Getting Cakes Absolutely Smooth

Baking By luceymoose Updated 29 Jul 2005 , 7:52pm by PolishMommy

luceymoose Posted 8 Apr 2005 , 1:44pm
post #1 of 28

Hey, I was just looking and there's an article there about getting a cake perfectly smooth. I tried it and will never go back to my old method!! icon_biggrin.gif Here's the link if anyone wants to take a look.

27 replies
GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 8 Apr 2005 , 8:17pm
post #2 of 28

I've heard it works but is time consuming. I smooth mine in just a few minutes. It seems like that method takes quite a while. I do think it would help though, in keeping the top of your cake absolutely flat.

AngelWendy Posted 8 Apr 2005 , 11:29pm
post #3 of 28

Yeah, I like the use of the hot wet spatula, switching off with other ones when one gets frosting on it. (Is that your method, Cali?) Then I let it crust and then use parchment paper. Some people prefer paper towels. Just place it over the top and gently smooth with your hand or a roller.

I'll check out the article, though. icon_smile.gif


PureShugga Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 4:32am
post #4 of 28

Thanks for sharing - I printed this off and will be trying Cali's method and this one - I don't care for the method I use now - it gets is smooth but i have problems getting that sharp top edge - my edges on rounds always seem rounded at the top - I don't like that - I currently use what our instructor taughts us which is icing with the icer tip - smoothing with just a regular spatula - then paper toweling it with a roller. I can't get that sharp edge I want - is there any specific tip to that?

cindycakes2 Posted 11 Apr 2005 , 5:20pm
post #5 of 28

I mostly use the decorator's icing and, after leveling my cakes, ice them. I use icing tip to pread icing on, then smooth icing with a long spatula while turning cake on turntable. I let set for about 5-8 minutes, then gently smooth out icing using VIVA paper towels. This is the only paper towel that will make it smooth. (However, if you want a pring in the icing, you can use any other paper towel.) I place paper towel along side of cake and gently smooth with my hand in a motion going up and down. I change paper towels after completly smoothing once with the previous towel. For the top, I lay a paper towel on the top, with about 4 inches of the towel hanging over the side. I gently smooth with my hand, then using 2 hands, I make a "fold" in the towel over the edge, then rub the towel with one finger on side of cake, and one finger on top of cake so it will for a sharp corner where the edge is. THis doesn't take very long and I have had great success with this method. Good luck with whatever method you end up using!

PureShugga Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 9:04am
post #6 of 28

OK I will try the method on the sides to see if that works for me - thanks for the tip.

veejaytx Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 10:20am
post #7 of 28

I've been using the paper towel method, making a sharp fold over the edge and smoothing down the sides, works pretty well for me. I would like to find the Viva smooth paper towels, even though I like the patterned ones, but haven't found for them here yet.

I looked at the upside down method a while back and figured that somewhere in there I would probably manage to drop the cake, or something equally destructive, so nixed that idea. Seemed pretty complicated and time consuming to me icon_sad.gif Janice's two cents.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 4:55pm
post #8 of 28
Originally Posted by veejaytx

I would like to find the Viva smooth paper towels, even though I like the patterned ones, but haven't found for them here yet.

You can do a few different things in place of non-textured paper towels. I use a piece of higher-end cotton purchased at my local fabric store. You can also go to your discount center (K-Mart/WalMart) and go to the auto section. You will find blue paper towels there- smooth as a baby's bottom.

Some people use parchment paper successfully.

m0use Posted 12 Apr 2005 , 7:04pm
post #9 of 28

I never thought about using shop paper towels, I am always buying them since we work on our own cars. When I mean 'we' I mean 'we', my husband likes me to help him because I have small hands and can get into smaller spaces in the engine better than he can. icon_wink.gif

SweetieShell Posted 18 Apr 2005 , 1:56am
post #10 of 28

I read that article and it does sound time consuming. But since I'm new to this whole decorating cakes thing, I'm sure that I'll try it at least once.

PurplePetunia Posted 18 Apr 2005 , 6:11am
post #11 of 28

I just tried the shop towels for the first time, because I can't find the Viva towels here in Canada.
They worked absolutely wonderfully!! I'm thrilled with them,because I take hours just to smooth my cakes using the hot spatula method. That's because I'm a real perfectionist.
So when I mentioned that the shop towels might work, dh went right out and bought me some because he knows how I agonize over every cake and it probably drives him nuts!! icon_smile.gif

peacockplace Posted 18 Apr 2005 , 6:35pm
post #12 of 28

I've been wanting to try that fro a while now. Did you find it hard or easy, too time consuming?? Just wondering how it was for you and if you have any advise before I try it!

