Frustrations With Trying To Smooth Buttercream

Decorating By Oliviasmom08 Updated 30 Jul 2009 , 4:42am by chrissypie

Oliviasmom08 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 4:57pm
post #1 of 6

I have looked at videos and I know about the Viva paper towel method. I've tried everything. I know it'll take lots of practice, but I'm getting frustrated. I'm using Deb's Buttercream recipe, which I love, but it's seeming to take forever to crust to where I can use the Viva method. I let it sit last night on the cake for about 30 minutes, and there were still sticky spots. What am I doing wrong? (it's not humid here, so I didn't think weather was a factor)

Also, can someone tell me their trick for making the smooth edges on the tops and sides of a square/rectangle cake? I think I had every tool in my kitchen out trying to get something to work.

And lastly, are there any tricks you use to knowing how the right amount of frosting is? I feel like I either have too much on or all of the sudden, I don't have enough and the cake is showing thru.

Please help a frustrated semi-newbie. Thanks!!!

5 replies
Sith_Queen42 Posted 23 Jul 2009 , 5:21pm
post #2 of 6

From 1 n00b to another:

Are you sure that your frosting is the right consistency? I've had the same problem quite a few times, and I've found that adding a bit more milk, or a little less helps.

krazymogator Posted 29 Jul 2009 , 4:43pm
post #3 of 6

I have never had the patience for the paper towel method. I use a foam roller now. you still have to wait for it to crust a little before you use it but it is alot easier.You also get a more even look. Sometimes with the paper towel you can apply too much pressure to one area and it makes it uneven. It is GREAT for square cakes too.
As far as the edges on square cakes, after you smoothed out the cake once.Take a dab of icing on your spatula and and put it right on the corner you are working on, starting at the corner lightly smoothing back. then lightly smooth the other side drawing it back the other side. To do the top corners it is the same. Add icing to the corner. Smooth the sides first then catch the access icing smoothing it accross the top of the cake. let it sit a couple of minutes then go over it with the roller. I hope this all makes sense and helps. It works like a charm for me.

jen-E Posted 29 Jul 2009 , 5:41pm
post #4 of 6

I use parchment paper - keep the curl up away from the cake and then run my fondant smoother over the paper lightly and quickly. However, you can't keep using the same piece of parchment because the oils build up.

A warm, large offset spatula is also good - just warm enough to soften the icing - not melt it.

chrissypie Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:41am
post #5 of 6

To be honest with you, I cannot recommend enough Sharon Zambito's DVD Perfecting the Art of buttercream. Her website is sugaredproductions.com. Anything, and I mean anything you need to know is there. I was hesitant at first to spend the money on a DVD but let me tell you, it is invaluable. Even after the first time I watched it, I could not believe the improvement in doing buttercream cakes. Her icing recipe is key and amazing. I modify it slightly for my purposes. But her techniques will produce a stunning improvement. LIke with everything practice makes perfect ( or better because I don't think anything is perfect). You would not be at all disappointed that you bought the DVD. I just bought all the rest of her DVD's with money I got for my birthday. The fondant and stacking ones are fantastic if you plan on doing those kind of things. I hope this helps and you should definitely check out the DVD's!

chrissypie Posted 30 Jul 2009 , 4:42am
post #6 of 6

To be honest with you, I cannot recommend enough Sharon Zambito's DVD Perfecting the Art of buttercream. Her website is sugaredproductions.com. Anything, and I mean anything you need to know is there. I was hesitant at first to spend the money on a DVD but let me tell you, it is invaluable. Even after the first time I watched it, I could not believe the improvement in doing buttercream cakes. Her icing recipe is key and amazing. I modify it slightly for my purposes. But her techniques will produce a stunning improvement. LIke with everything practice makes perfect ( or better because I don't think anything is perfect). You would not be at all disappointed that you bought the DVD. I just bought all the rest of her DVD's with money I got for my birthday. The fondant and stacking ones are fantastic if you plan on doing those kind of things. I hope this helps and you should definitely check out the DVD's!

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