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This easy chocolate glaze is perfect for chocolate glazed donuts, cookies, cakes and more! It takes just 5 minutes to whip up.

Chocolate glaze
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Looking for a quick and easy chocolate icing? Try this Chocolate Glaze: fast, easy and oh so creamy and chocolaty! It’s ideal for chocolate glazed donuts, but it works for so much more: Bundt cakes, cookies, muffins, even banana bread! This one is a powdered sugar icing that requires no actual chocolate as a part of it. Here’s how it’s done, and when to use it!

Ingredients for chocolate glaze

This chocolate glaze is so simple: all you need are 5 ingredients and 5 minutes! You might have many of the ingredients on hand already: and even better, it requires no chocolate at all. Here’s what you’ll need (see the recipe below for quantities):

  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Heavy cream: or substitute milk! Cream has a richer flavor that sets up well; milk also works, the higher fat the better
  • Vanilla extract
  • Water

Looking for other flavors? Try our Cream Cheese Glaze, Lemon Glaze, or Vanilla Glaze!

Sift, then whisk

There are two steps for this chocolate glaze recipe: sift the dry ingredients, then whisk it all together. Two small notes to keep in mind:

  • Sifting removes any lumps. You can use a fine mesh sieve and just shake it into a bowl, or an actual sifter.
  • Whisk until it’s smooth, adjusting the liquid as necessary. The liquid specified below (6 tablespoons) should create a smooth, glossy texture: but you may need a bit more liquid. Add liquid a teaspoon at a time until the correct texture is reached.
Chocolate Glaze

Ways to use chocolate glaze

This glaze is perfect for donuts, but it also works for cakes, cookies, and more! Keep in mind: this glaze does not set up glossy; it has a matte-like texture when dried. It’s best for more informal cakes like Bundt cakes, not fancy tiered cakes with dramatic glazes (go here instead). Here are some ways to use this glaze:

Chocolate glazed donuts
The texture of the chocolate glaze when dried is matte, not glossy

How to make chocolate glazed donuts

Our favorite way to use this recipe? For chocolate glazed donuts! This recipe makes enough for at least 12 donuts, maybe more depending on the size of your donuts. Here’s how to use it for chocolate glazed donuts:

  • Make your favorite donut recipe. Try this Easy Baked Donuts recipe.
  • Mix up the glaze in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Use your fingers to dip each donut into the glaze, twisting the donut to allow excess glaze to drip off into the bowl.
  • Add sprinkles! You can shake them on, or dip the donut face into a plate of sprinkles.

More chocolate recipes

Love chocolate? Here are a few more tasty chocolate desserts to try:

This chocolate glaze recipe is…

Vegetarian, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Chocolate glaze

Chocolate Glaze (for Donuts, Cake, & More!)

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3.5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: ½ cup icing 1x


This easy chocolate glaze is perfect for chocolate glazed donuts, cookies, cakes and more! It takes just 5 minutes to whip up.


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons water (or milk)


  1. Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl (use a sifter or simply a fine mesh sieve; this helps to break up any chunks).
  2. Slowly whisk in the cream and vanilla to make a smooth, pourable glaze, stirring constantly until it comes together. Stir in the water (or milk) if necessary. (If using milk instead of cream, use 4 to 6 tablespoons milk and skip the water.) If the glaze is too sticky, add a teaspoon more water until it comes to a smooth, thick consistency. Use for dipping donuts, or drizzle with a fork across cookies, muffins or cake (makes enough for at least 12 donuts).
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Betty Keener says:

    Did not add the additional water or milk, and used light cream because that’s what I had. Worked perfectly!

  2. Alisha Lampron says:

    So far so good! I did not add the last step of wet liquid and they seem to be drying nicely. And seem to be setting. I’ll post once we finish!

  3. Gerrit Nyland says:

    Yeah, followed the recipe and the icing never set – more a frosting than an icing. I did my usual maple icing and vanilla icing for donuts and the consistency was the same as for this chocolate icing. My maple and vanilla icings worked perfect – not this chocolate one.

  4. Valerie Woodring says:

    What type of cocoa powder are you using in the glaze for the donuts?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Just standard cocoa powder.

  5. Debra Springer says:

    Do you have to refrigerate cake leftovers with cream in icing?

    1. Donna Lauser says:

      Disappointed…used this recipe as the glaze on a Boston Cream Cake. Too thin, it never set up. Also overly chocolate flavor.
      It ruined my husband’s 75th birthday cake!

      1. Alex Overhiser says:

        I’m sorry it didn’t work!

      2. Sarah says:

        I agree! Too bad as it messed up my donuts… Much too thin with no set 😕

        1. Sonja Overhiser says:

          It sounds like you used too much liquid! We’ve added a few precautions in the recipe for this. The way people measure powdered sugar can vary greatly. Next time we’d recommend not using the water!

          1. Anonymous says:

            To thin horrible glaze.

          2. Alex Overhiser says:

            You have to make sure not to water it down too much!

      3. Janet Jones says:

        That’s the same exact thing that happened to me.

  6. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!