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Classic Buttery Donut Glaze Recipe, Vegan

from 8 reader reviews

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This is my basic go-to dairy-free donut glaze recipe with a buttery twist! It mixes up quickly and easily and is perfect for icing donuts. I use vegan butter and plant milk to make it dairy-free.

getting ready to glaze donuts with prepared glaze, sprinkles, and baked donuts on the racks

I had to make this recipe in protest of all the glazes everywhere that use only powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little liquid. Bleck! I’ve always hated the sweet chalky taste of such glazes. This is very similar to the buttery glaze I use for my festive Mardi Gras King Cake and is absolutely delicious!

This is the same recipe my mom taught me to make when I was a child. Though we certainly didn’t use vegan butter back then! Use any butter or margarine that makes you happy. We are a vegan family and so I am grateful for the many dairy-free options available today!

glass cake plate holding glazed decorated donuts

Reasons to love this buttery donut glaze

  • super easy to whip up
  • pretty stable – doesn’t crack like some cooked glazes do
  • buttery delicious
  • made vegan with dairy-free product options
  • easy to double or triple for larger batches – this recipe easily ices 10 donuts
  • perfect to glaze bundt cakes, cookies, sweet quick breads, and especially vegan glazed doughnuts!

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glass cake plate holding glazed decorated donuts and a donut being dipped with pinterest text overlay

Ingredients needed to make vegan buttery donut glaze

  • melted vegan butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • plant milk for thinning – I use oat milk
ingredients needed for donut glaze not including the milk
Everything pictured except for the plant milk. I use oat milk.

How to made buttery donut glaze

The recipe is so easy and honestly, I didn’t realize I needed to write an actual recipe post for such a basic recipe until a young friend of mine mentioned that she had never actually made donut glaze and had no idea how to do it. Just follow along and you will see how easy it is!

Step 1: melt the butter

Melt the butter in the microwave. I place the butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. This is the same bowl you will be mixing the glaze in as well as dipping the donuts.

melting butter in the microwave

Start out with one and a half minutes and then microwave in 15-second increments if more is needed.

Step 2: Add ingredients

Add the vanilla extract, pinch of salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk to see how thick it is. Then add some plant milk to thin as desired. Start with one tablespoon, add and whisk. You might want your glaze a little thicker or thinner. Definitely don’t add more than three Tablespoons total.

I’ve added three tablespoons today because I wanted a somewhat liquid glaze. Definitely don’t add more than three tablespoons or your glaze will be too thin. The consistency is just right for doughnut glaze.

This recipe will easily glaze 10-12 donuts. It is easy to double or even triple if you need more. Only make as much as you think you will need though because like most glazes, it does not keep well.

showing consistency of glaze with donuts in background

Time to glaze, and decorate!

This glaze is perfect anytime you need a little drizzle of buttery sweetness. This is the same basic glaze I used for my Mardi Gras King Cake – but I made the consistency for that recipe a little thicker. Use it on:

The dairy-free glaze works perfectly to drizzle on sweet bread, muffins, soft cookies, bundt cakes, and of course donuts!

glass cake plate holding glazed decorated donuts

The double dip method

You can make this vegan donut glaze thick like regular icing, or you can thin it like a classic donut glaze and do the double dip. That’s right, double dipping is perfectly okay when you are glazing a donut!

Carefully dip it once. Remove and set on a rack for a few minutes – not to the point of hardening, but just beginning to set. Then after it’s had a minute or two to set, dip it again and decorate with sprinkles right away while the glaze is still wet.

dipping the donut into the glaze

About vegan sprinkles

Donuts are better with sprinkles; and you can’t tell me otherwise! But are all sprinkles vegan? No, indeed they are not. If you are reading this recipe post, chances are you are here for the vegan buttery glaze. You might also want to know about the sprinkles I use. (But, if you are not vegan, but here for the dairy-free doughnut glaze recipe, just skip on down to the recipe card. Or read and learn:)

I first became aware of vegan sprinkles before I was vegan and making my very first vegan birthday cake for my son. I don’t remember the recipe I used, but it did mention the fact that not all sprinkles are created equal vegan. What?!?

You need to read the ingredients to find out if your spinkles are vegan-friendly. One ingredient to watch out for is “confectioner’s glaze” – which sounds lovely, doesn’t it? In fact, confectioner’s glaze is another word for shellac which is used to give many sprinkles that nice hard shiny outter layer. Shellac is made from beetles. So yuck!

Some red food dyes are also made from carmine which is made from…you guessed it, beetles! But it won’t be obvious by just reading the lable without doing a little research. You can read more about vegan spinkles on the Everything Vegan blog.

I find it best to buy my spinkles that are labled “vegan”. That way, the guesswork is taken care of. I buy most of my spinkles from Fancy Sprinkles (not all are vegan so check first), or Baking Time Club. Both are online.

Remember to spinkle your glazed donuts as soon as you dip them in the glaze. As the donut glaze dries and hardens, the sprinkles won’t stick! And you will be sad. I work one at a time, dipping and sprinkling.

putting sprinkles on the donuts by hand

Looking for some other delicious dairy-free frostings, icings, and glazes?

The printable recipe card for Buttery Donut Glaze

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glass cake plate holding glazed decorated donuts

Basic Buttery Donut Glaze, Vegan

This is my basic go-to donut glaze recipe with a buttery twist! It mixes up quickly and easily and is perfect for icing donuts. I use vegan butter and plant milk to make it dairy-free.
from 8 reader reviews
Print Pin Rate
Course: icing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: basic glaze, buttery glaze, donut glaze, donut icing, vegan icing
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 77kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey


  • microwave


  • Tablespoons vegan butter
  • cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 Tablespoons plant milk for thinning see notes


  • Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • In a small/medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  • If necessary, add a little plant milk to thin.
  • Use right away before it begins to harden. If you are using sprinkles, add immediately after icing each piece. Don't wait until all of the donuts have been glazed to begin sprinkling, or the glaze will have hardened too much for the sprinkles to stick.


Depending on how thick you’d like your glaze, add one to three tablespoons of milk to thin. Add one tablespoon at a time.
This recipe will generously glaze 8-14 donuts depending on how thin you make the glaze. It’s easy to double if you will need more.


Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

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By on January 26th, 2022

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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