Smoothing Buttercream

Decorating By jtaj Updated 17 Apr 2008 , 10:26pm by superstar

jtaj Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:40pm
post #1 of 25

What are the best ways to smooth out buttercream. I read some people say to use the viva method but i can't find how its done or to use a roller but how and what kind? Please help!

24 replies
leepat Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:48pm
post #2 of 25

Look in the cake decorating articles.

mcdonald Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:57pm
post #3 of 25

if you do a search for "smoothing buttercream" , you fill find several posts about different ways to smooth. Everyone seems to have their own little "tips and tricks"!!!

CakeMommyTX Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 2:00pm
post #4 of 25

I was never able to get the viva method to work, so I use the melvira method (roller).
You can buy a high density foam roller at a hardward store (Home Depot, Lowes) make sure it is the high density though or it will give your butter cream a spackled texture.
Then after you ice you cake , let it crust over slighty, and then lightly roll it smooth with the roller.
Its really easy and always has great results.
It might take a little practice, sometimes you have to roll a little firmer to smooth out air pockets and such and then other times you need a really soft touch.
Sometimes I even take a viva paper towel lay it on the cake, making sure there are no wrinkles and I roll over that.
When you wash your rollers make sure they are complety dry before you use them again, I've ruined a cake or two by using a wet roller.
Hope that helps!

tracycakes Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 2:05pm
post #5 of 25

The Viva method is to use Viva papertowels because they are smooth and have no ridges.

What you do is ice your cake with a crusting buttercream and then let it sit for a few minutes, usually between 5 and 15 depending on your buttercream, humidity, etc. You want it to be slightly crusted but not too much. Just place your papertowel on the cake and slightly smooth out the icing underneath. You can use your hand or a fondant smoother works really well. Just keep picking up and moving your paper towel to smooth it out. If the papertowel sticks to the icing, it isn't crusted enough. Wait a couple of minutes and try again.

Good Luck!

aswartzw Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 2:17pm
post #6 of 25

Viva method is great BUT you must use a crusting BC. I recommend not using Melvira method just because foam is not food-safe.

To Viva, ice your cake as usual and let crust. Then place the Viva towel on the cake and smooth with hand or fondant smoother or rolling pin--whatever works best for you. And do the sides. Some people do this and then use computer program to get an even smoother look. Personally, I have yet to get this to succesfully work. You can even use a printed paper towel to give your cake a patterned look if you choose.

Melvira Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 2:27pm
post #7 of 25

In recent weeks both Alton Brown and Mario Batali have been shown on Food Network using foam rollers from the hardware stores on their shows. If it's good enough for food network, (who would be a quick target for a lawsuit because they have billions of dollars) it's good enough for me. However, that is OBVIOUSLY your individual choice. If you'd like to try the method, which most people have found to be incredibly helpful and easy, follow this link! Good luck!! http://cakecentral.com/article83-Quick--Easy-Smooth-Icing-Using-a-Roller-Melvira-Method.html

If you DO have any doubts about the safety of the roller, simply use a sheet of Viva between the cake and the roller to insure optimum safety. However, I do believe you would have to actually eat the roller itself for it to be a real hazzard to you. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 10:05pm
post #8 of 25

Melvira Method all the way....100%. Ever since I discovered this method, I have NEVER made a cake without my trusty roller and I can't imagine making a cake in the future without my roller.

If I lose the roller and can't find a replacement, I am out of business.

Period.

Melvira Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:19pm
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Melvira Method all the way....100%. Ever since I discovered this method, I have NEVER made a cake without my trusty roller and I can't imagine making a cake in the future without my roller.

If I lose the roller and can't find a replacement, I am out of business.

Period.




Oh, you shameless suck up!!! Hahahahaha! Just teasing of course! icon_lol.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:35pm
post #10 of 25

I use the foam roller - saves you so much time on trying to smooth out the cake and cuts down on the stress level of trying to get it smoothed icon_biggrin.gif

tonedna Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:35pm
post #11 of 25

lol..I havent tried Melvira method yet...I am a viva paper girl..But...i do wanna try Melvira..i just need to hunt for the roller!
icon_lol.gif Edna

sarahnichole975 Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:46pm
post #12 of 25

I'm a viva girl, not that I don't trust Melvira's method, look at her cakes, it obviously works. I'm just the kind of person who doesn't change when she finds what works for her. Growing up, my bf's mother used a piece of loose leaf paper. I've also heard of parchment paper being used. But you def have to use a crusting bc. I find it's about learning how much pressure to use. Also, with the loose leaf, she'd fold it and put it on her corners and got the sharpest edges I've ever seen. I've tried it, but it doesn't work the same for me.

AnythingSugar Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 11:46pm
post #13 of 25

I tried everything including the Viva method but nothing works for me like the "Melvira Method." That roller does wonders.

