I just found this site about two weeks ago and am TOTALLY ADDICTED. Having touched on cake decorating as a child with my grandmother and now having a small child, I have taken it up as a regular hobby. Before taking the Wilton class I never knew there were other frosting besides buttercream, and on this site I find so many new buttercream recipes even - it is exciting.
One thing I never learned was how to smooth buttercream icing, but I found LOTS of suggestions here - THANK YOU ALL!
I am working on three cakes this week, so iced one Sunday night and put it in the fridge. It is a square with two smaller circles on top (you guessed - my first castle). Because it had been refrigerated for a couple of days, I used Saran Wrap last night and VERY gently rubbed the spatula marks out and smoothed the edges. It is not perfect, but MUCH improved.
On the other cake I frosted last night, I waited ten minutes and used parchment to smooth and it worked really well. Having never done stacked cakes of different sizes it was really helpful to have a way to go back and smooth.
I look forward to third cake I will frost this weekend for my final Wilton II class.
Again, thank you all, and I look forward to learning more from you. I am already avidly collecting ideas for new cakes, hoping to get a side business going to keep my skills honed and continually improving.