Buttercream Woes

Decorating By lkoenig07 Updated 10 Jan 2009 , 11:03am by grannys3angels

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lkoenig07 Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 2:03pm
post #1 of 16

Ok, so I'm having problems getting my buttercream icing smooth. I've tried the Viva method, the parchment paper method, and I use the class buttercream from Wilton. I'm getting better at it, but I can't make it perfectly smooth & this is one of the things that gets to me. I was just wondering what buttercream you all use? I don't know if it's just the stuff I use or what. But once it crusts over & I try to spread it to make it smooth (maybe I shouldn't do that?) it just makes it look funny.

15 replies
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tracycakes Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 3:02pm
post #2 of 16

I've used several different ones and I'm using SugarShacks right now. The comment about trying to spread it to make it smooth after it crusts could be your problem. Before it crusts, get it as smooth as you can. Once it crusts and you start using Viva, use a very light touch - you don't want to "squish" it. I haven't yet learned the technique of perfectly smooth like SugarShack, but I'm better. When I have problems is when I press too hard. Just keep using a really light touch and you'll get there. HTH!

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tiggy2 Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 5:58pm
post #3 of 16

Same suggestions as previous poster and I also use Melvira's roller method..........works like a charms. But you have to be sure to get HIGH DENSITY rollers and use a light touch or it wont work. Instructions are in the article section.

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alliebear Posted 8 Jan 2009 , 6:14pm
post #4 of 16

i have a question too!! if i cant buy any viva paper ( not availble in canada and i dont want to order it in because i dont make that many cakes) does parchment work just as well??

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kakeladi Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 1:26am
post #5 of 16

Do you have any paper towels that do not have a pattern embossed into them? SugarShack sometimes used typing paper instead.

As for using Wilton's recipe......try othersicon_smile.gif There are many other recipes that work better. Yes, it needs to be dry to the touch; touch w/your finger in several places, if no icing comes off it is ready to smooth w/a paper towel or whatever you are using. However you have a short time to work it. You need to try to get it as smooth as possible before you let it set up; then work out the little problem spots and leave it aloneicon_smile.gif

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rocketmom1985 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 2:26am
post #6 of 16

Try wax paper...cheap and easy.

Parchment also works.

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sugarshack Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 3:47am
post #7 of 16

the recipe can make HUGE dfference. if it is too soft or too crusty, you will have problems. Of course i like my recipe here:

make it as stiff as you can manage it to get super sharp edges.


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alliebear Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 5:06am
post #8 of 16

i am not too sure what viva looks like... i have seen paper towels that dont have that common floral pattern but they have those little bubbly pocket things.. i might try it to see what happens.
also what is the difference between hi ratio shortening and regular shortening?

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dezzib27 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 5:19am
post #9 of 16

I haven't posted any pics in a long time, but Sugar Shack's buttercream recipe is the best I have ever tried! I have no desire to use fondant, the buttercream comes out so beautiful!! My mixer is smaller so I use 4 cups PS and 4 cups of shortening. I now substitute one cup brite white in my shortening servings becuase my family really likes the flavor. Any paper towel with no pattern and plain computer paper will work for smoothing. Also her trick of the hot spatula, perfection!

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alliebear Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 5:27am
post #10 of 16

also i am worried about using shortening in my buttercreams.... i hate that mouthfeel u get sometimes with buttercream.. sugarshack does yours have this problem... i bet not since tons of ppl swear by it. but i was just wondering what exactly i would be tasting

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lkoenig07 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 2:11pm
post #11 of 16

Thanks all. What's the hot spatula method?

Also... another one of my problems is that for some reason I still get crumbs in my frosting. Not a ton, but they are there. It's usually when I got to spread out the icing & I spread it too thin in some spots, and it picks up crumbs. Help?!

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tx_cupcake Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 2:25pm
post #12 of 16

I am also a recent convert to Sugar Shack's recipe. I can't seem to make it without getting it EVERYWHERE, but it has always come out much smoother than any other recipe I've tried.

I also love the Melvira roller method of smoothing buttercream. I used to use the hot spatula method (whereby you dip your spatula in hot water, dry it, then use it to spread the frosting. The heat acts as a smoothing agent), but I get much better results with the roller.

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IcedTea4Me2 Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 8:30pm
post #13 of 16

I use the hot spatula method and it works pretty good. I use Indydebi's buttercream and it's great, too. I will have to try SugarShack's icing since I'm hearing so much about it. (Think I'll buy me a high density roller, too!) Any reason to go to Home Depot will make my better half happy!


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cupcakemkr Posted 9 Jan 2009 , 9:53pm
post #14 of 16

lkoenig07 you are not putting enough frosting on to the cake before you spread it. you want to get it on there thick and then smooth it by taking it off the cake.

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sugarshack Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 1:34am
post #15 of 16

if you are making a mess while making my recipe see this youtube, it might help!

allibear: my icing is def an all shortening icing. it does not taste greasy to me but that is what we like down here. if you do not like shortening icings you prob wont like mine.


I use a hot bench scraper, rather than a hot spatula to get smooth as silk results on the sides of my cakes. never tried the roller but i get good results with what i do, so I stick with it. lol

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grannys3angels Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 11:03am
post #16 of 16

I also use Sharon's BC recipe and love it. The thing I do when mixing up the icing that helps me with clean up is...I will place a big peice of freezer wrap paper on my space, then sat my mixer on it. This helps so much when cleaning up, I just lift my mixer back up, fold up the paper and into the trash.

One of the best tips I learn from Sharon was using the hot bench scraper or dough scraper/cutter (I always know them as a dough cutter). I was amazed at how much smoother it help my cake to look. I am still not as good as her's, but way better then I was.

I also agree with Cupcakemkr about getting the icing on the cake thick, this will also help with the crumbs.

God Bless,

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