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How to Keep Royal Icing Soft

Quick and Easy Recipe: How To Store Royal Icing To Keep It Soft

Last Updated on December 31, 2022

Struggling with your royal icing hardening up while decorating your cookies? Want an easier way to decorate with your icing? This post on how to keep royal icing soft will tell you all the tips and tricks you need to know on how to store royal icing. 

Royal icing is a popular choice for decorating desserts. It is a simple frosting, generally made up of egg whites or meringue powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla. It is a popular icing for sugar cookies, as it hardens, making it a good decorating surface.

Royal icing can also be used to add decorations to cakes. It is commonly used to pipe flowers, pipe borders, and create floral designs on top of fondant-covered cakes.

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Types of Royal Icing

Royal icing is typically defined by four different consistencies: stiff, piping, medium, and flood. Water is added to achieve a thinner consistency and powdered sugar is added to achieve a thicker consistency.

To determine the icing consistency, the timing method is used. The time method counts how many seconds it takes for a line to disappear in the icing after dragging a knife across the top. The longer it takes to disappear, the thinner the icing.

Stiff royal icing is the thickest kind and is generally used to create piped flowers and stencils. It is ready to use when the icing peaks.

Types of Royal Icing

Piping icing is ready after 25 plus seconds after using the timing method. It is typically used for lettering and line work.

Medium icing is ready to use after 15 seconds from using the timing method. It is often used for outlining.

Flooding icing usually takes the line 8-10 seconds to disappear after drawing it. Flooding icing is most commonly used to fill in cookies.

How To Store Royal Icing: Keeping Royal Icing Soft

Since royal icing is designed to harden when it is added to desserts, it can be tricky to keep it soft while icing.  The fact that royal icing hardens makes it great for providing detailed decorations on your desserts. However, this can make it difficult to prevent it from hardening up when you are still using it.

Luckily, there are some ways to keep your royal icing soft, so you don’t have to worry about it hardening. Since it can take a while to decorate with royal icing because it is often used for elaborate decorations, these tips will be helpful.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

To keep your royal icing soft, you will need an:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step One: Add Water or Corn Syrup

While making your royal icing, you can add a few drops of water or corn syrup to help keep it soft. Start with just a couple drops of water, mix it in with the icing and add more if needed to reach your desired texture.

Corn syrup will also help the icing from getting a stiff consistency. Up to two tablespoons of corn syrup can be added to one pound of royal icing.

How To Store Royal Icing: Keeping Royal Icing Soft

Step Two: Keep the Royal Icing Soft While Using

While you are using your royal icing in a piping bag, keep it soft by placing it in a bowl or glass with a damp paper towel at the bottom.

The moisture from the damp towel will keep the royal icing from hardening up and prevent the tip from clogging up. This a great hack for when you are using multiple colors of royal icing to decorate and have multiple piping bags you are using.

Step Three: Store Your Leftover Royal Icing

Once you are done decorating, you want to store your royal icing properly. This will prevent it from getting hard and crusty.

To help prevent royal icing from drying out or hardening, it is important to keep it sealed. When storing royal icing, keep it in an airtight container, with a cover of plastic wrap on the surface. This will keep the royal icing soft and keep it from hardening up.

Step Two: Keep the Royal Icing Soft While Using

If you have your royal icing in a piping bag, you can tie off the end with a rubber band. This will help keep it soft without having to take it out of the piping bag.

You can also use a slightly damp paper towel on top of the royal icing when you are storing it in an airtight container. This will keep the icing from crusting over.

When making your royal icing, it is important not to overmix it, as it may create a stiff texture.

Tips and Tricks

To keep your royal icing soft, it is important to store it properly. Royal icing that contains egg whites should be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Royal icing that contains meringue powder can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Royal icing can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Royal icing that has been stored in the freezer or fridge should be thawed at room temperature before using it again.

How to Keep Royal Icing Soft Tips and Tricks

Properly storing royal icing will help keep it soft. If you use it past the recommended storing time it will likely have a stiff consistency.

If you added food coloring to your royal icing, it is important to know that the icing will dry darker than what it looks like soft. So, you may want to make your colors a shade lighter when you are mixing them.

It’s normal for royal icing to separate when it is being stored. If this happens, simply remix it until it reaches the proper consistency. You may need to add a couple of drops of water or corn syrup to help soften it back up.

