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I am a beginner decorator, and I am having trouble with my icing drying too quickly. Help! Not sure if it was a little too thick or if I'm too slow. I'm leaning more towards too thick maybe . . . pic below.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 10.43.43 PM 


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  • Cookies with Marbling: Cookies and Photo by Kelschlo03
Last edited by Julia M. Usher
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Hi, @Kelschlo03! Again, congrats on your first post. I apologize for the delay in it posting, but you posted it into our Blog section, which is moderated and only intended for full-blown tutorials, interviews, etc. One-off questions to our members, like this one, should go in the forums (under Post/Topic). (I moved your post from the blog to this forum.) For more information about what content goes where on the site, and how to post, please read our About/Site FAQ section and also our Site Posting Guidelines that came in your signup letter, and which also appear in a link at the top and top right of the main Clips page. Thank you!

Last edited by Julia M. Usher

As for your question, it's truly hard to say from just looking at this photo if your icing was too thick or you were too slow. It could be either one of these things, or a combination of both. But judging from the flatness of some of the cookie icing (especially the two marbled hearts to the left, which look really flat), my guess is the icing was probably thin enough, and you worked a little too slowly. I actually like to work with the icing as thick as possible for marbling (to prevent colors from bleeding), but this means I have to work pretty darn fast, with no delay between applying colors and then doing the pull-through to create the marbled effect. Hope this helps a bit.

I too am a beginner and have encountered the same thing, and that the Cookie Godess (IMHO) Julia herself answered, I feel very awkward responding at all....BUT, one thing may help other than speed from practice!

I found a mist bottle (NOT squirt bottle!!) in the toiletries travel section for $1.00. It’s only about 3 inches...very small...and if I notice my icing is crusting faster than I am working, I hold the bottle a few inches away from the surface and mist the top (only 1-2 sprays) will give me a couple of minutes to finish up. You have to mist it though at the first sign of crusting though. 

I just made my first post about 2 weeks ago, so believe me when I say I am a beginner and am only trying to help a fellow newbie and this is just an amateur opinion. Good luck, hope to see more from you!

I’d be afraid to spray a mist.  I just don’t wait so long to marble.  Practice will tell you how long.  Let me add even if it’s not perfect, so what.  I think non-decorators prefer not perfect.  They don’t feel guilty eating the cookie.  Please learn early that the fun is more important than the perfection.

Kelschlo03 posted:

Thank you both so much. I am having so much fun with this. I did follow Julia's royal icing recipe to a T. Hopefully with each batch I will get a little quicker. Thank you again ladies!

Glad to hear you're using my recipe. One thing to add: my consistency adjustments are just a guide. I find I have to tweak depending on the ambient humidity. If it is a dry day, sometimes the recipe needs a touch more water, because things dry much faster. Right now is a relatively dry time, if you live in North America.

Hello!  I stumbled on to a fix for icing drying too fast. Take your cookie and freeze it right before you ice it.  Use room temperature icing.  As the icing becomes cold, it resists crusting...might be because the sugar molecules are not crystallizing as fast or maybe the cold icing keeps moisture on the surface from condensation...either way this works.  I have a video on youtube on how I did this..."A Fix to Royal Icing Drying Too Fast".  Hope this helps!

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