My Tips On Smoothing Buttercream

Decorating By gourmetcakes Updated 3 Jun 2011 , 3:14pm by Rhonlynn

gourmetcakes Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:42pm
post #1 of 51

I have had several people ask how I get my buttercream so smooth. So, here is the technique I use.

Once I have iced the cake using a crusting buttercream (recipe below), I allow the cake to crust over for approximately 30 minutes. I use a square piece of parchment paper and my warm hand to smooth my cakes. I place the parchment paper on the top and use a fast and soft circular and side-to-side motion to rub my hand over the top of the entire cake until it is smooth. Make sure your parchment paper has not become greasy or the icing will start sticking to it. Then I use the same motion on the sides. Next, I take a new square of parchment paper and put it on the edge of my cake, using a teeter totter motion, I smooth the cake with my hand in a fast and soft circular motion going up and down, over the edge several times until the icing has become smooth, then I move over a little and do the next section. This is a process that takes a few minutes because once I get back to the beginning of where I started, I may go back and do it again with a new piece of parchment paper to smooth a little more.

CRUSTING BUTTERCREAM ICING
1 cup salted sweet cream butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 cup Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
2 t. clear vanilla extract
2 lbs. (8 cups) sifted powdered sugar, divided
1 T. Meringue Powder
4 T. heavy whipping cream, divided

Cream butter and shortening, add vanilla, cream until smooth. Add Meringue Powder to powdered sugar. Add half of the powdered sugar, beating well on medium speed until blended (keep bowl covered with damp towel while beating to keep powdered sugar in bowl). Add half of the heavy whipping cream, mixing until blended. Add remaining powdered sugar and remaining heavy whipping cream. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Cover with damp cloth until ready to use. Keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Can be refrigerated for 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

When icing a cake, allow to crust over for at least 30 minutes.

Makes 6 cups.

50 replies
EmmyNoah Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:54pm
post #2 of 51

Thanks so much for sharing!

LindaF144a Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 7:57pm
post #3 of 51

Your cakes are very smooth! Can I ask what you use to color your icing?

icer101 Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:04pm
post #4 of 51

Thank you for your time. Mine is similiar. I will try yours now.

gourmetcakes Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:07pm
post #5 of 51

Thanks and you are welcome!! I just use the Wilton icing coloring.

sweets4you Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:34pm
post #6 of 51

Thanks for sharing!

ajwonka Posted 22 Mar 2011 , 8:49pm
post #7 of 51

Thanks!

bakingkat Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 2:15am
post #8 of 51

Thanks for this, your cakes are so fabulous and downright enviable icon_wink.gif

GeorgiaC Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 11:06am
post #9 of 51

Do you think the meringue powder helps it to smooth better?

gourmetcakes Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:21pm
post #10 of 51

Thanks so much guys!

About adding the Meringue Powder ~ After Crisco changed to 0 trans fat, I had nothing but problems with my buttercream crusting like it used to. So, I called Wilton (who had also changed their recipe due to the 0 trans fat shortening), and they recommended using meringue powder to help with the crusting. It really worked!!! They recommend using 1 T. to 1 cup of shortening. So, if I make a half batch of icing (3 cups) with only a 1/2 cup of shortening, I only use a 1/2 T. of meringue powder. Someone else somewhere recommended me using heavy whipping cream instead of milk to add more fat to help in the loss of the fat from the shortening. So, with the combination of adding the meringue powder and using heavy whipping cream, my buttercream has never crusted better. And, it is light and fluffy and isn't too sweet!

cakegirl1973 Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:36pm
post #11 of 51

Does your buttercream recipe require refrigeration or can it be left out on the counter?

sabre Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 4:58pm
post #12 of 51

Thanks so much!

cake_architect Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 5:11pm
post #13 of 51

sooooooo thats what the meringue powder does!!! haha i feel so dumb. i've been using my mom's buttercream recipe for years and i've never known- i usually throw it in if i remember (recipe calls for 1tbs) but haven't really noticed a difference. now i know its to help with crusting! thanks icon_biggrin.gif

gourmetcakes Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 7:29pm
post #14 of 51

Cakegirl....I do refrigerate my icing, then bring it to room temperature to ice my cakes. I have left it out at room temperature for a couple days and it has been perfecting fresh.

Another tip for everyone.....I used to waste A LOT of icing that I had colored for different cakes, throwing it away in the decorating bags or just extra left in the bowls. What I do now is just take the coupler screw and tip off and put the decorating bags of colored icing in a freezer bag and into the freezer. Then, I just pull certain colors out that I need for certain projects. If the icing seems a little greasy when it comes to room temperature, just clamp the end of the bag, put a tip on it and knead it in your hand to mix it up so it is ready to use again. This has saved a ton of time coloring icing and also not wasting perfectly good icing! I love getting into the freezer and know that I already have all of the colors made and ready to use for a cake that requires a lot of colors.

imagenthatnj Posted 23 Mar 2011 , 7:41pm
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmetcakes

Cakegirl....I do refrigerate my icing, then bring it to room temperature to ice my cakes. I have left it out at room temperature for a couple days and it has been perfecting fresh.

Another tip for everyone.....I used to waste A LOT of icing that I had colored for different cakes, throwing it away in the decorating bags or just extra left in the bowls. What I do now is just take the coupler screw and tip off and put the decorating bags of colored icing in a freezer bag and into the freezer. Then, I just pull certain colors out that I need for certain projects. If the icing seems a little greasy when it comes to room temperature, just clamp the end of the bag, put a tip on it and knead it in your hand to mix it up so it is ready to use again. This has saved a ton of time coloring icing and also not wasting perfectly good icing! I love getting into the freezer and know that I already have all of the colors made and ready to use for a cake that requires a lot of colors.




