Royal Icing Separating- Why?

Baking By ajay0665 Updated 2 Jan 2010 , 1:34pm by ZAKIA6

ajay0665 Posted 20 Dec 2009 , 8:41pm
post #1 of 12

Can anyone tell me why my royal icing separates and how I can stop this from happening?

I make LOTS of cookies for gifts this time of year and work on them a bit every day. However, if I leave my icing for a while or overnight, it seems to separate with some "watery" like stuff and then the thicker stuff. I ususally knead it a bit and it does help but the icing is still thinner than I would like at that point.

Any help is appreciated.


11 replies
Cakepro Posted 20 Dec 2009 , 8:55pm
post #2 of 12

First off, what are the ingredients in your royal icing recipe? Sugar is so hygroscopic that it has the ability to commit suicide in royal icing if you leave your bowl covered with a wet paper towel or cloth for too long, especially if your icing was already a wee bit on the thin side to start with. How are you storing it?

Caths_Cakes Posted 20 Dec 2009 , 8:58pm
post #3 of 12

if your storing your icing with a damp clothe etc over it, then it will split a little, and when mixed back together it will be thinner because of the extra liquid, add a little more icing sugar to get the right thickness and it willbe fine

Cakepro Posted 20 Dec 2009 , 8:59pm
post #4 of 12

LOL, there is an echo in the room. icon_wink.gif

ajay0665 Posted 21 Dec 2009 , 3:03pm
post #5 of 12

Actually, it is separating in the decorator bag...after I have already colored it. It doesn't happen right away but after it has sat for a while. Like I said, I am doing TONS of cookies now as gifts for teachers, etc. and I can't get all done at the same time so I am working on them a little at a time. The icing will separate if I leave it for a time.

I use Antonia's recipe.


bonniebakes Posted 21 Dec 2009 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 12

mine does too - just knead it in the bag (or stir it if it's in a container) and it will come back together and work fine.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 10:25pm
post #7 of 12

I've never had much luck leaving royal in bags for a period of time between uses.

Tiffany29 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 10:37pm
post #8 of 12

I store RI in air tight plastic containers for long periods of time and it seperates. I just stir it really well and it comes back and works fine.

cookiemama2 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 11:17pm
post #9 of 12

Heres another long can you keep it for? Days? Weeks?
Does it ever go bad?

loopilu Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 12:35pm
post #10 of 12

same as tiffany29, i keep mine in air tight containers and whip it back up before I use it with a plastic spatula. Mine keeps well in cupboard for about a week and a half, as long as its air tight, maybe a bit longer. And make sure you equipment is grease free.

antonia74 Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 12:46pm
post #11 of 12

Thinned royal icing will separate into three distinct layers when left to sit for an extended your case, it seems to happening a little faster than usual. It will occur when stored in piping bags or containers.

The top layer will be fluffy/spongey/marshmallowy, the middle is a pale yellow runny liquid and the bottom is thick/dense/solid. The separation process will start within 24 hours or so.

It just needs to be re-mixed. About 6-8 minutes with the beater/paddle attachment of the mixer and it's good to go again. Add a few tsp of water or a few tsp of icing sugar to adjust the thinness/thickness again if need be.

No need to store it in the fridge, I find that thins the icing and distorts colours over time. It's not perishable if made with meringue powder, it can stay in cool/dark storage for weeks.

ZAKIA6 Posted 2 Jan 2010 , 1:34pm
post #12 of 12

Great to know, esp since I just dumped a quart of ri since I thought it was no good icon_sad.gif

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