Simple and Easy Cake Glaze (without butter)

Make a quick and easy butter-free cake glaze to coat cakes, sweet breads, and even cupcakes, with four flavor variants.

These cake glazes are fast and simple to create, and they lend a delightful finishing touch to any cake or dessert.

These glazes are ideal for pouring on pound cakes or icing bundt cakes. It’s also fantastic in single-layer cakes, cupcakes (when you don’t want too much frosting on your cupcakes), sweet breads, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and other baked goods.

Hello there! Before you browse, there’s a lot of vital information in this article!includes the FAQ section, which may help you with any queries you have regarding this recipe. Enjoy!

You don’t have to worry about producing a difficult cake glaze. Perhaps you want to create a fast drop glaze or drizzle for a cake or sweet bread but don’t want to adorn it. A simple and straightforward cake glaze is the ideal option.

This is a gorgeous and delectable alternative for a stunning and appetizing finale to your cakes. With four distinct flavor choices, you’re sure to discover the right glaze to top your cakes with a few simple ingredients.

By the way, if you want more information on how to frost a bundt cake, check out this post: Frosting a Bundt Cake

Remember that you can use them on more than simply cake.

Ingredient notes:

Let’s have a look at some of the components in this glaze. (The printable ingredient list is included in the recipe card below.)

Confectioners sugar (powdered sugar) is called for in all of the glaze recipes. This is what gives the glaze its sweetness and thickens it.

Except for the lemon, you’ll use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste in the majority of these recipes. It’s a fantastic taste enhancer.

Unsweetened cocoa powder is required for the chocolate glaze. It enhances the chocolate taste more than melted chocolate chips.

Lemon juice: In place of milk, lemon juice is used to make the lemon glaze. Fresh or bottled lemon juice may be used.

Almond baking emulsion: This is a great addition to this glaze since it adds a subtle almond taste. Now, almond emulsion is not the same as almond extract, and I believe it tastes far better.

The almond emulsion I use may be found here: Almond Emulsion LorAnns

(For inquiries about ingredients and substitutions, see the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.)

How to make these glazes:

Let’s have a look at how to create a quick and easy cake glaze. (Printable directions are included in the recipe card below.)

Step 1:

Combine all of the ingredients for the glaze taste you desire in a mixing dish.

Step 2:

Mix the ingredients together with a fork first, then with a whisk until smooth.

It is quite beneficial to begin mixing everything with a fork initially. When you first use a whisk, it clogs up and becomes difficult to blend.

Step 3:

Next, verify the glaze’s consistency. The benefit of this glazing is that it may be tailored to your specific requirements.

If it’s too thick to drizzle, add more milk a teaspoon at a time, mixing after each teaspoon.

If it’s too thin, add a cup of confectioners sugar at a time and well combine.

Step 4:

Drizzle or spoon over cooled bundt cakes, pound cakes, sweet breads, cooled cupcakes, single-layer cakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and other baked goods.

Step 5:

When not in use, cover the bowl with plastic wrap to prevent the glaze from firming up and forming a crust.

(Keep in mind that the directions will also be included in the recipe card below.)

Tips & FAQs:

Can I make this glaze in different flavors?

Yes. Feel free to experiment with other kinds of extracts, flavorings, or juice to alter up the flavoring. However, don’t add too much liquid since it will thin down the glaze too much.

Can this glaze be made dairy free?

Yes, you may make this glaze using dairy-free milk alternatives like as coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, and so on.

What can I use this glaze on?

Drizzle, spoon, or pour this glaze over cooled bundt or pound cakes, sweet breads, cooled cupcakes, single-layer cakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and other baked goods.

To use it later, just re-mix it before using. If the glaze has firmed up, place it in the microwave for 7 seconds at a time to loosen it up.

Is confectioner’s sugar the same thing as powdered sugar?

Yes, such phrases are often used interchangeably.

Do I have to sift the confectioner’s sugar? If so, do I sift before or after measuring it?

You don’t have to sift the confectioners sugar, but it does help avoid clumping. If you want to sift, be sure to do so after measuring.

Can I add food coloring to the glaze?

Yes, you may paint the cake glaze using food colors. Gel food coloring is preferable since it is more concentrated and produces a nicer color without using as much, but liquid food coloring will work as long as you don’t use too much of it, which can thin down the glaze.

Is unsweetened cocoa powder the same as cocoa drink mix powder?

No, unsweetened cocoa powder is unsweetened and available in the baking section.

How do I store this glaze and how long does it last?

This glaze should be kept in an airtight jar at room temperature for many days.

Can this glaze be made ahead of time?

