Making A Buttercream Iced Cake Look Really Fancy?

Decorating By CheadleChick Updated 9 May 2008 , 3:17am by biancas_mommy

CheadleChick Posted 7 May 2008 , 8:48pm
post #1 of 25

As I mentioned on my other post, my friend has asked me to make her wedding cake this summer.
She really doesn't like fondant icing so she's asked me to find an alternative. So far I've found that buttercream icing is our best bet (and easiest to make) but I was just wondering if there was any techniques or ways to make buttercream icing look as fancy as the lovely fondant cakes I've seen pictures of. Also can buttercream be made to look as smooth and perfect as fondant? Or nearly so?

Just for an idea of what she wants, not sure of the shape yet but definitely tiered, white icing with some possible green leaf/vine details creeping up the sides and then either real or gum paste pink lillies. Ideas?

24 replies
diane Posted 8 May 2008 , 1:12am
post #2 of 25

you should invest in some of the wilton wedding cakes. most of theirs are made with butter cream and they have a lot of different styles. icon_lol.gif

alanahodgson Posted 8 May 2008 , 1:58am
post #3 of 25

One of our members here "Sugarshack" made a video that shows you how she makes her buttercream and ices her cakes to be perfectly smooth. Here's a link to her website.

http://www.sugaredproductions.com/

I don't have it, but everyone who does RAVES about it. Even experienced decorators who've been doing cakes for years say its the best money they've ever spent. You can also check out her flawless work if you look at her pics here.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-photos-by-sugarshack.html

Tona Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:05am
post #4 of 25

Get the video from Sugarshack it is wonderful and you will love the way her cakes turn out her buttercream looks like fondant.

kakeladi Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:09am
post #5 of 25

Just that a run thru our gallery of wedding cakes and you will find lots and lots of beautiful, b'cream ideas!

indydebi Posted 8 May 2008 , 3:14am
post #6 of 25

I agree with kakeladi..... I've done BC only for 25 years and I'm constantly inspired by the wonderful BC work I see on here. Grab a cup of coffee, kick back and browse the gallery for a LONNNNNNG time! thumbs_up.gif

dbramble1020 Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:07am
post #7 of 25

One way I get my buttercream icing to look smooth is by icing it as smooth as I can with a spatula and then let it sit for about a 1/2 hour. Once the icing has dried (crusted) enough were it does not lift when touched, I place a paper towel that is lint free and does not have a design imprinted (like quilts) on the icing and lightly rub my finger tips / fingers over the towel. This will smooth out the spatula lines. You can also "move" some of the icing it you find you have hills and valleys in the icing. This will only work if the icing has crusted over enough.

It does take a little practice to get a comfortable technique.
Hope this helps! Good luck with your cake!

nancylynwallace Posted 8 May 2008 , 11:39am
post #8 of 25

I use the "Melvira Method" (what a great idea, Melvira). Go to the home page and scroll down to the videos and you'll see her method. I smooth the icing as smooth as possible (I use a putty knife). Let the frosting harden a little (about 1/2 hour or so). Then use the roller and it is as smooth as silk! It takes a little practice on the amount of pressure that you use, but the cake always looks so smooth...hope that helps. icon_biggrin.gif

CheadleChick Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:43pm
post #9 of 25

That's wonderful! Thank you guys so much!

CheadleChick Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:43pm
post #10 of 25

That's wonderful! Thank you guys so much!

Donnagardner Posted 8 May 2008 , 5:58pm
post #11 of 25

I highly recommend sugarshacks dvd. It has enough information you can make a bc iced cake look gorgeous.

aswartzw Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:00pm
post #12 of 25

I use VIVA (paper towel with no print at all on them) to smooth my BC cakes (but the BC needs to be a crusting kind). You need to apply a crumb coat first. A real thin layer of BC to keep the crumbs in. Let that crust. Then apply a fairly thick layer of BC over that and spread it as smoothly as possible. Let it crust. Then take a VIVA paper towel on it and run your hand over it to smooth it.

