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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!

drizzling glaze over muffins
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Powdered Sugar 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!

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!

3 Simple Ingredients

That is all it takes to make an icing you can use on a variety of baked goods.

Powdered sugar icing ingredients.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • 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.

Favorite Ways to Use the Icing

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:

How to Make Icing with Powdered Sugar

If you can stir, you can make this icing. Just be sure to get the right consistency by adjusting the amount of liquid, if needed.

Mixing powdered sugar glaze in bowl.
  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.

Expert 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!

Powdered sugar glaze in bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use other flavors for this icing?

Of course! To make citrus (lemon, lime, or orange) icing, sub 2 Tablespoons citrus juice for the cream, omit the vanilla extract, and add citrus zest, if desired. You can also substitute the vanilla for almond extract, butter extract or coconut extract.

Can I make this powdered sugar icing dairy free?

Absolutely! Simply use water in place of the heavy cream.

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.

More Easy Icing Recipes

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drizzling glaze over muffins

Powdered Sugar Icing

5 from 6 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
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
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract , plus more to taste
  • Pinch salt (optional)

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla 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 salt or more vanilla, 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.

Notes

Storage: 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.01mg

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

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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