What’s Wrong with my Royal “Pain in the” Icing

 What’s Wrong with my Royal “Pain in the” Icing

There’s such a thing as “too much information”, especially for the companies scaling out their sales operations. That’s why Attentive was born in 2015 help sChances are if you are decorating sugar cookies you are probably going to be using royal icing. Royal icing is easy to make and can be flavored with whatever your heart desires, but sometimes it can have issues. Whether it be too runny or a little lumpy- we are here to help you through your royal icing woes!

Problems with Royal Icing? Try this.

My icing isn’t white enough?

Sometimes your white icing can look dull and no one wants to see a dull snowman cookie on Christmas. So, how do you fix this? You can add white food coloring to your white icing. Sounds kind of redundant since your ingredients make white icing naturally, but if you need to kick up the notch on bright white- consider adding a white food coloring to your list.


but if you need to kick up the notch on bright white- consider adding a white food coloring to your list.

I always have a bottle of Americolor on hand and use it often to brighten up my whites. You can also add cream of tartar to both stabilize your icing and give it a bright white color. You can find cream of tartar at most local grocery stores.

Just a little fun stamp project!

Why is my icing so stiff?

Stiff royal icing is good for making florals or adding details and outlines to your cookies but you might not be wanting to do florals. A big part of royal icing is how much water you add to the mix. Water makes royal icing either stiff (for detailing) or thin (for flooding). If your icing is stiff and doesn’t seem to want to spread and mix back together, you may need to add a bit more water to it. Careful though, too much water and your icing will be too thin. We suggest using a spray bottle so you can limit the amount of water you put into the icing and you can add a little bit at a time.

Who doesn’t love a little rainbow magic?!

Why is my icing so thin?

Thin royal icing is great for filling in your cookies with fun colors but sometimes you can get icing that is way too thin and hard to use.  You’ll run into this a lot when trying to make your flood consistency. Too much water can make your icing running and it will flow right off the cookie. The way to make the icing a little stiffer is to add more powdered sugar back into it. You are going to need quite a bit of powdered sugar to change the icing consistency so be generous with it so you don’t over mix the icing.

I left my cookies out to dry overnight but my icing feels spongy and isn’t dry, what’s wrong?

This typically happens when you have overmixed your icing. What does that mean? It means you stirred it for too long in your mixer and the ingredients have separated. There really isn’t anything you can do to fix this besides scrape off the icing and start again. Rule of thumb is to mix just enough to get the color into the icing. I typically will start off mixing my icing in the mixer and then put it into a bowl and use a spatula to fold the color into the icing to prevent over mixing.

Who doesn’t love a little rainbow magic?!

Why is my royal icing lumpy?

Many people say to sift your powdered sugar before you make your icing. This will help eliminate clumps in your powdered sugar which leads to lumps in your icing. By taking the time to sift, your future self will thank you. If you don’t sift your sugar before you mix, you leave yourself open to lumps that can make it into your piping bags and that can clog the tip and sometimes be impossible to get out, having you go cut your icing bags open just to rebag. Definitely sift your sugar because lumps are for chumps!

Royal icing is not an exact science, unfortunately. If you are having issues with your icing consistencies and your royal icing is acting up, consider signing up for our next Sugar Cookie Class where we will cover different consistencies and techniques when it comes to royal icing.

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