I Need Honest Points Of View

Decorating By JBCakesCo Updated 28 Aug 2008 , 5:28pm by JBCakesCo

JBCakesCo Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 1:54pm
post #1 of 16

I am going to post my latest cake below but I need some critcism & please be honest! I have been fighting with getting my icing smooth & I don't understand what I am doing wrong. I watched a video on youtube & tried her way but still no luck. Please help me! icon_sad.gif
LL

15 replies
lilyanddayne Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:13pm
post #2 of 16

Okay, the first thing I notice is that your icing looks a little thick. Are you crumb coating, allowing to crust then smoothing the crumb coat? The method I use for smoothing is the melvira method, and it works great. After the crumb coat icing crust, use a high density foam paint roller to roll the icing smooth, then apply the final layer of icing (not too thick) allow to crust and roll smooth.It works really well. The second thing I noticed was your cakeboard. Try to make the edges a little sharper and clean looking.
Third, forget "youtube", you will learn the most by surfing this website!
I'm fairly new at this and have learned soo much here by asking questions. Good luck and keep on trying. Practice makes perfect!

DollyCakes Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:22pm
post #3 of 16

I'd say that if you're really serious about getting smooth icing and sharp edges, buy the SugarShack smoothing DVD. We bought it and have learned so many tricks, and we also use a high density roller to help.
From here the icing looks a little grainy or something. What recipe are you using? Also, I have to crumb coat my cakes - a thin layer covering the cake to seal in the crumbs so they don't get in your finished icing layer. It needs to be crumb coated and then put in the fridge to set for 30 minutes or so, and then you can set about doing your final icing. We use a benchscraper to help get smooth sides as well as Viva papertowels, the high density roller, and a fondant smoother, and computer paper (most of that's in the SugarShack DVD and she shows you how to use it all!) Do a google search under SugarEd Productions, or search on here for SugarShack and you'll find the links to her products.
It's just a lot of practice and trolling around this place to find tips and ideas to help with your cakes! Good luck to you!!

peg818 Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:23pm
post #4 of 16

first thing is its not that bad, you get that close to any cake and your bound to find flaws.

That being said, i use viva to smooth my icing and it takes time to do, its not something you can rush, and if you have an icing that is really sticky, you can try taking parchment or waxed paper cut to the size of the cake a strip for the sides and a round for the top then smooth it on so that it sticks to the icing then pop the whole thing either in to the freezer or the fridge until the icing is hard (this works well with an icing that has alot of butter in it) then just peal off the paper before the icing gets soft again.

As the other poster said, pay some attention to your cake board, a nice looking board will make a nice looking cake look nicer. Its kind of like putting the right pair of shoes on with an outfit icon_smile.gif

APrettyCake Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:37pm
post #5 of 16

To smooth icing that is being "difficult", try dipping your spatula in HOT water, dry off and then gently go around the sides and top of the cake with it. After it sets, you can then go back and use a viva paper towel if you need to. The hot spatula can do wonders for toning down the ridges.
That said, practice makes perfect icon_smile.gif

wrightway777 Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:40pm
post #6 of 16

I agree with all of the above posters. Heres an additional note to the Cake board topic. Check out this active CC post that I have been posting to this week - it will give you ideas for boards:
http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-600612-0-days0-orderasc-.html

Also for your buttercream (before the final smoothing techniques described above) experiment with putty knives (black plastic ones found at Lowes (and white ones at HL)). They are cheap - I like the 6in one.

tiggy2 Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:41pm
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DollyCakes

I'd say that if you're really serious about getting smooth icing and sharp edges, buy the SugarShack smoothing DVD. We bought it and have learned so many tricks, and we also use a high density roller to help.
From here the icing looks a little grainy or something. What recipe are you using? Also, I have to crumb coat my cakes - a thin layer covering the cake to seal in the crumbs so they don't get in your finished icing layer. It needs to be crumb coated and then put in the fridge to set for 30 minutes or so, and then you can set about doing your final icing. We use a benchscraper to help get smooth sides as well as Viva papertowels, the high density roller, and a fondant smoother, and computer paper (most of that's in the SugarShack DVD and she shows you how to use it all!) Do a google search under SugarEd Productions, or search on here for SugarShack and you'll find the links to her products.
It's just a lot of practice and trolling around this place to find tips and ideas to help with your cakes! Good luck to you!!




I couldn't agree more! It's the best money you will ever spend. She also has excellent DVDs on fondant and stacking that I wouldn't trade for anything.

seagoat Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:45pm
post #8 of 16

I'll have to agree with the crumb coat and patience! Oh, and lots and lots of practice!

I do mine a completely different way....I guess, I'm just different! icon_razz.gif

amie202 Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:59pm
post #9 of 16

Hi-

I agree with everything being said and would like to draw attention to a very important point.

Are you using crusting butter cream or butter butter cream? SugarShack's method or the viva paper towel method are great but they will ONLY work on crisco/ crusting butter cream. If you make your butter cream with butter it will never really crust and you can not use the paper towel method.

I work at a retail bakery using real butter cream. If you are using real butter cream please feel free to pm me and we can go over everything until you feel like you've got it. icon_biggrin.gif

jennabell441 Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 2:59pm
post #10 of 16

I think I read above about a putty knife. I purchased the DVD mentioned also and it gives some really great hints. The bench scraper is nice, but I do a lot of home improvement so a putty knife seems like a natural attachment to my hand. Smoothing buttercream can be hard so it just takes a lot of practice. I agree with the "grainy" look. Are you using Crisco or a high ratio shortening? I get a "lumpy" look when I use Crisco.

HTH
Jen

kakeladi Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 3:03pm
post #11 of 16

You have gotten much good infromation.
From what I observe in your pic it seems to me that the problem is your recipe.
It looks thick and grainyicon_sad.gif
I'd say you need to add a bit more fat (butter &/or Crisco) to make your icing smoother to begin with.
SugarShack's video should be a great help to you.

While waiting for it, post the b'cream recipe you are using & we'll see where to improve it.

twooten173 Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 3:35pm
post #12 of 16

I agree that your icing looks too think. I use the putty knife (the sharp side) and then the viva towel method. The knife gets it almost there. Walmart has a set of three plastic ones 6", 4", 2" for like $4.

DollyCakes Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 6:43pm
post #13 of 16

You know, I forgot that we have a large putty knife that has been A MUST HAVE for us! We haven't used it much since we got the benchscraper, but it does work great!

JBCakesCo Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 4:56pm
post #14 of 16

I want to thank all of you for replying & giving me so much help! I am going to post below the recipe I use, its the wilton recipe.

To make 3 cups of icing: Buttercream Icing (Medium Consistency)

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I use crisco)
1/2 cup butter
4 cups confectionate sugar
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk or water

Texas_Rose Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:23pm
post #15 of 16

Try Indydebi's recipe http://cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-6992-Indydebis-Crisco-Based-Buttercream-Icing.html

Her buttercream works great for me, and I can get my cakes much smoother with it than I ever did with the Wilton recipe (which I used for years and years before looking for a better recipe). It crusts well too which wilton's recipe doesn't...I used to follow the directions in the yearbook and they'd mention the icing crusting and I never really knew what that was until I tried a different recipe icon_biggrin.gif

One thing that works for me is to put a sheet of waxed paper over it after the frosting has crusted and then run the fondant smoother over the waxed paper.

JBCakesCo Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:28pm
post #16 of 16

Thanks for sending me that recipe I will definitely try it!

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