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.
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.
Milk: Or water or half-and-half. Add enough for your desired glaze consistency.
Yield: This recipe makes about 3/4 cup icing (12 tablespoons) depending on how much liquid you add to thin it.
Lemon icing: Substitute 1/4 cup lemon juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest if desired.
Lime icing: Substitute 1/4 cup lime juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon lime zest if desired.
Orange icing: Substitute 1/4 cup orange juice for the milk or water and omit the vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon orange zest if desired.
Almond icing: Substitute 1/2 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.