Okay, I have been doing cakes for long enough and can't seem to frost a level fricken cake!! What am I doing wrong or not doing that I should be doing? I know it takes practice but how much? I get so frustrated and upset I don't know whether to throw in the towel or dig my heels in deeper. Any suggestions are welcome, I really like to decorate cakes.
All your cakes look nice and level to me. Do you just not post pictures of the unlevel ones?
Check out tonedna's youtube video. It helped me tremendously.
From the pictures, they look fine to me as well.
lol... no I don't post the un even ones. Thanks for the link, don't know why I didn't think of that. Sometimes two heads are better then one.
check out sugar shacks dvd's also
I'm a real newbie and did not do much cakes, let alone leveling the icing, but everyone on CC talks about the indydebi or sugarshack buttercream recipe and using the roller method for icing. May be you can give those a try.
Are your cakes level before you start frosting them?
That was my first thought...make sure the cake is level before you start frosting....
Sorry everyone, was away from the comp. for a few days. The recipe I use is a good one, I can get them smooth it's the leveling and amount of frosting that I put on, usually I start out with way too much and have to take a lot off.
Jen I have yours and Sugar Shacks DVD which I just love!! I guess I also need to watch them again, hopefully something will jump out at me!
I think I will start using a level and saving cake scraps in case the cake needs a boost here and there. I still figure I should be way more a head of the game them I am. It's very frustrating to me.
Thanks everyone for your help & suggestions
.... it's the leveling and amount of frosting that I put on, usually I start out with way too much and have to take a lot off.
That's usually the recommended way to do it.
What tool are you using to remove and smooth your icing? A bench scraper, with at least a 4" blade and preferably a 6" blade, works best. I've found that a plastic one works better for me than a metal blade (which is the opposite of what I THOUGHT would be best!).
Thanks Indydeb, I have used them all. My favorite is actually the small spatula but I guess I actually need to experiment and see which works best and why. I look at the cakes on CC and they are amazing, I really just would like to frost a cake in a short amount of time and get to the decorating. It takes me forever, way to long to frost a cake. I usually end up pulling an early moring or all nighter for one cake. Not right, it's not rocket science.
One thing that really helped me get my BC cakes level across the top was sort of a modification of SugarShack's. After I've leveled and iced the cake and used a hot bench scraper all around the sides of the cake, and smoothed the sides with a viva and fondant smoother here's what I do. While SS uses a piece of paper cut to the height she wants the cake to be around the sides of the cake. I use a seam gauge (sewing tool). I measure all around the sides of the cake with the movable part of the gauge placed at the height that the cake needs to be (4" usually since I use SPS). I make sure in advance that I have at least 4 1/4" or more of cake plus icing all around the cake. I make a tiny nick with the point of the seam guage sliding measuring point all around the cake, then use my hot (dipped in hot water and wiped clean) spatula to draw the icing in towards the center. Long-winded there...sorry, but this works great for me!
Thanks Mancked, great idea especially seeing when I think something is level someone else will look at it and tell me it's not. I have one of those and will add it to my tool box. Thanks again!
I used to have the same problem as you, and I know exactly how frustrating it is! It's something that should be so simple, but it's not, and it affects the appearance of the whole cake. My solution was using a cake leveler, then using Wilton's tip 789 to ice the cake, and then running a spatula over the cake to smooth it. It cut my time in half (at least!), brought my stress level right down, and resulted in perfectly smooth cakes every time. The website is below:
This is one of the most useful icing strategies I have ever found. Hope it helps!
It took me many views of Sugar Shack video to get the icing right. I had a tendancy to want to skip steps to speed up the process. I found out that I can't do this and have to follow the steps exactly. I have probably watched it 10 times so far and every time I watch it I'm like, "oh yeah, I have to remember to do that." It really is coming together but it has taken me a good year of practice. I have a goal to have a perfectly smooth cake and I won't give up.
I took me YEARS to get a decently level cake! *dorky look on my face*
Watching Edna's youtube video, and Sharon's BC dvd helped so much! I still go back and watch them from time to time. Others have made very helpful suggestions...use too much icing and take off rather than try to build up, using a bench scraper (heated), having a level cake to begin with. Sharon's pointer (in her BC dvd) on finding the LOWEST point on the top of the cake and bringing the rest of the icing down to that level has also helped me a lot. That almost insures that your icing is level...it eliminates high spots.
HTH, and DON'T GIVE UP!
Thanks everyone!! I will try everyones suggestions just to find what works because it is sooo frustrating. You have all given me good suggestions, thanks for all of the support.
Have a Very Happy New Year!