Lemon Icing Glaze is very easy to make and consists of four simple ingredients. Read on to find out how to make this great, simple lemon glaze that will be amazing on your cakes, cupcakes and more! 

lemon icing glaze being poured on a cake

Lemon Icing Glaze Recipe

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 lemon 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.

What do you need to make lemon icing glaze?

  • 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.

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Tips and Tricks:

  • Now, again, I use salted butter. If you want to add another layer to the lemon flavour, 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 glaze works.

lemon icing glaze

Troubleshooting this Lemon Glaze

  1. If you have a watery glaze, you have too little icing/powdered/confectioners sugar. It can get really packed together in the bags that it comes in, so someone that uses 2 cups of packed icing sugar is going to have a very different result from the person that uses 2 cups of loosely packed or sifted confectioners sugar.
  2. Don't use lemon juice to make the flavour more prominent, use lemon zest and make it as small as you can. It works wonderfully to add that lemon flavour!

Happy Baking!  You can use this lemon glaze on:

  1. Lemon Strawberry Bundt Cake
  2. Lighter Lemon Blackberry Muffins
  3. Glazed Meyer Lemon Scones
  4. If you want to try another amazing icing glaze, try my Cherry Icing Glaze!

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Lemon Icing Glaze is very easy to make and consists of four simple ingredients. Read to find out how to make this great, simple lemon glaze that will be amazing on your cakes, cupcakes and more! #dessert #lemon #icing #frosting #recipe #glaze

4.36 from 70 votes
How to Make a Lemon Icing Glaze
Prep Time
3 mins
Total Time
3 mins
 
Perfect lemon icing glaze, with salted butter giving it an amazing taste.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: icing
Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 868 kcal
Author: Karlynn Johnston
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp 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.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make a Lemon Icing Glaze
Amount Per Serving
Calories 868 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Potassium 62mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 214g 71%
Sugars 207g
Vitamin A 2.5%
Vitamin C 38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
121
Author

Hey guys, I'm Karlynn! Welcome to The Kitchen Magpie, my website full of family friendly recipes, cocktails & homesteading tales of chickens & cows from the family farm! Make sure to check out my bestselling cookbook, Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky ,stay tuned for info on my second cookbook!

63 Comments

  1. Leslie Brooks Reply

    Delicious!! Mine was a little thick, so I added some Blue Chair Key Lime Cream Rum, and used lime zest, and key lime juice. I drizzled it over a key lime pound cake.
    Thank You!!

    • Can someone please define a few minutes…I’ve made this twice and I think that ‘few’ minutes must mean more that 5 or 10?? Both times it was too runny..ran off the cake and sat on the plate..I made a bundt cake this morning..and the icing this evening…this is my second attempt…was a tad thicker, added a bit more icing sugar but it still didn’t stick to the cake…Any information is appreciated.

  2. This recipe was a bust for me. I baked a perfect homemade lemon pudding bundt cake and then tried to add this glaze. After adding double the sugar and a little cornstarch as a last stitch effort the glaze was still runny. Ended up pouring over to have it soak up and ruin the cake 🙁 Turned to goop. Very disappointed and too late to start over…Don’t recommend. A recipe that requires this much repair isn’t a recipe I want to start with.

  3. 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.

    • Same here. I had to put the bowl in the freezer and whisk it every 10 minutes until it thickened enough to pour without pooling all over the plate. It finally thickened SOME but definitely not like pictured, and it still melted after sitting a while. The taste was AMAZEBALLS though, good enough that I’m willing to give it another try.

      • Try adding more sugar and doubling the butter. The butter will set, just like it does at room temp. It shouldn’t be that runny, so add more powdered sugar for sure!

  4. 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!

  5. Hucks Family Reply

    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!

  6. Frank McLain Reply

    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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

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

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

    Thank you!

    • It is ridiculous how little liquid it takes to make a great icing combined with confectioner’s (powdered) sugar. That’s probably why some are having problems and need to add more powdered. Start out adding just a small amount of liquid. Stir, stir,stir, adding just a bit more liquid till you get the consistency you desire. Don’t get discouraged.

    • I made lemon poppyseed cake. Wish I had my bunt pan here, would have looked smashing. I didn’t microwave my icing. Looks like the picture.

  11. Michelle Darko Reply

    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!!!

  12. COLORADO CAROL Reply

    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.

  13. WikiJuices Reply

    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.

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

  15. awomanwonderful Reply

    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.

  16. jotannehill Reply

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

  17. almaruth82 Reply

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

    Thanks Mucho

    Alma Ruth Jay

  18. Michelle Avery Reply

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

  19. AnneNotremmel Reply

    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?

  20. charityc6047 Reply

    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!!

  21. CarmenSepulveda Reply

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

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

  23. 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?

    • 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.

  24. 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!

    • Probably too warm an environment for them. Whenever an icing like this has butter in it, I always store the finished product in the fridge until I’m ready to eat it. Hope this helps!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

    • Most “allergic” to dairy is LACTOSE sensitive. There is little to no lactose in butter. It is 99% fat. I am lactose intolerant and I often eat butter.

  27. 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!

      • 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.

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

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

  31. romanov1918 Reply

    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!

  32. 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

    • 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 … 

    • 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.

  33. Greetings!

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

    Dawn

    • @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?

  34. 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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