How Long Did It Take You To Learn How To Perfectly Frost A Cake

Decorating By missconfectionality Updated 23 Apr 2013 , 12:09am by kazita

missconfectionality Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 1:47am
post #1 of 16

I'm somewhat new to cake decorating and find it SO hard to frost a cake without crumbs or making it perfectly even.  Now I'm kind of worried I'll never get the hang of it!  :( So for all the pros out there, how long did it take you to make a perfectly smooth cakes??

15 replies
tykesmommy Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 3:03am
post #2 of 16

AI've been at it for a lil bit myself and if you go to, there is a free buttercream tutorial! I hope this helps you!

kakeladi Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 3:11am
post #3 of 16

I take it you are icing the cake with buttercream.  Are you crumbcoating 1st?  this is a very thin coating of the same icing you will use for the finish coat - just put it on very thinnly.  OR: you can heat a small amount (depending on the size of the cake being worked on) by 'zapping it in the MicroWave oven for a few seconds - less than 5 or 6 - and quickly spreading it all over the cake.  This will dry in seconds somewhat like a glazed donut :)  Now the crumbs are 'locked in' and won't get on the finish coat of icing.

The consistency of the icing you use is very important.  It should be a bit on the thin side - medium if following the Wilton recipe.  I like it just a bit thinner than that by adding just a bit more *fat* rather than more liquid.  That makes the icing creamy instead of thin :)

It's very helpful to have a turntable and a bench scraper, but it can be done w/you off-set spatula.  Spread a goodly amount of icing on the cake and push it w/the spatula.  Always push the icing around, *don't let the spatula touch the cake*.  Get it a smooth as you can, then let the icing set/dry until you can lightly touch it w/a finger and no icing comes off on the finger (this should take not much more than 30 minutes, usually much less).  Take a paper towel, lay it on the cake, and smooth w/your hand all over.  Any creases, bumps etc will smooth out and the icing will be very smooth.

Instead of using a spatula to apply the icing it is helpful to use the Wilton "Cake Icer" tip - the *big* wide tip.  It dispenses just the right amount of icing then all you have to do is smooth it w/your spatula/bench scraper.

remnant3333 Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 3:24am
post #4 of 16

Getting the frosting perfectly even is probably the hardest part for me also.  I have been doing cakes as a hobby for maybe 8 months or so. I use hot water on my icing scraper then dry it off. Scraper is now warm and I try to smooth out the icing. Normally it is not perfect when I am finished but  once my icing has crusted then I go back with a viva paper towel, (Some use wax paper or parchment paper).  I then lightly smooth it all the way around till smooth then try to smooth it on top.  With practice and more practice it will become easier for you.  Don't give up.  Just keep trying until you "own the cake". I am  no expert because I only do it for family and close friends. Most people use fondant which will make it look smoother but everyone I know that I do cakes for always wants butter cream. The others here probably have a better method than I do. I am always willing to learn something new that will help me also.  There is another method called the upside down method for putting on buttercream but I have not tried that one yet. There is a video if you google it for that on the internet. Hang in there!!! It will get better with time!!!

psurrette Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 4:42am
post #5 of 16

I always tell my students it takes 100 of anything to get it right. It might not be perfect but each time you ice a cake or make a flower it will get better.

Don't give up! Consistency is key! thin creamy icing will work best, Do not use too much liquid. practice practice practice. 

kazita Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 6:52am
post #6 of 16

A note she does have a thin crumb coat on her cake before she puts on the finish coat and she doesn't say to wait until the cake crust before taking your viva paper towel to the cake. Plus you can go to and watch her tutorial on how to ice a buttercream cake

kazita Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 7:26am
post #7 of 16

AShe doesn't say on designmeacake that you need to let your cake crust up before smoothing with the paper towel but you have to wait for your cake to crust up before you use the paper towel to smooth it out

tdovewings Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 7:17pm
post #9 of 16

It has taken me about a year, or ~35-40 cakes later and I'm still not magazine perfect. It really does take lots of practice and patience. The correct consistency is key as well. Don't give up!

Godot Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 7:21pm
post #10 of 16

ATen thousand hours.

remnant3333 Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 7:56pm
post #11 of 16

Godot, that is too funny!!!! ten thousand hours sounds about right. LOL!!! I had to laugh when I read your comment!!!! One good thing about decorating is that you can cover up a lot of mistakes with flowers,borders or whatever you need to do to make it look better.  Decorations cover up mistakes!!!!

ChefAngie Posted 25 Dec 2012 , 8:45pm
post #12 of 16

The 18-inch, icer tip,and a decorating comb with a straight edge.

Happy Baking and Decorating

crystal18_corpus Posted 26 Dec 2012 , 4:34am
post #13 of 16



I have to say the best investment I purchased was Sharon Zambito Perfecting the Art of Buttercream.. When she explained her technique for smoothing it just clicked... and it takes practice... I like to apply my icing with the wilton 1m tip thats the big open star it applies a even layer to the whole cake then use a bench scraper to smooth it out not a spatula..... Here is a pic of a cake I iced today all buttercream no fondant...

luv2bake4u Posted 30 Dec 2012 , 1:58pm
post #14 of 16

I also have Sharon's video on perfecting buttercream.  I would watch it over and over again.  It took me at least a year until my cakes looked pretty good. I still watch the video when I haven't decorated a cake in a while. 

beth1957 Posted 22 Apr 2013 , 11:49pm
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by psurrette 

I always tell my students it takes 100 of anything to get it right. It might not be perfect but each time you ice a cake or make a flower it will get better.

Don't give up! Consistency is key! thin creamy icing will work best, Do not use too much liquid. practice practice practice. 

I really love this answer! It's so encouraging. Thank you psurrete! I don't want to be a professional. It has become a hobby Cake decorating it's something I always loved watching and admiring. I have started no more than a month, the material it's expensive and sometimes the results are somehow disappointing although not too bad for a first timer...  just get anxious and nervous...Will I be able to get it one day? If I lived in MA I would certainly take a class with you!! icon_smile.gif

kazita Posted 23 Apr 2013 , 12:09am
post #16 of 16

AEven though this is a old post people can still learn from this video

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