Forget Your Frosting: Get With Boozy Glazes

Forget Your Frosting: Get With Boozy Glazes

Thick frostings are too heavy to adorn fall’s denser breads and cakes. The season is a spotlight for hearty baked goods that demand the light touch of tender glazes. Often translucent, glazes have a sugar base and are the thinnest type of pastry accompaniments. These simple drizzles add flavor to goods while helping keep them moist, and some form a hard shell on top or around the treats.

A simple glaze is made with varying amounts of sugar, butter and milk. Add booze to that and you’ve got your flavor-smacked buttered rum and bourbon glazes that you see peeking out of cake descriptions and holiday recipes. Liquor and liqueurs easily join traditional glaze ingredients to extrapolate and deepen flavor.  We broaden this boozy approach with the below suggestions to incorporate liquors into your fall glaze lineup.

Pumpkin Bread:

Making a cinnamon spice glaze for that cold weather pumpkin bread? Take those mulled notes a little further and try a coffee-bourbon glaze. A spicy oak vanilla kick of bourbon infused with the dark, rich tang of coffee lends a complex body to balance, enhancing the spice in this fall favorite.

Cinnamon Rolls:

Cinnamon on cinnamon on hot, hot cinnamon. Toss that vanilla glaze and try a spicy Fireball-powered cinnamon glaze for the classic breakfast rolls. Fireball combines the bite of Canadian whiskey with fiery cinnamon, reminiscent of an Atomic Fireball candy.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:

Still use a lemon glaze for these breakfast treats, but just add some gin. Use a gin with a heavy botanical flavor, such as Hendrick’s. The flowery, herbal notes of the gin combined with the lemon and poppy of the muffin will mimic the taste of a gin and tonic.


Bring the rest of the field to your cornbread by drizzling this classic with a rye whiskey, honey and orange bitters glaze. Rye will lend a smoky, earthy flavor without losing its sweet whiskey bite – then some orange bitters to the mix for a fruity bitter complexity not normally associated with dry cornbread.

Shortbread Cookies:

Shortbread is a blank canvas cookie and hefty enough to support a glaze. Agave spirits are underutilized in the cooking world. Depending on the region the tequila is from, the taste can range from sweet and floral to less sweet with mineral characteristics. Add tequila to a lime glaze and sweeten with agave for your own edible Margarita.

Pound Cake:

The number one selling spirit of South America was almost unknown in the US. But the cocktail renaissance has brought forward the sugar cane-distilled Cachaça to the forefront of the spirits world. This sweet, woody, fruity, caramel-riddled spirit takes the place of rum in the traditional pound cake glaze.  

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