I am pretty certain that a few minutes of a roller touching a cake is much less likely to kill me than the chemicals in food, the fertilizers used to grow food, the hormones and antibiotics in food or even some of the unsafe practices used during packaging and serving food. I won't even discuss how sick some animals are when they are taken for processing.

The Melvira method works great and I thank her for sharing her idea!

Melvira Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 12:52am
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahnichole975

I'm a viva girl, not that I don't trust Melvira's method, look at her cakes, it obviously works. I'm just the kind of person who doesn't change when she finds what works for her.




I know exactly what you're saying about sticking with what works for you, and I am all about that! The only reason I didn't adopt the Viva method is that I found it took a really long time to try and get a uniform smoothness, and I always ended up with finger dents. I'm sure with a little more practice I could've gotten past that, but this seemed easier to me. But it's all about finding what works for you and sticking with it.

cakemommy Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:19am
post #15 of 25

I have never tried the roller method. I keep looking for rollers but all I find are the cheap yellow foam rollers. This is the first I have read about the "high density" roller. I'll have to go to HD or Lowes to see if I can find the right one. Also the tip about the 2" best for sheet cakes, that makes sense because I guess anything longer than 2" will just end up pushing icing up the side of the cake ruining and sharp crisp edges you may have already achieved.

Great info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Amy

DaisyLisa17 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:20am
post #16 of 25

Question.... with the Viva method, wouldnt you end up with fuzzies in the icing? Those papers towels are so soft, it seemed like some of them would stick?

campbelland Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:21am
post #17 of 25

I put my foam roller in my dishwasher on the top shelf. I let it go through the drying time too. When its done just squeeze out the water, put it back on the roller and set to dry. Sandy

DoniB Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:35am
post #18 of 25

Melvira method, all the time. I wish I'd known about it years ago! LOL

And recently, I've been using the 'upside down' smoothing technique, WITH the Melvira method, and I've managed to get some darn fine results with the combination. icon_smile.gif

Good luck finding a method that works best for you!

uschi1 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 1:40am
post #19 of 25

Melvira method when I use crusting buttercream - amazing. As far as food safety is concerned - don't they use bleach to get the paper towels white?

vickinc Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 3:16am
post #20 of 25

I have been meaning to get me a HD roller.... I keep forgetting. I had a couple of them when we remodeled the house... Lowes and most hardware stores that sell paint sell those rollers.

I found the paper towel method pretty cool... I use a paper towel and a pizza dough roller I got from a Pampered Chef party. Its a small roller but I like the way it handles. I finally figured it out with my edible images. icon_biggrin.gif

Bounty towels leave the neatest print for the rubber flip flop pattern.

tonedna Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 5:01am
post #21 of 25

I know exactly what you're saying about sticking with what works for you, and I am all about that! The only reason I didn't adopt the Viva method is that I found it took a really long time to try and get a uniform smoothness, and I always ended up with finger dents. I'm sure with a little more practice I could've gotten past that, but this seemed easier to me. But it's all about finding what works for you and sticking with it.[/quote]

I had the same problem so I started using my fondant smoother..I love it!
Edna

DoniB Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 11:10am
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickinc

I use a paper towel and a pizza dough roller I got from a Pampered Chef party. Its a small roller but I like the way it handles. I finally figured it out with my edible images. icon_biggrin.gif




Now why in the world didn't I think of that??? Sheesh!
*headdesk*

I know what I'm going to try today, when I do two 6" cakes... icon_razz.gif

DoniB
Cake decorator and Pampered Chef consultant

Melvira Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 2:03pm
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoniB

Quote:
Originally Posted by vickinc

I use a paper towel and a pizza dough roller I got from a Pampered Chef party. Its a small roller but I like the way it handles. I finally figured it out with my edible images. icon_biggrin.gif



Now why in the world didn't I think of that??? Sheesh!
*headdesk*

I know what I'm going to try today, when I do two 6" cakes... icon_razz.gif

DoniB
Cake decorator and Pampered Chef consultant




That's funny because that is exactly what led me to the HD foam roller! I tried the PC roller and loved the result except that the hard edges of the roller would leave 'lines' in the frosting, you could see where I had been. That's when I started designing the roller in my head, then realized I had seen one at the hardware store that sounded exactly like what I was picturing in my brain!! And that, my friends, is the anatomy of a revelation! icon_lol.gif

aswartzw Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 2:04pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyLisa17

Question.... with the Viva method, wouldnt you end up with fuzzies in the icing? Those papers towels are so soft, it seemed like some of them would stick?




Nope! It's an amazing technique. I love it.

Now the fondant smoother idea over VIVA is definitely appealing! Next time I'll have to try that and see if it works better!

superstar Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 10:26pm
post #25 of 25

Melvira's roller method gets 5 stars from me. It is wonderful.

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