Also, I like SMBC (I suggest only making this if you have a stand mixer b/c it takes forever to mix). To smooth SMBC, just take a hot knife and smooth it. You can also purchase the metal spackling tools to scrape it smooth.

yummymummy Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:12pm
post #13 of 25

GET SUGARSHACK'S DVD!!!! I put it off for the longest time cause I didn't want to pony up the dough ( I'm cheap! icon_rolleyes.gif ) and I finally decided it was time. It is the best thing ever! Well worth the investment! Do yourself a favor and order it. thumbs_up.gif

nancylynwallace Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:39pm
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummymummy

GET SUGARSHACK'S DVD!!!! I put it off for the longest time cause I didn't want to pony up the dough ( I'm cheap! icon_rolleyes.gif ) and I finally decided it was time. It is the best thing ever! Well worth the investment! Do yourself a favor and order it. thumbs_up.gif




I have been putting it off too! I ordered the DVD this morning...I can't wait for it to get here icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

janebrophy Posted 8 May 2008 , 6:54pm
post #15 of 25

I know this is a bit off topic, but will sugarshack's DVD benefit a person who uses a non-crusting buttercream?? Mine doesn't crust, so I use the hot spatula to smooth it. I'd love to buy the video, but am afraid it wouldn't be worth it???

Donnagardner Posted 8 May 2008 , 7:01pm
post #16 of 25

Yes it would benefit you too. She shows methods to get your cake and icing uniform or level all over the cake and she also uses hot water/spatula to smooth with.

dadams Posted 8 May 2008 , 7:01pm
post #17 of 25

I'd like to know too I also use a non crusting buttercream

YAYI95 Posted 8 May 2008 , 7:04pm
post #18 of 25

I have sugarshacks dvd also and love it. she goes through and uses a hot spatula method so it might work with a non crusting icing....I just recieved the fondant dvd and stacking one, cant wait to watch them...

janebrophy Posted 8 May 2008 , 7:40pm
post #19 of 25

Yay! Thanks for that! I'm going to order one tonight! Her cakes are so beautiful! icon_biggrin.gif

yummymummy Posted 8 May 2008 , 10:10pm
post #20 of 25

It's best if you use a crusting bc w/ sugarshacks dvd. Her methods revolve around the crust...but she says you can use any crusting recipe, not just hers. Maybe you can start looking for one you like. icon_smile.gif

janebrophy Posted 8 May 2008 , 10:25pm
post #21 of 25

I've tried so many! I think I am partial to the butter! If only the two could be combined!

dbramble1020 Posted 9 May 2008 , 1:59am
post #22 of 25

One way I get my buttercream icing to look smooth is by icing it as smooth as I can with a spatula and then let it sit for about a 1/2 hour. Once the icing has dried (crusted) enough were it does not lift when touched, I place a paper towel that is lint free and does not have a design imprinted (like quilts) on the icing and lightly rub my finger tips / fingers over the towel. This will smooth out the spatula lines. You can also "move" some of the icing it you find you have hills and valleys in the icing. This will only work if the icing has crusted over enough.

It does take a little practice to get a comfortable technique.
Hope this helps! Good luck with your cake!

YAYI95 Posted 9 May 2008 , 2:55am
post #23 of 25

janebrophy there is a recipe in the files called "Buttercream Dream" it uses butter and it crusts and is very good. I have used it before and Love it...Maybe you can give it a try..

janebrophy Posted 9 May 2008 , 3:07am
post #24 of 25

Thanks, I will!

biancas_mommy Posted 9 May 2008 , 3:17am
post #25 of 25

yes yes, i second (or third or fourth or whatever) the advice to get sugarshack's dvd! seriously i struggled and struggled with every method i could find and was ready to give up on buttercream all together even though i love the taste and hate the taste of fondant. but i just wasn't willing to settle for my "almost smooth" BC when i could have perfectly smooth fondant. then i got her dvd and i swear i have a new outlook on buttercream. icon_smile.gif you really can't tell the difference between sugarshack's BC and fondant cakes, she gets it that smooth, and her dvd really shows you every single step she takes to get them that way. it really helped me immeasurably. well worth the money. (no i am not affiliated with sharon's sugar shack or sugared productions!! icon_smile.gif just a very satisfied customer.)

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