mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:19am
post #1 of

I have tried every bc recipe out there! And I can't get any of them smooth!! I've tried Wilton's, IndyDebi's, SugarShack's - you name it, I've tried it & I just can't get it icon_cry.gif

Anyone else in the same sad boat as me? I don't know what to do icon_sad.gif

104 replies
Steffen74 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:26am
post #2 of

Yes. Hate it hate it hate it. Don't have any pointers, just wanted to empathize. It's all crap! : )

tiggy2 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:26am
post #3 of

Have you tried sugarshack's method for smoothing? It's time consuming but it works.

bobhope Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:35am
post #4 of

oh me too!can't get it smooth, i thought it was just me.i actually feel better knowing that i'm not alone in this..i'm ordering sharon's dvd & i hope this will help me through icon_cry.gif

Winter1979 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:36am
post #5 of

I have too struggled with this, and have finally settled on Sugarshack's recipe and method. I don't get it completely smooth all of the time, but I honestly think it just depends on my mood sometimes. Plus our humidity is so up and down out of control this time of year, I don't think that helps me out. What I really struggle with is finding a BC recipe/consistency that I can make a decent rose with - ticks me off and I have to make 150 of them for a wedding next weekend icon_cry.gif

mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:37am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

Have you tried sugarshack's method for smoothing? It's time consuming but it works.




LOL yeah I mentioned that above.

And that is one of the worst icings that I make! The icing is so full of air bubbles I just don't get it.

The recipe that gives me the least amount of problems is the Wilton one (I think I got it off their website - it's not the class bc recipe).

Anyway, it's so frustrating to see others post these beautiful, awesome cake pics using such-n-such recipe & I just can't do it!?

Well, my next venture is IMBC - see if I can do that icon_rolleyes.gif

CATITA74: Well, at least I am not alone! icon_cry.gif LOL

miny Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:38am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2spunkynbug

I have tried every bc recipe out there! And I can't get any of them smooth!! icon_sad.gif



I hear you darling, I think I can get whipped cream smoother than BC, isn't that crazy??? I just try to cover everything with decorations icon_lol.gif

mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:40am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobhope

oh me too!can't get it smooth, i thought it was just me.i actually feel better knowing that i'm not alone in this..i'm ordering sharon's dvd & i hope this will help me through icon_cry.gif




Nope, it's not just you icon_cry.gif I hope that you can do sugarshack's recipe/method - I don't know why it doesn't work for me icon_sad.gif I wish I could just fly her up to my house and have her show me personally LOL

tiggy2 Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:41am
post #9 of

I kinow you tried her recipe but did you try the method she teaches on her DVD for smoothing?

knel Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:43am

By no means, do I claim to be an expert, but in looking back, I can see improvement in the smoothness of my cakes. CREDIT given to Melvira and her smoothing technique. She has a tutorial on here on how to use a high density foam paint roller, and WOW! It has made a remarkable difference in the appearance of my cakes. I used to never have a cake without a top and bottom border because I could never get my icing smooth around the top edge. I rarely put a top border now. I can get my BC so smooth using this method, that I have had people ask me if it was BC or fondant. If you scroll down the articles on the home page, you should see it... "The Melvira Method" or something like that.

HTH! and Good Luck

summernoelle Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:47am

Oh my. I am with you! It is my Achille's Heel. I bought the Sugar Shack DVD. Nope. (And I don't like Crisco frostings).
I wish I could do it. But, alas, I cannot.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 3:54am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggy2

I kinow you tried her recipe but did you try the method she teaches on her DVD for smoothing?




Yes, I tried her recipe and her method. I do do some things differently than her - like I don't put the icing on the cake like she does, I use a cake icer tip. I just don't get how she gets her icing so smooth as it's mixing - when she pulls hers out of the mixer, it's so creamy. When I pull mine out it's SO full of air bubbles & choppy. Then to apply it to the cake - there's no smoothing that stuff out!

KNEL - I tried the Melvira Method too. I used the foam roller a few times...now it just sits in the back of the shelf. icon_sad.gif

gateaux Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:05am

The BC I use works great for me and when it does not smooth right I add a little more liquid of corn syrup and it helps to get it to smooth. I use an adaptation of the Melvira method to smooth. I use a 2 inch pastry brush instead of the roller and it works for me everytime especially when I make 3D fun cakes.

