/zest as needed. If you want a thicker consistency, add a Tablespoon more of powdered sugar. To thin it down, add in a teaspoon of juice or water until desired consistency is met.
    orange glaze in bowl
  • Drizzle on top of bread, muffins, rolls or your favorite dessert.
    pouring orange glaze over bread

Notes

Storing: This glaze will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before using, let set on counter to come to room temperature. Then mix together and add a few drops of water if needed to loosen it up a bit. 
Flavor: This recipe works for lemon, grapefruit, lime, and key lime too!

Nutrition

Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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