This Vanilla Glaze uses just 3 basic ingredients and takes minutes to make! It’s perfect for drizzling over coffee cakes, muffins, scones, and breads. Every baker needs this foolproof recipe!
Quick Vanilla Glaze
If you’re looking for the perfect finishing touch for your coffee cake, muffins or scones, you’ve come to the right place. My vanilla glaze recipe is quick, simple to make (never has there been a more foolproof recipe, you literally can’t mess this one up!), and so versatile.
This glaze has a perfectly balanced vanilla flavor. It’s quite sweet (it is mostly sugar, after all), but keep in mind it’s meant to be used sparingly. I especially love it drizzled it over crumb cake or scones.
You can also thin out the glaze and dip bare muffin tops right in (my lemon muffins are a good example of this technique) or spoon it over warm cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. It’s a must-know recipe for any baker!
What You Need
You only need three ingredients to make this easy vanilla glaze recipe:
- Powdered sugar. I typically don’t sift my sugar beforehand (I can usually work clumps out with my whisk), but if you need a super smooth glaze and your sugar seems particularly lumpy, sift first!
- Milk. Pretty much any kind will work (even heavy cream works!), but keep in mind that the thickness of your milk will affect how much you need. I prefer to use whole milk.
- Vanilla. The amount I use may seem sparing compared to other recipes, but I find it’s the perfect amount. If you have some homemade vanilla extract, this is a great time to let it shine!
SAM’S TIP: Sometimes I’ll melt a tablespoon of butter and whisk this into the powdered sugar before adding the milk for a richer, slightly buttery glaze. This is especially good on cinnamon breads, like king cake.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Vanilla Glaze
- Whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk.
- Add more milk as needed, depending on how you plan to use your glaze, until desired consistency is reached.
- Whisk in vanilla and use as desired.
SAM’S TIP: If your glaze gets too thick, add more milk. If it gets too thin, add more sugar. This recipe is impossible to mess up!
Frequently Asked Questions
Because of its high sugar content, this glaze is fine to sit out of refrigeration for a few days.
You can always substitute the milk for a non-dairy milk, heavy cream, or even water. You could also skip both the vanilla and milk and use a fruit juice as your liquid (think lemon juice for a lemon glaze). Keep in mind different liquids will be thicker or thinner and will affect how much powdered sugar you need.
This glaze won’t harden like royal icing, but it will firm up nicely. The thinner you make it, the softer it will be.
You can use a spoon or whisk to drizzle your glaze over baked goods, or you can pour it into a piping bag or squeeze bottle for more precision.
Vanilla Glaze Recipe
- 1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar (sifting after measuring is recommended)
- 2-4 Tablespoons milk see note
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoons of milk and whisk together.1 cup (125 g) powdered sugar, 2-4 Tablespoons milk
- Add additional milk, a splash at a time, until glaze is smooth and the glaze falls in a smooth ribbon from the whisk.
- For a thicker/sturdier glaze or one that you would like to drizzle in lines that hold their shape, the ribbon that falls from the whisk should hold its shape for several seconds before dissolving back into the bowl. For a thinner glaze it should dissolve into the bowl within one second.
- Whisk in vanilla extract.¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Use to drizzle over muffins, scones, coffee cakes, etc.
SiftingI very rarely sift my sugar when making a glaze. I’m typically able to whisk any lumps out. However, if your powdered sugar seems particularly lumpy or a perfectly smooth glaze is critical, I recommend sifting after measuring to guarantee smooth results.
Milk substitutesI recommend using whole milk. You may substitute heavy cream, a lower fat milk, or non-dairy milk. Keep in mind that if you are using a lower-fat milk, it will be thinner and you will likely need slightly less than is called for.
TroubleshootingIf you accidentally made your glaze too thin, simply whisk in more powdered sugar, a Tablespoon at a time. If your glaze is too thick even after adding all of the milk, add more milk a teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.