Skip to content

Powdered Sugar Icing

Powdered sugar icing uses only 3 ingredients and can be made in a pinch. Elevate your cookies, cakes and muffins with this easy, no fuss and absolutely delicious glaze!

I think we can all agree that most often, the best part of any cake, donut or quick bread is the powdered sugar glaze on top. There is something about licking off the icing first before getting down to the main event and this glaze does not disappoint!

drizzling glaze over muffins

This post may contain affiliate links. Read disclosure policy.

This easy icing adds the perfect delicate touch to any muffin, cookie or turnover. I love it because it’s not overbearing or overly sweet like a frosting would be. Add some food coloring and have different colors set up for a birthday party. It’s a super simple way to get creative and have everyone decorate their own treats! Use orange for some fun Halloween cookies and keep this recipe on hand for your next cookie exchange when the holidays come around.

Whether you’re topping off a special dessert with this icing or using it to satisfy a sweet tooth on a Tuesday morning, this quick and easy powdered sugar glaze recipe is something to have on hand because you will be coming back to it time and time again!

powdered sugar icing ingredients

3 simple ingredients

  • Heavy cream: You can also use whole milk. The higher the fat content, the thicker the icing will be. It is easier to thin out the icing by adding the cream or milk little by little than it is to thicken it.
  • Powdered sugar: This is sugar ground up to a powder and usually contains cornstarch to act as an anti-clumping agent. Even still, make sure to sift it to guarantee a smoother glaze.
  • Vanilla extract: I use pure vanilla extract.

sifted powder sugar

How to make icing with powdered sugar

  1. Combine: Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl and add heavy cream (or whole milk) and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  2. Add: If you are finding it too thick, add more cream a teaspoon at a time, as needed. You want it on the thicker side, otherwise, it will run off of your baked goods!
  3. Use Immediately: Once your cookies, muffins, donuts, quick bread or other baked goods have cooled, drizzle the icing over top using a spoon. If you do this while they are still hot, the icing will thin out almost completely.

Have fun with the flavor combination and substitute the vanilla for almond extract, lemon juice, butter extract or coconut extract.

Tip: If you’re wanting to decorate using a piping bag, make your own by placing the icing in a zip-top bag and snip the end to create a small opening. Best used immediately while nice and smooth!

mixing powdered sugar glaze in bowl

Storing tips

This glaze will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. The small amount of milk is preserved by a large amount of sugar and will remain safe.

Favorite ways to use it

There are tons of different ways to use this glaze. It tastes delicious on cakes, danishes, muffins, quick bread, cookies, scones…you name it. Below are a few of my favorite recipes to use it in:

powdered sugar glaze in bowl

More easy icing recipes:

drizzling glaze over muffins

Powdered Sugar Icing

5 from 4 votes
Powdered sugar icing uses only 3 ingredients and can be made in a pinch. Elevate your cookies, cakes and muffins with this easy, no fuss and absolutely delicious glaze!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk (more or less as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (more to taste)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions

  • Combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
  • Add more cream as needed to thin out the consistency. You want it to be smooth and slightly thicker so that it doesn't run off your baked goods. Taste and add more vanilla or a pinch of salt if desired.
  • Place in a zip top bag and snip the end or use a spoon to drizzle over the top of cookies, doughnuts, quick breads or muffins. Best used immediately.

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Calcium: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Jamielyn Nye

Let’s connect

Join our community of over 5 million!

Featured on

  • Taste of Home
  • Martha Stewart
  • Country Living
  • BuzzFeed
  • Yahoo
  • Food Network
  • Today