How to Store Royal Icing

How to Store Royal Icing

Royal icing has a shelf life, and how you store it will determine how long it will last. Stored incorrectly, it will go off, and apart from not smelling or looking very nice, if it’s made with fresh egg whites, it won’t be safe to eat.

You can store Royal icing if it’s made with fresh egg whites for a couple of days at room temperature and up to two weeks if it’s made with meringue powder or dried egg whites. However, it will last much longer if you keep it in the fridge or the freezer.

Read on…

Can you store Royal icing?

Yes, you can store Royal icing, but it’s important to do it properly.

When you make Royal icing, you’ll need to store it for a few hours before using it to make sure the sugar crystals melt, and the icing isn’t grainy.

After you have used the amount of Royal icing you require to decorate a cake, some cookies, or make decorations, you may have some leftover, so if you don’t want to throw it away, that needs storing as well.

You need to take extra care if it’s been made with fresh egg whites.

Royal icing made with fresh egg white will keep for 2 days at room temperature 20–22 °C (68–72 °F).

If your Royal icing has been made with meringue powder or dried egg whites, it will keep for up to a week at room temperature 20–22 °C (68–72 °F), but it’s not advisable to keep it for longer than that.

If you want to keep it for longer, then put it in the fridge.

 

How long can you keep Royal icing in the fridge?
You can keep Royal icing made with fresh egg whites for up to 1 week and if it’s made with meringue powder or dried egg whites for up to 2 weeks in a refrigerator.

I store Royal icing in the fridge in a glass, or ceramic bowl that I have made sure is grease-free by washing it well and then wiping it out with lemon juice.

I use glass or ceramic because plastic containers unless they are brand new, tend to be difficult to remove grease from any previous use, and grease will break down the royal icing.

Once you have placed the icing into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the icing’s surface to keep the air out and prevent it from forming a crust. I then place the bowl in a thick plastic bag or wrap it well with plastic wrap.

Make sure you always wrap it very well because sugar tends to absorb any smells from strong-smelling food that is stored in the fridge.

If the Royal icing is kept in the fridge for more than a few days, the water in the icing may start to separate from the sugar. It doesn’t look very nice, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Just give it a good whisk at low speed before you use it, and that will bring it back to the right consistency.

If you want to keep Royal icing for longer than 2 weeks, can you freeze it?

 

Can you freeze Royal icing?

Yes, you can freeze Royal icing.

If you intend to keep your royal icing for more than 2 weeks, then freezing it is the best way to be stored.

Place the icing into a new resealable freezer bag and expel all the air before sealing. Put it into another bag or a plastic freezer box, and you can store it in the freezer for around 6 months.

When you want to use it, take it out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature until it’s fully thawed, and then whisk it at a low speed to bring it up to the correct consistency. If it’s too thin, add a little more icing sugar or add a few drops of water if too thick.

Remember, if you add more icing sugar, leave it for a couple of hours before using it to allow the sugar crystals to melt.

How would you store Royal icing in a piping bag?

 

How to store Royal icing in a piping bag

The only occasion you should store Royal icing in a piping bag is while it’s in use.

It’s important to store icing bags properly if you use several for different colored icing to ensure they continue to flow as you want to pipe with them.

Place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a bowl and place the bags with the tips down, making contact with the damp towel, and that way, you will ensure the icing will flow and not be clogged up when you want to change bags. Make sure the towel is always damp (not overly wet) during the time you are piping.

If you haven’t used all the icing in the bags at the end of your project and you want to keep it for another time, then empty each piping bag of colored icing into a new small freezer bag and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week if it’s made with fresh egg whites, 2 weeks if made with meringue powder or dried egg whites or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Never try to put all the colors together in one container as the colors will run into each other, and you will end up with a bag full of icing you can’t reuse.

