Can't Get My Icing Smooth

Decorating By JuneBugBaby Updated 24 Nov 2009 , 6:36pm by sweethaven09

JuneBugBaby Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 4:19pm
post #1 of 11

I am new to the cake making world. Other than boxed cake I've never done a cake making anything fancy. My first cake was a flop. I didn't realize you needed layers! haha.. so it looked like a thin square with a small circle on top! haha... This second time I used 2 3"x8" pans and stacking them looked MUCH better than my thin little cake before but when I went to put my icing on I couldn't get it smooth no matter what I did. I tried the paper towel thing, I tried going around and around with the spatula still couldn't get it smooth. HELP! What can I do? I don't really want to cover the entire cake in fondant, is that the only way to get it smooth? icon_sad.gif

10 replies
tonedna Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 4:25pm
post #2 of 11

Here is how I do it.
Hope it helps..It takes practice!



Edna icon_biggrin.gif

MissyTex Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 5:00pm
post #3 of 11

Also if your icing is too thick, it won't go on smoothly. I thin my BC with milk until I get the consistency I want.

sherrycanary62 Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 5:13pm
post #4 of 11

I am still working out consistency issues with buttercream....I found this video tutorial....it really helped me alot.


sherrycanary62 Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 5:18pm
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

Here is how I do it.
Hope it helps..It takes practice!



Edna icon_biggrin.gif




Edna, you were the first cake decorating video I found on youtube...I watched your icing video and made your recipe (except for the high ratio, which isn't available where I live)....that batch turned out stiff any way, I was so excited...all my icing issues were solved. I plopped and iced the top...no problem...but the sides...a different story...the icing was so stiff that I pushed that cake right off the turntable and onto the floor...I could only stand staring and stunned icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gif I have since gotten better with thinning LOL ...Its a great video tutorial!!

tonedna Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 6:42pm
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherrycanary62

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

Here is how I do it.
Hope it helps..It takes practice!



Edna icon_biggrin.gif



Edna, you were the first cake decorating video I found on youtube...I watched your icing video and made your recipe (except for the high ratio, which isn't available where I live)....that batch turned out stiff any way, I was so excited...all my icing issues were solved. I plopped and iced the top...no problem...but the sides...a different story...the icing was so stiff that I pushed that cake right off the turntable and onto the floor...I could only stand staring and stunned icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gif I have since gotten better with thinning LOL ...Its a great video tutorial!!





lol..well for crumbcoat the icing needs to be in a medium consistency, not as stiff so that doesnt happen. Im glad it helped!
Edna icon_smile.gif

cloetzu Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 7:07pm
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuneBugBaby

I am new to the cake making world. Other than boxed cake I've never done a cake making anything fancy. My first cake was a flop. I didn't realize you needed layers! haha.. so it looked like a thin square with a small circle on top! haha... This second time I used 2 3"x8" pans and stacking them looked MUCH better than my thin little cake before but when I went to put my icing on I couldn't get it smooth no matter what I did. I tried the paper towel thing, I tried going around and around with the spatula still couldn't get it smooth. HELP! What can I do? I don't really want to cover the entire cake in fondant, is that the only way to get it smooth? icon_sad.gif




welcome to my world! I too am new to cake decorating and have the same problem. I posted thread a while back called "buttercream is my nemisis" - no kidding. got lots of great advice.

Edna's video is great - I LOVE HER!!! for all the great video she does and all the advice she offers.

The summary of what i got for advice comes down to o ne thing: CONSISTENCY. Which, although you can follow a recipe, is pure practice - trial and error I shoudl say. Since a recipe can change slightly due to humidity etc you really need to play with it to make it the texture you need - and by need I mean thin/thick enough to hold it's shape but not so thin it droops .... if you are just covering a cake it needs to be thinner then to make flowers or decorations.... I hate to say it but I've spent countless time trying recipes and following recommendations but you really need to play with it to get it to the consistency you want and the fact is that 1 spoon full of milk can make all the difference. I found a vidoe online that shows consitency - i'll try to refind it and when I do I will post.

Watching Edna's video also helped because when you watch it you can see the consistency you are aiming for.

I foudn the video I was referring to - actually it's one of the ones mentioned earlier:


about 1/3 of they way into the video she shows consitency - the middle bowl is the one you are aiming for.... or even thinner for a crumb coat.

denetteb Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 8:06pm
post #8 of 11

Hope you don't mind if I hijack this thread to also thank Edna for her videos. A couple years ago I was practicing and practicing for a friends wedding cake. I was doing pretty well with piping but smoothing still needed help. Edna, I am so grateful to you as well as serius cakes as the week before the wedding I went to the library to use their internet, and watched both of you on youtube. It made ALL the difference in the world. I continue to be very grateful to the videos as the demonstrations did what narratives and ideas on CC and Wilton alone did not. Thank you so much for taking time to share your talents with us so we can learn more.

JuneBugBaby Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 8:35pm
post #9 of 11

Edna your videos are AWESOME!! thumbs_up.gif Thank you so much for posting that. I am going to try your buttercream recipe also, I used one that was okay but I felt it tasted a bit too much like the crisco. And the texture was no where near what you've got there! My first batch was probably a medium texture but my second batch was too thin! I think I actually need to go thicker! It seems that it may go on smoother if it's a tad thicker! I will try again!! I just wanted to say thank you so much for your videos, I am such a visual person so those were super helpful! icon_biggrin.gif

tonedna Posted 22 Nov 2009 , 9:11pm
post #10 of 11

Thanks guys..I agree with cloetzu.. Getting icing to work has to do with lots of trials an errors until you find what works for you.. It takes time and practice!
Just make it a learning experience, instead of a frustrating one..and have fun.
I promise it gets easier!
Edna icon_smile.gif

sweethaven09 Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 6:36pm
post #11 of 11

You can try a couple things, thin the icing with either water or milk. Or the trick I use is to dip your spatula in hot water, dab off the access water and then try to smooth the icing.

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