I hope this helps. Good Luck.

shanasweets Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:06am

my biggest problem is getting it to crust. I think part is the humidity. So I have been putting in frig for a little while and then taking paper towel to it that seems to have helped some. I think the key to air is making alot of icing at once so that your beater is covered, as not to let air in. that is one of the things sharon talks about in her video.

Howiesmom Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:07am

I don't have any problems with BC. I use the Melvira method minus the paper towel. I also don't whip my icing too much. I mix it with my paddle attachment and only mix it until the powdered sugar is incorporated. Hope this helps.

Here's my recipe:

1 lb butter
1/2 c crisco
2 T vanilla
3 lbs powdered sugar
just enough milk to get it to the consistency that you like

mom2spunkynbug Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by sltoklahoma

I think the key to air is making alot of icing at once so that your beater is covered, as not to let air in. that is one of the things sharon talks about in her video.




Yes, I know about that too. The crazy thing is...whenever I fill my mixer bowl - that's when I get the MOST air bubbles!! icon_confused.gif If I make just one recipe, or even halve a recipe - it will come out with less air bubbles!!! Not good when I have to make a ton of icing!! icon_sad.gif

hamie Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:31am

I had the same problem, until I learned sugar shack's method. Watch her vidoe on you tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zB4ibkH0V_4

The key is to fill up you mixer bowl to the top of the paddle and let it mix for a long time. Don't leave even the smallest gap. If you have filled up you will not get air bubbles. No bubble will make it so much easier to smooth.

Just keep trying, you will get the hang of it.

hamie

amazinggracecakedesigns Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 4:32am

Hey everyone! I have taken the basic Wilton recipe and made some changes in making it my own but how I get my icing to smooth is after I ice my cake, I put the cake in the freezer for approx. 5 - 10 min & then I use the Viva towel method to smooth my cake. I have smooth icing everytime, so far. My pics have some of my cakes that have the smooth buttercream icing on them. Good luck!! thumbs_up.gif

Karema Posted 13 Jul 2008 , 5:05pm

My icing sucks also. I tried everything possible and I hate it. I make icing last week and it was smooth for a minute then I called my self mixing a little more and it was full of air bubbles. So next time I make it I'm going to under mix it and see what happens. I put 1 cup of hi ratio shortning, 1 cup of butter, 2 lbs of powdered sugar and I used liquid coffee creamer. It tasted great.

SeriousCakes Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 12:53am

Before giving up would you like to take mine for a spin? Here's my recipe:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=tLcCbN2I4xI
And here's how I smooth:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=iqvL4zhVbE8

I have a few other videos on there too, in case you're interested, like how to pipe roses right on the cake! icon_biggrin.gif

pottedmeatchunks Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 1:51am

I can help you with this. I used to be in your boat...it took me many months and many rough cakes to get it right!

Just use the basic wilton recipe, no need for fancy additions (unless you want them). Do not add crazy amounts of liquid to the icing. Don't add too little either, of course, it does have to spread. Frost your cake. If your kitchen is humid, place a fan in front of the cake and blast at cake for a good 5 min, turn the cake to get the other side a good dose. THIS IS KEY IF HUMID, OTHERWISE YOUR FROSTING WILL TAKE HOURS TO CRUST!! Do a "crust test" by lightly touching the icing and see if it sticks to your finger. If you smoosh it with no sticking, you are ready for the Viva paper towel!

Melvira's method is fancy and professional, but I prefer the paper towel because it's cheaper and easier. Your frosting has to be pretty level to begin with for melvira's method to work. With the paper towel, you can have dips and valleys all over that sucker and no harm when smoothing.

Use your hand over the paper towel when smoothing, not the fondant smoother. You dont have any real sense of pressure when using the fondant smoother and you're more likely to over-smoosh and have issues. I use the ends of 3 fingers when smoothing for absolute pressure control.

This WILL work, guaranteed. When it is not humid the process is exactly the same, just skip the fan. Refridgerate your cake to speed up crusting is not recommended, because you can easily over-do it. Over-crusting causes permanent wrinkles when the cake is smoothed.

lecrn Posted 14 Jul 2008 , 6:04pm

I've had many problems with BC myself. I've tried so many recipes. My BC skills have greatly improved after watching Sugarshack's video. I also use her recipe with a few changes in flavorings. The key is to get the BC all the way to the top of the springs of the mixer (as mentioned before) so there's no air bubbles. I also use the icing tip to ice the cake b/c it's much quicker & I can get it more even. High-ratio shortening also makes a big difference.

sugarshack Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:00am

hey ladies!