How to Keep Royal Icing Soft

Struggling with your royal icing hardening up while decorating your cookies? Want an easier way to decorate with your icing? This post on how to keep royal icing soft will tell you all the tips and tricks you need to know on how to keep royal icing soft.
Prep Time1 min
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Keep Royal Icing Soft
Author: cakedecorist.com

Equipment

Instructions

  • Step One: Add Water or Corn Syrup
  • While making your royal icing, you can add a few drops of water or corn syrup to help keep it soft. Start with just a couple drops of water, mix it in with the icing and add more if needed to reach your desired texture.
  • Corn syrup will also help the icing from getting a stiff consistency. Up to two tablespoons of corn syrup can be added to one pound of royal icing.
  • Step Two: Keep the Royal Icing Soft While Using
  • While you are using your royal icing in a piping bag, keep it soft by placing it in a bowl or glass with a damp paper towel at the bottom.
  • The moisture from the damp towel will keep the royal icing from hardening up and prevent the tip from clogging up. This a great hack for when you are using multiple colors of royal icing to decorate and have multiple piping bags you are using.
  • Step Three: Store Your Leftover Royal Icing
  • Once you are done decorating, you want to make sure to properly store your royal icing. This will prevent it from getting hard and crusty.
  • To help prevent royal icing from drying out or hardening, it is important to keep it sealed. When storing royal icing, keep it in an airtight container, with a cover of plastic wrap on the surface. This will keep the royal icing soft and keep it from hardening up.
  • If you have your royal icing in a piping bag, you can tie off the end with a rubber band. This will help keep it soft without having to take it out of the piping bag.
  • You can also use a slightly damp paper towel on top of the royal icing when you are storing it in an airtight container. This will keep the icing from crusting over.
  • When making your royal icing, it is important to not overmix it, as it may create a stiff texture.

Notes

  • In order to keep your royal icing soft, it is important to store it properly. Royal icing that contains egg whites should be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Royal icing that contains meringue powder can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.
  • Royal icing can also be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Royal icing that has been stored in the freezer or fridge should be thawed at room temperature before using it again.
  • Properly storing royal icing will help keep it soft. If you use it past the recommended storing time it will likely have a stiff consistency.
  • If you added food coloring to your royal icing, it is important to know that the icing will dry darker than what it looks like soft. So, you may want to make your colors a shade lighter when you are mixing them.
  • It’s totally normal for royal icing to separate when it is being stored. If this happens, simply remix it until it reaches the proper consistency. You may need to add a couple drops of water or corn syrup to help soften it back up.
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How Do You Store Royal Icing Without Meringue Powder?

When you make royal icing with meringue powder it can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks without any trouble. However, if you have royal icing made from anything other than meringue powder, this will be different. If meringue powder hasn’t been used, it usually means that egg whites have been used. If this is the case, it’s always best to store it in the refrigerator. Before putting it in the fridge, place it in an airtight container and it should remain fresh and usable for around two weeks.

If you’re wondering how to make royal icing without meringue powder, all you need is 3 egg whites, 1 lb of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and food coloring, if you need it.

  1. Now all you need to do is add the egg whites to a bowl and beat them until they begin to look frothy; this should take a few minutes.
  2. Now gradually add the powdered sugar; only add the next bit until the previous lot is combined.
  3. Once smooth, add your vanilla extract and mix well.

At this point, you may want to separate the icing into varying bowls to add food coloring. This is entirely down to you and how many colors you’d like. A few drops of food coloring in each bowl should be enough.

How Do You Keep Royal Icing From Cratering?

The dreaded catering. If you work with royal icing frequently, you’ll have experienced this at least once and it’s very frustrating. Cratering means that a small indentation appears in your icing once it has dried; meaning there’s very little you can do to salvage it. There are many ways to try and prevent this from happening. Here are a few of my top tips.

  • Practice makes perfect. This is an obvious point but if you’re just starting with royal icing, these problems are bound to happen and the more you practice working with it, the easier it’ll become. It all comes down to the pressure you use, how much you use, and the consistency – all of which will become less difficult, the more practice you have.
  • Thicker icing. Again, this one may sound obvious but the thicker the icing is, the harder it will be for the area to flood and for craters to form.
  • Toothpick. Use a toothpick to run through the icing. This evens out the icing as well as popping any bubbles that may have formed. Trapped air in the bubbles is another reason why cratering can occur.
  • Drying. Don’t let your first coat of royal icing dry completely before adding details. Not only will this encourage catering, but will also encourage icing bleed too.
  • Even coat. Having an even coat of icing on whatever you’re decorating is really important. Without it, they’ll be bubbles and gaps; both of which encourage catering. It should be a smooth surface that comes with a shine.

Does Royal Icing Make Cookies Soft?

Your royal icing is unlikely to make your cookies soft. The only reason this may happen is due to the temperature and storage methods. As long as they’re stored in an airtight container where moisture can not get in and placed in the refrigerator, your cookies going soft is very unlikely to happen.

A Beautiful Icing

Royal icing is great for creating beautiful designs on cookies and cakes. It can be tricky to work with sometimes, but luckily there are steps you can take to help keep it soft.

Once you get the hang of working with royal icing, you will love how it looks on your desserts. If you tried these steps to keep your royal icing soft, please share your experience.

Please comment and share if you enjoyed this article or have any remarks regarding this post!

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