Skip to content
Royal Icing Storage Tips and Timeframes

Royal Icing Storage Tips and Timeframes

Any cookier who uses royal icing* knows that you very rarely have NO icing leftover at the end of a project (if you are consistently able to have just enough icing every time, then you are the level of prepared most of us can only aspire to be!).

The question then becomes: what do I do with that leftover icing?  Well, let’s just say “throw it in the trash” does not rank high on this list.  Here are some guidelines for how long royal icing will last in a few different scenarios.

*For the purpose of this blog post, “royal icing” refers to icing made with meringue powder, NOT real egg whites, which would have different timeframes.

Storing Royal Icing on the Counter at Room Temperature

When stored properly in an airtight container at room temperature, royal icing will stay good to use for 2-3 days on your counter; if you have multiple orders in a row, or even if you just take a little longer with your decorating process, you don’t necessarily have to worry about making new icing immediately.

  • Make sure to press a piece of cling film against the surface of the icing to prevent any crusting from air exposure and keep the edges of your container nice and clean so that you don’t accidentally knock hardened bits of icing into your good icing.
  • Icing stored in sealed piping bags will also be ok for the same time frame, although it may have to be remixed before using.
  • The more water content in the icing, the more likely it is to separate; if this happens, squeeze the icing out into a bowl and remix it to get it back to its original consistency.


How to Store Royal Icing in the Fridge

Royal icing stored in the fridge can stay good for a couple of weeks (again, assuming that you follow the same air-tight storage process).   If you know you have an upcoming order with those same colors, or if you think you can tint those colors to the correct shade you’ll need, then why throw them away?  Save yourself the cost and effort of making more icing if you don’t have to.

  • Allow icing that has been refrigerated to come to room temperature.
  • The same rule applies in the fridge as it does on the counter: the more water in the icing, the more likely it is to separate over time. If you are able, consider keeping your icing as thick as possible, but know that the longer the icing is in the fridge, the higher the chance you’ll need to pop it in your mixer to reconstitute it.
  • If your icing seems grainy or just not-quite-right after remixing, it’s time to discard it.


Storing Royal Icing in the Freezer

Overestimate how much icing you'll need for an order?  Don't waste those leftovers!  Royal icing will stay good for almost an indefinite amount of time in the freezer.  This can be a huge timesaver if you only need a little bit of a color and don’t want to have to make a whole new batch of icing.  It can also be great if you want to make royal icing transfers ahead of time. 

  • If you have enough of one color icing to warrant using a container, again make sure that you lay cling wrap over the surface of the icing and choose a container that can get an airtight seal.
  • You can freeze small amounts of icing in sealed piping bags! Massage the bag(s) to make sure all air bubbles are out, and then place them in a freezer storage bag or other airtight container.
  • Make sure you have a fresh container of baking soda in your freezer, and be wary of what else you have stored in there! Fish-flavored royal icing isn’t going to fly with many customers.
  • Leave your frozen icing to come to room temp on your counter; larger portions will require more defrosting time, but piping bags full of icing usually don’t take very long.
  • Remix as needed, and assess your taste and consistency; if anything tastes or feels wonky, discard.

Storing Royal Icing Advice from an Expert

Three last bits of advice:

  1. This doesn’t only apply to “leftover” icing—if you want to make your icing ahead to save yourself some time, go for it! This can be a huge help around the holidays.
  2. Make sure you date your containers before putting them in the freezer/fridge.
  3. If you make different flavors of royal icing, make sure your containers are labeled as to what is inside them. You wouldn’t want to accidentally use almond-flavored icing on an order for a customer who has an allergy to it.

Now that you know you can stockpile icing, go ahead and enjoy all that extra time you’ll save not whipping up a batch on a moment’s notice!

Previous article Live tutorial replay! All about layering and using multi piece stencils.


Tannis Vallely - November 7, 2023

Can I freeze uncolored royal icing and then mix and add color after it’s thawed? Or should I color ahead of time and freeze with the color?

The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Tannis! You can absolutely freeze your royal icing either way. Whatever works for you!

Bre - June 8, 2023

How long does the icing last past the expiration date? Or do you not recommend using it past the expiration date? I brought a couple of bags of the white this past January 2023. I got 5 bags left out of the 8. I looked at it today and saw it said it expired in April of 2023. Please advise as I really don’t want to toss away all this product.
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Bre. The instant icing mix has a “best by” date, as opposed to an “expiration” date. You may find that ingredients used past their best by date are less effective and/or less flavorful than a package that is within date. If the product smells or tastes bad, definitely discard it. Otherwise, you may want to prepare the icing and freeze it, or even use it to make royal icing transfers or florals ahead. I hope this helps.

May - January 12, 2023

Can you freeze the same icing more than once?

The Cookie Countess replied:
Theoretically, you can. But keep an eye on the icing separating or becoming grainy. You may need to remix the icing after it has thawed. I tend to only freeze my icing one time.

Bailie Herl - November 14, 2022

Hi! Question about royal icing. Can you freeze any recipe of royal icing? Or will only certain ingredients freeze correctly ?

I use water, powdered sugar, vanilla, and meringue powder. I’ve never tried freezing it because I’m afraid it won’t taste the same! Thank you in advance
The Cookie Countess replied:
We can only answer for our specific recipe, but in general I find that most icing recipes can be frozen!

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

  • blog header

    Don't Turn Your Oven On Until You Have a Signed Contract: The Importance of Having a Signed Contract Before Baking Cookies for Customers

    In the world of cookie businesses, having a signed contract before starting any baking is crucial. This article emphasizes the importance of setting clear terms with customers to avoid potential issues such as last-minute order changes or cancellations. It outlines essential elements that should be included in a contract, such as detailed product descriptions, change deadlines, pricing details, pickup/delivery specifics, allergen information, and payment terms. By having a well-defined contract, bakers can protect their time, resources, and ensure a smooth transaction process. This guide provides a basic template and checklist to help cookie bakers get started, along with a disclaimer to customize the contract according to local laws and individual business needs.
    Read now