How Do I Make My Icing Smooth?

Decorating By Katiwren Updated 4 Feb 2010 , 4:52pm by Madiken

Katiwren Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 11:54pm
post #1 of 20

I've done only 2 cakes but I'm baffled by how to make my buttercream icing flawless like so many CC users. I have tried to put extra icing off and then smooth it with offset spatulas, but no matter how long I try I can't seem to get it perfect. Maybe I need a new recipe?

19 replies
chinadoll652003 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:15am
post #2 of 20

Everybody has their own method of what works best for them, but for me its the viva paper towel method. I swear by it. Get your icing as smooth as possible then let it crust for about 10 mins. then go over it with the viva. HTH

kakeladi Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:19am
post #3 of 20

you start w/the right consistency; get it as smooth as you can, then let it dry until you cantouch it w/your finger w/o any icing comming off then place the VIVA towel on and smooth w/your hand or fondant smoother.
ZNext when you can get SugarEd's video! There is a wealth of info there that will help you.

The_Lil_Cakehouse Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:26am
post #4 of 20

I have asked this question and the answer is always get SugarShacks perfecting the art of buttercream dvd...well guess what i did the other day!! I can't wait for it to get here!!!!

raquel1 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:40am
post #5 of 20

Definitely the Sugarshack dvd and the melvira method. I also "cheat" and use Sam's but-r-creme, perfectly smooth everythime icon_biggrin.gif

prterrell Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 12:50am
post #6 of 20

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 1:20am
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiwren

I've done only 2 cakes but I'm baffled by how to make my buttercream icing flawless like so many CC users. I have tried to put extra icing off and then smooth it with offset spatulas, but no matter how long I try I can't seem to get it perfect. Maybe I need a new recipe?


OK...first of all, if you've only done 2 cakes, then don't expect a perfect icing job. Smoothing icing take PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

Recipes vary, techniques vary, but practice is consistent for all.

Buy yourself styrofoam dummy, practice icing it, scrape it off, then do it again. You'll get it!

Katiwren Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 2:20am
post #8 of 20

Thanks for the advice. So the viva paper towel method- what do you do? Just put the paper towel over the cake and smooth it? Or rub it around?

Yeah, I agree practice makes perfect- I just need to do that over and over and I'm sure it will help icon_biggrin.gif

Jeff_Arnett Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 4:01am
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiwren

Thanks for the advice. So the viva paper towel method- what do you do? Just put the paper towel over the cake and smooth it? Or rub it around?

Yeah, I agree practice makes perfect- I just need to do that over and over and I'm sure it will help icon_biggrin.gif


If you want to try the viva paper towel method, you need an icing that crusts. Viva towels are used because they are smooth with no pattern on them.

Ice the cake and smooth as best you can with your spatula.

Let the cake sit until it LIGHTLY CRUSTS....you should be able to touch the surface lightly without the icing sticking to your fingers.

Next take a piece of viva [cut in half for the cake sides] and hold against the cake side and smooth lightly by rubbing over it with your hand or a spatula....a fondant smoother works great here.

Move to another section and repeat until the sides are as smooth as you want.

Once the sides are smooth, do the top with the same method.


I don't use a crusting icing...I smooth with a hot spackling knife and turntable.....but there are many methods and many approaches and you will likely hear from many different people on this thread.....just keep trying until you find what works for you!

adventuregal Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 8:35am
post #10 of 20

I have been doing cakes for two years and its VIVA all the way! I owe my smooth buttercream to this trick for sure icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 8:48am
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_Arnett

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiwren

Thanks for the advice. So the viva paper towel method- what do you do? Just put the paper towel over the cake and smooth it? Or rub it around?

Yeah, I agree practice makes perfect- I just need to do that over and over and I'm sure it will help icon_biggrin.gif

If you want to try the viva paper towel method, you need an icing that crusts. Viva towels are used because they are smooth with no pattern on them.
Ice the cake and smooth as best you can with your spatula.

Let the cake sit until it LIGHTLY CRUSTS....you should be able to touch the surface lightly without the icing sticking to your fingers.

