Cake Central › Tutorials › How To Get Perfectly Smooth Buttercream Icing

How To Get Perfectly Smooth Buttercream Icing

This tutorial shows you step by step how to frost your cake in buttercream icing, and smooth it to a perfect finish. Commonly referred to as the "VIVA Paper Towel Method"
After so many of you asking how I do it here it is....

List of Materials

  • VIVA┬« Brand Paper Towels (will not work with other quilted brands)
  • Decorating Tip #18
  • 18 inch Icing Bag
  • Angled Spatula
  • Fondant Smoother (aka fondant paddle)
  • VERY HOT Water


With a tip 18 and an 18 inch bag pipe up and down the side of prepared crumb coated cake


Continue all the way around the cake.


With a large metal angled spatula dipped in VERY hot water
Remove spatula from water
dry the spatula and go around the sections till is all done


With the smooth side of a viva towel rub the cake all the way around pushing any air bubbles up.


With the smooth side of the viva towel round the edges with your fingers.


With the viva towel and a fondant paddle smooth the side of the cake.


With the tip 18 fill the top of the cake.


With a VERY hot angle spatula smooth the top of the cake.


Continue the until top all done with the hot spatula.


With the smooth side of the viva towel and your hand smooth the top and the edge blending the edge well.


With the smooth side of the viva towel and the fondant paddle smooth the top and the sides one final time.


Comments (98)

Thank you for sharing. Will definately be trying that out on this weeks cakes.
what is the recipe for that buttercream? my buttercream sticks to the paper towels, i have tried to let it set (15 mins) but it still doesnt work
Do I have to wait till butter cream crusts ? I've tried this method before and I have same issue as Sandyvrc, paper towel stuck to the butter cream :( , or could it be the buttercream recipe I am using ? Yours is so smooth , I had made rosets and dots and stars just to cover my mess I would love to be able to get smooth like yours :) looks perfect .
I love the finish product. Your icing looks so white even that you used butter. It looks like if it all shortening. Did you add white color? It looks so pretty!
thank u for sharing....
thanks for sharing this! i would also be interested in knowing your BC recipe.
Thanks for sharing, I will definately try this. My cakes bulge slightly between the layers. Any ideas what I can do to prevent this?
Ive been wondering how to do this, thanks for sharing ! :D
Awesome! Thank you for sharing. Can you show us a square cake next?! :-)
I would also like to see the square version, and your buttercream recipe, thanks!
Thanks for sharing. What buttercream recipe do you use? I would also love to see the square. I will try to do it. Thanks again!!!!
what recipe is this?
Thanks for sharing!!! After you have piped with the 18 do you smooth with spatula up and down or around in a circle?
Thanks for this. I would love to know what buttercream recipe you use.
can you please share your buttercream recipe?
wow this looks like fondant
Amazing. I can never get mine to look like this.
I also would love to know which BC recipe you use. Looks beautiful!
Would love to know if this is real buttercream or shortening buttercream. :)
Cake Central › Tutorials › How To Get Perfectly Smooth Buttercream Icing