Last Updated on March 4, 2023
If you regularly use royal icing, you know it can take some time to make. So, can you freeze royal icing to save on some prep time in the future?
We have tried and tested a bunch of different techniques to freeze royal icing. And what we ended up discovering is the ultimate method! This method will enable you to store it for up to 2 months without it likely separating. And, even if it does, we have included a guide on how to save split royal icing.
What Is Royal Icing?
Royal icing is an extremely special kind of icing that you either never use or use religiously! But trust us, if you aren't familiar with it and you love decorating, then you have to give it a try! It will quickly become your new favorite thing.
Royal icing is a type of hard white icing made with powdered sugar, softly beaten egg whites, and sometimes a little bit of lemon juice or cream of tartar. This creates a pipeable icing that has a multitude of uses. But, as it is left, it hardens and sets into its piped shape.
The consistency will largely affect how it can be used. For example, you will need stiffer icing to create piped details that keep their form. But, you can use a runny icing to flood cookies with and create smooth surfaces.
This icing is used to make intricately detailed cookies, create piped embellishments on cakes and cupcakes, and even add details to fondant decorations.
Another thing that makes royal icing amazing is its versatility. it is easy to flavor using an extract or essence, and easy to color with gel or powdered coloring. All of this means that you can easily create themed decorations instead of just wedding treats.
But unfortunately, as with most frostings, it is almost impossible to accurately gauge how much your need to decorate with. Royal icing is no different. And because it does take time to make, you would much rather have too much than too little.
So, that left many people asking the question, "Can you freeze royal icing?" It would certainly solve a lot of problems! And, it would save you a ton of prep time in the future. But, as you likely already know, not all products freeze well and can be re-used afterward. Is royal icing one of them?
How do you store royal icing?
Royal icing can be made in advance and kept inside the fridge or freezer. That answers that question! But, how exactly is royal icing usually stored?
When royal icing isn't being used and kept at room temperature, it hardens quickly. Eventually, it becomes rock solid and ultimately unusable.
So, the best way to keep royal icing soft is to keep it moist. If there are any left in a bowl, place a damp piece of disposable dish cloth over it. This will help prevent the icing from drying out or forming a crusty skin.
If you have finished using the royal icing, the best way to store it is inside an airtight container and then inside the fridge. Because the icing is made with raw egg whites, it is highly perishable and shouldn't be kept outside.
Place any leftover royal icing inside an airtight container. Again, cover the top with a damp piece of disposable towel and add the lid. Place the container inside the fridge away from any cooked ingredients or raw meat.
Now, in the event that you made way too much royal icing or you want to prep elements in advance, you can easily freeze it too. But, there is a right way to do it that will ensure you can re-use it.
If you don't use the proper freezing techniques, the royal icing can become ruined and unusable when thawed!
How Can You Freeze Royal Icing?
Step 1: Place the royal icing in a container
When you have finished using the royal icing, place any leftovers of the new batch inside a clean odor-free airtight container. If the container is dirty or has odors in them, the royal icing will absorb these immediately.
Step 2: Cover with plastic wrap
For freezing, you will need to place a sheet of plastic or saran wrap directly onto the surface of the royal icing. It won't prevent the icing from drying out, but it will help prevent a crusty layer from forming.
Make sure the plastic comes into contact with every inch of the royal icing.
Step 3: Close and cover with foil
Close the container with the airtight lid. If your lid isn't completely effective, wrap the entire container in plastic wrap. Then, cover it with a layer of foil to protect the icing from freezer burn.
If you want to, you can label the foil with details such as what is being frozen, the date of manufacture, and the estimated date of expiry.
Step 4: Freeze the royal icing
Finally, place the container inside the freezer away from any strong odors. Even when foods are frozen, their odor can still be transferred to very porous ingredients like royal icing.
How To Thaw Frozen Royal Icing
Royal icing can be frozen for up to 2 months. When you eventually do want to use it, you have to slowly thaw it.
The best way to do this is to first remove the foil and plastic covering from the container. Then, place the container onto a plate and set it inside the fridge. Allow it to slowly soften.
Then, once it has completely thawed, it should be ready to use. But, before just placing it inside a piping bag, check if it has been separated. It is a common occurrence that can almost always be fixed.
How to fix separated thawed royal icing
Your thawed royal icing may have separated during the process. But, don't worry because this is fixable. Place the icing into a bowl where you can easily beat it again.
Then, whip the mixture using a spoon or fork. Even a horseshoe whisk will work well. Keep going until you have reformed the emulsion and you have a uniform icing.
After it has been stabilized, you can add the coloring or flavoring that you'd like.
Find more useful tips for how to fix separated royal icing here
Leaving You With This - Can You Freeze Royal Icing?
Royal icing may seem scary, but once you know the tricks of the trade, it is a breeze. And now, you can also confidently answer can you freeze royal icing. If you still have any questions, don't hesitate to ask us in the comments below and our experts will get back to you!
Read more about How To Make Icing Less Sweet- The 4 Best Ways
Can you store royal icing in the freezer?
You can freeze royal icing for up to 2 months to help preserve and extend its shelf life. This will save you some future prep time and help ensure you always have some on hand.
Can you freeze decorated royal icing cookies?
It is possible to freeze cookies that have been decorated with royal icing. in fact, they actually freeze surprisingly well if you protect them from being crushed.
How do you store leftover royal icing?
You can either store it inside the fridge or freezer. If you keep leftover royal icing in the fridge, keep it covered with a damp disposable kitchen cloth. This will prevent the icing from drying out so you can re-use it the next day. And, if you need to freeze it, place it inside an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface.
How long can you keep royal icing in the freezer?
If you properly seal and store the royal icing, it will easily last up to 2 months inside the freezer. there are ways to extend this time, but we don't particularly recommend doing so. The overall quality of the icing will just keep deteriorating.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.