Storing Royal Icing

It takes a LOT of guts to show someone the inside of your refrigerator, EVEN if it is a picture from the beginning of the week, before I’ve had a chance to wreck it.

It’s about right up there with letting someone rifle through your underwear drawer.  You can tell a lot about people by looking in their fridge.

But even though it’s scary {maybe even scarier for you} I’m going to do it! I’m posting this now so everyone can see how I store my royal icing, and because I remembered to take a picture last Sunday, which is the only day that my refrigerator looks like this, *thanks Bern-Dogg*

My method is a little unconventional, but it works.

When I purchased my Kitchen Aid, it came with a coupon for a free mixing bowl.  It took forever to receive it, but it was definitely worth the wait. 
My storage method was actually the product of laziness. Normally, this is how I keep my icing crustless while I’m working with it during the day.  Then, one late cookie night, I didn’t feel like transferring it from the mixing bowl to a storage container, so I just popped the whole thing into the refrigerator.  It was then my “method” was born. 
If you don’t have a spare mixing bowl, don’t worry.  This works just as well.
I PREFER the mixing bowl, because I can pop it back onto the mixer and fluff it up if I need to, but don’t go to the trouble of buying one if you don’t have a spare.
Weird? Probably a little, but the wet towel keeps the icing moist and prevents that little crusty top you get with a lid or plastic wrap.  And even if you forget about it for a couple of days, and the towel dries out, it will still be okay =)
FYI, when I mix colors, I store them the same way, but on a smaller scale.  I place a wet piece of jersey cloth over a Pyrex bowl and snap the lid over that.  The jersey fabric is thin enough that the lid will still fit over it.  Paper towels work too.  {I removed them for the photo so the bowls were visible}
If you get the separation that I pointed out in the photo above, just stir it.  It doesn’t hurt the icing.
Notice that I also throw my bottles right into the refrigerator. When you purchase the coupler type, you’ll see that they come with these nifty little lids. 
For some reason, I’ve never used them.  Chalk it up to laziness again, I guess. HOWEVER, I did find something way cooler to do with them!  I’ll show you that in a few days =)
To answer some general questions about icing storage…
I have never gone over a week storing my icing, but that’s only because I use it all first. I once read that two weeks was the time limit for RI, I think in the Wilton Yearbook.  I have Googled it and asked a lot of experts, and the answers are all over the map.  So, I just go with the Wilton answer.  They seem to know what they are doing.
I also try not to leave mine out on the counter.  Some people aren’t bothered by this, but it’s not really my thing.  I prefer mine in the refrigerator.  It just feels safer that way.
I do, however have plans of bribing my good buddy’s microbiologist husband to answer this for us once and for all.  I’ll keep you updated on how that goes =)
Also, although I have not tested this to completion, I know lots of people who freeze RI.  Like I said, I haven’t done this enough to say much about it, but the people who have passed that along to me would qualify as advanced decorators, so I took their word for it.
And, since I made you look in my refrigerator, I’ll make up for it by leaving you with some pretty cookies to look at. 
 My brother lived in Delft for awhile.  The ornaments he brought me for Christmas inspired these.
Like most things in my life, I am sure that I’m definitely not doing this “by the book”  but storing my icing this way works for me =) I hope it will work for you too!

Join The Discussion



  1. 21
    Marti says:

    Hi there:
    I’m having a cookie decorating party for my nieces and grand nieces this wknd. I started looking online to refresh my memory about decorating cookies/icing/flooding etc. I need all the help I can get. My daughter is a pastry chef but her mom (me) is NOT!!! I’ve learned some things along the way , especially after having had many, many, many cookie decorating parties for our Chinese students (in China). This is also where our daughter picked up her desire to become a chef! So, I said all this to say I’m amazed at your site and have read a lot of your blogs and watched your videos on royal icing and all that goes with it to get me prepared for Sunday. You are very generous, funny and informative with your knowledge and skills. Thank you for all the great tips, ideas etc. I’m going to try many of the ideas I read today for our decorating party. I might even let you know how it goes :) p.s. I LOVED your Twelve Days of Christmas Cookie Project section. Thanks again from a non baker but a willing learner. Marti

  2. 22
    Louise says:

    Hi, Im wondering.. after I decorate my cookies with royal icing.. i have to let it dry for sometime right.. where do i dry it? If i dry it in open air.. will the cookie turn out.. you know.. not crispy? Like the air already got in the cookie


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