How To Make Vanilla Glaze For Donuts?

There are many vanilla glaze recipes around, but not many of them can give donuts that refreshing and juicy finish. Luckily, the vanilla glaze recipe we discovered and tested achieves exactly the effect that we’ve been looking for. It’s important to note that this vanilla glaze is not difficult or time-consuming to make and there’ll be enough of it to glaze all your donuts and leave some more for later. That said, continue reading this article and learn how to make the vanilla glaze for donuts that will tickle your senses!

The History of Vanilla Glaze for Donuts

donuts with vanilla glaze
Image Credit: finecooking

According to National Geographic, vanilla was initially used by the indigenous people living on Mexico’s east coast called Totonacs. That’s not too surprising as vanilla is a plant that is the most abundant in South and Central America, from where it originates.

After the Aztecs conquered the Totonac people, they acquired vanilla as their own and used it for their own needs. When the Spanish conquerors conquered the Aztecs they saw that they are using Vanilla and cultivated it for themselves. As vanilla was making its way toward Spanish cuisine, its popularity also began to expand.

It’s interesting that Aztecs also drank their chocolate drink known as chocolate, and they also used to add vanilla as an additive. The Spanish conquerors weren’t particularly impressed with the cocoa-based beverage, so for the longest time, they also found vanilla just to be an additive to it.

In the 17th Century, Hugh Morgan working under Queen Elizabeth I made all-vanilla flavored sweetmeats, and the queen loved them. That’s when the vanilla first rose to fame. Already just a century later, the French used vanilla to flavor ice creams.

According to Science Meets Food, chefs were using vanilla to extract its savory flavor and use it in confections, beverages, and candy, and eventually continued using it for pastries and ice cream.

As the popularity of glazed donuts grew after the First and Second World Wars, commercial pastry makers such as Dawn Foods saw the opportunity to sell chocolate-flavored donuts. With time, the popular vanilla glaze also made it to the donuts.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Vanilla Glaze for Donuts

donuts with vanilla glaze
Image Credit: kickassbaker

For glaze:

  • 2 and ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whole milk (you might need a bit more)
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of salt (to make it healthier, you can use the sea or Himalayan salt)
  • You can also like melted butter if you’d like or buttermilk


  • One large bowl
  • A saucepan
  • A whisk
  • Airtight container
  • A spoon

Step by step on how to make the vanilla glaze for donuts

Step 1: Heat the Milk and Vanilla

Pour the whole milk and vanilla extract into a medium saucepan and let it heat up on low heat while stirring. Make sure that it’s warm and not hot as you stir it. As it begins to warm up, add confectioners’ sugar into the mixture of vanilla and milk. Let it whisk on warm heat, and when you see that they’ve combined completely, remove it from the heat and let it cool for around 5 to 6 minutes.

Step 2: Combine the Materials

After the heated milk and vanilla cooled down a bit, pour the blend into a medium bowl together with cream, vanilla extract, and a little bit more sugar. The mixture needs to be thick and hold a line, but you might want to add a bit more milk if you see that it can’t stay mixed as you drizzle it.

It’d be best to keep adding the milk on a teaspoon until you get the right thickness. Although the mixture must stay thick, it also needs to stay smooth, which is why you need to add a bit more milk.

If you’re struggling to thin down the paste, you can use a hand mixer for better results.

Step 3: Put Away the Glaze

Once you achieved the perfect ratio of smoothness and thickness of the vanilla glaze, it’s time to store it in a dish that will allow you to use it for the donuts. It’s best to store it in an airtight container and cover it with plastic wrap to further isolate the glaze.

This way you’ll improve its longevity and if there’s more glaze than donuts, you’ll be able to use it on different occasions. The plastic wrap needs to touch the surface of the glaze so that if you keep the glaze outside the fridge, the bacteria, dust, and debris don’t come in contact with the glaze.

Step 4: Make the Donuts of Choice

It doesn’t matter what kind of donuts you’ll make, because this vanilla glaze goes well together with every donut recipe, as well as different pastry recipes. If you’re making the donuts at the time of making the glaze, leave the glaze at room temperature so that you can blend them easier.