Kind of like the "icing plugs"?

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=38404&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=icing&&start=0

simplysouthern Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:19pm
post #16 of 51

I made this buttercream for 2 cakes last week and WHOA, BEST BUTTERCREAM EVER! It is not overly sweet like usual buttercream and it spreads and smooths like magic!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!! This is forever my buttercream recipe! My staffers are gonna kill me, I just made them take an oath for our old buttercream recipe that was my grandmothers, they had to swear to never share the recipe or techniques LOL and now Im changing it all up on them hahaha! OH WELL totally worth it!

THANK you again icon_smile.gif

dorothymarie Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:52pm
post #17 of 51

Because whipped cream is used, the finished iced cake would have to be refrigerated. Correct?

bobwonderbuns Posted 19 May 2011 , 10:08pm
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmetcakes


Another tip for everyone.....I used to waste A LOT of icing that I had colored for different cakes, throwing it away in the decorating bags or just extra left in the bowls. What I do now is just take the coupler screw and tip off and put the decorating bags of colored icing in a freezer bag and into the freezer. Then, I just pull certain colors out that I need for certain projects. If the icing seems a little greasy when it comes to room temperature, just clamp the end of the bag, put a tip on it and knead it in your hand to mix it up so it is ready to use again. This has saved a ton of time coloring icing and also not wasting perfectly good icing! I love getting into the freezer and know that I already have all of the colors made and ready to use for a cake that requires a lot of colors.




That is an AMAZING tip -- thank you!!!! I mention that because tonight I'm decorating a flowery buttercream cake for a friend for tomorrow night and I always have TONS of leftover multicolored buttercream!! You are such a lifesaver!!!! icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

simplysouthern Posted 19 May 2011 , 10:43pm
post #19 of 51

ContestCook, the PS stabilizes the heavy cream enough to make it counter safe on a cake for a couple of days just like any other buttercream icon_smile.gif

Rhonlynn Posted 20 May 2011 , 4:25pm
post #20 of 51

I've been looking about a week for a decent buttercream frosting that was similar to the crusting chocolate fudge frosting I found. This one is the closest. i'll make some up this afternoon. This has the same ingredients, almost, as the chocolate one does, minus the cocoa.

I have my final cake on Tuesday, for Wilton one, and I take it very seriously. I've had nothing but trouble with Buttercream frosting recipe in the Wilton book. Then, when using Sugarveil, I found out how humid the house was, cause I couldn't get the sugar veil to dry over night.

That was an eye opener to me....The buttercream hasn't done well at all for me in the Wilton book. Part humidity and part recipe. So I'm going to try this recipe. Thankyou.

Rhonlynn Posted 21 May 2011 , 9:55pm
post #21 of 51

I made it today, it is perfect. It is creamy, not gritty, thick enough for class, and I can thin it just as easy for my thin layers. It tastes so good. I used half Penzey's double strength vanilla, and half penzey's almond. (I don't need a pure white cake now, my next cake is mauve and ivory.)

It is a wonderful recipe! Thankyou.

cakincrazy Posted 21 May 2011 , 11:07pm
post #22 of 51

what is this recipe for buttercream recipe please? I need a new one that crusts over and is not too sweet... thanks.

imagenthatnj Posted 21 May 2011 , 11:11pm
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakincrazy

what is this recipe for buttercream recipe please? I need a new one that crusts over and is not too sweet... thanks.




Go back to the first page of this thread. It's there at the beginning.

cakincrazy Posted 21 May 2011 , 11:13pm
post #24 of 51

thank you

mommynana Posted 21 May 2011 , 11:32pm
post #25 of 51

gourmetcakes, You`r cakes are beautiful, And smoother then a baby`s bottom

Rhonlynn Posted 22 May 2011 , 3:26am
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Quote:
Originally Posted by gourmetcakes


Another tip for everyone.....I used to waste A LOT of icing that I had colored for different cakes, throwing it away in the decorating bags or just extra left in the bowls. What I do now is just take the coupler screw and tip off and put the decorating bags of colored icing in a freezer bag and into the freezer. Then, I just pull certain colors out that I need for certain projects. If the icing seems a little greasy when it comes to room temperature, just clamp the end of the bag, put a tip on it and knead it in your hand to mix it up so it is ready to use again. This has saved a ton of time coloring icing and also not wasting perfectly good icing! I love getting into the freezer and know that I already have all of the colors made and ready to use for a cake that requires a lot of colors.



That is an AMAZING tip -- thank you!!!! I mention that because tonight I'm decorating a flowery buttercream cake for a friend for tomorrow night and I always have TONS of leftover multicolored buttercream!! You are such a lifesaver!!!! icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif





Wow, I certainly will do that! They don't teach you that in the Wilton's class.

SheriCakes4u Posted 23 May 2011 , 2:11pm
post #27 of 51

GourmetCakes...great tips for smoothing icing and saving colors! I can't wait to try the icing recipe!

annboleyn Posted 23 May 2011 , 7:44pm
post #28 of 51

I use the same technique to smooth my buttercream, but I use a textured paper towel. The icing will be smooth and will have an embossed look. When I buy paper towels I always look at the patterns to see what I would like on my cakes.

susan10222 Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:24am
post #29 of 51

Beautiful recipe! Thanks for sharing! Any ideas for how I can adapt to a Chocolate Buttercream?

KeltoKel Posted 24 May 2011 , 11:44am
post #30 of 51

Great tips, thanks!

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