Tutorial Tuesday: Lemon Icing

Tuesday, June 30, 2009
monkeys on the bed!

It is still the last few minutes of Tuesday, and here I am eeking out a tutorial.  To be honest, I thought about skipping out--for 2 reasons.  1) I couldn't think of a good tutorial this week.  The creative juices just weren't flowing.  2) I need a little more time before I make my announcement, and I thought I could delay it if I just didn't write post #99 yet.  But, here I am.  Although, you may not see me tomorrow if I don't make some serious progress on my "secret."  I do promise that every effort will be made to make the 100th post tomorrow!  That's a start, right?

Today's (tonight's?) tutorial is for a simple, easy, summery lemon icing.  This is the kind of icing that is perfect on sugar cookies, or as a glaze on cupcakes, or drizzled over lemon poppyseed bread...and so on.  It is so adaptable I bet you could come up with at least a dozen uses for this versatile treat.

First, I'll explain the basic recipe.  Then I will share some easy adaptations with you.

Lemon Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1 small to medium lemon 

1.  Place powdered sugar in a bowl.

2.  Grate the zest from your lemon into the bowl with the sugar.  I had a small lemon, so I used all the zest.  Use less if your lemon is huge.

3.  Cut your lemon in half and remove the seeds.  Squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl and whisk.  Better yet, use a lemon reamer to juice the lemon.  The lemon reamer is my absolute favorite kitchen gadget.  I can't imagine how I got by without it.  You need to get one of these if you don't already have one--the amount of juice you can get using one is phenomenal!

4.  If the icing is the consistency you want, then you are done.  If not, add more juice from the other half of the lemon.  Continue adding juice and whisking until it is how you want.

5.  Use your delicious icing as you wish!  I made tiny sugar cookies today, so that is where mine ended up (I mean besides the spoonfuls that ended up in my mouth, that is...).

Ways to modify this:
1.  Whisk in your favorite berry jam--raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, all go great with lemon.  Use about 2 teaspoons of jam to start--you can always add more if you want it to have a stronger berry flavor vs. the lemon.
2.  Use less powdered sugar, more lemon juice.  This will make a glaze instead of an icing--it should be pourable.  This type works great for the lemon poppyseed bread.
3.  Start with vanilla sugar (to make this, place a vanilla bean pod in a baggie with some sugar for a few days.  The sugar will take on the vanilla flavor).



  1. Sounds Great. I'll have to try it sometime! I can't wait for the big announcement soon (hopefully tomorrow)! Haha!! Do you make your sugar cookies from scratch or from a box mix? Thanks

  2. yum. i love lemon. big announcement...I'm listening...and i have some great guesses...

  3. that lemon reamer looks serious! i really want to make some cookies to put this icing on!

  4. just wanted to let you know I made this yesterday...more glazy than icingy...it was delicious on my sugar lemon cookies!


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