Are you making a cake or baking some cookies, and you have a lot of royal icing left over that you don’t want to waste? You must be wondering, can royal icing be refrigerated?
The short answer is yes, you can refrigerate royal icing. In fact, refrigerating it will help extend its shelf life. But as with everything that goes in the fridge, it needs to be stored properly.
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to consider when storing royal icing in the refrigerator so you can make use of it later on.
All About Refrigerating Royal Icing
Royal icing is typically made with meringue powder (or egg whites), water, and powdered sugar. This mix makes royal icing hard, unlike buttercream frosting.
You might fear that refrigerating the icing will harden it more and make it unsuitable for reusing, but we’re here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about if you follow the correct process.
When storing royal icing, no air must get inside the storage container so that the mixture doesn’t separate (the water from the icing sugar). On that account, you must store your royal icing in an airtight container.
First, transfer your mixture from the mixing bowl to the container with a spatula. Next, evenly pat the icing mixture with the spatula until the surface is smooth.
Then, cover the icing with wax paper or plastic wrap to ensure that no air goes through. Finally, cover the container tightly with a lid.
Factors Affecting the Refrigeration of Royal Icing
When storing royal icing in the refrigerator, there are a few things you need to look out for.
The first thing to consider is how long you’ll keep it in the refrigerator. Generally, royal icing can last from 3 weeks to 1 month in the fridge.
If you know you won’t use the icing in the next few days, it’s better to store it in the freezer rather than the fridge. You can store it in the freezer in Ziploc bags for up to 2 or 3 months.
Additionally, when you take the royal icing out of the refrigerator, let it thaw for a few minutes at room temperature, then remix it with a mixer.
If you notice that the mixture is too thick, slowly add water and stir until you reach the desired thickness. If you put it in the freezer you will need to thaw it for longer.
There are a few extra things you have to note when refrigerating royal icing, which are:
- Using pasteurized or fresh white eggs instead of meringue powder lowers the storage life by about 25%
- The longer you leave your icing in the fridge, the more it has time to separate. So, for long storage periods, it’s better to freeze it
- For longer storage life, keep the icing in a glass or ceramic container instead of a plastic one
- When you take the royal icing out of the fridge, let it thaw before mixing it to keep its consistency
When Should You Throw the Mixture Away?
There might come a time when the icing is no longer suitable for usage. There are a couple of signs which let you know that your icing has gone bad.
It’s normal for the mixture to separate after some time in the fridge, and in some cases, you’ll be able to remix it and use it.
However, if the icing has spoiled, it will separate beyond the point of return. You’ll find that the water and sugar are completely detached and sitting on top of each other.
If your icing changes color, this means it’s spoiled. Usually, it will turn into a yellowish color, but depending on the food coloring you used, this color may vary.
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Refrigerating royal icing can be a great way to store it as it keeps it fresh for longer and prevents it from spoiling. As long as you follow the correct steps, and cover and store it correctly, it should last you a while with no issues.
Make sure you’re aware of your storage date and potential changes in the mixture’s consistency to ensure your royal icing is at its best for use.