Can You Freeze Royal Icing on a Cake?

When it comes to cake decorating, royal icing is a popular choice for creating intricate designs and adding a smooth finish to cakes. However, there may be occasions when you have leftover royal icing or want to prepare decorations in advance. In such cases, you might wonder if freezing royal icing is a viable option.

Freeze Royal
Freeze Royal

What is Royal Icing?

Royal icing is a versatile icing made from powdered sugar, egg whites or meringue powder, and water. It is commonly used in cake decorating and cookie icing due to its smooth texture and ability to harden when dried.

Royal icing is often utilized to create intricate designs, piping details, and to adhere decorative elements to cakes and cookies.

Freezing Royal Icing: Is It Possible?

Yes, it is possible to freeze royal icing. Freezing royal icing can help you preserve leftover icing or prepare decorations in advance, saving you time and effort when decorating future cakes. However, it is important to understand the proper process and considerations to ensure the best results.

The Process of Freezing Royal Icing

To freeze royal icing, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the royal icing as usual, making sure it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer the icing to an airtight container. Ensure the container is clean and free from any contaminants.
  3. Seal the container tightly to prevent air and moisture from entering.
  4. Label the container with the date of freezing to track its freshness.
  5. Place the container in the freezer, ensuring it is kept in an upright position.

Thawing Frozen Royal Icing

Thawing frozen royal icing requires a gradual process to retain its texture and consistency. Follow these steps when thawing frozen royal icing:

  1. Remove the container of frozen royal icing from the freezer.
  2. Place the container in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw slowly for several hours or overnight.
  3. Once fully thawed, check the consistency of the icing. If it appears separated or watery, gently stir it to reincorporate the ingredients.
  4. Bring the royal icing to room temperature before using it for decorating purposes.

Factors to Consider Before Freezing Royal Icing

Before freezing royal icing, it’s essential to consider a few factors:

  1. Quality of ingredients: Ensure that the ingredients used to make the royal icing are fresh and of good quality. This helps maintain the integrity of the icing during the freezing and thawing process.
  2. Shelf life: Royal icing can typically be stored for several weeks at room temperature. Evaluate whether freezing is necessary based on the expected shelf life of the icing.
  3. Quantity: Consider the quantity of royal icing you intend to freeze. It’s advisable to freeze small portions rather than freezing a large batch. This allows for easier thawing and prevents waste if you only need a small amount for future use.
  1. Storage container: Choose an airtight container specifically designed for freezer storage. This helps prevent freezer burn and maintains the quality of the royal icing.
  2. Labeling: Always label the container with the date of freezing to keep track of its freshness. Additionally, you can label the type of icing and any specific instructions or notes to ensure proper usage later on.

Effects of Freezing on Royal Icing Texture and Consistency

While freezing royal icing is possible, it’s important to note that freezing can slightly alter the texture and consistency of the icing. Upon thawing, you may observe changes such as slight separation or a softer consistency. However, these effects can be mitigated by gently stirring the icing and bringing it back to room temperature.

Tips for Freezing Royal Icing Effectively

To ensure the best results when freezing royal icing, consider the following tips:

  1. Use fresh ingredients: Ensure the powdered sugar, egg whites or meringue powder, and water used to make the royal icing are fresh and of high quality.
  2. Optimal consistency: Freeze royal icing when it has reached the desired consistency for decorating. Adjust the consistency if needed before freezing to account for potential changes upon thawing.
  3. Portion control: Freeze royal icing in small portions, either in individual containers or using ice cube trays. This allows you to thaw only what you need, minimizing waste.
  4. Avoid excessive freezing and thawing: Try to limit the number of times the royal icing goes through the freezing and thawing process. Excessive freezing and thawing can degrade the quality of the icing.

Using Frozen Royal Icing on a Cake

When using frozen royal icing on a cake, it’s essential to follow these steps:

  1. Thaw the royal icing according to the thawing instructions mentioned earlier. Gradual thawing in the refrigerator is recommended.
  2. Once thawed, check the consistency and adjust if necessary. Stir gently to ensure the icing is well incorporated.
  3. If desired, you can add small amounts of fresh royal icing to adjust the texture and consistency of the thawed icing.
  4. Transfer the royal icing to a piping bag or use a spatula for spreading, depending on the desired decoration.
  5. Decorate the cake as desired using the thawed royal icing. Allow the icing to set and dry before handling or transporting the cake.

Alternatives to Freezing Royal Icing

If freezing royal icing is not preferable or practical for your needs, there are alternative methods to extend the shelf life of royal icing:

  1. Refrigeration: Royal icing can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Place it in an airtight container and ensure it is well-sealed.
  2. Room temperature storage: If you plan to use the royal icing within a few days, it can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Again, proper sealing is important to maintain freshness.


Can you freeze a cake with royal icing?

It is generally not recommended to freeze a cake with royal icing, as the icing may not hold up well during the thawing process. It’s best to add the royal icing decorations after the cake has been thawed.

How long can you freeze royal icing?

Royal icing can be frozen for up to three months. However, it’s ideal to use it within the first month for the best quality.

Does freezing affect the taste of royal icing?

Freezing royal icing may not significantly affect its taste. However, it’s important to use fresh ingredients initially and store the icing properly to maintain its flavor.

Can frozen royal icing be rewhipped?

Yes, if the texture of the thawed royal icing is not as desired, you can rewhip it using a mixer or whisk until it reaches the desired consistency.

Are there any specific storage containers for freezing royal icing?

While there are no specific containers designed exclusively for freezing royal icing, you can use airtight containers or freezer-safe bags to store the icing. Ensure they are properly sealed to prevent air and moisture from entering.


In conclusion, freezing royal icing is a viable option for preserving leftover icing or preparing decorations in advance. By following the proper freezing and thawing procedures, you can maintain the quality of the icing for future use.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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