Royal Icing Changing Color As It Dries On The Cookie??

Baking By tracey1970 Updated 15 Oct 2009 , 2:02am by tracey1970

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tracey1970 Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 12:56am
post #1 of 5

I made some Mickey Mouse head cookies recently, and I loved the NFSC and Antonia's RI. I got a really nice black color for his ears and a nice red for his "pants." As the icing dried on the cookies over the next 18-24 hours, the red in particular started to look "wet" in places = it got darker, almost burgundy. This started around the edges and moved inward. In places, the red icing looked marbly. I wasn't overly happy with the end color, and I was worried that I shouldn't let the children eat them.

Was the RI leeching butter or something from the cookie? Is there any way to avoid this color changing? I had a color I really liked, but it didn't end up as I had hoped? Does this happen all the time? Are there any colors more prone to this?


4 replies
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antonia74 Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 1:06am
post #2 of 5

It's a problem that has been asked on CC by members in the past. It could be a number of issues:

1) did you use a large amount of food colouring? Dark colour? Too much and it can crystallize/have dark patches. (For those dark/intense colours you need to tint, use Americolor. It's much more concentrated than other brands like Wilton & CakeCraft.)

2) did you use too much water to thin out the icing? A high concentration/ratio of water/colouring can also cause this.

3) did you allow the icing to mix properly, esp. after thinning it with water?

4) is the area where the cookies are drying humid? unevenly heated/cooling?

5) did a drop of oil/butter/fats get into your icing while it mixed? Were your paddle/bowl/piping bags/tips completely clean and oil-free before you began?


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bakingmama18 Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 1:52pm
post #3 of 5

I just made my first batch of RI on NFSC last night and the same thing is happening to mine. I did add a lot more water, but the icing needed it, it wasnt thin enough when I did the 10 second test, what should I have done then? Maybe i didnt mix it long enough after I added the water- how long does it need to mix again for after each addition?

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sunnigirl Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 2:27pm
post #4 of 5

Tracey1970 - I am having the exact same problem. I have been using royal for several years and only recently started having this problem.
Thanks Antonia for the tips, I will try those. I started by opening a new canister of a different brand of Meringue powder. That did not help the problem.
The only other explanation I can come up with is that I added too much dark color to my icing. I don't always have time to tint and wait overnight for it to darken and I like my colors nice and dark. I guess I will try using less color and see if that helps any at all. They look great at first but after they dry overnight they have thos patches of different color. It is happening mostly with my black, maroon, and sometimes red color. I have not noticed it so much with my lighter colors.
Humidity is 100% where I live right now with no end in sight. I set my cookies on racks on my dining room table with my ceiling fan on. Otherwise I don't think they would ever dry.
I guess I will try wiping down my dishes and mixing utensils with diluted vinegar next. This is so frustrating! I hate it when my cookies are less than perfect. icon_cry.gif

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tracey1970 Posted 15 Oct 2009 , 2:02am
post #5 of 5

Thanks everyone!

The red was fairly dark. I did use Americolor. I have used color flow and RI a fair bit in the past, so I thought I had the right amount of water in the icing?? I live in Canada, and it's been quite cold here lately (below 40 degrees), so I don't know about humidity - my cookies air dried in my dining room, and we keep the house temp fairly even. I also made sure about the grease in the RI because I know what it can do to it. I pre-washed my mixing bowl, paddle, spatulas, storage containers, couplers, and tips in HOT soapy water, and I used brand new disposable bags to pipe it.

I will try again with more attention and see what happens. Thanks again for your ideas. I am not a "cookie person" but I want to do better with them next time. Any thoughts are helpful.

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