Royal Icing Disaster

Baking By bluejeannes Updated 24 Sep 2010 , 7:28pm by imagenthatnj

bluejeannes Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:15pm
post #1 of 21

Im trying to make flowers out of royal icing and each and EVERY batch I make is a terrible disaster. First it won't hold its form and just melts into itself. Then I try beating it longer and it gets WAY too stiff. Im using the Wilton Royal icing recipe (1 pound of icing sugar, 3 tbsp meringue powder, 5-6 tbsp lukewarm water) beat for 7-10 minutes. What is going wrong? How come every batch turns out wrong? Im getting really frustrated and I need to get a start on these flowers so they will dry in time!

20 replies
TexasSugar Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:24pm
post #2 of 21

Are you using a stand mixer or a hand mixer?

I have learned with the hand mixer you really have to beat it at least 10 mins where you can get away with the 7 mins with the stand mixer.

Does your icing feel thick when it melts and won't hold it's shape? If so it needs to be mixed longer.

If your icing feels soft and won't hold it's shape it is probably too much water. Even a little bit of water can really change the consistency. If too much water is the issue you can add some more powder sugar or cornstarch to the icing to thicken it up.

If your icing has been mixed long enough, maybe even a little extra, but is still too thick to work with then add in water a drop at a time until you find a good consistency to work with.

Royal icing is one of those things you have to play with a little when making it.

bluejeannes Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:27pm
post #3 of 21

Im using a hand mixer (killer on the arm!) so maybe I'll try beating it longer. it's been different textures each time (even though I follow the recipe to a T) Right now it's just really stiff (It wasn't holding it's shape and it was pretty thick, so I beat it more and now it's just a big blob) I'll add a TINY bit more water, a little at a time and see how it goes. Royal icing is becoming a royal pain in the butt! lol

bluejeannes Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:43pm
post #4 of 21

so, each time I add more water, do I need to beat it another 10 minutes? I just added water but I just can't seem to get it right still. I just got totally frustrated and threw it out. Im just getting really mad that I can't make a simple royal icing!

Cupcake1657 Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:49pm
post #5 of 21

have you tried Antonio's royal icing? it's posted on this site when you search recipes...I have had nothing but great success with this one... icon_smile.gif

Montrealconfections Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 6:54pm
post #6 of 21

If it is melting away don't add water add more icing sugar, if it is runny mixing it will not help stiffen it. Why don't you try spooning out a cup of it and add powder sugar (a bit at a time) till your peeks hold up then try it that way. The rose tip is pretty big so you shouldn't have trouble squeezing out stiffer royal icing, the hardest thing about working with RI is finding the consistency that works best for you. If it slides down in the bowl it will slide down on your flower nail.

bakencake Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 7:08pm
post #7 of 21

sometimes this happens when there is oil in the equipment. I've been told to rub everything with lemon juice to cut down on it. maybe that's what's going on

psmith Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 7:16pm
post #8 of 21

Super clean with hot water and soap everything...mixer, blade, bowls and any other items. Any butter or shortening-even a trace amount will start royal icing to liquify. I know this the hard way. It is such a disappointment when it happens.

jamiekwebb Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 7:33pm
post #9 of 21

I used the wilton recipe once and when it says to mix on medium or low (don't really remember) I had to mix it on high to get it to work properly for me.

TexasSugar Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 7:56pm
post #10 of 21

Something to remember is that each time, while you are following the recipe, you could be adding more water than you think. Water will round up over a measuring spoon before actually pouring over. So each time you could have different amounts.

If it feels thick but melts, then mix it longer. If you run your spatula through the bowl, the icing should hold it's shape and not melt back together.

Is your icing still shiny or matte?

sweetcakes Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 11:06pm
post #11 of 21

yes, you need to beat the shine out of it. so when you stop mixing look at it, if it has a matt finish this should be ok, but if after 1 - 2 minutes it starts to look shiny then this wont work. I do find i get a smoother and better RI if using cane sugar but ive also made it with store brand sugar and its ok, just not as smooth looking. are you mixing it in a plastic bowl, even though this was probably thoroughly clean grease can soak into the plastic. better to make it in a metal or glass bowl.

bluejeannes Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 11:39pm
post #12 of 21

my icing is shiny and it seems like Im beating it forever (I bet it for over 10 minutes) and it's still staying shiny.
Its thick but melting. I was using a plastic bowl then switched to metal, it seems thick and still shiny but I haven't tried making anything with it yet. I'll try tomorrow, maybe beat it a few more minutes before I make anything.
Why won't the shine come out?
Thank you all for your advice! Im trying to get this to work and your help is SO appreciated!!

bluejeannes Posted 21 Sep 2010 , 11:57pm
post #13 of 21

would it be normal to have to beat if for 15 minutes? I just watched a video on youtube (she used egg whites though, and Im using meringue powder) and she got an awesome consistency, she could mix it with her spatula AND it held stiff peaks. Mine, I can't even get the spatula through it, it's really thick, very shiny, and I can pick it up in a big lump in my hand (it melts when I pick it up though)
my poor mixer has really been put to the test today!

TexasSugar Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 1:12am
post #14 of 21

By your description it sounds like you really just need to mix it longer. If your mixer doesn't have a very strong motor it may take longer.

sweetcakes Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 1:37am
post #15 of 21

set that batch aside and start anew. You can add that first batch to some shortening to make buttercream. Mix in the metal or glass bowl, 1 lb of powdered sugar, 3 tbsp of meringue powder and 5 1/2 tablespoons of water out of the tap, dont worry about making it warm, what ever comes out the tap, then mix, (its the wilton recipe) oh and use pure cane sugar if you can, that will be a brand name sugar.

JRAE33 Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 2:00am
post #16 of 21

I have made both wiltons royal and antonia74s. I have a hand mixer, and I put mine on high and beat until the motor smells like it's about to every time icon_wink.gif

bluejeannes Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 11:56am
post #17 of 21

ok, Im starting new today (this will be my 5th batch) it's even haunting my dreams when I sleep, I just can't believe I can't make a simple royal icing!
So Im going to beat it REALLY long and Im going to use my glass bowl...I'll let you all know how it goes! Wish me luck! lol

bluejeannes Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 12:59pm
post #18 of 21

so I got home from bringing the kids to the bus and I tried another batch. I did it differently this time. I put together my meringue powder and water and beat that until I had stiff peaks. Then I slowly add (by the 1/4 -1/2 cup) the powdered sugar in and kept beating and beating and beating. My mixer is on its last leg! But I think it worked, it seems a little thick, but not too bad considering what it's been like before. It seemed to be holding its shape too. It was still a little shiny, but I couldn't beat it anymore (my mixer wouldn't let me!). Hope this works!
Thanks for all your help everyone!

TexasSugar Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 3:11pm
post #19 of 21

Sounds like it is time to look for a new mixer. icon_smile.gif

If you can't afford a stand mix, I'd atleast consider getting a Kitchen Aid Hand Mixer. I've put mine through hell making royal and it still comes back for more. icon_wink.gif

dholdenrn Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:04pm
post #20 of 21

I use the CK royal icing mix and just add water...mix in a bowl with a butter knife...turns out PERFECT everytime!

imagenthatnj Posted 24 Sep 2010 , 7:28pm
post #21 of 21

bluejeannes, PM me with your email address.

I'll send you a PDF with full instructions that you might be able to use.

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