Black Royal Icing - What Did I Do Wrong?

Decorating By EvMarie Updated 31 Jul 2009 , 2:50am by sammie192

EvMarie Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:14pm
post #1 of 18

Hi There - I'm a new poster and outside your normal dessert looking cake, I'm a new decorater. I was practicing icing cakes smooth and then piping with black royal icing.

First practice cake - 2 tiered butter cream, simple design - piped some flowers and a few swirly thingys. I then pulled in the flower petals with a paint brush. I did refrigerate after I was done....but, then the black royal icing faded.

Second practice cake - just a 6 inch, double layer. I tried a different butter cream to experiment with taste - piped a random flower, swirly design again. Black looked pretty and shiny...I put in refridg. Royal Icing didn't fade...but it for sure ran down the sides of the cake. Did I thin it too much?

So - fading and running? What's the scoop? Anyone have pointers? I'd really appreciate it!

Jen
LL
LL

17 replies
shalderman Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:32pm
post #2 of 18

My guess is that its because you're using royal icing on buttercream. Fats/butter/shortening break down royal icing making it soft. Which is why when you make royal icing you need grease free tools. Pipe instead on buttercream with black buttercream. I use royal, however, to pipe on fondant cakes most times.

pianocat Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:39pm
post #3 of 18

Just what shalderman said-I don't use r.i. on bc.

EvMarie Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:46pm
post #4 of 18

Thanks for the tip...I've read that Wilton Royal Icing recipe a bazillion times now...and you'd think the "use grease free tools" would have sunk in with the fact that I was using BUTTER cream???? Nope! What a nerd!

I don't have much experience with different frostings. I ventured into Sugar Cookies & tried out Royal Icing for the first time & just thought the colors took nicely. So, I thought I'd give it a whirl on cake.

Well, lesson learned! Thanks so much!

Cakepro Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:48pm
post #5 of 18

You can certainly use royal icing on buttercream. You can pipe royal icing on top of oil/shortening/fat and it will be absolutely fine (I've been teaching my Wilton students to oil their foil when piping royal icing flowers in the lily nail for 11 years now). And of course you can pipe royal icing stringwork on top of buttercream, or do brushed embroidery with royal icing on buttercream, and many other things. It is when fat gets introduced into royal icing WHILE IT IS MIXING that causes royal icing to break.

The problem was with putting royal icing in the fridge. Don't do that! icon_smile.gif

solascakes Posted 5 May 2009 , 5:57pm
post #6 of 18

I do a lot boarders with RI ,especially on buttercream cakes and have never had a problem.My cakes don't go in the fridge though.

luv_to_decorate Posted 5 May 2009 , 6:03pm
post #7 of 18

As far as your second cake went, you may have thinned it too much if it was running. But putting it in the fridge will give your problems too.

LoriMc Posted 5 May 2009 , 6:14pm
post #8 of 18

I have definitely piped royal onto buttercream with no problems. I do a lot of royal icing transfers also without a problem.

If your cake gets any type of condensation on it, the royal icing colors will run. Typically I never refrigerate them and NEVER put them in the freezer!

shalderman Posted 5 May 2009 , 6:24pm
post #9 of 18

Guess I've just not had good luck with piping right on BC, however I have done transfers of royal and obviously royal flowers (however these also get softer eventually). But I'm wondering why do you guys use royal to do drop string or pipe borders on a buttercream cake? Is there a purpose for this?

Cakepro Posted 5 May 2009 , 6:33pm
post #10 of 18

Buttercream stringwork is fragile and breaks easily. Royal icing dries hard and there's no real danger of breakage during transport (talking about stringwork piped on cake, not bridgework and other super-delicate intricate techniques piped with teeny tiny tips).

EvMarie Posted 5 May 2009 , 7:25pm
post #11 of 18

Okay...so, I guess the thing is when to use Royal Icing and when to use Buttercream for piping. I don't remember if I had a filling that I was concerned about sitting out...but that may have been the case. As, these cakes were a bunch of experiments mashed into one cake. Cake flavors- filling flavors - different BC recipes, etc.

Feels like - as long as my filling isn't a cream filling, I shouldn't have to be concerned about refrigeration & therefore can use the royal icing for added swirlies and such. As long as I'm mixing it properly and of course not thinning it too much.

If I have a cake with filling that is temperature sensitive...feels like I should stick to BC piping and/or MMF neat-o things. Just to be safe...

As I develop my style, I'm finding that the traditional BC flowers and such aren't my thing. I think I'm gonna be into piping, stenciling, and probably some added MMF neat-o things. And, of course... I love that ribbon as a newbie too. (Covers some goofs!)

Thanks for all the info....I appreciate it!

cylstrial Posted 6 May 2009 , 11:52am
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by shalderman

My guess is that its because you're using royal icing on buttercream. Fats/butter/shortening break down royal icing making it soft. Which is why when you make royal icing you need grease free tools. Pipe instead on buttercream with black buttercream. I use royal, however, to pipe on fondant cakes most times.




Ditto!

Cakepro Posted 6 May 2009 , 4:46pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

Quote:
Originally Posted by shalderman

My guess is that its because you're using royal icing on buttercream. Fats/butter/shortening break down royal icing making it soft.



Ditto!




You should experiment with doing some brush embroidery work in royal icing on buttercream, or piping decorative details in royal icing on buttercream...you will be successful. Piping royal icing on buttercream does not break down royal icing. icon_smile.gif

EvMarie Posted 6 May 2009 , 8:43pm
post #14 of 18

Thanks to everyone for thier posts! I appreciate the input.

My cousin's birthday cake is going to be music themed and I thought sugar cookie's on sticks with his favorite band logo's would be cool. I may attempt the styrofoam fist of rock too. Not sure. These sugar cookies will give me a chance to at least practice piping using royal icing. Granted not on BC but if I have some left I will definitely take another stab at it! I have some left over rolled BC in the fridge too. Maybe I'll try that too.

Thanks again

niccicola Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 8:23pm
post #15 of 18

my question is how did you make the black royal icing? i have a wedding cake on august 22nd with LOTS of scroll designs. I'm guessing the best way to pipe will be with royal icing but she wants it jet black with cherry red accents.

go figure LOL

Cakepro Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 1:04am
post #16 of 18

You just add an extra tablespoon of meringue powder or an extra egg white to your royal icing recipe, and use Americolor Super Black to color it black. Simple.

niccicola Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 1:37am
post #17 of 18

how about the powdered colors? I believe i have CK products black. i use it for coloring chocolate if I'm doing chocolate melts. I thought maybe that would help hold up the royal icing. I'm doing piping with it.

sammie192 Posted 31 Jul 2009 , 2:50am
post #18 of 18

Evmaire thanks for your question, it answer mine to. Cakepro thank you so much I need all your answers I am going to do castle cake with buttercream and want to use royal icing to put it together. if you would answer one more please. cracking foundant what to do? it a crown to go with the castle cake thanks sammie

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