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Buttery Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze for Donuts, Vegan

from 13 reader reviews

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Deeply sweet and flavorful, brown sugar glaze for donuts is spiced with cinnamon, buttery, and rich. Pour a thick layer over bundt cake, cookies, quick breads, and of course donuts for a flavorful sweet treat.

glass tray with baked donuts

This year I finally broke down and posted my favorite recipe for Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts. They were fabulous! But I didn’t like the thin flavorless powdered sugar glaze that tops most donuts.

I mean, I guess that’s okay for glazed donuts…but cakey sweet donuts really need a little something extra. So I made my delicious browned butter glaze and in the process created this yummy cinnamon brown sugar glaze!

Like my browned butter glaze, this is a thick glaze, not thin and runny. It’s almost like frosting…except it hardens like a glaze. It’s like donut glaze and frosting got married and had a baby. This flavorful buttery brown sugar glaze is the best of both worlds!

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Iced baked donuts in bottom left corner, hand dipping donut in brown sugar cinnamon glaze in top right corner with pinterest text overlay

Ingredients needed to make cinnamon brown sugar glaze for donuts

  • butter – I use vegan butter sticks (don’t use tub butter)
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • plant milk – I use oat milk
  • cornstarch
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • You will also need a non-stick saucepan (affiliate link)
ingredients needed for brown sugar cinnamon glaze including vanilla, oat milk, plant butter, powdered sugar, salt, brown sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon

How to make the best vegan brown sugar glaze for donuts, bundt cake, cookies, and more

Step 1: Melting the vegan butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon

Place the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a heavy-bottomed non-stick sauce pan and melt on medium while stirring the whole time. This will take several minutes. You will want to make sure the butter is fully melted before adding in the other ingredients.

If you do use dairy butter then use salted rather than unsalted. This recipe was developed using plant butter which is salted.

melted butter with brown sugar, and cinnamon

Step 2: Adding the plant milk and cornstarch

Whisk together the plant milk and the cornstarch. Cornstarch will help the thick glaze hold together a little better as it hardens.

If you are not vegan, just like the butter, you may use the milk of your choosing. We are a vegan family and so I use milk made from plants. My favorite is oat milk. It’s rich and creamy and is perfect for this vegan icing.

Add in the cornstarch and milk mixture and stir as you are heating for about another minute. You want the mixture to *almost* boil – but not quite.

Step 3: Stirring in the powdered sugar

Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar – about half at a time. You don’t need to use an electric mixer, but you will need to put some muscle behind it.

I stir in the powdered sugar right in the pan I used to heat the other ingredients. Use a silicone coated whisk or wooden spoon to stir so that you don’t damage the bottom of your pan.

stirring in the powder sugar into the melted butter

Step 4: Finishing up

Add the vanilla, give it a taste and add in a pinch of salt if needed. (I usually need it!) Each brand of vegan butter will have a slightly different taste which is why we add the pinch of salt at the end.

The best texture for this vegan icing is slightly runny when warm. You will want to be able to pour it easily on your (still warm) baked goods or hand dip smaller items like donuts and muffins and have it stick.

If the brown sugar icing is too thick to easily stir and pour, add in a little more plant milk a couple of teaspoons at a time.

stirring brown sugar glaze with whisk

Step 5: The best step – decorating!

It is important the sweet glaze be warm and runny. If it is too thick then it won’t properly coat and stick to your baked goods. If it gets cold it will harden too quickly. You can reheat this glaze one or maybe two times before it gets hard and grainy.

It’s also best if your baked goods are still a little warm before pouring on the glaze. This way they will cool at the same time and your glaze will be less likely to crack.

I try to time it so the glaze will be ready before the baked item completely cools. Sometimes I’ll even wrap the baked item in foil to keep it warm

To keep my glaze warm while dipping small items like donuts or cookies, I often keep the pan of glaze over a pan of hot water – the same concept as a double boiler.

Carefully dip so that you don’t burn yourself and have a fork or spoon handy to fetch your baked item out of the hot icing if you accidentally drop it.

hand dipping baked donut into glaze

Use this glaze on the following tasty baked goods from Veggie Fun Kitchen:

glass tray with baked donuts
Add sprinkles righty away before the glaze cools and hardens.

For some other tasty vegan recipes for icing, frosting, glaze, and sweet toppings try my:

The printable recipe card for Buttery Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze

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Want to share the love? It would be great if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help Google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

glass tray with baked donuts

Buttery Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze for Donuts, Vegan

Deeply sweet and flavorful, brown sugar glaze for donuts with cinnamon is buttery and rich. Pour a thick layer over bundt cake, cookies, quick breads, and of course donuts for a flavorful sweet treat.
from 13 reader reviews
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, icing, Topping
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown sugar glaze, butter glaze, donut glaze, vegan icing
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey


  • ½ cup vegan butter use stick butter, not tub
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup plant milk
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch salt (optional)


  • Melt the vegan butter along with the brown sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan on medium heat, watching and stirring occasionally so that it melts evenly and does not burn on the edges.
  • While the vegan butter mixture is melting, whisk together the plant milk and cornstarch, removing any lumps.
  • Add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the melted vegan butter and brown sugar and stir together. Continue cooking for about one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Stir in the vanilla and the pinch of salt.
  • This brown sugar glaze will be warm and runny. Use right away. It will harden as it cools.


If you are not vegan, use any butter of choice – but salted stick butter please!
You need to use right away while it is still warm. It will harden very quickly. You can reheat maybe once before it will just get too hard and grainy.
Usually we recommend icing cooled baked goods. In this case it’s better to pour on the glaze while the baked item is still warm. Otherwise the glaze will cool too quickly and crack.
Also, glaze is delicate. Handle the glazed baked item with care until it’s safely in your belly!
This recipe calls for a pinch of salt. I wait till the end to taste and see if it needs it. The salt is optional and not included in the nutritional information.


Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg

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By on November 11th, 2021

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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3 thoughts on “Buttery Cinnamon Brown Sugar Glaze for Donuts, Vegan”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing buttery cinnamon brown sugar glaze for donuts recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!


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