Vanilla Icing or Glaze for Cake and Cookies

Angel Food Cake With Glaze
A simple vanilla glaze jazzes up any ordinary cake. Photograph by Sarah Orsag / Getty Images
    10 min
Ratings (10)

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.

"I made this icing and thought it was wonderful. I drizzled it on my Amish Cinnamon Bread and it was really Yummy! Loved the vanilla in the recipe." — Dee

Below the recipe you'll find some tips and variations for this icing along with more reader comments and suggestions.

What You'll Need

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

How to Make It

Combine all icing ingredients in small mixing bowl. Stir until smooth and well blended.

Adjust for spreading consistency if necessary, adding more milk or more confectioners' sugar.

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

More Frosting Recipes: Chocolate cream cheese frostingcream cheese frosting, and Royal icing (perfect for cookies and decorating). 

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.

Reader Comments and Suggestions

... "I used the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries. I put in enough to make it taste like cherry, and thickened the consistency with confectioners sugar, and used only three tablespoons of milk. Can't wait to use this again!" — R.B.

"This icing has the perfect taste and consistency to drizzle over Christmas breads." — J.L.

"This icing mixes up in mere moments and was perfect. Adjust the consistency to your own needs by adding more milk for a glaze or more sugar for a stiffer icing." — Jewel

"This is a great icing for fruit pizza- add about a tablespoon of cream cheese and it's fantastic." — A.D.

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