Icings, Frostings & Sauces/ Recipes

How to Make a Lemon Icing Glaze

lemon icing

In order to make my Lemon Blueberry Bundt all it could be and more, it needed an amazing lemon icing. To achieve this, one needs to mix icing sugar with lemon juice as the base.

I decided to add in a ton of lemon zest and a teensy, weensy bit of butter to try and give it a good slick, crackly crust.

This was loaded with flavor, no taming the tastebuds here! My lemon dishes have to scream lemon, then slap you in the face with flavor, and this is exactly what this glaze did.

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Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 3/4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • the zest of one lemon (or more!)
  • 1 tsp of salted butter

In a large Pyrex measuring cup, the 4 cup capacity ones are the best, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Now, again, I use salted butter. If you want to add another layer of taste, feel free to toss just a pinch of salt into the mix now. We all know how I feel about salt in icings, such as my Buttercream Icing / Frosting Recipe. The salt is a necessity to cut the sugar taste and add some complexity past that overwhelming sweet rush. Just the tiniest pinch, depending on how salty your butter is.

Add in the butter then microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.

Let it sit for a few minutes then pour it over your creation. This would be beyond amazing on scones, cakes, bundts of course, anything that you can think of that needs a lemon icing works.

lemon icing

Happy Baking!

The Kitchen Magpie

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How to Make a Lemon Icing Glaze


  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes

Description

Perfect lemon icing glaze, with salted butter giving it an amazing taste.


Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • the zest of one lemon or more!
  • 1 tsp of salted butter

Instructions

  1. In a large Pyrex measuring cup, the 4 cup capacity ones are the best, combine the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  2. Now, again, I use salted butter. If you want to add another layer of taste, feel free to toss just a pinch of salt into the mix now. We all know how I feel about salt in icings, such as my buttercream icing recipe. The salt is a necessity to cut the sugar taste and add some complexity past that overwhelming sweet rush. Just the tiniest pinch, depending on how salty your butter is.
  3. Add in the butter then microwave on high for 45 seconds.
  4. Take out the measuring cup and whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps.
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes then pour it over your creation.

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51 Comments

  • Reply
    Leon
    January 13, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I made the frosting, following the directions to the letter. It came out watery, not creamy like the picture. I did 45 seconds in the microwave. I know I’m doing something wrong. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    January 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for icing recipe!!!

  • Reply
    Pooja
    December 30, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Just tried this for my lemon cake and it was a perfect topping! Forgot to add the butter, will do so next time. Thanks for this recipe, all the way from India!

  • Reply
    Hucks Family
    December 25, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Thank you for this recipe … If I could send a pic I would! It came out just like my sister likes it! My daughter and I added it to our lemon cake! Perfect holiday dessert!

  • Reply
    Frank McLain
    December 17, 2017 at 8:09 am

    I made a lemon moist bunt cake and searched for an easy lemon glaze recipe that a guy like me could make. #thekitchenmagpie . This is the greatest recipe and easy to make. Wow….the lemon glaze had quite the bang. Just what I needed. Thanks Much.

  • Reply
    Darlene McConnell
    December 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Easy and good!

  • Reply
    Candra
    November 22, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    I tried this and although it tasted good, it didn’t look as pictured. It came out almost transparent and yellow. This is my first time making an icing. Is there something I might be doing wrong?

  • Reply
    Dani
    October 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Absolutely fabulous! I put it on vanilla cupcakes then placed some fresh strawberry slices on top. The sweetness of the glaze was a nice compliment to the strawberries and was almost like a strawberry-lemonade. Will be keeping this recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you! Finally, an icing that actually works and looks as pictured!!!

  • Reply
    Patty L
    September 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Loved it! I didn’t have zest (using pre-packaged lemon juice) but it was delicious and just the right thickness.

    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Amelia
    August 17, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Horrible. It didn’t work at all

  • Reply
    Sherie Waldam
    August 9, 2017 at 10:43 am

    This delicious on lemon poppyseed muffins.

  • Reply
    Pam White
    August 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Loved this! Making for the 2nd time today.