Beecharmer Posted 22 Apr 2005 , 6:30pm
post #13 of 28

I have tried this upside down method and it works great. It is a little time consuming, but the cake comes out with a very nice sharp edge.

luceymoose Posted 23 Apr 2005 , 12:10am
post #14 of 28
Originally Posted by peacockplace

I've been wanting to try that fro a while now. Did you find it hard or easy, too time consuming?? Just wondering how it was for you and if you have any advise before I try it!

It's a little time consuming because of the freezing time but once the icing is on the cake, it's really fast

stephanie214 Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 6:53am
post #15 of 28

I love the up-side method. It is time consuming but it is worth it. My cakes are smoother, edges sharp. birthday.gif

blessBeckysbaking Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 7:08am
post #16 of 28

I notice that I haven't seen anyone that use my method I take a spray bottle mist my cake and just smooth with my spatlua dry the board of the excess water from the mist cake comes out smooth every time.

veejaytx Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 10:50am
post #17 of 28

This definitely is a different method, I'll give it a try on my next cake. Thanks! Janice

flayvurdfun Posted 25 Apr 2005 , 2:12pm
post #18 of 28

yeah that upside down method is what the sams club in delaware used..... never thought of it until now though....

tcturtleshell Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 1:53am
post #19 of 28


Will you please explain your method again? I didn't quite understand it. Thanks~

blessBeckysbaking Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 9:50am
post #20 of 28

I take a spray bottle and after i ice my cake before it crust i mist the cake one side at a time then just smotth with the spatula then do each side then top after i finished smothing the cake i dry the cke board of any excess water. I would say its like diping your spatula in the hot water except it spray the cake and smooth water at room temp. I hope I expained it so you can understand

blessBeckysbaking Posted 26 Apr 2005 , 9:51am
post #21 of 28

oh it takes very little mist to smooth the cake

flayvurdfun Posted 28 Apr 2005 , 7:02am
post #22 of 28

well I think I have given up on trying to get the cakes smooth... when I use the viva towel thing it works OK but I see smaller cracks, smudges and such so it doesnt get smooth at all..... the only thing I havent tried is the upside down, cake bottom is cake top method.... not sure I understand that!

luceymoose Posted 28 Apr 2005 , 4:22pm
post #23 of 28

Flavy, I don't think there is any way to get "perfectly smooth icing" This method works well for me. It takes a little time but I like it. The explanation on the link is very good.

tcturtleshell Posted 1 May 2005 , 7:08pm
post #24 of 28

Hey Becky, I forgot about this post sorry. So you just spray a mist of water on the cake one side at a time??? Hmmm... I'll try anything!

I figured my problem out...... My icing has been too thick. I have been putting too much water on the cake (the spatula way). I thought I liked using the icer tip but I don't. It puts too much icing on your cake. I just plop a bunch of icing on top of the cake & spread it to the sides. Then I smooth it with the side of a small spatula. I don't like using the large spatula on the sides. I use a reg size one. I also use a putty knife. For the top I do use the large spatula. I think it works better if you just spread the icing & smooth it before it drys. The more I try to smooth it after it crusts the more problems I have.

blessBeckysbaking Posted 24 May 2005 , 11:04am
post #25 of 28

yeah tc i smooth mine b4 it crust as well I also cant work well with the big spatula I seem to make more of a mess with it.

rs3560 Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 7:12pm
post #26 of 28

I use a non-crusting buttercream icing that consists of butter, shortening, vanilla, powdered sugar and evaporated milk...everyone raves over it, however, I too have a problem getting my cakes smooth. Because of the fluffy consistency of the icing, I don't think I'll be able to use the paper towel method nor the upside down method. Anyone else out there use this type of icing? If so, do you have any tips and/or tricks on getting your icing smooth?

PolishMommy Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 7:44pm
post #27 of 28

Turtle, I use the small spatulas on the sides too! I've been wanting to get myself a bread scraper or a putty knife to do it, but I have way to many kitchen thingies! icon_smile.gif

I also agree that many people, including myself, probably use icing that is too thick in consistency. If we would just thin it a bit more that makes a big difference. Try adding just like 1/4t. more water or your favorite liquid per cup.

PolishMommy Posted 29 Jul 2005 , 7:52pm
post #28 of 28

I almost forgot:

The thing to get good sharp edges on a round cake is putting enough icing on the sides of the cake near the top edge. Then after you smooth the sides completely, you scrape the extra towards the center of the cake. That will leave you with a sharp edge.

I hope that made some sense...

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