I am practicing icing a cake in buttercream, which I can't seem to get right. I can get it level and smooth, but it seems too thin. When I use the bench scraper to smooth the sides, I see the cake peeking through the icing in places. How thick should the icing be? Any tips would be appreciated!
Start with a crumb coat. Let it have crumbs in it. It will be thin to the cake and you might be able to see cake coming through. Put it in the fridge or freezer to let the crumbs adhere in the frosting. Once it is cold enough that the frosting wont move, put your final coat of frosting on the cake. It will be approximately 1/4 inch thick or more. You have seen how much frosting is on cakes at the grocery store. The goal is simple, no cake showing though!
Trim your cake up before you start so that no edges are hanging out further than others. This will help a look with the peeking.
What I find helpful for knowing how much buttercream to put on, is I use the cake icer tip. I love it! I use it with the notched sides facing out, then I know if I've smoothed the whole thing.
You should not need to get a crumb coat cold to move on to the finishing coat of icing.
Once you have applied the crumb coat, just let it sit on the counter for maybe 5 minutes while you prepare your bag for applying the icing. I suggest using a 'quick icer' from Wilton. It's that *really* extra big tip 2" wide. Apply a stripe of icing at the bottom then the top to cover the whole cake.
Now you are ready to smooth it out.....I like to use a bench scraper but an off set spatula will work too.
Chilling a crumb coat is the best way to start a smooth bc - make sure your CB is the consistancy of mayonnaise. That way it will go on slick and smooth.
Thank you everyone. The pictures really helped! I'm off to Hobby Lobby to find that tip!
You know, I had never even heard or seen that tip until a lady in my church gave me a bunch of her cake supplies, and I swear to you now, it is my best friend!! I LOVE that tip, and it makes it all an even thickness of frosting all over the cake.
I really love the cake icer tip too. It is so much easier for me to get the icing on evenly and to smooth afterwards.