  • Reply
    Michelle Darko
    July 24, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    AMAZING! I made a very rich butter pound cake and thought the lemon frosting would blend well with the richness of the butter and mouth watering kosher vanilla and boy was I right! I had a slice while it was still warm with a tall glass of milk and I can’t wait to share this with my co workers tomorrow! Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    COLORADO CAROL
    June 9, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    My husband loves angel food cake topped with lemon boiled icing. This lemon glaze recipe is a keeper. It has a terrific lemony flavor and is super easy. I have one preparation suggestion and a high altitude experience to share. Suggestion – Put the lemon juice and lemon zest in the measuring cup first. Then add the confectioners sugar and top with the butter. My High Altitude Experience – I live in Colorado at 7,000 feet above sea level. I have a Dacor microwave drawer. At one minute on high in the microwave the room temp butter was not completely melted. I microwaved another 15 seconds, then an additional 15 seconds, and finished after 5 more seconds. The mixture was just below the boiling point and using a whisk, it mixed very well. I whisked it till almost cool then very slowly poured it on the top of the cake working my way from the outside circlular edge to the center. After all glaze was on the cake, I spooned any excess from the plate and the center hole on the sides and top. The end product was attractive and a HUGE hit. Thanks for such a great recipe.

  • Reply
    WikiJuices
    May 29, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Prick its skin to let some heat inside the fruit. You can use a pin or knife to do the small pricks. Zapping helps break the fibre content inside the lemon and give you the opportunity to collect maximum juice from the lemon fruit.

    Also, fresh and succulent lemons are usually heavier than dry lemons, so make sure that your lemon has some weight.

  • Reply
    Neelam
    May 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    It’s the most perfect lemon glaze recipe. Thank you so much ????

  • Reply
    awomanwonderful
    March 16, 2017 at 9:23 am

    I can’t post the pic because I’m a guest!!

  • Reply
    awomanwonderful
    March 16, 2017 at 9:22 am

    The glaze was perfect I did unsalted butter and no added salt. It was thick so I added a little milk and a tiny tiny hit of real lemon extract to the lemon juice..and I didn’t use any zest.
    I was making this for someone not myself or I would have use the zest from my lemons! But it was by far the best I’ve had and the only one I’ll use it was thick and adhered to the cake the way I like. Perfect for me.

  • Reply
    jotannehill
    January 18, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    This icing was very runny. It just made my cake soggy. The flavor is good, but the consistency needs serious work.

  • Reply
    almaruth82
    November 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I just tried this icing.  It was so easy came out perfect and was delicious.

    Thanks Mucho

    Alma Ruth Jay

  • Reply
    Michelle Avery
    October 4, 2016 at 2:28 am

    This is the bomb!! thank you so  much for sharing! My husband loved it on my lemon cake!

  • Reply
    AnneNotremmel
    October 3, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I love that this glaze has no icing sugar lumps but mine was way too runny. I think the amount of lemon juice is too much for the amount of sugar…I added more sugar but it was still a bit too runny and way too much for my bundt cake. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    charityc6047
    April 2, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I have been making pound cake for years and never could get the icing right. Your recipe just changed my pound cake game for the better. Thanks for sharing it!!

  • Reply
    Jackie
    February 29, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Hi

    Can you frozen blueberries when not in season.

  • Reply
    CarmenSepulveda
    February 16, 2016 at 1:56 am

    I’m going to do this on the stove with Meyer’s lemons.  They are so fragrant.

  • Reply
    chairbear
    February 4, 2016 at 12:58 am

    This has an amazing lemon flavor! It made my lemon poppy seed muffins taste so much better!

  • Reply
    carbin
    January 18, 2016 at 3:57 am

    Trying the icing NOW !!  Delicious

  • Reply
    WKJsing
    November 20, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I MADE THE GLAZE FOR POUND CAKE. THE GLAZE WAS RUNNY AFTER MICROWAVING IT AND I POURED IT OVER A WARM CAKE. THE ICING IS SHINEY AND WET. DON’T KNOW WHAT I DID WRONG?

    • Reply
      katlvr99
      January 24, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      WKJsing I heated mine in a glass 2 cup measuring up.  When I took it out of the microwave, I let it cool and even cooled the measuring cup, swapping the glaze from one cup to another, cooling the measuring cup with cool, then cold water to bring the temperature down faster.  Also, I made sure to let the cake COMPLETELY cool before icing.  It worked perfectly and this icing is an amazing tasting glaze.  Very very lemony.

  • Reply
    lucylemon
    August 23, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Quick question…I used this glaze on some homemade lemon poppy seed scones. It was very tasty and set nicely. But after a few hours and this morning when in wento grab one for breakfast the glaze had melted. It all still tasted wonderful but was no longer a glaze as it had melted and turned the scones soggy. I had stored them in plastic container. I’m not sure if that matters. Any helpful hints? Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    N king
    April 4, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Hi, I don’t have a microwave. Could you please add stove top directions? I am just going to melt the butter and add it, and see how it goes.

