sugarMomma Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 4:56pm
post #1 of

How do you do it?
Even the grocery store cakes are perfectly iced, but I can't seem to get my tops smooth, flat and blemish free, not even on my rounds.
I bought a giant painters edger, but I still can't get the hang of it.

Are all spatulas created equal or are there higher performance ones than Wilton (like there are better cake pans such as Magic Line).
Is my icing not the right consistency?

I shy away from sheet cakes for this reason, but I still get requests and I cringe when I do.

Is there a secret? I'll take any tips.

33 replies
CWR41 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 5:19pm
post #2 of

Have you tried using a plastic scraper? It also helps if the icing is smooth to begin with.

sugarMomma Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 5:22pm
post #3 of

I feel ignorant...but what is a plastic scraper, and is there one big enough to smooth a sheet cake?

what tool do the grocery stores or bakeries use?

jewels710 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 5:28pm
post #4 of

Wondering the same thing...if there was a better trick out there...I HATE icing sheet cakes!

CWR41 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 5:35pm
post #5 of

http://bakerycrafts.com/Home/Items/tabid/69/SrchStr/scraper/Default.aspx

sari66 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 5:54pm
post #6 of

If you're using a crusting butter cream ice your cake then let it crust about 5-10 min then lay a viva paper towel over the top and using the palm of your hand run it over the paper towel then lift it should have a nice smooth surface; repeat in sections and dont forget the sides. Hope that makes sense icon_smile.gif

sweetcakes Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 6:06pm
post #7 of

i like the large wilton 15" spatula to go across the top of a sheet cake, but after smoothing the best i can with that i still use a viva paper towel and a fondant smoother on top, takes just a couple of minutes to get it perfect.

jewels710 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 6:33pm
post #8 of

Viva & Crusting BC is what I do, I was hoping for something "magical" LOL!

jade8 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 9:36pm
post #9 of

try using the Melvira method. She uses high density foam rollers on crusting b/c.
http://cakecentral.com/articles/126/quick-easy-smooth-icing-using-a-roller-melvira-method

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 10:02pm

I've found I can get a smoother finish if I use a scraper like the ones posted in that link versus using an offset spatula. It's something about how you hold the scraper that gives me a more even finish. Even using a credit card works well too. I have a pic in my gallery of a cake with a red rose on it. That one was iced with bc, I used a credit card to smooth and then Viva'd it. It looks like fondant, it's so smooth.

Dayti Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 10:06pm

You can try using one of these, a 16" stainless scraper by PME: http://www.cakedecoration.co.uk/merchant.ihtml?pid=9388&lastcatid=82&step=4
Or, a 12" plastic or metal school ruler will do the same thing essentially. Grab it by the top corners/sides, and drag across the top of your cake. Then smooth out the edges as usual.
It takes some practice, I don't do many BC cakes at all so I haven't practiced enough!

mpetty Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 10:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Even using a credit card works well too.




I was watching the season premiere of Cake Boss last week and noticed Buddy's cousin smoothing the edges of a cake with what looked liked either a plastic card or a stiff piece of cardstock. I was surprised, but maybe it's more common than I thought.

lynn1968 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 10:34pm

is there something special about 'viva' brand paper towels that makes them works better?

tiggy2 Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 10:40pm

Viva doesn't have a design impressed in it, it's perfectly smooth. You can also use computer paper.

dnaboo Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 10:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn1968

is there something special about 'viva' brand paper towels that makes them works better?




Viva makes a textureless paper towel which is what you want if using this method. icon_smile.gif

YorkieMaMa Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 11:19pm

After icing the cake, let set for 15 minutes. Then once the icing has crusted over, take a parchment triangle, used to make icing cones, and lay it on the cake and take a metal spatula and smooth the parchment triangle. The icing must be set or crusted over or the icing will come off onto the parchment triangle. You might have to use a couple of triangles since each one should only be used 2-3 times to smooth the icing.

I am a newbie to cake decorating and this works beautifully.

I suppose you could even use standard parchment paper that comes on a roll too. I just have always used a triangle because it is what I have on hand.

cashley Posted 5 Feb 2011 , 11:41pm

If you want a bigger spatula go into the drywall section of the hardware store you can get big one there that are either plastic or metal.

lynn1968 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 12:12am

ah, that makes sense, thank, dnaboo. i thought that may be it, but for all i knew it had some kind of weird coating on it, lol. i guess, though, that if you really loved the pattern on 'brawny' then you'd use that, eh? icon_smile.gif

classiccake Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 3:02am

I just use the plastic scrapers and a turntable, but I use a non crusting buttercream. All of my cakes look as smoth as fondant. I think part of it is also just practice, practice!

simplysouthern Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 3:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by classiccake

I just use the plastic scrapers and a turntable, but I use a non crusting buttercream. All of my cakes look as smoth as fondant. I think part of it is also just practice, practice!




