Smooth Buttercream Finish

Decorating By Susie0530 Updated 18 Feb 2012 , 5:50pm by costumeczar

Susie0530 Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 1:19pm
post #1 of 10

I am trying to get my buttercream to have that smooth and clean look. I have used the viva method and the fondant smoother. It just doesn't look as smooth as I would like it to.

do any of you have any tips or tricks to get that great finished appearance?

Frustrated. icon_cry.gif Thank you.

9 replies
matthewkyrankelly Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 1:30pm
post #2 of 10

Try a cold cake and a hot spatula.

Susie0530 Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 2:53pm
post #3 of 10

Thank you. I'll give it a try.

esangston Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 12:56pm
post #4 of 10

I fought with bc forever... There's a YouTube video where she shows how to do it. I don't remember the name or anything just search for smoothing buttercream. She also uses a dough scrapper. I had the best luck with her instruction

But I didn't get smooth and crisp edges til I started using Swiss meringue buttercream. Except I use 8 egg whites, 2 cs sugar and only 2 lbs of unsweetened sweet cream butter. Those are the ratios I use, you can search for a method and instructions online. When you put Swiss meringue in the fridge, it hardens and then you just basically shave back extra icing to get perfect smooth icing... I usually put it back in the fridge a few times. But the results are crisp, perfect edges and smooth sides. It's worth the effort...

Oh and it tastes amazing, is easy to pipe, makes amazing flowers and yeah, it's my favorite thing ever.

kristab84 Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 1:15pm
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by esangston

I fought with bc forever... There's a YouTube video where she shows how to do it. I don't remember the name or anything just search for smoothing buttercream. She also uses a dough scrapper. I had the best luck with her instruction

But I didn't get smooth and crisp edges til I started using Swiss meringue buttercream. Except I use 8 egg whites, 2 cs sugar and only 2 lbs of unsweetened sweet cream butter. Those are the ratios I use, you can search for a method and instructions online. When you put Swiss meringue in the fridge, it hardens and then you just basically shave back extra icing to get perfect smooth icing... I usually put it back in the fridge a few times. But the results are crisp, perfect edges and smooth sides. It's worth the effort...

Oh and it tastes amazing, is easy to pipe, makes amazing flowers and yeah, it's my favorite thing ever.




Do you have to keep it refrigerated after decorating? since it contains egg white?? I'm a complete newbie... lol

Blueridgebuttercream Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 3:09pm
post #6 of 10

esangston, may I ask a question about your technique?

When I try to smooth my SMBC by scraping away the excess, I refrigerate it until set, then take it out and scrape with a bench scraper. But the scraped areas change color - what am I doing wrong that is causing that?

pattigunter Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 3:49pm
post #7 of 10

I find that if I dont use my Viva paper towels as soon as the icing crusts it wont smooth. If I leave them for a couple hours I cant do anything with it. But if I smooth as soon as they crust they come out great. I use Sharon Zambitos buttercream recipe.

esangston Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 4:05pm
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueridgebuttercream

esangston, may I ask a question about your technique?

When I try to smooth my SMBC by scraping away the excess, I refrigerate it until set, then take it out and scrape with a bench scraper. But the scraped areas change color - what am I doing wrong that is causing that?




It changes color cause it may not be cold thru and thru, so the cold part your scraping away, is exposing the not cold part. That's my experience.

Ive also read if you use the hot knife technique, it can cause a reaction with the butter and change the color. I've never used hot knife as I don't really see a need.

I just use a regular knife, not hot not cold, or if I need to I've been known to grab my veggie peeler, but only the one that is flat on the side

esangston Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 4:17pm
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristab84



Do you have to keep it refrigerated after decorating? since it contains egg white?? I'm a complete newbie... lol




You cook the egg whites when you are melting the sugar, so some would still say yes. It also contains butter, which I buy straight butter, not oil based butter or margarine. And most would say that you need to keep it in the fridge due to the butter.

In all honesty, I don't keep it in the fridge unless it isn't going to be eaten for over 24 hours. And even then, I did some cupcakes for my family and they didn't get put in the fridge. My husband ate one like 5 days later, and he said it tasted just fine. So I personally think that at room temp, it's not a problem. Higher heats, sure maybe. I've been told sugar acts as a preservative in icings, and although there isn't a lot of sugar in smbc, I think It may be enough

Now I did have an icing bag of smbc in my van and didnt remember for a few days. (my life beside cake baking is nuts, and stuff just happens) I went to get my cake kit out and found it, and it had been a week in my van in Georgia winter, aka it wasn't 100degrees but it wasn't cold either. We had 75 degree days so you can imagine how hot that van got. You could tell the smbc was separating and I never would have used it. But it had been exposed to the heat in the van so I think that's why.

Others may argue with me on it. Others may say it has to be refrigerated and never left out. I've used it for quite a few cakes and cupcakes and no one has ever gotten sick from leaving it out for a few days. And that's just my two cents lol.


Edit: but keep in mind, my smbc ratio is way different that that of the norm. I use 8 whites, 2 cups sugar and 2 lbs or 4 cups butter. The normal ratio is 4whites, 1 cup and 2 lbs or 4 cups butter. I don't like that much butter flavor. So I cut it back. The butter helps to stabilize it (as well as a 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar when you start whipping the whites). So I couldn't cut it out completely but it adds a great flavor none the less.

costumeczar Posted 18 Feb 2012 , 5:50pm
post #10 of 10

Use the Viva paper towels, then let the cake sit for a few minutes, then go back and use a piece of typing paper to smooth it one more time. If you use the paper with a fondant smoother it gives the icing a really flat finish. This would be the method for crusting buttercream, not the meringues.

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