Lessons Learned: Keep Oil Out of Royal Icing

Oil In Royal IcingWhen Callye at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle says that “oil is the enemy of royal icing”, she’s not kidding! I recently learned this first hand.

When I examined my Easy Cookie Press Cookies the day after decorating them and found that the icing had not set, I was cursing the Texas humidity. It had just wreaked some havoc on my Sugar Cookie Recipe and now every cookie I touched was sporting a crushed icing look that I was not fond of.

Oil In Royal IcingWell, unless you skipped this post’s title and first line, you know what’s coming. The humidity wasn’t to blame for my icing woes… I was! The almond extract I used in my icing recipe had oil in it. Doh!

Oil In Almond Extract

What have I learned from this mishap? Any tiny bit of oil that makes it into a royal icing recipe will cause the structure of the icing to break down. So, any flavorings used must have an ingredient list free of oils. Mixing utensils and containers that are glass or metal must be washed in hot soapy water prior to use. Most shockingly, any plastic spatulas or bowls that are used should be designated as “only for icing”. Oil will bond to plastic and can never be completely removed.

Have you had any icing mishaps that have taught you a valuable lesson?

What’s your favorite icing tip that you’ve learned during your cookie adventures?

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About Janine

Creative sweets made simple. Learn how to easily make decorated treats through recipes and tutorials at sugarkissed.net. Are you ready for sweet inspiration?
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9 Responses to Lessons Learned: Keep Oil Out of Royal Icing

  1. Sweetsugarbelle says:

    I still cry thinking about this :-(

    • Janine says:

      Callye, I was so surprised how just a tiny bit effected it. I was cursing the humidity till I realized what I had done! :)

  2. Dory says:

    Thanks for the info! I have made several other batches, but this weekend’s halloween cookies are still not set, ugh! Now I see what probably went wrong. Where can I buy the oil free extracts and flavoring?

    • Janine says:

      Dory, oil free extracts are readily available at grocery stores and craft stores. Wilton makes some clear extracts that you can find at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby too. Just take a look at the ingredient list before purchasing. Sorry for your troubles!

  3. Rebecca says:

    You can use white vinegar to wipe down all of the tools that you will use before making the icing too. This will cut any grease/oil that might be on them and make it safe to use them with your icing! And you don’t need a lot so don’t worry about tasting it in the icing afterwards. Just dab a paper towel with it and wipe down your tools. I even drop my tips and couplers in a small cup of vinegar and allow them to air dry before I use them. I have never had a problem when using this technique.

  4. Lea Brown says:

    Rebecca, thanks for reminding me about the icing tips! I forgot about those yesterday! They were the least of my worries when I added my Irish Cream & Butter flavourings… At that point, the game was lost. Ah well… Glaze it is for that batch!

  5. My neighborhood cake supplies lady stated that she runs lemon through the bowl and any utensils before she starts her royal icing.

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