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Brown Butter Glaze for Cakes and More

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Top your favorite desserts off with this sweet brown sugar glaze.  It goes so well with cakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls and more.

Hand holding dessert plate with a piece of peach sheet cake drizzled with brown butter glaze.

This glaze will take your baked goods and give them a nice warm hug.  The nuttiness that comes out when you brown butter is really apparent when you use it for something simple like this glaze.  

It makes it feel so much warmer and it is really simple!  It was a perfect finish to this brown sugar nectarine sheet cake. 

browned butter in enameled cast iron skillet.

It just takes about 10 minutes to get the butter to a nice golden-brown color.  Then you stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk to get your desired consistency.

It really is that easy.  This is a perfect glaze for oatmeal cookies.  

saucepan of thick, rich brown butter glaze ready to be drizzled over cake

MiMi made something similar for a get together we had a few years ago.  She brought a three or four dozen cookies to a get together with probably 15 people in attendance.

She didn’t leave with any.  People could not help themselves.  The cookies were good, but the glaze put them over the top!

What is brown butter?

Brown butter is butter that has been gently cooked until some of the milk solids are toasted and browned. It has a nutty aroma and a deeper flavor. Due to the cooking process, some of the moisture is evaporated so it has a lower moisture content than regular butter.

A couple of more icing favorites

Fudgy sweetened condensed milk icing is made quickly in a saucepan and with only three ingredients, this icing is hard to beat! It is so fudgy and has a nice sheen. 

 Maple brown butter glaze combines the depth of flavor of brown butter with the warmth of maple syrup. It’s perfect for topping cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, bundt cakes and more!

Smooth, sweet and creamy, this caramel frosting is easy to make and is a perfect topper to butter cake, chocolate cake, banana cake and more!

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Hand holding dessert plate with a piece of peach sheet cake drizzled with brown butter glaze.

Brown Butter Glaze

Servings: 24 Servings
Author: Carlee
Top your favorite desserts off with this sweet brown sugar glaze.  It goes so well with cakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls and more.
4.71 from 24 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons whole milk


  • In thick bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
    ½ cup butter
  • Remove from heat.
  • Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and 2 Tablespoons of milk. Continue to add milk until you reach your desired consistency.
    2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 Tablespoons whole milk
  • Drizzle over cake or cookies and allow to set before stacking. 



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 72kcalCarbohydrates: 9gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 32mgSugar: 9g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Friday 31st of May 2024

This recipe is exactly what I needed. Easy and delicious! I used it for my banana bread.


Friday 31st of May 2024

That sounds so good!


Monday 8th of January 2024

Thank you for this recipe! I have a family-favorite recipe for Treasure Bars that my mom used to make in the 1970s. It calls for this browned butter glaze on top, but no one in my family has the recipe for the glaze. I have fond memories of being in the kitchen as a kid while my mom tried to teach me how to brown butter. Over the years I have tried different things and have failed.....Sadly, I've learned you cannot cook the butter on high heat or it burns and smokes. You cannot cheat and add the vanilla too soon and you cannot add to much milk or you end-up having to add more powered sugar, which makes the glaze too sweet. I'm never sure if you're supposed to leave the glaze over the heat while you add the vanilla and other ingredients. I have cut this recipe in half for my small cookie sheet size Treasure Bars. I use:1/4 cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup shifted powered sugar and a splash of milk.


Monday 8th of January 2024

It's always so sad when you lose a cherished recipe. I am so glad this one fits the bill. You definitely have to be careful not to brown the butter over too high of heat, brown butter is delicious but burnt butter is not! And vanilla is usually added off the heat because it is volatile and the heat will make it dissipate faster.

Donna Grabowski

Monday 18th of September 2023

Wow! I never made a brown butter icing but this was perfect for an apple cake. I added a little mor milk


Tuesday 19th of September 2023

I am so glad you liked it!


Monday 26th of December 2022

Wow, this was so good. The brown butter flavor comes through so well! I did cut the sugar a little bit, and still found it plenty sweet. I used it to top a spiced apple cake, it was phenomenal. Everyone had seconds. This is my new secret weapon, it's going on everything.


Monday 26th of December 2022

Yay! That makes me so happy!


Thursday 10th of November 2022

I was looking for a brown butter glaze for a pound cake and happened upon your recipe, I decided to make it, I already had everything, I'm glad I did, this turned out beautifully and the flavor is wonderful, I will make again


Friday 11th of November 2022

I am so glad you liked it!