How to Make a Lemon Icing Glaze

Close up of Greek Yogurt Blueberry Lemon Bundt with Lemon Icing Glaze placed on a green checkered plate

Site Index Icings and frostings Lemon

This post may contain affiliate links. See my privacy policy for details.

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 on top of bundt cake in a green checkered plate
Lemon Icing on a Bundt Cake

Lemon 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 taste buds 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 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.

Close up of a fully iced bundt cake on a plate on a table.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Lemon Glaze:

  • Now, again, I use salted butter. If you want to add another layer to the lemon flavor, 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.
Pouring lemon glaze icing over a bundt cake
Pouring lemon glaze icing over a bundt cake

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!

What can you use this lemon glaze on?

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!

Happy Baking!

Karlynn

Don’t forget to PIN THIS RECIPE to Your Frostings and Icings Boards and remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!

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

Thanks to ads on this website, readers of The Kitchen Magpie are now sponsoring 2 families a month through the Edmonton Food Bank. Learn how you can help here.

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

Subscribe to The Kitchen Magpie on YouTube

One click and you'll get notified of new videos added to our YouTube account!

How to Make a Lemon Glaze

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

4.95 from 173 votes
Prep Time
3 minutes
Total Time
3 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
American
Servings
1
Calories
868
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon 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.

Recipe Notes

Tips and Tricks

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

Nutrition Information

Calories: 868kcal, Carbohydrates: 214g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 40mg, Potassium: 62mg, Sugar: 207g, Vitamin A: 125IU, Vitamin C: 31.4mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

Made this recipe?

Share a photo of what you made on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @thekitchenmagpie or hashtag it #thekitchenmagpie.

Please rate this recipe in the comments below to help out your fellow cooks!

Save Your Favorite Recipes!
Create an account and save recipes

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Icings and frostings Lemon

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Jae says

    Made this lemon icing today for blueberry muffins, followed the directions to the letter it is amazing, fresh and bright only thing I added beyond the recipe was a couple of drops lemon extract (we love lemon) this is a keeper, thank you so much for the recipe.

  2. C.L. says

    Absolutely delicious! I used a little extra butter and it came out great the first time, no troubleshooting needed. Yummy and easy recipe, made the glaze in just a few minutes and poured it over my frsh baked lemon bundt cake. Delicious even without lemon zest! Thanks!5 stars

  3. LL says

    Karlynn. can you please tell me will this glaze a 9×13 cake ? Thank you ! making this for lots of school kids on Wednesday ! Can’t wait !

  4. Cath Carroll says

    This is a truly delicious lemon frosting. You want to lick every spoon and scrape every bowl. The perfect finish to my best friend’s light fruit birthday cake.5 stars

  5. Deb says

    I tried your recipe but did not have any zest. I have never gotten my recipe right. Yours is so good. Thank you. Hopefully my co workers will enjoy my blueberry bundt cake with lemon icing tomorrow.

  6. Anonymous says

    Recipe calls for “1 tsp” salted butter. Is that a typo? Should it be 1 tablespoon??

    • Juliane says

      I just finished making it with 1 teaspoon and a tad more confectioners sugar- it’s sitting to cool currently. I tested on back of a spoon and it didn’t run. 🙂

  7. Barbara Sheridan says

    Made a single layer lemon cake in the microwave, looked on the web and found your blog and your great recipe for the lemon icing glaze. Followed your recipe to the letter, sifted the confectioners sugar added a pinch of salt and the 1/4 cup of lemon juice (from the bottle) ran out of fresh lemons, hence no lemon zest, and one tablespoon of melted unsalted butter. The glaze is delicious on the lemon cake, my family loves anything with a lemon flavor. Thank you, Karlynn, for publishing your lemon glaze recipe on your blog. I signed up to follow you on twitter as well. I will certainly come back to your blog to check out your other recipes.5 stars

  8. Chey says

    Perfect on my lemon bread loaf! Glad to have found you! : ) Looks like I’ll be back to try out the delicious recipes I’m finding. Thank you!5 stars

  9. Rosie says

    Don’t know if you have changed the receipe since the comments from a year ago BUT I followed the receipt to the letter and it came out perfect! Used on my Summertime Lemonade Cookies, Oh My Goodness! Lemon perfection. Thank you.5 stars

  10. Leia says

    This is by far the BEST lemon icing recipe I’ve EVER tasted. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!5 stars

      • Jackie Dale says

        Best lemon frosting recipe I have found. I use it on lemon Bundy cakes and it a “big” hit everywhere I take it. Making Four this week to take to my church.4 stars

  11. VegasDude says

    First time here… 30 seconds reading this recipe.. and I already love you like a lifelong friend.. :0)… I’m glazing a Lemon Poppyseed Loaf as we speak.. and came online to look for something MORE LEMONY !!!.. I love the Salt idea adding complexity to it… I will add some Salted butter, and zest a lemon, … …. I once had a glaze fail with one that I wanted to be SUPER LEMONY.. and added more Lemon Juice, AND Lemon Extract.. Do NOT do that.. trust me…. And I’d Never thought something could be TOO Lemony…. til that one !.. I can’t wait to Peruse your Recipe Collection…. Dennis…5 stars

  12. DanZcookieman says

    Thank you, Karlynn, I believe that you nailed it on this recipe! I just found it today after a quick search for lemon glaze for my lemon cookies (which I’m happy to share with you if you would like). I don’t eat a lot of my own cookies, but I enjoy developing recipes. After adding your glaze, these have just become my favorite cookie! Awesome!5 stars

  13. Tashawn Barlow says

    I want your Lemon Blueberry Bundt recipe!

  14. Leslie Brooks says

    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!!5 stars

    • Kim says

      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.

      • Karlynn Johnston says

        You need to use more powdered sugar
        ,to thicken it up . It only needs 3-4 minutes of rest time before . Make sure you make it thick to begin with!5 stars

  15. Mary Barts says

    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.1 star

  16. brooke schweitzer says

    I needed wayyyyy more confectioners sugar4 stars

  17. Leon says

    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.5 stars

    • Joni says

      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.5 stars

      • Karlynn Johnston says

        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!5 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      Your powdered sugar must have been very light and not compact. Try adding more sugar when it gets like that!5 stars

  18. Pooja says

    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 stars

  19. Hucks Family says

    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!5 stars

  20. Frank McLain says

    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.5 stars

  21. Candra says

    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?4 stars

  22. Dani says

    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!5 stars

  23. Sandra says

    Thank you! Finally, an icing that actually works and looks as pictured!!!5 stars

  24. Patty L says

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

    Thank you!5 stars

    • Sharon Ramon says

      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.5 stars

      • Sharra Lannan says

        I think temperature and humidity play a part too. I have found in the past if I add as much liquid as recipes state then my icing has trouble setting, so I just went slowly – slowly with this one and it came out great.5 stars

  25. Sherie Waldam says

    This delicious on lemon poppyseed muffins.5 stars

    • carrie aragon says

      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.5 stars

Leave a Comment or Recipe Tip

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.