Icing Shelf Life

Decorating By eyemlee Updated 2 Jun 2015 , 9:18am by eyemlee

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eyemlee Posted 30 May 2015 , 6:27am
post #1 of 5


I am going to be making my own wedding cake (fruit), and want to use a "soft" icing that I can swirl and smooth with a pallet knife so that the finished product looks rather like a cream-cheese frosted carrot cake. I've tried using rolled royal icing to ice a Christmas cake before, and it would be fair to say that it was a disaster! It took my partner - who's a pretty handy guy - and I hours to create something that looked like a five year old had iced it, so I figure a soft icing will be more forgiving but will still look good. In case you're wondering, the reason I'm not making a buttercream frosted sponge-type cake is because I want to be able to make the cake well in advance of the wedding, and get it all iced and ready so that all I have to do on the day are add last minute decorations. So, my question: I have found this recipe for soft white icing on the internet - does anyone know how long it would keep for, once iced, without spoiling? Specifically, how far in advance could I ice the cake using this icing, would I need to keep it refrigerated, and could I send slices to some overseas guests after the wedding without giving them food poisoning! Thanks so much in advance for any and all help.

To cover a 20.5cm (8in) marzipan-covered cake, you will need:

- 3 medium egg whites

- 2tbsp lemon juice

- 2tsp glycerine

- 675g (1½lb) icing sugar, sifted

1. Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until frothy: there should be just a layer of bubbles across the top. Add the lemon juice, glycerine and 2tbsp of icing sugar and whisk until smooth.

2. Whisk in the rest of the sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and thick, and forms soft peaks.

3. Using a palette knife, smooth half the icing over the top and sides of the cake, then repeat using the remaining icing to cover. Run the knife around the sides to neaten, then use the tip to make peaks all over the top. Leave to dry in a cool place for at least 48hrs.

Recipe taken from the Good Housekeeping website

4 replies
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810whitechoc Posted 30 May 2015 , 9:10am
post #2 of 5

Can't help you with shelf life as this is not an icing that I have ever used, but I would definitely use pasteurised egg white rather than fresh.  As this is not a cooked egg product, like meringue based buttercreams you will be sending raw egg white out into the world, I personally would not be comfortable with that.

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cakesrock Posted 30 May 2015 , 3:32pm
post #3 of 5

Yes, it takes a lot of practice to smooth buttercream - I watched a lot of videos and practiced quite a bit. I I wouldn't use raw egg whites for a wedding cake frosting at all.  And I doubt the shelf life would be very long...Find a recipe that uses meringue powder instead.

This is my go-to icing. It has a shelf life of months, not refrigerated. You can smooth it with a warm knife or give it the look you are talking about. It's fluffy and tasty. 

Good luck and congrats!

I found this recipe on the Wilton website. It looked beautiful on the cake I saw. This frosting is made in two parts and they should not be combined until each part is completed.

Whipped Cream Buttercream Frosting


  • Part One
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 1/2 cups Crisco
  • Part Two

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBSP. Meringue powder (add 1 additional TBSP for slight crusting)
  • 1/2 cup BOILING water (less 2 TBSP)
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla (or flavor of your choice)


  1. Part one… put crisco in bowl and gradually add powdered sugar. Beat about 5 minutes until mixture is very creamy and fluffy. Set this aside.
Part two… In a very clean bowl mix dry ingredients. Add BOILING water and immediately mix on high speed. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. When mixture begins to get stiff add flavoring.NOW combine both mixtures and beat together for another 8 minutes. When finished, use a rubber spatula to down beat a little to remove some of the air bubbles. Frosting will be very light and creamy. Cover. DO NOT REFRIGERATE.The frosting may be kept at room temperature for 3 months. Whip with a spoon each time you use it to restore fluffiness.

Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/2019/whipped-cream-buttercream-frosting#mJ1PttdU3btIdQkl.99

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eyemlee Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 9:15am
post #4 of 5

Hi whitechoc! Yes, I was worried about the egg whites too... I actually contacted the Good Housekeeping team, and they assured me that the icing would last for two weeks, but I'm still not sure and I think I'll give it a miss and try the Crisco frosting recipe that cakesrock suggests. Thanks very much for answering!

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eyemlee Posted 2 Jun 2015 , 9:18am
post #5 of 5

Hi Cakesrock, thanks so much for posting that recipe, I'll give it a few practice goes on some cheap sponge cakes to get my eye in! I had to google Crisco (I'm English but live in New Zealand, and had no idea what it was!) but it turns out you can buy it online here from cake decorating supply shops. Thanks again.

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