Questions About Jeff Arnett's Upside-Down Buttercream Tutorial

Decorating By Kyriosity Updated 2 Jul 2014 , 1:57am by Jeff_Arnett

Kyriosity Posted 23 May 2014 , 12:06am
post #1 of 21


1. I am trying the technique for the first time for a wedding cake next week [insert nervous picture of me here]. The recipe in the second comment (which I think is from the author) surprised me, as it has twice as much butter/shortening as the recipe I usually use. I'd love some feedback from folks who have done this technique on how well that recipe works, or what recipe(s) you've had success with.


2. The cake has a double 10" tier, and that intimidates me for a couple of reasons: 1) Will I have trouble flipping it? 2) A regular spackling knife won't be big enough. Is there another tool I could use for a double tier?


Thanks in advance for any wisdom anyone can offer!



20 replies
AZCouture Posted 23 May 2014 , 12:49am
post #2 of 21

AFat girl cakes sells long bench scrapers, perfect for extended tiers. Just Google to find her.

AZCouture Posted 23 May 2014 , 12:50am
post #3 of 21

AI usually use a stainless steel ruler, only because I'm cheap and haven't ordered one of hers yet.

Kyriosity Posted 23 May 2014 , 5:07am
post #4 of 21

Oooh...that's a good hack idea! Thanks!



Smckinney07 Posted 23 May 2014 , 6:47am
post #5 of 21

I've never used Jeff's method I started with Faye's method (first link) but I typically use Michelle's method (second link) I use a ss right angle from the hardware store (obviously a clean cake only tool). I've heard great things about Fat Girl scrapers and I'll eventually get one but my angle works perfectly for Michelle's method, it's super tall so I like it for extended or double barrel tiers.

I've never used Jeff's BC either, I prefer ganache or SMBC.

Kyriosity Posted 23 May 2014 , 3:13pm
post #6 of 21

Thanks, Smckinney07!



Jeff_Arnett Posted 23 May 2014 , 3:54pm
post #7 of 21

Maybe I can help you.  I've tweaked things a bit since the original method was posted.  Here's some tips:


1.  Cover your boards with PLASTIC COATED FREEZER PAPER (I use Reynold's brand, but any plastic coated freezer/butcher paper will work fine) rather than doesn't wrinkle and it releases very cleanly!


2.  To prevent air bubbles on the top surface, smear a very thin coat of icing on the board first...practically thin enough to see through.... then come back with a thicker should get no air holes then!


3.  My current icing is 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter, 1 1/2 cups shortening (had to up the shortening amount when they removed the transfats from it...if you can still find transfat vegetable shortening, you can get by with 1 cup), 2 pounds powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons extract.  If icing is too stiff, I thin with small amounts of HOT WHIPPING CREAM.


4.  You can get up to 12 inch wide stainless steel paint/drywall scrapers at Home Depot, Lowe's or pretty much any good hardware store.


Hope this helps...let me know if you have more questions!



Kyriosity Posted 23 May 2014 , 4:32pm
post #8 of 21

Thanks so much, Jeff! I've never made icing with that much butter/shortening, so I'm excited to see how that ratio will affect my work!



Jeff_Arnett Posted 24 May 2014 , 1:26am
post #9 of 21

Couple notes...this icing DOES NOT crust. I keep my cakes in the cooler when not working on them.


After icing, they usually chill and hour or so before "flipping" and peeling away the paper...longer for large cakes.  I know some people are intimidated by the flipping part....I'm 6'3" so it's not a big issue for me, but I could how it could be for some smaller framed people.


My cakes spend the night before delivery in the cooler as well...a cold cake is nice and solid and easy to deliver without issues!

Jeff_Arnett Posted 24 May 2014 , 1:28am
post #10 of 21

If you are acquainted with Minette Rushing of Savannah Custom cakes, she uses a very similar recipe except her recipe actually has a bit more of both butter and shortening.  If you visit

Kyriosity Posted 24 May 2014 , 3:52am
post #11 of 21

Aaahhh...that might be the killer for me. I'm not sure I can cope without a good crust on my icing!



James M Posted 26 May 2014 , 4:44am
post #12 of 21

@Kyriosity I am no expert with this technique as I just discovered it not to long ago after watching Jessica Harris's craftsy class but with icing this cake with that amount of butter in the icing and the cooler basically acts like a crust. You just ice the cake and then cool it in the fridge and then it gets hard and you can then smooth it with either the hot knife method or I have seen someone do it with just the spatula and then put it back in the fridge before applying the fondant and that will give you a hard base like if you had a crusted buttercream.

Jeff_Arnett Posted 26 May 2014 , 3:18pm
post #13 of 21

I'm not saying the technique won't work with an icing that crusts...I have never tried it....but a simple test is easy....spread a bit of you icing on a piece of freezer paper and put in the fridge about an hour...if you can peel the paper away from the icing smoothly, then it should work fine.

cara1982 Posted 26 May 2014 , 5:09pm
post #14 of 21

AI used this yesterday with a ganached cake. It worked so well, thank you for the tutorial!

Kyriosity Posted 31 May 2014 , 2:45pm
post #15 of 21

Thanks for the advice, everybody! Today is showtime, so I'll let y'all know how it works out!



MBalaska Posted 31 May 2014 , 7:34pm
post #16 of 21


Originally Posted by cara1982 

I used this yesterday with a ganached cake. It worked so well, thank you for the tutorial!
kakeladi Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 1:54am
post #17 of 21

...........might be the killer for me. I'm not sure I can cope without a good crust on my icing!  ~Valerie........


This recipe is very similar to Jeff's but will crust.  Do try it.

Kyriosity Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 6:02am
post #18 of 21

Well, I chickened out. No cake flipping for me. BUT...I used a new recipe (3 cups butter, 1 cup shortening, 2 lbs. sugar) and got MUCH smoother frosting than I've ever managed. I have one more wedding next weekend (three weeks in a row...that's more wedding cakes than I've ever made in a year!), so I might try the ratios in the bottom note on kakeladi's link (I think I'll try 2 cups butter, 1 cup shortening, 2 lbs. sugar) for that one.


Thanks, everybody, for the feedback!



Jeff_Arnett Posted 10 Jun 2014 , 3:15pm
post #19 of 21

Ahh...give it a try at least...flipping cakes really isn't a big deal...I never give it a second thought!

Stacy49 Posted 1 Jul 2014 , 11:03pm
post #20 of 21

Jeff, I've used your method for years and love it. I decided to try the freezer paper today. I used the shiny side against the frosting. It's not coming off. I've popped my cake in the freezer for a few minutes hoping my cake isn't cold enough. Should I have used the other side?

Jeff_Arnett Posted 2 Jul 2014 , 1:57am
post #21 of 21

No...use the SHINY side against your icing....I can't imagine it usually release super cleanly for me...that's why I abandoned the parchment paper in favor of it several years ago. Maybe you cake isn't cold enough...I ice my layers frozen, then allow them to sit in the cooler about an hour before peeling the paper off.

Quote by @%username% on %date%