Best Way To Smooth Buttercream Icing

Decorating By Roxiecat123 Updated 15 Oct 2013 , 2:05pm by imagenthatnj

Roxiecat123 Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 11:08pm
post #1 of 23

What is the best way to get really smooth butter cream icing? icon_confused.gif

22 replies
cakestars Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 11:17pm
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i use a crusting buttercream and smooth it with a viva papertowel. it always smooth like fondant. i use the viva method buttercream recipe here in the recipe's yummy icon_smile.gif

silverdragon997 Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 11:26pm
post #3 of 23

do a google search for "smooth buttercream cakecentral", and you'll find all sorts of previous threads on this subject. You can try the forum search here on the site, but it's much easier just to use a search engine.

SweetSouthernBakery Posted 21 Jan 2011 , 11:28pm
post #4 of 23

I let my buttercream crust and then use wax paper and a spatula. It makes it really smooth.

leily Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 2:19am
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are you using a crusting american buttercream? or a IMBC or SMBC?

For crusting american buttercream i use the Melvira method. If you go to articles and search "melvira" it will come up. It is using a high density foam roller to smooth the buttercream.

GeorgiaC Posted 22 Jan 2011 , 4:57pm
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Two videos on You Tube. Serious Cakes (be careful watching her videos - hours will pass by!!) Edna

Roxiecat123 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 4:19pm
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Thanks everyone for hints.

bobhope Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 4:25pm
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Originally Posted by sdrb84

I let my buttercream crust and then use wax paper and a spatula. It makes it really smooth.

do you like glide the spatula on top of wax paper? =)

chefjess819 Posted 23 Jan 2011 , 5:01pm
post #9 of 23

the best tool i have found for getting buttercream smooth is actually not a cake tool. i went to the plaster and paint dept at walmart and got plaster/putty knives. they came in a set of 3 and are great because you have 3 different sizes so no overlapping no matter how tall the cake is. and they were super cheap. the set was $1.50 thumbs_up.gif

Pritinash Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 8:05pm
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AHi all I keep trying to get my buttercream icing smooth and I am at a point where I dont know if I am just not able to perfcect it or am I being too finicky. I have attached a pic I will be adding accents on this cake but this is as smooth as it gets for me. This is after viva, wax paper , hot knife !! Tried it all !! Pls critique thanks [ATTACHMENT=1330]20131011_061617.jpg (2,422k. jpg file)[/ATTACHMENT]

Gees Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 8:14pm
post #11 of 23

I use the viva towel method that is published right here in Central Cake...

kblickster Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 11:14pm
post #12 of 23

The best way for me to get smooth icing is to put way more icing on the cake than I need, use a pastry scraper to take it off slowly and usually by the time I have it even with the board, it's fairly smooth.  I then place it in the freezer for about 10 mins until it firms up and then use a hot scraper to touch it up.

Pritinash Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:16am
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Hi Kblickster and Gees


Thanks for your replies... but I have been using paper towel, hot knife and seen all possible info out there. I have see all the videos.


My question is if you see the pic I have posted... is it possible to get smoother than this ? if yes then i guess just need to keep practising. :(  

The recipe I use is half butter n half crisco 



kblickster Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:23am
post #14 of 23

It is possible to get it much smoother.  Try getting a pastry scraper and use it instead of a knife.  Are you using a turntable?

Pritinash Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 12:28am
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Yes I do use a turntable. and I have a steel bench scraper . Are they the same ? pastry and bench scrapers?

Gees Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 1:42am
post #16 of 23

I use exactly the same materials as in the publication come alive towel method, and it has been always softly, I think you need to practice or warm up the spatula more ...


Are you using Viva towels exactly?

Gees Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 1:46am
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Pritinash Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 2:40am
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I am in Australia so have to use wax paper. Viva paper here is not smooth.


But I will try again by the method here in the link you have given me. Thanks heaps.


I havent been doing like how its mentioned here. 


Thanks heaps :)

Gees Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 3:39pm
post #19 of 23


Regards, and let me know if it works!

sadiep Posted 11 Oct 2013 , 9:52pm
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Sorry if you mentioned this Pritinash, but just to be sure - you ARE using an american style buttercream? Your picture kinda looks like a meringue buttercream and I don't want you to drive yourself crazy trying to towel-method a meringue buttercream. They are two ENTIRELY different beasts! 


Smoothing any meringue buttercream requires overapplication and subsequent removal of frosting with a sharp straight tool, whether bench scraper, metal ruler, t-square, or putty knife, and it just takes a lot of practice. American buttercream is more about manipulation of the surface, whether with plastic wrap, viva, wax paper, or fondant smoothers. Just making sure . . .

Pritinash Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 9:50am
post #21 of 23

Hi Sadiep, I use half butter half crisco with Icing mixture (not icing sugar). It is not a meringue buttercream. Wonder if the icing mixture could be the issue? 

810whitechoc Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 10:28am
post #22 of 23

I agree with Sadiep on overapplication. I'm in Australia and only use SMBC not American crusting buttercream.  To get it smoother I put one layer of SMBC on the cake, roughly smooth it, put it in the freezer for 20 mins to firm up then put a second coat on quite thickly. Then use a metal scraper (bench scraper will do) and firmly scrape off excess.  Get a bowl of boiling water and your bench scraper/metal scraper, dip the edge you are using on the cake into the boiling water for a few seconds, touch it onto the surface of a clean cloth to take off excess water.  The heat of the metal is going to smooth your cake, not the water and smoothly run it around the edge of your cake.  Repeat the dipping in boiling water/cloth process over and over around your cake and do similar on the top.  The rim is the hardest thing to get right.   Looking at your cake I don't think you are applying enough pressure while you are scraping off the excess.  If you scrape firmly there won't be any hollows in your buttercream. Oh and then practice, practice, practice.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:05pm
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