Smbc - Does Melvira Or Upside Down Really Work?

Decorating By drakegore Updated 19 Mar 2009 , 10:46pm by __Jamie__

drakegore Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 2:49pm
post #1 of 23


i am new to cake central and cannot believe how terrific this site is and how much wonderful information i have found! i wish i had found this two years ago when i first started decorating!

i use SMBC and love it, but i spend tons of time working on getting the cakes smooth and clean edges (i am a fussbudget....).

i have been reading on the site about the melvira method and the upside down smoothing method and am thinking about giving them a try.

my questions are:

1) i know the instructions on the melvira says you can use this with non-crusting bc after its refrigerated, but does this really work well for the non-crusting? there is not much "give" on a cold smbc cake and i wonder if the roller would actually have much impact.

2) does the upside down method work for larger cakes? it seems like there might be slippage or damage trying to flip a large cake.

3. does acetate work better on upside down than parchment?

i would love to know what smbc or imbc users think of using these two methods.

thank you so much!

22 replies
aswartzw Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 6:02pm
post #2 of 23

No, Melvira does not work on SMBC. I think some people can get upside-down to work but not me.

I generally take a hot spatula and smooth, refrigerate, smooth. If you purchase a paint scraper that works really well (or I think that's what they're called).

tx_cupcake Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 6:10pm
post #3 of 23

I agree. The best way to smooth SMBC is with a hot bench scraper.

I've never been able to get the upside down icing technique to work - even with crusting bc. The icing always ends up peeling off the cake when I try to remove the parchment paper. I don't know if acetate would work better, though.

Ballymena Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 6:44pm
post #4 of 23

I use the Melvira method on SMBC BUT.... It's very finicky and time consuming. I put my cake in the fridge for about 2 min., I touch it with my finger to feel when it is just beginning to firm up. I pull it out and use the roller, I have to repeat this several times depending on the size of the cake I am doing. I will be trying the hot spatula method next time.

drakegore Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 8:19pm
post #5 of 23

thank you all for the information! it is greatly appreciated.

hi aswartzw - this is the method i use now too. it does work, i was just hoping i could find a quicker way to get to "smooth" icon_smile.gif.

hi txcupcake - this was one of my worries about doing it upside down. in theory, the method sounds wonderful though!

thank you ballymena! it sounds like maybe the melvira method is just as time consuming. oh well, i feel better for learning in any event!

is anyone able make roses with smbc? it always lacks definition when i try and make flowers with it and i would love to find a trick or technique so i don't have to make a seperate bc for the flowers.

skeet1zp Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 8:40pm
post #6 of 23

I've used the upside down option and did not have any problems. I eventually stopped using it though, because of all the steps I had to take. I loved the effects of it though.

gringa Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:00pm
post #7 of 23

I don't know what all of your initials mean? Like SMBC???

marisanovy Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:12pm
post #8 of 23

Hey, welcome drakegore!!

I used the upsidown method once, and worked fine. But I did on a small cake. I do think though that with larger cakes this method will be very difficult.

I like the viva papertowel method to smoth crusting BC. Never really worked with swiss meringue butter cream (SMBC). Sorry icon_sad.gif

Well, again welcome to the family!

marccrand Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:19pm
post #9 of 23

Sounds like you've got some good responses drakegore. When I saw the thread title I thought you couldn't use Melvira's with SMBC but apparently people have done it and been successful. I'll just keep my mouth shut!! icon_redface.gif

Whenever people ask me how I get my icing so smooth I tell them there are tips and methods out there that can help, but practice doesn't replace any of them. Having said that, if your profile pic is your cake, it doesn't look like you need to worry about that - it's perfect!

Welcome to CC gringa! SMBC = Swiss Meringue Buttercream
There is a thread sticky-posted to the top in the "General" discussion forum that defines what all the acronyms are. We speak a strange language here on CC until you get used to us! icon_biggrin.gif

drakegore Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:47pm
post #10 of 23

hi marisanovy!
thank you! i do a lot of 6" cakes so i might give the upside down a go on a cake i make for the family (they are fairly forgiving as long as my "mistakes" are covered in frosting, lol).

what crusting buttercream do you use?

thank you!

__Jamie__ Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:53pm
post #11 of 23

Sugarshack method for buttercream works like a charm on SMBC for me....up until she pulls out the Viva towels and computer paper. By that time though, after using the hot bench scraper and hot small spatula across the top....I am already smooth as glass, and sharp as a razor on the edges! Works every I love SMBC!

playingwithsugar Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 9:59pm
post #12 of 23

I exclusively use SMBC on my cakes, and I use the hot knife technique. It not only gives me a smooth surface, but it also eliminates air bubbles which form during the whipping.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

marisanovy Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:02pm
post #13 of 23

I use the 0 trans fat crisco buttercream using butter and crisco. You can find the recipe here.

It tastes delicious and is easy to deal with. icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:05pm
post #14 of 23
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

I exclusively use SMBC on my cakes

Ahhh, such a sweet statement. I can't believe the night and day difference between SMBC and regular BC. It's like receiving a lobster roll when you were expecting a flimsy hotdog! Hee hee...

I too am a "SMBC-only" gal! icon_biggrin.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:08pm
post #15 of 23

Yeah, Jamie, and I'll take a lobster roll over a hot dog any day! LOL!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

marisanovy Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:08pm
post #16 of 23


You know, I need to give SMBC a try, this weekend!!!! So many people saying is good...

Do I find a good recipe here on CC?

playingwithsugar Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:18pm
post #17 of 23

There are several, but some of them are in threads, not in the recipe files. Check both archives.

I always recommend Martha Stewart's recipe to someone who is just starting out. Not that I'm a fan of it's taste, but the instructions are so clear that you can't fail trying it. Once you get the technique down, you can move on and try other recipes until you find one you really like. Here's a link to the one I recommend for first timers. Don't let the title fool you - the instructions are far more clear on this recipe than they are in the others in her files, but it's just as useful on cakes as it is on cupcakes.¤tslide=1&rsc=communitytools_food&lnc=5a79cf380e1dd010VgnVCM1000005b09a00aRCRD&page=1

Theresa icon_smile.gif

summernoelle Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:18pm
post #18 of 23

Gosh, guys, I am sooo envious! I cannot smooth BC to save my life. I don't know how you guys do it! I hate Crisco buttercreams, too. I just don't want to serve people Crisco....
But you have inspired me to try the hot scraper. Maybe my BC is just way too thin. If anyone has any other hints, I would love to hear them!

__Jamie__ Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:22pm
post #19 of 23

For those that do both types of BC, Criscoish ones and cooked suagrs, the Sugarshack videos are still really really helpful! You just can't use the Viva towels or the computer paper. Everything else is totally applicable information.

Jamie's Best Friend= bench scraper found at Bed Bath and Beyond. If anyone knows of other places to get that exact one....jump on in, add the location! It must must must be a one piece scraper though! Has to sit completely flat on it's edge for it to work properly!

__Jamie__ Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:33pm
post #20 of 23

I love jkalmans SMBC recipe...I can't open another window to link to it, but just search "The Well Dressed Cake" and you should find it no problem!

marisanovy Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:42pm
post #21 of 23

Thanks playingwithsugar!

I sure will give a try, it doesn't sound too hard. icon_smile.gif

tx_cupcake Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:45pm
post #22 of 23

Mmmmm lobster roll.... Um, I mean, SMBC... icon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 19 Mar 2009 , 10:46pm
post #23 of 23

No kidding....both of those would taste great right about now. icon_smile.gif

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