Modelling Using Royal Icing?

Decorating By sweetheart1978 Updated 31 Dec 2014 , 3:32pm by BeverleyWay

sweetheart1978 Posted 29 Nov 2014 , 6:57pm
post #1 of 18

Hi everyone. I am going to be making a birthday cake soon and have been asked to use Royal icing as the customer does not like fondant. Is Royal icing sturdy enough to hold well if i model it? for example, making a wooden spoon out of it, an apron, a pan with soup and some other things,

Any help and ideas appreciated xx

17 replies
maybenot Posted 29 Nov 2014 , 7:23pm
post #2 of 18

Royal icing is a piping medium, not a modeling medium.  You can't pick it up and shape it. 

You can pipe them flat on the cake, or pipe them, let them dry, and place them on the cake.


If you make them from fondant/gum paste, the client can remove those items. 


People need to get over the "I don't like fondant" baloney.  If it's what works best, that's what gets used and they just take it off. It's not rocket science.

BeverleyWay Posted 29 Nov 2014 , 10:26pm
post #3 of 18

Hi Sweetheart1978! Many people prefer the taste and texture of icings other than fondant. It is certainly acceptable to cover your cake in royal icing if requested, but I would doublecheck to ensure that the customer isn't just telling you this simply because they don't know what other options they have like buttercream and so on.

It sounds like you are intending to add detail with modelled toppers or cake accessories. My thought is that it is highly unlikely that your customer herself/himself  is going to take a bite out of your modelled wooden spoon and that their main focus and concern is with how pleasurable the CAKE will be when ingested. They will most likely remove your modelled spoon and modelled accessories before serving the cake (however, your modelled spoon may  get placed on someone's plate and THAT person may attempt to bite it! There is always one of those!).  If your accessories were composed of chocolate or soft candy, then there may be an initial intention or request by your customer to make the accessories suitable for guests to eat. But royal icing? I don't think so. I don't think the intention here is to eat the royal icing accessories as they would dry very rock hard. My fear here is that your customer is not quite informed that the cake can be covered in a number of icing types, yet the toppers can remain fondant or modelled chocolate. Royal icing seems to be an odd choice for the modelling which is why I suspect the customer does not know the alternatives to draw upon.

My suggestion is for you to take the lead here, do some additional research  if need be and appear as the expert. Provide some options and explain why. That might be all you need to line this project up nicely for you. Good luck!


Beverley Way

winniemog Posted 2 Dec 2014 , 8:43am
post #4 of 18

A[@]maybenot[/@] is right, they don't have to eat the modelled prices. That said, you could make them out of modelling chocolate.

nicolah Posted 2 Dec 2014 , 12:11pm
post #5 of 18

I have used royal icing to make stuff like that. Its a bit of a pain. I used wilton's recipe then added enough confectioners sugar until it was a firm dough. I have also experimented with adding a one teaspoon of tylose powder it makes it a little more like gumpaste but it still tastes a lot like royal icing. I have attached some pictures of stuff i have made with the royal icing.


julia1812 Posted 2 Dec 2014 , 5:13pm
post #6 of 18

To be honest, I don't think royal icing and (homemade) fondant taste very different. Like a mouth full of sugar, lol.

But BerverleyBay is right, check with the customer. I made the eifel tower out of royal icing, but that was piped, not modeled...

sweetheart1978 Posted 2 Dec 2014 , 6:05pm
post #7 of 18

Thanks everyone! that really helped :)

sweetheart1978 Posted 3 Dec 2014 , 7:24pm
post #8 of 18

nicolah your cakes look amazing!

sweetheart1978 Posted 3 Dec 2014 , 7:27pm
post #9 of 18

Is it ok to use Ganache to cover the cake and then cover with royal icing?

winniemog Posted 3 Dec 2014 , 7:44pm
post #10 of 18

AWhy don't you cover cake with ganache then modelling chocolate? Royal is not very nice to eat, it's as sweet as fondant but hard and crunchy too!

BeverleyWay Posted 4 Dec 2014 , 3:14pm
post #11 of 18

Hi sweetheart1978 ... I strongly agree with the consensus above to frost/cover the cake in something other than royal icing. That was done regularly years ago, however with the more pleasurable options available today, I would go for one of those - for example, buttercream or ganache which are smooth, tasteful and easy to make. Royal icing is ideal for numerous types of beautiful exterior detail that is either very minimal on the cake sides, or removed before serving. Thicker piped royal icing detail and items dry very hard - think of a candy cane and how hard it is to snap - that strength is what you achieve with fully dried royal icing. See the cake below - it is covered in rolled fondant with royal icing extension decorations which are intended to be removed before serving. The royal icing shown in this image is unlikely to appear on the plates served to guests since it would be removed first - but it looks great for wowing guests when the cake is all set up as a whole.


Royal icing will break down when in contact with moisture, grease or fat. You will see it begin to look spotty or wetlike if this is occurring. For this reason, ganache which typically contains cream is not a choice for under a layer of royal icing. You can simply cover your cake in ganache and stop there if you like.



BeverleyWay Posted 4 Dec 2014 , 8:12pm
post #12 of 18

Hi sweetheart1978! Let us know what you decided. I hope your project goes well ... you are learning about your options here which is great!

sweetheart1978 Posted 9 Dec 2014 , 6:04pm
post #13 of 18

Thanks for that BeverleyWay.Your cake looks fantastic!. i will uploadsome photo's of the finished product when done.

sweetheart1978 Posted 13 Dec 2014 , 10:54am
post #14 of 18

AHi everyone! I made my cake. Here is a pic. [IMG][/IMG]

BeverleyWay Posted 13 Dec 2014 , 3:08pm
post #16 of 18

Hi sweetheart1978! Mmmmm ... those shrimps look delicious!  It all certainly looks convincing and enticing! .... Good for you!

sweetheart1978 Posted 30 Dec 2014 , 10:00pm
post #17 of 18

AThanks BeverleyWay! Really enjoyed making this! Since I last posted I also made another cake that I would like to share with you all. [IMG][/IMG]


BeverleyWay Posted 31 Dec 2014 , 3:32pm
post #18 of 18

It looks so delicious! Lovely two-tone coloring!

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