To make a glaze for a pound cake, combine powdered sugar with a liquid, such as water, milk or melted butter, and a flavor, such as citrus. The ratio of sugar to liquid varies between recipes and depends on how thick you prefer your glaze.
A basic vanilla glaze consists of 1/4 cup of butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 to 4 tablespoons of milk or hot water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl. Combine the melted butter with the sifted powdered sugar. Stir in the milk or hot water, using less for a thicker glaze, and stir in the vanilla extract.
For a citrus variation, combine 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk. Another citrus pound cake glaze includes 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice. Whisk until smooth.
Substituting the liquid component with other flavored liquids transforms a pound cake glaze into something unique, such as a maple glaze featured on MarthaStewart.com. To make the maple glaze, combine 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup in a saucepan set over low heat. Whisk in 1 cup of powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth. Use the glaze immediately.