This easy, 3-ingredient Powdered Sugar Icing is perfect for bundt cakes, pound cakes, angel food cakes, cookies, and quick breads. A little glaze makes everything look (and taste) even better.

Lemon bundt cake slices on plates.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Powdered Sugar Icing Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Powdered sugar icing ingredients.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Confectioner’s sugar: Using powdered sugar is important because it dissolves without heat. To make your own, pour granulated sugar into a blender or food processor, then blend the sugar until it is a fine, fluffy powdered sugar.
  • Milk: Or water or half-and-half. Add enough for your desired glaze consistency.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add powdered sugar and vanilla.
Powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a bowl.
  1. Add enough milk to reach your desired consistency for drizzling. The glaze will harden in 20 to 30 minutes.
A bowl of powdered sugar icing.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about ¾ cup icing (12 tablespoons) depending on how much liquid you add to thin it.
  • Lemon icing: Substitute ¼ cup lemon juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest if desired.
  • Lime icing: Substitute ¼ cup lime juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon lime zest if desired.
  • Orange icing: Substitute ¼ cup orange juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon orange zest if desired.
  • Almond icing: Substitute ½ teaspoon almond extra for the vanilla extract.
  • Light icing: Mix 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon low-fat milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
  • Does powdered sugar icing need to be refrigerated? No, even if you use milk in your icing. The small amount of milk is stabilized by the large amount of sugar and is considered safe at room temperature for two to three days. Always refrigerate any cake with a frosting that contains eggs or egg whites, or one that has whipped-cream frosting or any type of filling.
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Lemon Bundt Cake

This amazing Lemon Bundt Cake uses two secret ingredients (cake mix and instant pudding!) to make it the easiest, most delicious lemon cake you’ve ever had. I love from-scratch baking, but when it comes to…

1 hour 15 minutes
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Desserts to glaze

Lemon bundt cake slices on plates.

Powdered Sugar Icing

This easy, 3-ingredient Powdered Sugar Icing is perfect for bundt cakes, pound cakes, angel food cakes, cookies, and quick breads. A little glaze makes everything look (and taste) even better.
4.98 from 70 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 12 servings (1 tbsp each)
Course Dessert, Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 81

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar (see note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or water (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, stir together powdered sugar and vanilla. Add water or milk until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled baked goods or dessert. The glaze will harden in 20 to 30 minutes.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Powdered sugar: Using powdered sugar is important because it dissolves without heat. To make your own, pour granulated sugar into a blender or food processor, then blend the sugar until it is a fine, fluffy powdered sugar.
  2. Milk: Or water or half-and-half. Add enough for your desired glaze consistency.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes about ¾ cup icing (12 tablespoons) depending on how much liquid you add to thin it.
  4. Lemon icing: Substitute ¼ cup lemon juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest if desired.
  5. Lime icing: Substitute ¼ cup lime juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon lime zest if desired.
  6. Orange icing: Substitute ¼ cup orange juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon orange zest if desired.
  7. Almond icing: Substitute ½ teaspoon almond extra for the vanilla extract.
  8. Light icing: Mix 1 cup (4 ounces) powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon low-fat milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
  9. Does powdered sugar icing need to be refrigerated? No, even if you use milk in your icing. The small amount of milk is stabilized by the large amount of sugar and is considered safe at room temperature for two to three days. Always refrigerate any cake with a frosting that contains eggs or egg whites, or one that has whipped-cream frosting or any type of filling.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tbspCalories: 81kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 2mgPotassium: 6mgSugar: 20gVitamin A: 6IUCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
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