Why Does Royal Icing Sink?

Decorating By Uberhipster Updated 1 Sep 2008 , 9:38am by alwayscake

Uberhipster Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 1:14am
post #1 of 15

Sometimes I pipe Royal Icing onto cookies, come back a few minutes later, and the middle of the icing has sunk.

Why does this happen?? How can I avoid this?? I'm about to start a big cookie order and really don't want to have this happen... HELP!

Thank you!

14 replies
kakeladi Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 1:28am
post #2 of 15

You need to make an outline, then flood within that outline so it *almost* runs over the outline - puff it up.

Uberhipster Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 1:42am
post #3 of 15

I like to pipe a consistency that is thick enough to hold an edge, but thin enough that I can fill with - just give it a couple taps and it smoothes out perfectly.

So this is the problem, maybe? Am I trapping in air by doing it like this?

Or do you think maybe I use the Royal Icing too soon after I make it and all the bubbles that haven't risen to the top yet get piped onto the cookie?

Cakepro Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 1:58am
post #4 of 15

In addition to what kakeladi said, maybe you are thinning it too much. It should be the consistency of cool syrup...if it's too thin, it will drive concave.

Also, you really don't need to tap it. I've done a ton of color flow pieces and flooded cookies, and have never tapped them. What few bubbles do surface are easily popped with a straight pin....but it's generally very few bubbles.

You can't use RI too soon after making it. icon_smile.gif

Uberhipster Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 2:22am
post #5 of 15

So that's it? "If it's too thin, it will dry concave"? I wonder why this happens?

I try to pipe it as thick as possible, like any thicker and it won't smooth out... but it happens anyways! Do you have any other ideas?!

Thank you for your help!

Cakepro Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 2:28am
post #6 of 15

When you thin out royal icing, you add water to it, thus increasing its volume. When that water evaporates as the icing dries, it flattens out. If you started with a flat, level layer of thinned royal icing, it will flatten out even more as it dries, thus producing the concave shape. That's why it's important to "pillow" the icing when it's wet...so that when it's dry, it is flat, not concave. icon_smile.gif

You should be able to drip a dollop of thinned RI onto itself and it should be fully absorbed between the count of 8 to 10.

CarolAnn Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 2:43am
post #7 of 15

Oops, I first read this title as "Why does royal icing STINK?" Now that I realize my error I have no actual input. LOL

Feel free to carry on. Ã

Uberhipster Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 3:17am
post #8 of 15

It's not that it settles and lowers... there'll be a hole on the surface, and then a "cavernous" space underneath. Reminiscent of paper mache covering a balloon, and then the balloon being popped when it's dried and hard, leaving a space inside.

But I tap it and pin the bubbles - it baffles me how this big gap will just appear. And it's from the water in the RI evaporating you think?

Cakepro Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 3:23am
post #9 of 15

Oh wow, I have never seen that problem before!

I wonder if the water is slowly into the cookie (rather than evaporating normally) while leaving the dried top surface of the royal icing intact.

Sorry, but I am as baffled as you are!

Uberhipster Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 3:33am
post #10 of 15

Oi Vey! LOL!

Thanks for taking a shot at it icon_smile.gif

I hope there is a logical explanation for this...

KoryAK Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 3:36am
post #11 of 15

The same thing happens to be if I put a thick bit on... like a dot on a paw, not just the main thin covering. Don't know why it happens either icon_sad.gif I will be following this thread.

sugarshack Posted 31 Aug 2008 , 4:07am
post #12 of 15

yep, dots and very tiny spaces gets the worm holes. I have been in discussions about this before and never has anyone figured it out yet.

Uberhipster Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 1:10am
post #13 of 15

* bump *

maimai16 Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 8:55am
post #14 of 15

i'm about to make this kind of cookies this comming weekend. feel lucky to see this thread... maybe i'll delay my baking...

alwayscake Posted 1 Sep 2008 , 9:38am
post #15 of 15

I had the same experience when doing my RI pieces before. Then I found out that when it is not dried quick enough could cause the 'sinking' problem. If flooding big area, put them under heat lamp.

The icing consistency is also important.
Then you colour should not have any glycerine (sp?) in it.


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