All of your cakes look like art work! I've been a fan for a while your cakes are breathtaking and always fresh and unique, love love!!

FromScratchSF Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 4:12am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpetty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Even using a credit card works well too.



I was watching the season premiere of last week and noticed Buddy's cousin smoothing the edges of a cake with what looked liked either a plastic card or a stiff piece of cardstock. I was surprised, but maybe it's more common than I thought.




Buddy uses actual cardstock to smooth his cakes. It works wonders. He demonstrates the technique on the Cake Boss section of the TLC website under videos. I've been working on getting my corners super sharp and my sides flat/square. I use SMBC, coat, blast in freezer for 15 mins, scrape with a 6" puddy knife for the sides of the cake, use a large metal ruler for the top, Viva the corners to get the little bits back smooth, let it come back to room temp then smooth again with the cardstock.

BTW, finding the right thickness of cardstock precut to postcard size was impossible to find, so I bought a pad of artist's sketch paper that's acid free and cut them myself to the size I needed.

Evoir Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 4:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpetty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

Even using a credit card works well too.



I was watching the season premiere of last week and noticed Buddy's cousin smoothing the edges of a cake with what looked liked either a plastic card or a stiff piece of cardstock. I was surprised, but maybe it's more common than I thought.



Buddy uses actual cardstock to smooth his cakes. It works wonders. He demonstrates the technique on the section of the TLC website under videos. I've been working on getting my corners super sharp and my sides flat/square. I use SMBC, coat, blast in freezer for 15 mins, scrape with a 6" puddy knife for the sides of the cake, use a large metal ruler for the top, Viva the corners to get the little bits back smooth, let it come back to room temp then smooth again with the cardstock.

BTW, finding the right thickness of cardstock precut to postcard size was impossible to find, so I bought a pad of artist's sketch paper that's acid free and cut them myself to the size I needed.





This really works with SMBC? I always find my SMBC sticky (because it is non-crusting)...is there something magical about cardstock that doesn't stick to roo-temp SMBC?

crp7 Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 4:36am

Any tips for the top edge of the cake? I always wind up with a ridge. If I smooth the top it pushes out to the side, then when I smooth the side it pops up on top! It is almost funny but frustrating.

FromScratchSF Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 4:36am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir


This really works with SMBC? I always find my SMBC sticky (because it is non-crusting)...is there something magical about cardstock that doesn't stick to roo-temp SMBC?




It takes practice, but mostly yes. It will skim a little off, but not a bunch. You have to have the perfect "touch", the right thickness of the paper, you have to spin your turntable kind of fast, and you can't pass over the same spot several times. Flater angle, paper not too thick, not too thin. It's also great because sometimes SMBC gets that weird discoloration after you scrape it, you know what I mean? The cardstock removes it. I just looked at the paper I use, it's 140lb acid free non-toxic smooth textured watercolor artist's paper. Anyway, I'm still working on my technique, but I am getting better and better (faster, too).

Evoir Posted 6 Feb 2011 , 4:39am

Cool! Thanks for the explanation icon_smile.gif That sounds like something I'll need to practice. And yeah - its inmportant to avoid that discolouration. I think working faster with SMBC goes a long way to helping avoid that too.

sugarMomma Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:28pm

Thanks for the tips! I have used both the Viva and Melvira methods, but still can't seem to get the hang of a perfectly smooth top of the cake and any cake that is wider than the paper towel or foam roller. The cardstock tip is new to me, do you use it like a scraper? I have used a bench scraper for the sides of cakes, but again they were never wide enough to do the top without leaving a line. Thanks for the other tool recommendations.

I have always wondered how the supermarket bakeries do it when they surely don't have the time to obsess over perfection. Anybody know? I'm sure they are very practiced, but what method or tool do they use?

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 11:52pm

OK Buddy's icing video...

http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/cake-boss-icing-a-cake-buddy-style.html

classiccake Posted 8 Feb 2011 , 12:12am

That is exactly how I do it also, except I use plastic instead of posterboard.
Works everytime.

tamimisha Posted 21 Feb 2013 , 1:37pm

I also saw that episode of cake boss and was wondering if anyone else uses card stock as a scraper. He didn't smooth with it the way you would viva. He used it as a scraper. And it seemed to work like a charm. 

ellavanilla Posted 21 Feb 2013 , 7:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by crp7 

Any tips for the top edge of the cake? I always wind up with a ridge. If I smooth the top it pushes out to the side, then when I smooth the side it pops up on top! It is almost funny but frustrating.

 

I use a bench scraper and IMBC. It's just a matter of practice and a light touch, as FSSF said. Frost your top, then your sides. Scrape your sides, Smooth your edges to the center. Very light touch!, Then keep smoothing toward the center. You'll get smaller and smaller lines. 











 

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