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Royal Icing... It melts in the fridge.


ohmyganache
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How do you decorate cakes with royal icing ahead of time? Can you? Is there a way to prevent the moisture from melting the royal icing in the fridge? We'd like to sell cakes with royal icing that our guests wouldn't have to use right away! Thanks for any suggestions.

Stephen W.

Pastry Chef/Owner

The Sweet Life Bakery

Vineland, NJ

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So what is happening exactly?

Are these royal icing decorations simply piped on the surface of the cake and are "melting" to the point of actually dripping off the sides?

Or are they piped and hardened decorations that you are placing on the cake and they are softening and drooping?

What is the purpose for using royal icing? For the sake of using something pure white, or the fact that you can pipe them out in advance and let them dry then place on the cake as needed?

Depending on what you're doing, you may not even need to use royal icing in the first place.

In my experience, the royal icing I pipe onto the top and sides of a cake never actually melts in the fridge....it just stays soft....similar to buttercream. I imagine your "melting" problem is significantly worse?

Tell me what it is you're doing and why.....there's a solution to your problem I'm sure. :smile:

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Doing serious royal icing work like string work or extensions is impossible with cakes that need to be kept in the fridge. Classically the heavy royal icing cakes done in england are done on fruit cake so that it can be kept out.

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I never understood this royal icing problem. I make lambeth cakes, and thus my cakes are heavily decorated with royal icing in several layers, including stringwork on bridge. But they are also kept in the fridge, and I have never had a cake melt, even after a few days. It dries slower, but still dries. I never have been able to figure out what I am doing differently from others.

Edited by Sif (log)
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A home fridge is drier (not humid) than a commercial walk in or reach in.

I bought some pre-made royal icing flowers and after a day in the cooler, they had absorbed some moisture and started to drip. If I left them in there longer, they probably would have started to melt. I'm sure that the way the royal icing is made has some effect too (using shell whites, pasteurized whites, or a meringue powder).

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between my two fridges at the bakery, one runs a little more moist than the other, but I would never put anything on a cake/dessert that would dissolve unless it was to be consumed immediately. There's just too many variables.

if you're sure you want to use royal icing (for it's ability to harden, stringwork, etc.), I wouldn't risk it and would instead use it on a cake that doesn't require refrigeration. Otherwise, you might want to consider buttercream, since it holds up nicely in the fridge, provided you don't have a stinky fish right next to it.

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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