Before and After using the Melvira roller smoothing method on your buttercream frosted cake
The “Melvira Method” is intended to help you create a perfectly smooth icing surface on your cake, ideal for decorating. To complete this method you will need to purchase a high-density foam roller at your local hardware or paint supply store.Most discount stores do not carry the high-density foam, please insure that you purchase the high-density foam roller refill heads or you will be left with a ‘spackle-like’ texture on your icing. The rollers are available in 2”, 4”, and 6” widths. 6” is ideal for most cakes, although the 2” is useful for the sides of sheet cakes, or for shaped/character cakes. Frost cake with buttercream icing as you normally would using a spatula or the cake icer tip. Smooth icing lightly. (Crusting buttercreamis suggested, but non-crusting can be used.)Allow icing to crust at least 10-15 minutes. (Longer in humid conditions.) If you are using a non-crusting buttercream, refrigerate cake until icing is set. Using your dry foam roller, gently roll across the top surface of your cake, smoothing out any air pockets, bumps, or wrinkles across the cake.Use long, light and gentle strokes across the surface. Do not use short, fast strokes as this may displace icing. Proceed to the sides of your cake and follow the same long, light and gentle strokes, bringing the edge up to meet the top edge. Alternately, a Viva paper towel can be used on top of the icing as you roll, serving as a barrier between the icing and the roller, also insuring the smooth finish you would expect from the Viva method.You may also use waxed paper or parchment to achieve the smoothest surface possible. The roller is an excellent way to apply an edible image. After following steps 1-4, prepare a squirt bottle with clean water and set it to a fine mist. Test to insure you are only getting a very fine spray. Print your image and prepare it for application. Immediately before applying image, hold water bottle about a foot above cake and spritz a fine mist over the cake, letting it float down and create a slightly tacky top surface on your cake so the image will adhere. Immediately apply image. Use roller to smooth over image in the same way you smoothed the top icing. Allow image to set. Before adding borders, smooth one more time. (Insert picture 5) Roller Care:
Wash roller foam pad well with dish soap and hot water before first use and immediately following subsequent uses. Rinse thoroughly, use fingers to squeegee out excess water and allow foam to completely dry before using.
Roller must absolutely dry before attempting this method.
It is advisable to have roller refill heads available in case the foam becomes wet or damaged in the middle of smoothing your cake. For easiest cleaning, do not apply soap directly to foam, take a small amount of dish soap and lather in your hands, then rub lather into foam. The roller may become stained if used on chocolate or colored icings, but this will not affect its performance. If you wash the foam well, any color stains should not bleed onto a white cake during subsequent uses, however, if you are unsure, test it by rolling some icing on a sheet of waxed paper or a cookie sheet before using on cake.
- Icing pulls away from cake and sticks to roller head. Either icing is not crusted well enough, it is still tacky. Allow to more thoroughly crust (refrigerate if using non-crusting icing) -or- You are using short, jerky strokes. Use longer, slow and smooth strokes to gently manipulate icing.
- Icing cracks and looks dry when I roll it. Icing is too crusted. Reapply a thin layer of icing and roll before it becomes too dry.
- Air holes are not disappearing when I roll: Use a slightly firmer pressure. While you do not want to ‘smash’ the icing, you do want to push firmly enough to smooth out air bubbles and holes.