How to Make the Best Glaze for Doughnuts

Updated: Jan. 23, 2024

Learn how to make doughnut glaze at home for a sweet breakfast treat any day of the week.

Let’s be honest, doughnuts are amazing in any setting. Whether they’re a special-occasion breakfast, a snack at work, or are replacing cake at a wedding, doughnuts have a way of brightening anyone’s day. There’s no better pastry to pair with coffee. Find the best types of doughnuts to make for breakfast or brunch.

And while there are tons of ways to top a doughnut, from sprinkles to powdered sugar, nothing is as satisfying as a sweet vanilla glaze. Fortunately, recreating your local doughnut shop’s glaze for homemade treats is incredibly easy. Keep reading to get the simple step-by-step instructions.

Skip your next Dunkin’ run thanks to these copycat recipes.

How to Make Donut Glaze


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yield: Enough glaze for about 2 dozen doughnuts

Step 1: Prep the sugar

Shift the confectioners’ sugar into a wide-edged bowl. Sifting gets rid of any clumps and works to aerate the confectioners’ sugar so the glaze is nice and smooth.

Step 2: Mix in wet ingredients

Using a whisk, slowly mix in the half and half a tablespoon at a time, stopping when the glaze reaches your desired consistency. Once the glaze is mixed, stir in the vanilla extract.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you prefer a thinner glaze, add in an additional tablespoon of half and half.

Step 3: Glaze

With a pair of tongs, dip a homemade doughnut into the glaze, flipping it over so both sides get covered. Transfer to a wire rack (make sure there’s a pan underneath to catch the excess!) and allow the glaze to harden.

Once the glaze has set, pour yourself a cup of coffee and dig in.

Customize the glaze to your taste

There’s no need to limit yourself to just vanilla glaze. Check out these fun flavor options:

  • Super fruity: Substitute the half and half for fruit punch (or your favorite fruit juice blend) and omit the vanilla extract.
  • Cup of joe: Add a teaspoon of instant coffee granules to the confectioners’ sugar then continue the recipe as normal.
  • Orange creamsicle: Substitute the half and half for pulp-free orange juice and add a tablespoon of fresh orange zest.
  • Pumpkin spice: Stir in a ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice to the confectioners’ sugar and continue the recipe as normal.
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