11 Easy Glaze Recipes To Elevate Any Cake

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Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

I love an intricately decorated cake just as much as the next person – okay, maybe even more. However, sometimes, you just don’t have much time (or, let’s be real: energy) to get out the piping bags, mixing bowls, and fondant tools. When that’s the case, I like to whip out one of these 11 easy glaze recipes!

With only a few minutes and one little bowl, you can elevate a plain cake to a stunning, showstopper piece. Plus, the flavors are so fun and versatile, there’s something for everyone to love.

And, if you’re feeling extra snazzy, you can sprinkle a little pizazz on top – edible flowers, cookie crumbles, freeze-dried berries – you name it! The topping options are endless. For each glaze flavor, I’ve included perfectly curated, creative pairings for cake and toppings.

Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

So get ready to bake your favorite cake, and top it with one of these delicious glazes. Trust me – it might just become your new favorite cake decorating technique!

11 Easy Glaze Recipes

From fruity to floral, chocolate, nutty, and even spiked, you’re bound to find a new favorite glaze out of these options. Plus, they’re so simple, most only require a few minutes of time. Perfect for whipping up at a moment’s notice!

You may recognize that most of these 11 glaze recipes provide the easy option to “adjust for desired consistency.” In this post, “your desired consistency” is up to choice. Keeping the glaze thick allows you to spread it on the cake with a spatula (like frosting.)

Alternatively, you can thin it out a bit to achieve a tantalizing drip effect. The choice is yours! And, thankfully, there’s no wrong answer. If your glaze ever gets too thin, add some more powdered sugar to thicken it back to perfection.

I’ve also included links (affiliate) to certain decorating elements and flavor additions that I like to use for your easy shopping reference. So, let’s get started!

Here are 11 easy glaze recipes to try ASAP:

  1. Classic Vanilla
  2. Lovely Lavender
  3. Zingy Lemon
  4. Rich Hazelnut
  5. Floral Rose
  6. Sweet Strawberry
  7. Chocolate Bailey’s
  8. Summer Blueberry
  9. Creamy Cream Cheese
  10. Dark Chocolate Orange Ganache
  11. Springy Matcha

Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

1. Classic Vanilla – Base Glaze Recipe

Sometimes, nothing beats a classic vanilla glaze. Most bakers probably can recite this recipe by heart, but, if not, here’s a little reminder:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or, even better, vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula to combine. Then, beat the glaze on low until smooth and creamy. Add more milk to thin, if necessary, until the glaze reaches your desired consistency.

2. Lovely Lavender

Lavender – when perfectly balanced – adds a delicious floral element to a springy cake. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried lavender
  • 1 tbsp water (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Bring the lemon juice, water, and lavender to a boil, then let it simmer for five minutes to release the flavor. Let this mixture cool slightly. Mix with the powdered sugar, then beat until smooth and creamy. Add more water, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Lavender is best complemented with a bit of citrus, so I’d recommend pairing this glaze with a simple lemon cake.

Topping Ideas: Sweet lavender glaze tastes beautiful with an herbal element, like thyme! Grind some sugar with fresh sprigs in a pestle and sprinkle on top for an elegant flavor pairing like no other!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

3. Zingy Lemon

Brighten up a simple cake with delicious, citrusy glaze. This basic recipe only requires a few ingredients:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula to combine. Then, beat the glaze on low until smooth and creamy. Add more milk to thin, if necessary, until the glaze reaches your desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Spread some zesty lemon glaze on any fruity cake, or try it with a green tea sponge for an elegant, elevated dessert.

Topping Ideas: Sugared lemon slices (use the recipe here) or sugared basil leaves are a tasty treat, and they look so gorgeous on top of a cake, too!

lemon cut in half on cutting board

4. Rich Hazelnut

This glaze feels just like eating Nutella out of the container with a spoon at midnight, but a tad more refined.

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Nutella, or similar Hazelnut spread
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut liqueur or syrup
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 tbsp hot milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula to combine. Then, beat the glaze on low until smooth and creamy. Add more milk until reaching your desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Hazelnut glaze pairs exceptionally well with vanilla or chocolate cake.

Topping Ideas: Crushed and toasted hazelnuts, crushed pretzels, or crushed Oreo cookies make a tasty, fun topping.

5. Floral Rose

Subtle rose flavoring elevates a sweet glaze and contributes a beautiful floral element. To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula to combine. Then, beat the glaze on low until smooth and creamy. Add more milk until reaching your desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Rose pairs perfectly with red fruits, like strawberry, raspberry, or sweet rhubarb.

Topping Ideas: What better to top a rose-scented glaze than edible flower petals? Stunning, elegant, and effective! (And, you can even sugar them for a fabulous, glittery look!)

Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

6. Sweet Strawberry

There’s not much better than a pretty pink glaze, flavored with sweet strawberries.

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Milk, adjusting for desired consistency

In a food processor, puree the strawberries. Then, use a spatula to press the puree through a sieve, straining the seeds from the mixture. Finally, mix the powdered sugar and vanilla into the strawberry puree, and beat until smooth. Add milk, if necessary.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Sweet strawberry tastes lovely and elegant against an herbal element – try using this glaze over a basil- or thyme- flavored cake!

Topping Ideas: Salted pistachios or lemon zest compliment strawberry glaze perfectly, depending on the flavor of your cake.

7. Chocolate Bailey’s

This delicious spiked glaze is made like a ganache – it’s super luscious and flavorful! You’ll need:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 oz chopped milk chocolate
  • Dash of salt
  • 4 tbsp Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 tbsp milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix the chopped chocolate, powdered sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Scald (heat just until bubbly) the Bailey’s and milk, and pour it over the chocolate/sugar mixture. Let it sit for two minutes without stirring.

Then, slowly mix until the glaze comes together. Add more milk until you achieve your desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Bailey’s glaze makes a delicious addition to a deep chocolate cake. Or, try it over coffee cake for a classic, punny pairing!

Topping Ideas: Sprinkle some chocolate-covered espresso beans or cute, chocolate curls on the cake for a tasty garnish.

Photo by Ravi Rawat on Unsplash

8. Summer Blueberry

Like strawberry glaze, but a bit more unique. To create a beautiful blueberry glaze, you need:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Milk, adjusting for desired consistency

In a food processor, puree the berries. Then, use a spatula to press the puree through a sieve, straining the seeds and skin from the mixture. Finally, mix the powdered sugar and vanilla into the puree, and beat until smooth. Add milk, if necessary.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Blueberry tastes great against cinnamon. Try this glaze over a coffee cake for a fun, delicious twist on the classic!

Topping Ideas: Sugared orange slices add beautiful visual contrast, as well as a lovely taste pairing for this glaze. Alternatively, maple-glazed walnuts are delicious against blueberry, with a slight breakfast homage in flavor.

9. Creamy Cream Cheese

Cream cheese provides a lovely tang to a traditional sweet glaze, a well-rounded balance of flavors.

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 4 oz softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tbsp hot milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula to combine. Then, beat the glaze on low until smooth and creamy. Add more milk until you reach your desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: The tang of cream cheese contrasts well with deliciously sweet vanilla, cinnamon, or fruity cakes!

Topping Ideas: Top your cream cheese glaze with fresh fruit for a wonderful and colorful cake!

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

10. Dark Chocolate Orange Ganache

A deep and complex flavor combination, this dark chocolate orange ganache glaze will have you craving more!

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract
  • Dash of salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Milk (adjusting for desired consistency)

Scald (bring to bubbles) the heavy cream. Mix the sugar and chocolate together in a bowl, and pour the cream over it. After two minutes, begin to stir the ganache together. Then, add the extract and salt, mixing against to combine. Add milk to thin, if necessary.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Over a double chocolate cake, this glaze adds the perfect touch – and creates a triple chocolate masterpiece!

Topping Ideas: Zest an orange over the glaze for an elegant pop of color on top!

11. Springy Matcha

Usher in the fresh, earthiness of springtime with this green tea glaze. You’ll only need:

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • 2 tbsp hot milk (plus more, adjusting for desired consistency)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a spatula to combine. Then, beat the glaze on low until smooth and creamy. Add more milk until reaching your desired consistency.

Cake Pairing Ideas: Fruity, citrusy flavors lift and brighten the earthiness of matcha, so it pairs well with a lemon or strawberry cake sponge, as well as classic, sweet vanilla.

Topping Ideas: Top the matcha glaze with freeze-dried or fresh strawberry pieces, lemon zest, or shredded coconut.

Photo by La Pájara Azul on Unsplash

11 Easy Glaze Recipes – Which Is Your Favorite?

Out of these 11 easy glaze recipes, which sounds the best to you? Honestly, every single one of these recipes is perfect in its own way! So good – you may just be tempted to eat the glaze by the spoonful!

If you liked this post, don’t forget to find me on Instagram so we can keep in touch! I post fun, behind-the-scenes pics and daily tips and insights into my everyday life! Plus, be sure to tag me if you try one of these 11 easy glaze recipes – I love to see what you’re working on in the kitchen.

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Take care guys! Until next time…

XOXO

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P.S.

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P.P.S

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Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

Glazed pound cake with edible flowers on top - featuring lemon glaze, classic vanilla glaze, rose glaze

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