Yes, you may create the glaze ahead of time, but wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container since it will stiffen up and crust over if left out in the air. It may be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a few days.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Supplies used:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisks
  • Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • Almond emulsion (for the almond flavored glaze)
  • Yellow food coloring gel (for the lemon glaze)

coming soon

***I write recipes in volume (cup) measures since that is what people in the United States are accustomed to seeing and using. Click the metric button beneath the ingredients in the recipe card to get weight in metric measures. The weights are converted by a software, not by me, and the results are an educated approximation. Please keep in mind that while I prepare recipes in cups, I cannot guarantee that weighing the components will provide the same results.


Simple and Easy Cake Glaze (without butter)

Make a simple and easy cake glaze without using butter to cover cakes, sweet breads and even cupcakes plus four flavor variations.



Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Simple and Easy Cake Glaze
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Prep Time: 7minutes
Total Time: 7minutes
Servings: 1.25cups


For vanilla glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar (better if sifted; sift after measuring)
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract(or vanilla bean paste)
  • cupmilk(can add more teaspoons as needed)

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (preferably sifted; sift after measuring)
  • cupunsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • cup milk plus 1 tablespoon (additional tablespoons as needed)

For the lemon glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar (better if sifted; sift after measuring)
  • cup lemon juice (optional: add a teaspoon of lemon essence for more lemon taste, as well as lemon zest if preferred)
  • 1drop yellow gel food coloring(optional)

For almond glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar (better if sifted; sift after measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract or emulsion (I use LorAnn’s almond emulsion)
  • cupmilk(can add more teaspoons as needed)


For all the glazes:

  • Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork first, then switch to a whisk and stir until smooth. (Because the glaze appears to clog up when you start mixing with a whisk, start with a fork first, then go on to a whisk.)
  • Check the consistency after mixing. If it’s too thick to drizzle, add more milk a teaspoon at a time, mixing after each teaspoon. If the mixture is too thin, add a cup of confectioners sugar at a time and well combine.
  • Drizzle, spoon, or pour over cooled bundt, pound, sweet breads, cooled cupcakes, single layer cakes, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, and so forth.
  • More information on manufacturing, using, and storing this glaze may be found in the notes section.


* Makes enough glaze to cover a large bundt cake, or two loaf cakes or sweetbreads or around 24 cupcakes.
* The consistency will depend on many factors including how humid it is at your location. Adjust the glaze as needed by adding more milk or confectioner’s sugar.
* The glaze will get smoother if you sift the confectioner’s sugar after measuring it.
* Keep the glaze covered until it’s ready to be used as it will form a crust on the top and firm up a bit.
* To use this as a cookie glaze, you can add a tablespoon of corn syrup to the glaze and mix well. This will cause the glaze to firm up better on cookies.
How to Store: This glaze should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept at room temperature for several days.For other questions: Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which should answer questions you may have about ingredients, substitutions and other questions.Nutritional values are an estimate.*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Is glaze just sugar and water?

Confectioners’ sugar and a liquid (such as milk, lemon juice, or water) are combined to make glaze. It may be manufactured in a number of consistencies, ranging from thick to thin, that dry stiff but do not solidify.

How do you make a glaze without icing?

While many glazes are made with powdered sugar, a delicious glaze may be made using plain granulated white sugar with lemon juice, water, or milk.

What is butter glaze made of?

4 tablespoons unsalted butter.
12 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, icing sugar), measured using a spoon-and-sweep method.
pinch kosher or fine sea salt.
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (adjusted to taste).
1-3 tablespoons milk or half & half.

What are the 3 basic ingredients in glaze?

Glass formers, fluxes, and refractories are the three basic components of ceramic glazes. If you can recall them and are acquainted with the properties of typical ceramic raw materials, you will be well on your way to producing your own effective glazes.

What can be used as a glaze?

It may be sweet or savory (the former is called as glaçage in pâtisserie); common glazes include brushed egg whites, certain forms of icing, and jam (as in nappage), and may or may not contain butter, sugar, milk, oil, and fruit or fruit juice.

How do you make the top of a cake shiny?

All you need is a hair dryer to make your frosted cakes seem extra smooth and glossy. It may seem strange, but this is precisely what I mean when I say “tricks of the trade.” Use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to gently blow hot air over the cake until the frosting begins to melt slightly, then just wait.

What do you need to glaze successfully?

Yes, a kiln is required to properly glaze pottery and make it both food-safe and waterproof. If your item does not need waterproofing or food safety, leave it unglazed or use a more ornamental glaze, such as raku.

What can I use instead of butter for glaze?

If you don’t want to use butter, you may create a delicious frosting using cream cheese, margarine, heavy cream, coconut oil, and shortening. In terms of flavor and texture, margarine is the most close to butter.

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