Next take a piece of viva [cut in half for the cake sides] and hold against the cake side and smooth lightly by rubbing over it with your hand or a spatula....a fondant smoother works great here.

Move to another section and repeat until the sides are as smooth as you want.

Once the sides are smooth, do the top with the same method.


I don't use a crusting icing...I smooth with a hot spackling knife and turntable.....but there are many methods and many approaches and you will likely hear from many different people on this thread.....just keep trying until you find what works for you!




Just a note for Aussie decorators - Viva is not unpatterned in Australia...does anyone have an alternative? Can you use greaseproof paper or similar? Until now I have used scrapers and lots of time getting BC smooth, but never as good as what I see with the USA Viva method!

CandyCU Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 12:08pm
post #12 of 20

aaahhh! now that explains why using Viva towels doesn't work for me!!! I've tried the Viva method for all of 5 seconds before going back to my spatula and hot water method. The Viva paper towels here in Australia have ripples! icon_lol.gif

flamingobaker Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 1:11pm
post #13 of 20

You can also use computer or printer paper icon_smile.gif

LuvLyrics Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 3:42pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by raquel1

Definitely the Sugarshack dvd and the melvira method. I also "cheat" and use Sam's but-r-creme, perfectly smooth everythime icon_biggrin.gif




Which one is the melvira method?

thanks

tiggy2 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 5:36pm
post #15 of 20

Sugarshack's DVD will be the best money you have ever spent.. Melvira's method http://cakecentral.com/articles/126/quick-easy-smooth-icing-using-a-roller-melvira-method Just be sure you get the high density roller, use crusting BC and light pressure.

aundrea Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 6:09pm
post #16 of 20

i just bought high density rollers-but not sure what to do with them? do i use them on my buttercreme with or without viva paper towels?
TIA

ok - just saw the link to the high denisty method- cant wait to try this on my next cake! looks simple but.....well we'll see!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 12:46am
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_Arnett

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiwren

Thanks for the advice. So the viva paper towel method- what do you do? Just put the paper towel over the cake and smooth it? Or rub it around?

Yeah, I agree practice makes perfect- I just need to do that over and over and I'm sure it will help icon_biggrin.gif

If you want to try the viva paper towel method, you need an icing that crusts. Viva towels are used because they are smooth with no pattern on them.
Ice the cake and smooth as best you can with your spatula.

Let the cake sit until it LIGHTLY CRUSTS....you should be able to touch the surface lightly without the icing sticking to your fingers.

Next take a piece of viva [cut in half for the cake sides] and hold against the cake side and smooth lightly by rubbing over it with your hand or a spatula....a fondant smoother works great here.

Move to another section and repeat until the sides are as smooth as you want.

Once the sides are smooth, do the top with the same method.


I don't use a crusting icing...I smooth with a hot spackling knife and turntable.....but there are many methods and many approaches and you will likely hear from many different people on this thread.....just keep trying until you find what works for you!



Just a note for Aussie decorators - Viva is not unpatterned in Australia...does anyone have an alternative? Can you use greaseproof paper or similar? Until now I have used scrapers and lots of time getting BC smooth, but never as good as what I see with the USA Viva method!


Her in the US, in auto suplly stores and inthe auto section of large variety stores, they sell rolls of paper towels that are blue and are perfectly smooth....I don't know if you have anything like that in Australia or not, but that might be an option.

Evoir Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 3:55am
post #18 of 20

Aundrea - great tip....I think I know something that may suffice!!

Aussie decorators - you can get that rather thick paper hand towel in some restrooms...its like a continuous roll with no perforations, and its off white in colour. You tear it off on a jagged edge on the dispenser. I think that may do the trick. IN any case I will give it a try and report back to you!!

mskavon Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 4:43pm
post #19 of 20

What about wax paper instead of Viva towels? Pros? Cons? Thanks! icon_smile.gif

Madiken Posted 4 Feb 2010 , 4:52pm
post #20 of 20

I just started using the Melvira method and it works like a charm! Thanks Melvira!

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