Lemon glaze is perfectly sweet and tart, making it a great topping for any baked good. Try it over muffins, cake donuts, pound cake, and as a dip for cookies and bars.

Lemon glaze dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Lemon glaze is a staple in any baker’s kitchen because it balances out the sweetness of baked goods, and somehow, lemon always feels a little fancy.

Maybe it’s the swirly zest or the way lemons are so often featured in fancy dishes or drinks, but lemon glaze takes any recipe to the next level.

Glaze dripping down stack of pancakes.

About this easy lemon glaze

This lemon glaze recipe is super easy, requires no milk, and is great for cookies and cakes because it hardens as it dries. That means no soggy cake and no mushy cookies.

This simple recipe takes only five minutes to make, and has so many uses. You can even use it with store-bought goodies, like a simple angel-food cake, to make them feel more special. If you want to take your cake up one more level, you can add some fresh berries.

A little sweet, a little tart, smells heavenly.

Glaze in a small bowl with a spoon dripping more glaze.

It’s obviously perfect with pancakes like blueberry lemon pancakes, lemon ricotta pancakes, lemon poppy seed pancakes, and classic blueberry pancakes, but lemon glaze would also be great with sugar cookies or cinnamon or blueberry coffee cake. One lemon, a little powdered sugar, and a sweet treat is all you need to host your next gathering. 

If you’re planning to bake your own dessert to pair with this glaze, some classic choices include a vanilla pound cake, a bundt cake, or a loaf of lemon bread. 

However you choose to serve it, one thing is for sure: this glaze is ridiculously easy and ridiculously delicious.

Glaze in a small white bowl, sprinkled with lemon zest.

What’s in lemon glaze?

  • powdered sugar (aka confectioners sugar)
  • lemon juice  (from 1 lemon – don’t forget to zest it first!)
  • lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
Overhead view of ingredients needed to make an easy lemon glaze.

How to make lemon glaze

Don’t blink, because you might miss it. It’s that easy. It’s similar to lemon cream cheese glaze, but even easier to make!

First, zest your lemon and set the zest aside. A whole lemon is much easier to zest than two lemon halves, so do this before you juice the lemon.

Once you have all the zest (just the yellow, the white tends to be bitter), then you can slice the lemon in half and juice it.

Lemon glaze prep, lemons being zested.

Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Powdered sugar with lemon juice.

Fold in lemon zest.

Lemon zest on top of lemon glaze.

That’s it. You’re done. SO EASY. If it’s too thick, add a tiny bit of water, milk, or more lemon juice. Too thin? Just add a touch more powdered sugar.

Lemon glaze in a clear glass bowl, spoon hovering above.

How to make this glaze your own

  • If your glaze is too thick, you can thin it out a bit with water, lemon juice, or milk. 
  • If your glaze is too thin, you can add a little extra powdered sugar.
  • If you’re preparing this glaze for angel food cake or another similar baked good, you can add fresh berries for extra color and flavor, or try chocolate sprinkles for an unexpected surprise.
Lemon glaze dripping down the sides of lemon raspberry pancakes.

Storage Suggestions

Store leftover glaze in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

If it gets too thick, you can re-warm gently in the microwave and whisk to remove lumps.

Glaze in a small bowl, pancakes in background. Lemons and raspberries also visible.

More glaze and syrup recipes

Lemon glaze dripping off a spoon into a bowl

Get the Recipe: Lemon Glaze

Lemon glaze is perfectly sweet and tart, making it a great topping for any baked good. Try it over muffins, cake donuts, pound cake, and as a dip for cookies and bars.
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice from 1 lemon – zest first!
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest from 1 lemon

Instructions

  • Whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice.
  • Fold in lemon zest.
  • Serve immediately or store in a covered container in fridge, stirring before serving. You may need to add a few drops of water if it thickens too much.

Notes

  • Serving size: 2 tablespoons. Recipe makes about 6 servings.
  • If your glaze is too thick, add a bit more lemon juice, water, or milk. If glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar.
Serving: 2tablespoons, Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 119mg, Potassium: 436mg, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 299IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 292mg, Iron: 1mg