  • Reply
    marie
    April 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    As much as I love butter, my LO is allergic to dairy. Should I replace the butter with shortening or omit? I wasn’t sure if it was for texture or flavor.

  • Reply
    Kate
    March 22, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Wonderful!  I used this instead of the sugar and lemon juice version on my Cream Cheese Blueberry Pound Cake.  It was so much better.  Thanks for posting!

    • Reply
      thekitchenmagpie
      March 25, 2015 at 2:48 am

      @Kate Glad that you liked it!

      • Reply
        katlvr99
        January 24, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        thekitchenmagpie I just had to tell you.  I made this last night to put over my lemon poppy seed bundt cake.  It was FANTASTIC.  Very Very Lemony, just the way I LOVE it.  Thank you so much for posting this.

  • Reply
    RedMtl
    March 12, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Tried this with a twist — well, a bit of a twist.  Wanted to glaze some cupcakes, which were already lemon flavoured, and didn’t feel like bothering with the butter-cream route (which, of course, I have already commented upon elsewhere in these pages).  Turned out just dandy, and I had two of the 125ml jelly jars left over.  More on that in a bit.

    What I did — and I suppose this could be considered a variation (which the web page hostess is welcome to try out and post if desired) is use 4 cups of icing sugar, sifted.  I used what lemons I had to hand, which was about 1/4 cup, but with the greater amount of sugar I needed more.  So, I added the rest from one of those concentrated squeezable plastic lemons (you know the ones!) up to just under 1/2 a cup.  Also added a dash of pure lemon extract, probably about 1/4 teaspoon, but didn’t measure it.  Additionally, I added a few drops of yellow food colouring and about 1.5 teaspoons of pure vanilla.  To this, after mixing so it was clinging together, I added about 6 teaspoons of butter (again, I did not measure) — using of course the salted butter that is king!

    Then I did the microwave thing until it was a consistency that could be used for dipping.  Rather than thin it further as it hardened, I simply microwaved it again as needed — probably about five or six times during the course of dipping the cupcakes.

    I did leave out the zest — but that’s a personal texture/taste thing.

    The result was a great flavour that left a shiny coating on the top of the cupcakes — very pleased, and very grateful for the excellent starting point.

    As for the two jelly jars — I again heated what was left to a boiling point, poured it into the jars and put sealing lids on them.  As they are now sealed, they’ll keep for ages until needed.

    Great starting point for other ideas as well.  I have some strawberry syrup (home made) that I could see using with the sugar to make a pourable strawberry version, and certainly orange would be an easy substitute as well.

    Thanks for posting it, Karlynn!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    February 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Holy yum! Used this icing on some lemon poppy seed muffins today and wow! Couldn’t stop eating the frosting with my fingertips! lol sooooooo good!

  • Reply
    GLCW
    January 13, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Poured this glaze over fresh baked angel food cake.  So light and yummy!!

  • Reply
    romanov1918
    November 16, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Just made it, and used it for lemon cookies I made, and I will probably end up eating the entire batch if I don’t wrap them up them right away.  The cookies came out light, crispy and tasty, and the icing just makes them more delicious.  Thanks!

  • Reply
    Karlynn Johnston
    June 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    lnury
    June 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Amazing, Kathrin. I came here for this, and the link has been preciously kept on a post-it ever since.

    Two of my friends arrived as I was finishing it, and the icing almost never made it to the cake :D 

    Kisses from France,

    Lauren

    • Reply
      lnury
      June 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I meet, Karlynn, sorry 🙂

      Your name is icing goddess in my mind anyways. + I’m currently baking cookies from your recipy, it smells like heaven in my kitchen.

    • Reply
      lnury
      June 1, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      I mean Karlynn, sorry. I’m calling you icing-goddess in my mind anyways.
      Btw, I’m making cookies also atm from one of your recipes , smells like heaven in my kitchen … 

  • Reply
    Jacki
    March 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    OHMY! Best Lemon Glaze ever! Simple and relish. Thanx

  • Reply
    Dawn
    February 27, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Greetings!

    I have tried your lemon icing 2x. Yum-yum, but what I make never appears as creamy as yours. Any suggestions?

    Dawn

    • Reply
      Diana L
      October 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      @Dawn I’d like to know the same… my icing is delicious but doesn’t appear as creamy.  Is it the time left to sit?  Just how long is “let it sit a few minutes.”  I let mine sit for about 5 minutes.  And, do you whisk again before pouring?

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 28, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Hi,
    I’m trying out your icing recipe with my mum’s lemon cake. I’m a rookie when it comes to cooking, but I looked through your recipes and found alot of them easy to make and fun. I’d just like to say good work!

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