I think we can collectively agree bleeding and cratering issues are the enemy of royal icing. Without a doubt, with time and practice, these two will become less of an unwelcome visitor in your cookies in no time!
How to help bleeding:
- Add Americolor White food gel in ALL of your colors except black. Why? Because your royal icing is actually a pretty transparent mix. I mean think about it. You have mixed powdered sugar and water. Of course it's pretty transparent right? So now you need to make an opaque base by adding in pure white food get color. For example, when mixing white icing, add white food gel in your icing. When mixing red, add white food gel plus red food gel. I typically add half a teaspoon of white for every full tipless bag of icing I create. I do not recommend simply adding white to your huge batch of royal icing mix as it is very difficult to gauge how opaque you have made it.
How to help cratering:
- So my solution 9 times out of 10 to eliminate cratering is simply by making your royal icing consistency a 15 to 20 second one. This keeps your icing a puffy end result texture and will almost always leave you "craterless."
- However, with that said, there are certain design elements that you simply need to use a thinner icing such a very small detailed sections on a cookie or in your royal icing transfers. With these types happenings, you can simply outline and squiggle in some outline lines in the center area, let it dry a minute (or no dry if you used a thicker consistency in the middle), and then lay down your thinner icing. This will allow your icing to settle without craters, and is a technique often used by cookie decorators.