Not sure what to do with that leftover royal icing? Look no further! In this post you’ll learn how to make various royal icing decorations, foods it can be used to glaze and other ways to use up what you have left on hand so no icing goes to waste.
You’ve made your royal icing, presumably decorated cookies, but now what? Chances are you have some leftover icing.
And while you can keep royal icing for a few weeks (assuming you made it with meringue powder or powdered egg whites and not raw eggs), if you don’t have any royal icing plans on the horizon, you might feel stuck to tossing it in the trash. Pump. Those. Brakes.
If this is you (and trust me, I’ve been there), here are a few creative ways to use up that leftover icing.
A quick note: If you’re new to royal icing and want to learn more about how to make it, check out my ultimate guide to making royal icing. It has all sorts of royal icing information, including my go-to royal icing recipe, a break down of the basic royal icing consistencies, answers to frequently asked questions and how to troubleshoot common royal icing issues.
1. Decorate more cookies
Cookie decorating doesn’t have to be complex. One of my favorite, quick and easy ways to decorate cookies is to dip them in royal icing. You can even add a little food gel coloring to give them some extra pizazz.
If you haven’t done this before, here’s a quick tutorial on dipping cookies, including the kind of royal icing consistency you’ll need.
This technique works well on homemade and store bought cookies alike.
2. Royal icing decorations (royal icing transfers)
Royal icing transfers are royal icing decorations that have been piped onto wax or parchment paper that can be transferred to other creations like cookies or cupcakes.
Transfers are great for making decorations ahead, perfect for beginners who may want the assistance of a stencil and can be kept in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight almost indefinitely.
Depending on the consistency of royal icing you have left over, you can make all kinds of royal icing transfers. Here are a few ideas organized by consistency from Sweet Dreams Bake Shoppe.
And if you like the rainbow royal icing transfers in the photo, you can download the free template I created.
Just like royal icing transfers, you can make easy royal icing sprinkles by piping onto parchment or wax paper. For these, I piped long lines of icing that I broke up once they dried as well as small dots. Both used a 20 second consistency icing.
You can also add store bought sprinkles, like metallic nonpareils, to your homemade sprinkles.
4. Oreo pops
Although they might require a little longer drying time than their candy coated counterparts, Oreo pops made with royal icing are super easy to make.
Separate the sandwiched cookies, dip a lollipop stick into your leftover icing and press it into the cream filling. Drizzle more royal icing onto the inside of the cookie and then press the two pieces back together. Allow these to dry overnight.
Once the royal icing is completely dried, dip the Oreo pops into the leftover royal icing to coat. For these I used a 20 second consistency icing.
Place the dipped pops onto a piece of parchment paper and allow to set until dry.
5. Glazing cinnamon rolls, bundt cakes and other baked goods
Royal icing works well for glazing baked goods like cinnamon rolls and bundt cakes. To give it a flavor similar to the kinds of glazes and icings typically used for this kind of thing, I like to add one to two tablespoons of melted butter per cup of royal icing.
Adding butter also prevents the royal icing from completely hardening like it normally would.
An important note: Regardless of whether you add butter or not, royal icing applied to moist baked goods will not harden the same way it would on cookies.
6. Candy coated cookies, snacks, candies and other dry goods
Want to add a touch of sweetness to the snack foods you already have lat home? Add a little royal icing!
In the photo below I’ve dipped pretzels, cookies and rolled spoonfuls of dried fruit in 20 second royal icing. It’s very similar in taste and texture to yogurt dipped treats.
A quick note: Salt will cause the royal icing to crack so keep that in mind when dipping salty snacks.
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