Divots In Royal Icing

Baking By SunshineCarbs Updated 2 Oct 2014 , 12:57am by MBalaska

SunshineCarbs Posted 18 Aug 2014 , 3:01am
post #1 of 9

I am having a problem with royal icing, and I don't quite know what to call it, in order to search the forum and find out.


I did these Angry Birds cookies for a friend's son's birthday. They turned out great, and I'm happy to have done them. However, if you look at the red lids on the lower three cookies, you can see some weird divotting happening in them. I have noticed this once or twice with other areas where I was flooding royal icing into small areas. I know what's happening; it's flooding, adhering to the outline, and then pulling out as it dries, resulting in the little divots, and on one or two other projects, actual holes.



I don't know how to fix this. when I flooded I made sure the little areas were so full up that they almost overflowed. I *couldn't* have put more icing in there. 


Should I do two layers of icing in small areas? Am I maybe flooding with royal that's too thin? Is it something else? Have I totally misunderstood what's causing this?



Thanks for any help.



8 replies
MBalaska Posted 18 Aug 2014 , 3:21am
post #2 of 9

There's a really quick easy solution.:)  You need a small craft hand held heat gun.  set it on the counter next to your cookies.  After you fill out a few small sections, turn it on and gently from about 6 to 8 inches away, wave it over the icing to instantly dry it.   or just use a clean new small travel hair dryer - same difference almost.


take a peek at the tiny black stems on these leaf cookies. No divots.  But if you hold the gun too close you'll create waves like the incoming tide at the beach.







You're cookies are really well decorated by the way, way over my skill level, post a photo if you have success with the hot air gun.



charlieinMO Posted 13 Sep 2014 , 7:57pm
post #3 of 9

You can also use a tooth pick or smaller tool and spread around the icing and to make sure there aren't any air bubbles in there. Or maybe you need to add just a little more icing. Your cookies look great.

SweetCarolines Posted 25 Sep 2014 , 4:34pm
post #4 of 9

Great advice by MBalaska and also, make sure you don't overflow small areas and that your royal icing is mixed properly. I tend to get craters when I keep adding water/sugar.

MBalaska Posted 26 Sep 2014 , 12:21am
post #5 of 9


Originally Posted by SweetCarolines 

"........ I tend to get craters when I keep adding water/sugar."


Here's a little something that will help with that problem.

When you initially make your Royal Icing, set aside about a half cup of icing in an airtight baggie or bowl.  As you are adding water to thin your icing, or extracts/flavorings, or food colors, you will be changing the texture a lot.  Sometimes it gets too thin and watery to work with.


So if you need to undo the thinning and need to thicken up the icing a bit -- just add a little of the icing that you've placed on the side.


Because if you just start adding more powdered sugar you'll throw your icing out of whack - it won't be correct.  If you start adding powdered royal icing premix you may be ok, the recipe will be correct, but it won't be mixed as smoothly or completely.


So by adding spoonfulls of already correctly mixed icing from that side bowl you'll keep your recipe on track.

MBalaska Posted 26 Sep 2014 , 12:25am
post #6 of 9

@SweetCarolines  your decorated cookies are really great, you've got great piping skills!!!!!

cazza1 Posted 26 Sep 2014 , 11:10am
post #7 of 9

These divots quite often occur when too much water is added to the royal icing.  I learned this the hard way, too.

SweetCarolines Posted 1 Oct 2014 , 11:06pm
post #8 of 9

@MBalaska thanks for the advice, and that means so much to me! You're one of my favorite posters :)

MBalaska Posted 2 Oct 2014 , 12:57am
post #9 of 9

As always....credit where credit is due.

I've learned from others that went before me, and now I'm passing it along.  Getting the technical skills, the math, the recipe, the chemistry is reasonably logical and I can work my way through.  It's the artistic, design, creativity, and color uses that are the forte of the 'Cake & Cookie Artists' that I admire and respect.


Sometimes I go through the photo gallery and feel like Wayne & Garth meeting Alice Cooper.......you know how that goes. :grin:


Keep up the good work, bake and decorate, have fun, make lots and lots of money



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