How To Make Lemon Glaze


This glaze is super-simple, and really delicious. I think I’ll be using it on chocolate bundt cake, donuts, poundcake, maybe even fresh berries.


1 cup powdered sugar (plus a little, see below)
juice of 1/2 small lemon
2-3 tablespoons water


The basic idea of a glaze is to melt powdered sugar with just enough water to make it pourable. The lemon adds just a touch of tart to the sweetness. You could also use a bit of orange juice.

Hold the lemon half with the cut side up, so you don’t get the seeds in the pan while you squeeze it.

Add the sugar and just enough water to dissolve all the sugar. It doesn’t take much, only a few tablespoons.

Stir over medium-low heat until smooth. You don’t want to caramelize the sugar, just melt it.

At this point I realized I didn’t have enough glaze for what I was making, so added about another 1/3 cup of sugar.

You can get away with adding more sugar a little at a time and it will keep melting. But the more sugar you add without adding more liquid, the faster it will solidify when you remove it from heat. Be prepared to work fast once it’s ready.

I’ll be back tomorrow with what I used this on. I wanted to write this up by itself, since I’ll be making this glaze again and again and I’m going to want to point back to it.


  1. Mmmmm, glaze. It’s also good with orange juice or white wine. I haven’t made a glazed something in ages, I should really rectify that.

  2. hip chick says:

    Oh that looks like it would be good on a blueberry coffee cake.

  3. onlinepastrychef says:

    Oooh, I hate when you do that! It’s like some kind of maniacal teaser. I’ll be back to see what you poured the lovely glaze on! I’ve never actually made a 10X glaze over heat, before. Does it cook out a little of the chalky taste that 10X has?

  4. Bob, I’m not much of a wine drinker so it never would have occurred to me to do this with wine. What would you put that on?

    Chick, that sounds good. Crunchy, sweet and a little savory all at once. Yumm.

    Jenni, no chalky taste at all. My daughters ate the bits of glaze that dripped on the plate like candy. In fact, I might do some of this into chocolate molds … hey, little molded bits of this would be great to add to a cup of hot tea.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Interesting new use for those chocolate molds I’ve got laying around.

    Now I want to go bake something just so I can put lemon glaze on it.


  6. Jennifer, good luck, and be careful with it. Since I posted that I’ve been thinking about how I’d actually do it. Handling melted sugar is tricky, and this stuff sets really quickly. I’m not sure how I’d get it from the pot to the mold without dripping everywhere.

    I’ve seen what they do on the sugar challenges on Food Network, so I know it can be done. Hmm, they spray something on the molds so the sugar releases. I can’t remember what they used though. It could have been vegetable oil because they’re just doing it for show, but I want these to taste good. Guess I’ll start with an old mold I don’t care if I damage.

  7. onlinepastrychef says:

    Since you’re just heating this to warm to dissolve the sugar, I doubt that it’s much above 140F or so. Have you thought about pouring it into a measuring cup–or even making it in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave and then pouring into molds? Sugar contracts when it cools, and as long as the mold isn’t completely rigid, you should be able to pop them right out. For insurance, a fast spray with Pam or something should do the trick, I’d think Or maybe you could drizzle it free-form onto wax paper, let them harden and peel them off to use as garnish. Since I’ve never done it this way, I don’t know what the final texture is like, but from what you say, it gets pretty hard pretty quickly. Drew, you might have come up with the Next Big Thing!

  8. Drew: Something like spice cake, lemon pound cake or sugar cookies is great with it. The trick is picking a wine that matches the flavors of whatever you are glazing it with. You usually want to use dry ones since you are using so much sugar. I haven’t done it in a long time, I’ll have to do some experimenting. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  9. Jenni, if I can find the time I’m going to try them this weekend. Win or lose, everyone gets to see the result.

    Bob, my wife suggested a lemon cake, too. If she’s interested in the wine version I’ll keep an eye out for yours. For myself, I’ve got lots of other fruit juices I want to try first.

  10. What a pretty cooker! Is it really purple? I want one!

    I’m going to encourage my partner to make some of this lemon glaze which means he’s got to make some cakes to put it on too!

  11. No, it’s red. But for some reason it always shows up that way in photos. I have a feeling it’s because the camera is picking up the infra-red and messing up the color. That would be cool though if it were purple.

  12. i am up early freaking out because i have to make muffins for a get together. everyone knows i cant cook or bake. i know i cant cook or bake. i stumbled across your blog and not only do i feel confident i can make this simple glaze im excited about it! i shall bookmark you for all of my cooking questions.
    Ps. I love the phrase ” A guide to cooking with real food…” brilliant. i think were all looking for a little piece of the way things were. before everything was right now and technologically infused.

  13. Kate, good luck with the muffins! Let me know how they come out.

  14. does this glaze actually dry white once u pour over cake? i’m having trouble with some recipes that it’s hardening clear. thanks

  15. I purchased a lemon pound cake @ the flea market last month. It was delicious; went back today and purchasd two more (only $1.00.. can u believe it) Anyway this time, I make your glaze in 5 minutes flat. Let it cool a bit and poured over. MY GOODNESS, this “KICKED IT UP A NOTCH as Emeril would have said). Thank you. Great Taste and extremely easy and quick.


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