When you want to use it, take it out of the freezer and leave it at room temperature until it’s fully thawed, and then whisk it at a low speed to bring it up to the correct consistency. If it’s too thin, add a little more icing sugar or add a few drops of water if too thick.

Remember, if you add more icing sugar, leave it for a couple of hours before using it to allow the sugar crystals to melt.

What can you do with leftover icing if you don’t want to keep it in the fridge or the freezer?

Royal Icing Piping Bags
Store icing bags properly so the icing flows while in use

What to do with leftover Royal icing

As I have already mentioned above, you can keep Royal icing made with fresh egg whites for a couple of days at room temperature 20–22 °C (68–72 °F) and up to 1 week in a fridge.

Royal icing made with meringue powder or dried egg whites can be kept for up 1 week at room temperature 20–22 °C (68–72 °F) and up to 2 weeks in a refrigerator.

Whatever it’s made with, you can keep it for up to 6 months in the freezer.

However, if you don’t want to or haven’t got room to store fresh Royal icing you could make something with it, let it dry and store it for later use.

Here are a few suggestions of what you could make:

  • Sprinkles: You could pipe the icing into thin straight lines onto baking or waxed paper, and when it’s dry, you can break the lines of icing up and use them as sprinkles.
  • Dots: Pipe dots onto a sheet of baking or waxed paper, and when they are dry, you can scrape them off the paper, store them in an airtight jar, and use them as decoration for a cake or sprinkle them on ice cream.
  • Flowers: Pipe flowers onto baking or waxed paper, and after they have dried, keep them to decorate cakes or cupcakes.
  • Molds: Put the icing into molds, and when they are completely dry, take them out of the molds and store them in an airtight container and use them to decorate cakes.
  • Run-outs: Run-outs are made by piping shapes onto baking or wax paper, filling the shapes with runny icing, and let them dry. When they are dry, store them in an airtight container, and use them later to decorate cakes or cookies.

You can do endless things with leftover Royal icing, and nothing has to go to waste.

Can you put Royal icing in the fridge to dry?

Royal Icing Sprinkles
Icing sprinkles are easy to make and fun use on cakes

Will Royal icing harden in the fridge?

The only time you put Royal icing in a fridge is if it has just been made and then only if it has cling film pressed onto the surface to eliminate all the air, and then the container is covered so it can’t get hard.

You never put Royal icing in a fridge if it is in the process of drying or has already dried.

Once you have used Royal icing for a project and need it to dry, don’t put it in the fridge because the cold, damp air won’t allow it to set and will make your baked goods go soft. Let the icing dry at room temperature.

The only exception is if you have a special low humidity baker’s fridge or a domestic fridge adapted for the purpose.

There is a way to control the humidity in your own domestic fridge, and you can find out how it’s done in m blog post:  “Tips for Extreme Weather Cake Decorators: Rolling Fondant.”

Once I have made my Royal icing decorations, how long will they last?

 

How long do Royal icing decorations last?

Once they are totally dry, Royal icing decorations will last indefinitely, providing they are kept dry and kept away from bright light.

Colored icing will fade, and white icing may go slightly yellow if kept in bright sunlight.

If you want to keep them as a souvenir on display, you could keep them in an acrylic or glass case or dome. Add a sachet of silica gel before it’s sealed in case the Royal icing is not completely dry, and they will last indefinitely.

If you are making Royal icing decorations to used on cakes at a future time, then make sure they are completely dry, then put them in an airtight box with a sachet of silica gel. Keep the box in a cool dark place, and the decorations will last a long time and keep their color.

If you would like a recipe for Royal icing, then I can recommend this one that you can find in my post:

“How to Choose the Best Royal Icing Recipe for Cakes or Projects”

For Vegan Recipes: “6 Easy Vegan Royal Icing Recipes”

I hope this has answered any questions you have on how to store Royal icing.

If you have any other questions that I have not covered, please ask them in the comments box below.

Joyce Freeman

Joyce Freeman

SFW eBooks Montage

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