How to Glaze a Cake

Updated April 17, 2017

Sometimes thick, fluffy frosting is not what you want for certain types of cakes. Frosting doesn't go well on cakes such as coffee cake, angel food cake, or pound cakes. Instead, use a light, sweet glaze that improves the appearance of the cake. Glaze can be anything from thinned out icing to a fruit syrup glaze, depending on what flavour you want to add to your cake. For a simple, basic glaze that can work on almost any kind of cake, use a icing sugar glaze.

Combine the 1 cup of sugar and 2 tbsp of water in a mixing bowl.

Stir to mix well. If you want a thinner consistency, add more water, a teaspoon at a time. Likewise if you want it to be thicker, add more icing sugar, also a teaspoon at a time.

Place the cake over a piece of waxed paper.

Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake using the spoon, letting it fall naturally from the spoon all over the cake and drip down the sides of the cake. If you want a more even glaze, use a pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the cake in one layer.

Let the glaze set, either in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or at room temperature for two hours, before serving.


Add garnish such as crushed nuts or sprinkles on top of the glaze right after glazing so that it will stick.


Don't use a wire whisk or beaters to stir the glaze. They will produce too many air bubbles, which will remain in the glaze when you pour it on the cake.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon
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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.