I have a hard time covering them without you being able to see the cake thru the icing & Im having trouble making it nice & smooth.
I've tried the Viva method but its not working for me. I try leaving it in fridge for 15 min & try the towel but it always gets stuck & destroys the cake. What am I doing wrong???
I bought a spatula & I guess Im not holding it at the right angle but it will scrape off too much & u can then see the cake.
Well, you just have to use a lighter touch. I actually put icing ON with a bench scraper. (Not always, but I can.) You should also be able to hold the scraper (hot and damp) and smooth the icing without taking much of any off.
I boil a pot of water which I then transfer to a small crock pot set to high and dip my bench scraper into that then shake off the excess water. Then I'm ready to work on the cake.
Yes, you just have to pile it on thicker in those areas, and when you smooth with the spatula or scraper, try not to take any off. Hold it almost parallel to the cake.
I use spackling tools (not sure if that's what a bench scraper is i'm a self taught learning as I go) for the sides of my cakes. the plastic ones. picked up a pack of 3 in the paint section of walmart for a couple bucks. i rarely use the smaller one, but i use the medium sized one on the sheet cakes and shorter tier cakes and the larger one on the taller tier cakes. works great for me. once i found out to use the cake board as a guide for my icing thickness (thank you leahs in a previous post). using one that is higher than your cake when the scraper on it's side (if that makes sense) also give yous that "build up" of extra icing on the side that once i get my sides smooth, i use the off set spatula and pull the icing into the center of the cake. once i get it pretty smooth, i let it sit for about 20 min (or as long as it takes for the icing to start crusting) and then do the viva method. to take care of any lines that the scraper/spatula left.
what recipe of icing are you using? That shouldn't make much of a difference as long as you are using a crusting buttercream. I agree with the others though -you just need to add more in those areas. I let mine sit and crust for about 10 minutes - on the counter, not in the fridge.
Good luck on your next attempt!
It's good that you're letting the cake sit for a few minutes before smoothing, but don't put it in the frig during that time. Just leave it out on the counter. That may be one of the reasons it's sticking to the viva.
It depends on your icing recipe too - if it's mostly butter-based, or cooked, you probably won't get it smooth using a paper towel.
I use a crusting buttercream and the Melvira Method. I apply the clean, dry rollers to the icing when it is not tacky to the touch but not set up. I did it on a class cake and my classmates and teacher were amazed. I was so happy with it I posted the iced but otherwise naked cake!
I have also recently tried the upside down method and it rocks! Amazing clean lines and flawless top. I have done it with SMBC or IMBC. the butter base lends itself well to this method. You can also do it with bc as that is what is done on the tutorial. Tutorial is here....CC. I use freezer paper shiny side up for the UDM... Good luck.
......I try leaving it in fridge for 15 min & try the towel but it always gets stuck & destroys the cake........
Well there's your problem. A crusting icing recipe do not need to be put in the frig. That totally defeats everything. It *must* air dry for upto 30 minutes - depending on the recipe.
Also try holding your cake up to eye level and using scissors or a knife to trim whatever is sticking out beyond the rest of the cake just before you ice it.
I have trouble with the sides of my cake being even but I am terrible at trying to even it out with a little trimming, that just makes matters worse for me. So instead I do a crumb coat on the side just to even everything out, let that set up, then do the regular coat of frosting. Ditto to what everyone said about keeping it out of the fridge, condensation forms making the frosting tacky all over again.
As far as a mostly butter-based recipe not smoothing, lol, my bc is mostly butter:
to me, it actually looks like you have your frosting too thin. I would first use a large 16" bag with the flat frosting tip and then use the bench scrapper like others have stated above.
if you are using the crusting buttercream recipe make sure that you have a shortening that has trans fat in it...you may have to go to an off brand. I find that if I use anything with less trans fat that my frosting has a harder time crusting up. and you can leave your cake out when letting your frosting crust.
leahs had some really great tips up there everyone did