Q. I’ve started making cakes and custom cookies for friends and family as a kind of small side business. I have received more orders in recent weeks than I was expecting, and sometimes find it difficult to meet all the necessary deadlines. What’s slowing me down the most is the need to constantly mix royal icing from scratch. I’m not a fan of the pre-bought stuff, but it is time consuming to make a fresh batch every week. I was thinking that it might save me some time to simply make a large batch once a month and freeze it in batches to save time when baking for my clients. I’m worried that the icing won’t freeze well. I can’t afford to have baked goods that don’t taste great. Can you freeze royal icing?
A. Yes, you can freeze royal icing. If you want it to taste freshly made for your clients, you will have to be sure to protect it well against freezer burn and so that it doesn’t develop a crust and go crumbly. Also, you must decide whether you are going to freeze your icing already coloured, or just freeze it plain and mix in the colours when you need them. It is easier to store plain white icing, because the colour can have a tendency to “bleed” when frozen and then thawed, but it’s not necessary to freeze it white. Just be prepared to correct the colour if necessary when ready to use.
How to freeze royal icing?
To freeze royal icing, be sure to begin with fresh icing that hasn’t been sitting out for too long. Royal icing has a tendency to dry out and get crumbly, and starting out with dry icing will yield poor results. Place the icing in freezer bags, then seal the bags after the excess air has been removed. Label and date the bags and place them in the freezer. You can lay the bags flat and store them stacked to save space.
To use, remove the icing from the freezer and allow to thaw completely in the fridge before use. When ready to use, check for any separation. You may need to whip the icing in a bowl with a spoon or spatula first before using. Then, add any colouring if necessary. Spoon the icing into piping bags or use however you usually use it to decorate your baked goods. Thawed royal icing should be used within a few days for best results. Store in the fridge if not using immediately.