Ok, so I did a 3 tier stacked cake this weekend for a 50th wedding anniversary. Overall I thought it was ok but I definitely needed to work on my buttercream. I know that part of my problem was that I had too much icing on the board that held the layers (before I stacked) so when I took them off to stack, it took some of the icing I had on the cake and so I had to try to smooth while the layers were stacked. Irregardless, I still want to improve on both the smoothness and borders. This brings me to my question. I am considering getting a cake dummy just to practice my buttercream. Has anyone done this and do you think it's close to a real cake? Obviously, it's much more stable and has sharper edges than a real cake but I thought it'd be easier to ice/re-ice that than a cake I make. Any help (as well as any tips on smooth buttercream!) will be appreciated. Thanks so much!!
I find its harder to ice dummies 1. because they are lighter and hard to keep still, and 2. I put plastic wrap on mine so I can reuse and its hard to get that smooth. When I stack, the frosting gets messed up some around the bottom, I use my small angled spatula to smooth, let it crust then use the viva paper towel method. Ive tried the hot knife, it works but I think it makes my icing crystalize sometimes. The best way for me is the Viva way
I've used dummies also to practice and totally agree with bakingatthebeach about the sliding around. I was just speaking to my hubby about this probably 5 minutes before seeing this post...I'm gonna just keep practicing on real cake because I won't encounter "real" issues when decorating a cake dummy (if that makes any sense).
What I've noticed about buttercream is that it's all in the recipe...you're doomed from the start if you don't mix it right. I use Indydebi's bc and so far it's the best....well a really really close run between hers and edna's here. But yeah, I always struggle in some way with buttercream.
I'm not sure about icing a cake, but to practice different piping techniques, I flip over my cake pans and work on them.