Can anyone tell me what is used to get the perfectly flawless appearance of frosting on the top and sides of a cake?
oh my.. there are lots of topics on here about how to get that nice smooth finish. YOu could do a search under the forums for "smoothing buttercream" and you will probably come up with a lot of topics to read. There might be a "sticky" under the forum section "HOw do I".
There are so many different ways....
* use a heated spatula (with hot water, dried off) to smooth around the cake.
* Use the Viva method... after the cake has crusted, use a viva paper towel and smooth with it and your had
* the Mevira method.... use the viva paper towel but use a sponge paint roller and roll it smooth with the paper towel between the cake and the roller.
* use a bench scraper
See... there are so many different ways... it is just what works for you!