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Glaze on the Finishing Touch

A sweet glaze and streusel crumb topping make cupcakes irresistible.

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A glaze can be a simple and elegant substitution for frosting. Made mostly with water and powdered sugar, glazes are either transparent, opaque or colored (the tint comes from food coloring or fruit purees). Drizzle a hot glaze over a cupcake to create a smooth, sugary coating that pools on top. It'll cool to form a thin, hard crust, which helps keep the cupcake fluffy and moist. You can also use a spoon to drizzle on a smaller amount, forming zigzags or other designs. Glazes have a biting sweetness. To temper, try flavoring it with grapefruit juice, milk, coffee or one of your own favorite flavors.

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