This chocolate glaze recipe uses cocoa powder and the microwave, so there’s no need to fuss with melting chocolate slowly over the stove the next time you want to dress up a cake, cookies, or a batch of donuts.
This chocolate glaze is definitely a good one to add to your baking bag of tricks. I love a good, simple glaze for when I think a loaf cake or a batch of cookies needs a little something extra and a simple glaze that mixes up in seconds never seems to let me down. I wanted to share this recipe because it’s the one I find to be the most practical and the most useful in the kitchen. I was making a chocolate cake recently and thought a glaze would be just the right thing, but when I went to quickly find an easy recipe, I was a little annoyed to see that many of the recipes called for a tedious process of melting chocolate over the stove and that was just not what I was looking to get into. I didn’t want it to be a whole thing, I just basically wanted the best chocolate variation of the simple confectioner’s sugar glaze I use so often. So of course I had to come up with my own method and I thought I’d better write it down so I can refer back to it whenever I need it. Hopefully you’ll find it useful enough that you will too. 🙂
Ingredients Needed for the Easy Chocolate Glaze
This dark-chocolate powdered-sugar glaze is silky, glossy, and adds just the right touch of sweetness to all of your homemade chocolate baked goods. This is a quick, easy-to-make solution for when you don’t want to melt chocolate or go to the trouble of dealing with frostings or your favorite icing recipe and it’s so much better than anything store bought. Here are the few things you’ll need:
- Butter or a plant-based substitute
- Icing sugar
- Good quality chocolate cocoa powder
- Hot water
I almost always use plant-based ingredients in all my baking recipes, so that’s what I personally use to make this glaze. I do, however, usually stick to traditional methods with all the recipes I develop so that you can easily substitute in traditional ingredients if that’s what you happen to have in your house and what you like to use. So butter or plant-based butter are both fine for this.
This recipe makes enough chocolate glaze for one chocolate bundt cake or one large batch of cookies. I would double it if you want to make chocolate glazed donuts. 🙂
Method for Making the Cocoa Powder Glaze
This is a super easy microwave recipe so you can whip it up right in the moment when you decide that your cake or your cookies could use a little something extra, without having to add a whole bunch of extra steps and equipment to your baking process. My glazing endeavours usually happen as moments of inspiration rather than planned-out garnishing tactics, so I like to keep things quick and simple.
Scoop your butter out with a tablespoon and place it in a microwave-proof dish, then melt it in the microwave for about 25-30 seconds, until the butter is softened. Something like a glass measuring cup is usually my container of choice because it’s also great for drizzling the glaze when you’re done. Add in the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly until everything is well-combined. If you’re worried about the mixture getting too runny, add about half the hot water first and see how things look before adding more.
Next, add in the icing sugar, vanilla, and hot water and keep whisking some more until a very smooth consistency is reached. Make sure to break up any lumps of sugar or cocoa powder that you come across. Something like a tiny whisk is a great tool to have in your kitchen for things like this. Room temperature water will work in a pinch as well; the hot water just helps you melt everything together a little more easily for a smooth pourable glaze.
Pro tip: Try switching out the vanilla for another flavour like almond or even a little bit of liqueur for an elevated take on this recipe.
Once you’re satisfied with the smoothness of your mixture, your glaze will be ready to use! Drizzle it over a cooled cake, donuts, or cookies and give it a few moments to set up before you serve your masterpiece. If you want the glaze to harden a bit more quickly, just refrigerate your glazed baked goods for a few minutes.
This recipe is absolutely perfect for drizzling over something like my 3 Ingredient Chocolate Zucchini Cake, my Strawberry Chocolate Granola or my Basic Plant-Based Shortbread. It makes anything you bake look so beautifully-finished that you’ll feel like a professional pastry chef every time you use it.
If you use this glaze for cookies or donuts, a parchment-paper underlay beneath a cooling rack will make the glazing process easy and mess-free.
Full Recipe for this Simple Glaze
Here’s the full printable recipe!
This chocolate glaze recipe uses cocoa powder and the microwave, so there's no need to fuss with melting chocolate slowly over the stove the next time you want to dress up a cake, cookies, or a batch of donuts.
- 2 tbsp Butter or plant-based substitute
- 3 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp Confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Hot water
Place the butter or plant-based butter into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and melt on high for about 25-30 seconds, or until the butter is mostly melted. Add in the cocoa powder and mix well until all clumps are broken up.
Add in the icing sugar, vanilla, and hot water and continue to mix until everything comes together into a smooth, uniform glaze mixture.
When your cake, cookies, or donuts are fully cooled, drizzle the glaze over the top and allow to set for a few minutes before serving.
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.