I just found this thread.

Airy icing is not acceptable! icon_mad.gif Please let me help you figure it out. Those of you who are getting airy icing, please do this:

type here the size of your mixer bowl in quarts....
and then the exact ingredients ( brands too) in the exact amounts and then describe exaclty what you do each step in the process....

and I will try to help.


I truly believe getting the right volume for your mixer is the key to smooth icing.

Do not give up gals! thumbs_up.gif

I struggled a LONG time before I beat the BC beast!

Be strong peeps!

Monica0271 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:15am

I used to use the viva paper towel to get my cake smooth until I started working at a bakery part time. They use a water bottle.

Ice your cake with buttercream. Get it as smooth as possible, then spray it with water using a bottle that is made for kitchen use (I bought mine at pampered chef). Take your offset spatuala going around the cake. This water on the icing makes it glide. Do not spray too much or it makes a mess. Pratice makes it easier.

You cakes will be super smooth thumbs_up.gif

Monica0271 Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:15am

I used to use the viva paper towel to get my cake smooth until I started working at a bakery part time. They use a water bottle.

Ice your cake with buttercream. Get it as smooth as possible, then spray it with water using a bottle that is made for kitchen use (I bought mine at pampered chef). Take your offset spatuala going around the cake. This water on the icing makes it glide. Do not spray too much or it makes a mess. Pratice makes it easier.

You cakes will be super smooth thumbs_up.gif

bizatchgirl Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:17am

Oh sugarshack I love you so much. I know from watching your youtube video that my problem is due to my icing not coming over the top of my beaters. But, I have a different mixer than you and didn't know how to translate the volumes, recipe, etc...as soon as I figure out how many quarts my mixer has, I'm coming back here for your expert advice. I also have plans to beg for your videos for my birthday in August icon_biggrin.gif Eventually, I too, can get out of buttercream he// icon_evil.gif

abruntz Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:19am

I am with you girls, I am very tempted to buy sharons DVD but then I see all the post here about how you all have the same problems I have. I was using Wiltons until the darn thing wouldn't crust up to save my life, but that is Colorado for you also. One minute your dry as heck the next its very humid not like the humid in new orleans though. I wonder sometimes if that is how Sharon gets hers so smooth because she lives in the new orleans where its always humid. icon_confused.gif?? I don't know but keep me posted to some other ideas....

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:20am

Sharon - you are amazing - I bow down to your power to smooth LOL

Thanks so much for trying to help!

I will tell you what I do (although I bet it would be easier to just fly down there & you can show me in person icon_lol.gif ):

Mixer bowl = 4.5 quart

1/2 cup room temperature unsalted (usually store brand) butter
1/2 cup (usually store brand) shortening with 2g of trans fat in it

I mix these together with the paddle attachment on almost high until smooth (maybe one minute or so)

Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla (usually McCormicks - not imitation)

Mix on almost high until smooth & mixed in (maybe half a minute)

Add 4 cups or 1 lb powdered sugar (I was using Domino's & sifting it because it was so lumpy. I have recently switched to the powdered sugar at WalMart because it's cheaper & seems to be much finer/smoother - I did sift this I think because I'm so used to sifting because of Domino's!)

I add one cup (approximately) at a time & mix until smooth/incorporated and then add another cup, and so on until it's all mixed it. Then take it out and stir it with a rubber spatula.

Ok - now here's the funky part - if I use this exact recipe (with these small amounts), it doesn't fill up my bowl at all BUT the icing usually comes out pretty smooth. IF I double the recipe, the icing doesn't fill the entire bowl, and it has more air bubbles in it then if I didn't double it?! It seems like the more amounts I put into the bowl, the more air bubbles I come out with? Or if I mix it on high, or mix it too long I get tons of air bubbles.

So whaddya think doc? LOL (Ok it's late & I'm getting tired & goofy!)

icon_cry.gif

mom2spunkynbug Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:22am

OH! I forgot to add. I did order some Sweetex shortening through some company online, and when I made icing with that, omg - I took a bite of the cake and ALL I could taste was shortening! I'm afraid to use that stuff again!! icon_cry.gif

AZCakeGirl Posted 15 Jul 2008 , 5:33am

After I've frosted it as smooth as I can get it, I run my spatula under hot water & then run it around the cake. The heat from the spatula helps melt the icing smoother.

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