If you plan to make donuts at different times, store the donut glaze in the fridge until you prepare the donuts. Take the glaze out of the fridge while the donuts are baking or deep-frying.

Step 5: Cover the Donuts With Glaze

Once you finished making donuts, dip the donuts into the glaze and coat it on. Make sure to dip one donut at a time to create a nice and even texture and then place it on a platter or a draining rack for about 5 minutes to let the donut absorb the glaze.

Tips for Making Vanilla Glaze for Donuts

Vanilla Glaze
Image Credit: friendshipbreadkitchen

There are different ways to make the perfect vanilla glaze for donuts. If you want to make the vanilla glaze from our recipe perfect, stick to these tips we used to achieve the perfect result:

  • Always make sure that the boiled milk and vanilla extract have cooled down completely before adding the mix into the bowl with heavy cream and other ingredients.
  • Make sure that the donuts are never completely cold when dipping them into the glaze. It’s okay if the glaze is colder, but the dough needs to be a bit warm so that it can absorb the glaze more effectively. That way, you’ll achieve the perfect result
  • If you want your donut glaze to be glossier, you will want to add a bit more powdered sugar. The more powdered sugar, the thicker the mix. That’s also why it’s important to use cold milk or water, in case you want to make the glaze with vanilla extract and water instead.
  • If your mix is too thick and you want to smoothen it up and thin it up, you should add a bit of water or milk. That’s why we used a few more tablespoons of milk, so all that thickness can break up allowing a smoother texture that is easy to dip in.
  • Instead of dipping, if your frosting is thicker you can use a piping bag to add the glaze to the donuts.
  • Finally, every glaze looks much better with chocolate or candy sprinkles on top. Don’t forget about it!
  • For a deeper and more savory taste, you can also squeeze half of the lemon inside the mix after adding boiled milk and vanilla.
  • As an alternative to vanilla extract, you can also use vanilla paste.


Vanilla glaze donut is probably the second most popular donut glaze after chocolate glaze. Moreover, both frostings are quite easy to make and taste great, especially when combining them with donuts. There are also many vegan variants of the recipe as well as gluten-free options, so everyone can enjoy their favorite donuts with the vanilla glaze without worrying about allergic reactions or upset stomachs caused by dairy or an egg.

You can combine it with fried donuts, baked donuts, doughnut bars, donut cake, and other pastries. Our opinion is that the vanilla glaze for donuts best tastes with baked vanilla donuts with added nutmeg or cinnamon sugar.

What is your favorite glaze for donuts? Did you try our vanilla glaze? Let us know what you think in the comments!


 Is Vanilla Glaze Vegan?

The recipe we used to make this vanilla glaze for donuts is not vegan. But there are great ways to make it vegan-friendly. One of the ways is to use coconut or almond milk instead of dairy-made milk. Instead of heavy cream, you can use the plant-based cream that is available in most of the all-purpose markets. Other than that, you won’t need to use any other vegan ingredients, unless you’re using the butter too. In that case, you can swap the butter with coconut shortening.

How Many Calories are in Vanilla Glazed Donut?

According to Nutritionix 3g of vanilla glaze or frosting, which is how much goes on a donut makes about 13 calories. The yeast-raised donut with a vanilla glaze will also have around 280 calories. If we put Dunkin Donuts vanilla donut into consideration, it has around 260 calories, according to Calorie King.

It’s worth keeping in mind that these values range from the size of the donut you’re glazing and how much glaze you used. That being said, it can be more or less calorie count, depending on the ingredients you use.

Deep-fried donuts are richer in oils and fats and hence have more calories than the donuts you bake in the oven using the donut pan.

How to Preserve Vanilla Glaze for Donuts?

The best way to store vanilla glaze for donuts is to keep it in an air-tight container, inside a fridge. If you want to preserve it longer than planned, you should seal the container and place the donut glaze in the freezer.

Before you use the glaze, make sure to remove it from the fridge 30 to 45 minutes before coating your donuts, so that the texture can adapt to room temperature and spread easier on the still-warm donuts.

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