Still Can't Get My Bc Smooth!

Decorating By abchambers Updated 15 Dec 2011 , 7:48pm by aandkidz

abchambers Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:22am
post #1 of 14

I've been decorating cakes for about a year now, I prefer to do fondant over BC mostly because I still can't seem to master that smooth look. I've tried the paper towel method & the hot spatula method but it still just isn't right somehow. No matter how many times I go over it, it still has unsmooth areas. It's almost like a stucco wall (but not quite so noticeable). Not to mention the corners just aren't as crisp as I would like. I've looked into the upside down method and the aussie method but personally they look like they take too much time. I would like to be able to perfect it by smoothing with a spatula, etc. Am I missing something? Are there any other tips/tricks I haven't heard of?

Also, I was thinking that maybe it could it be my BC recipe? It's a crusting recipe with shortening and no butter. Perhaps I have it too stiff? It's almost like it firms up too quickly and doesn't have enough "glide". Any advice or thoughts are greatly appreciated! THANKS!

13 replies
Melvira Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:37am
post #2 of 14

Just another option. Works for a lot of people, not as well for a handful. And I use all shortening BC, but I thin it down quite a bit for icing the cake.

http://cakecentral.com/articles/126/quick-easy-smooth-icing-using-a-roller-melvira-method

msulli10 Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:42am
post #3 of 14

I use Sugarshack's buttercream recipe and it took me several tries before I got a perfectly smooth texture. I found the key was thinning down the buttercream. It goes on the cake so much easier and needs less smoothing. I use the hot spatula method. I decorate over the spots I can't get perfect. Hope this helps.

abchambers Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:47am
post #4 of 14

That looks amazing! I'll try it out on my cake for this weekend....hope I end up with great results!

abchambers Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:49am
post #5 of 14

And I'm thinking I'll have to try thinning down the bc as well!

Melvira Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:51am
post #6 of 14

You are very welcome, and I hope that this works for you. As mentioned there have been a few people that it didn't work for, but far more people that swear by it. Do what works for YOU! Best of luck, and yes, I think you will have much better luck with the thinned icing! thumbs_up.gif I've tried using thicker icing before and it's like a nightmare! icon_mad.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 4:02am
post #7 of 14

I worked for a place that used an all shortening recipe that was so thick it is nearly impossible to get it smooth. Good thing they don't care if it is smooth or not! But I had better luck adding a tsp or two at a time to thin it and then test it on the side of your cake. If it is too thick, it is part of the crumb coat thumbs_up.gif I use a recipe that is 4 lbs powdered sugar at a time, and I use about a half a cup of liquid. But I use butter. With all shortening I would use another 1/4 cup. But I like it soft!

aandkidz Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:29pm
post #8 of 14

After watching a video by cupadee....she has changed my life. I use her recipe and her method of icing and voila- perfect cakes. Really. I dont even need to do the paper towel method if I dont want.

http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-do-i-get-my-cakes-smooth.html

Look at video and tell me if this wont change your life. AND...the recipe is divine. I wont ever go back to shortening.[/url]

abchambers Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:37pm
post #9 of 14

Thanks! I'll try both of those suggestions as well!

AnnieCahill Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 3:55pm
post #10 of 14

You really don't need special paper towels and other tools to make your icing smooth. I'm definitely not knocking anyone who uses that stuff, because I used to a long time ago. All I use is a bench scraper (flat scraper) and a piece of parchment paper.

The main thing about getting icing smooth is a) making sure your buttercream is the correct consistency and b) putting on twice as much as you need.

What I do is load up the buttercream about an inch thick all the way around. Your buttercream should not be thin, it should be a good medium, spreadable consistency. If you have to use a lot of pressure to get it to spread then it is too thick. Once the cake is rough iced, take your left hand (or your non-scraping hand) and put it at 12:00 on the turn table at the back of the cake. Put your right hand (scraper hand) right next to that hand and slowly turn the cake counter clockwise until you have turned to the front. The goal here is to only make one swipe around the side. You don't want to dig too deep into the icing at this point, just about 1/4 inch. Then take the scraper, dip it in hot water, and go over it again until you are happy with it. I keep a pot of hot water on the stove and some paper towels to dry it off with each pass.

If I am using an American buttercream then I wait for it to crust then go over any spatula lines with a piece of parchment. Viva was always too linty for me.

I know exactly what you are talking about with the stucco effect. What you need to do is make sure you have a good, even, thick coat of icing all the way around. The stucco happens when the icing has been applied unevenly or you are holding your scraper at an angle, thus not evenly scraping the buttercream all the way around.

I had started a thread about not being able to get the tops of my cakes crisp and smooth, and Jeff Arnett, who developed the upside down method, said it is actually much faster for him than going over everything and evening the buttercream out over and over again (which I find myself doing).

Also, you may want to give meringue buttercreams a try. You don't have to worry about them crusting which makes them very easy to smooth. You can just pop them in the fridge when you get it as smooth as you can and then shave the top layer which will make your edges razor sharp.

And of course, practice, practice, practice!

mommynana Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 4:02pm
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aandkidz

After watching a video by cupadee....she has changed my life. I use her recipe and her method of icing and voila- perfect cakes. Really. I dont even need to do the paper towel method if I dont want.

http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-do-i-get-my-cakes-smooth.html

Look at video and tell me if this wont change your life. AND...the recipe is divine. I wont ever go back to shortening.[/url]




aandkids, Where is the Video?

Melvira Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 4:29pm
post #12 of 14

I have to agree with the bench scraper. It's the only thing I use any time I use non-crusting icings. I still occasionally use the roller on crusting buttercream though just because I've had good luck with it. But yes, a good bench scraper is worth it's weight in gold!!

metria Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 6:30pm
post #13 of 14

sometimes instead of thinning down my icing, i'll spoon some into a plastic container and nuke it in the microwave for 10 seconds. it gets nice and runny. i'll use a little at a time on a cold iced cake to smooth out some troublesome spots.

aandkidz Posted 15 Dec 2011 , 7:48pm
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommynana

Quote:
Originally Posted by aandkidz

After watching a video by cupadee....she has changed my life. I use her recipe and her method of icing and voila- perfect cakes. Really. I dont even need to do the paper towel method if I dont want.

http://cupadeecakes.blogspot.com/2010/11/how-do-i-get-my-cakes-smooth.html

Look at video and tell me if this wont change your life. AND...the recipe is divine. I wont ever go back to shortening.[/url]



aandkids, Where is the Video?




Its in the middle of the page. If you dont see it, here is the link for it on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ICDz6kYgiw&feature=player_embedded

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%