New Here, And Beginner Cake Decorator! :) Questions...

Decorating By Slbroper Updated 1 Jul 2012 , 12:57am by Jenise

Slbroper Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 1:42pm
post #1 of 8

Hi all! Quick intro here- I recently (last summer) started baking/decorating. I had received a Kitchenaid stand mixer for my birthday and that got the ball rolling! I have been experimenting on family by baking them each their own cake for birthday's. The most extravagant cake so far has been a huge pirate ship cake for my nephew. I have yet to work with fondant or gumpaste, because I have been trying to nail buttercream first.

A problem I've been having is getting my buttercream to look as smooth as fondant. Now, I've read the tutorials on here about using viva paper towels, a roller, or even a pastry brush with hot water. I haven't given them a shot yet, but I plan on it. I'm wondering though if I'm having a little harder of a time because I don't use shortening in my recipe at all. I just don't like the way shortening feels in a buttercream, kind of slick feeling. But, if I have to put in a little I guess I could.

Also, I got asked to make a red velvet cake with a smooth bright white finish (either frosting or fondant) with the bottom wrapped in a band of crystals. I was thinking of trying out a cheesecake filling, but I don't think a cream cheese buttercream would be white enough. Any thoughts on how a marshmallow fondant would taste with that? or should I just buy some regular white satin ice? I have also read posts about an "heirloom frosting" which I have never sampled, but maybe that would taste okay against the cream cheese filling?

any tips or guidance in the right direction would be much appreciated! icon_biggrin.gif

7 replies
kakeladi Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 8:28pm
post #2 of 8

Hi there. Just wanted to say welcome to our sweet world.
I don't use the meringue type b'creams as I prefere to work w/ABC so I can't help w/your ?s.

jgifford Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 9:08pm
post #3 of 8

Hi! Welcome to the addiction! It grabs you fast, doesn't it?

An all-butter bc isn't any harder to smooth than a shortening-based recipe - it just takes practice with either one.

For a really white frosting, you could try the 7-Minute Frosting, but unless you use shortening, you're probably not going to get a bright white bc. You could try adding white food coloring to your recipe or the cream cheese type.

CakinKimi Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 9:19pm
post #4 of 8

I didn't like shortening based BC's until someone on here suggested I try IndyDebi's Buttercream. I fell in love with it! It tastes great, easy and quick to make, and is white (even after I added regular vanilla flavoring, not clear)!

As far as smoothing buttercream, I have used the Viva method (although I didn't use Viva, I used whatever brand I had at home. I didn't care if the pattern went on the cake, it was just for my Hubby), and it worked great, so I assume using Viva would work even better.

BakingIrene Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 11:21pm
post #5 of 8

A bright white finish in any kind of food, that looks like bright white paint, is made by using the same white stuff that house paint has.

http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E30B53A-475A-BAC0-5FBDEF5E8A8FCFF2&fid=0EC60A47-475A-BAC0-54338024A0B6A5A5 This stuff has titanium dioxide in it if you read the label. Same as house paint.

You need to learn to tell your customers what can be done with food, because they may have seen the white stuff in grocery store bakeries that also has titanium dioxide to make it white. You may choose not to use such artificial stuff,and your customers also may choose not to eat it.

carmijok Posted 30 Jun 2012 , 11:50pm
post #6 of 8

I don't cover with fondant. All my cakes are buttercream with real butter and NO shortening. You can look at my photos to see how white the white is. Often, people will ask for white...but they don't necessarily mean Crisco white.

I've found that whipping the butter will lighten it some. I also use cream cheese in my frosting and that helps the white factor as well...but it will never be white-white however it most likely will be plenty white enough for what you are wanting to do.

About smoothing...I've found that it's best to layer it on. First I crumbcoat, stick the cake in the fridge to harden a bit then I start layering on the b/c...smoothing as best I can then I refrigerate again to harden it and smooth more b/c on, etc. I use a bench scraper to smooth the sides. When I don't see the cake through the icing anymore, I stop. It's usually about 1/4" thick.

There are plenty of YouTube tutorials with various methods of smoothing. I learned this way at a bakery and it's what I'm used to. Practice will help.

Slbroper Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 12:24am
post #7 of 8

thanks so much for responding!

I'm glad to know its probably not my buttercream recipe, just my skills! but I do want to test out the other methods because an angled spatula has proven to be pretty tough. The viva method seems to be the standout.

As far as the white frosting goes, the picture she showed me was bright white. Its not to be made until this winter, for a big party, where everything is literally snow white. I have had no problem getting my regular buttercream very white, but I'm concerned about a cream cheese buttercream. The last time I tried making one, I used the Sprinkles recipe off of Martha Stewart and it was really sticky and hard to smooth. It did include pureed strawberries so maybe that was the problem. Also, I've never seen a cream cheese frosting that was stark white have you?

So probably layering fondant over cream cheese wouldn't work? Its more of the taste that I'm concerned about mixing the two. Not like fondant tastes good anyway, but I just don't want to mix flavors that shouldn't be.

Again, thanks so much for the help! I've pretty much been doing my cakes on my own until I recently discovered this gem of a site!

Jenise Posted 1 Jul 2012 , 12:57am
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slbroper

thanks so much for responding!

I'm glad to know its probably not my buttercream recipe, just my skills! but I do want to test out the other methods because an angled spatula has proven to be pretty tough. The viva method seems to be the standout.

As far as the white frosting goes, the picture she showed me was bright white. Its not to be made until this winter, for a big party, where everything is literally snow white. I have had no problem getting my regular buttercream very white, but I'm concerned about a cream cheese buttercream. The last time I tried making one, I used the Sprinkles recipe off of Martha Stewart and it was really sticky and hard to smooth. It did include pureed strawberries so maybe that was the problem. Also, I've never seen a cream cheese frosting that was stark white have you?

So probably layering fondant over cream cheese wouldn't work? Its more of the taste that I'm concerned about mixing the two. Not like fondant tastes good anyway, but I just don't want to mix flavors that shouldn't be.

Again, thanks so much for the help! I've pretty much been doing my cakes on my own until I recently discovered this gem of a site!


Not like fondant tastes good anyway, but I just don't want to mix flavors that shouldn't be

This is not true! Both mmf and mff taste great! I do admit to having a hard time putting fondant on cream cheese frosting without some melting, but nothing drastic.

Good luck, this is an addictive hobby!!!

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