Smoothing Frosting

Decorating By oldhamzoo Updated 30 Sep 2010 , 12:40pm by cmalin3

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oldhamzoo Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 7:52pm
post #1 of 9

I have tried the Wilton Buttercream Method, the Viva Towel method, the wax paper method, and the Faux Fondant II recipe. How do I get my frosting to be smooth??? I can't even get it smooth enough to put fondant on it (which I hate the taste of, so would rather not use). Please help!!

8 replies
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lizzycakes Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:07pm
post #2 of 9

I would like some tips too.. I can get mine smooth.. but it alwaysss has crumbs all in it. Even when its a thick layer of buttercream (of course I crumbcoat, let crust, smooth, then reapply more)!

I always wonder how people get theirs so flawless. I originally watched Edna's video, hers looked so perfect.

Seems like my buttercream "pulls" off in huge patches too as it gets thicker.

Oldhamzoo you don't like the taste of MMF?? Luckiy I have covered all of my cakes with it, so the crumbs in my cream didnt really matter, but I feel your pain, CC members cakes look flawless with their buttercream

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oldhamzoo Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:11pm
post #3 of 9

CC members do make their buttercream look flawless. I haven't tried the MMF. To be honest, I can't get that to work either!! Someone said part of my problem is that I live at 6200 ft in dry Colorado. But, I am assuming it is just my lack of talent/technique!

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ClassyMommy Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:32pm
post #4 of 9

Watch Serious Cakes on youtube. She has a video on how to make cakes smooth. Use her buttercream recipe also, and follow all of her directions (using an icer tip), and it will make a night and day difference!

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tokazodo Posted 26 Sep 2010 , 8:32pm
post #5 of 9

Edna De La Cruz does a great job teaching and showing smoothing techniques for smoothing. She has many video's on youtube

As far as issues smoothing buttercream, You may want to trouble shoot your recipe, if you feel you have technique down.
Indydebi has a great recipe here in the recipe section. It's made a believer out of me! It works great!

Also, there are some great recipes for mmf here too, it just takes practice. I would encourage you to try, and try again!
I have been cake decorating for over 25 years. I found Cake Central and it's sparked my creativity and helped me to try new things I would have never tried before. Also, there are wonderful cakers here and most of those I have been in touch with are very helpful.

hope this helps

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Apti Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 7:00am
post #6 of 9

You may have your buttercream too thick. It should be a thin consistency, not medium, not stiff. If it is too stiff and you use the 789 tip it will just roll right off the sides of the cake (go ahead, ask me how I know this!) I'm still learning to get smooth buttercream--it is really, really hard. Here's a long document I just typed for another CC'er. Maybe it will be helpful.


Buy Wilton Bake Even strips. Small package for 8 cakes, large package for larger cakes.
Buy Wilton METAL (not plastic) flower nails, size # 7 (the largest one) Purchase 2 or 3
Buy: PME Side Scraper, Stainless Steel, Product # 17429, purchase online at:
Buy Wilton fondant smoother
Buy VIVA paper towel roll (no other brand!)

PREPARE PANS Use Wilton Cake Release or your own pan release (recipe: 1 cup Crisco, ¾ cup oil, 1 cup flour. Blend--store in fridge). Cut a piece of parchment paper 1 larger than interior of pan. Cut ½ slices all around the edge, lightly coat bottom of pan with pan release, place parchment paper in pan, the cut edges will go slightly up the inside of the pan. Brush pan release generously in pans on top of parchment and on sides. Wet and secure Bake Even strips to outside of pans. IF you are doing cakes larger than 10 or 9x13, you can put pan release on a flower nail and place with flat side down in the center of the pan, then pour in batter.

PREPARE OVEN Preheat and bake at 325 degrees, NOT 350. Cakes will take longer to cook, but will bake more evenly.
If you still have a dome after cake is done: the very second you remove from the oven, place a folded tea towel over dome and press down gently until it is level with edges. This will not harm texture or taste in any way.
Important: When cakes removed from oven, remove Bake Even strips, set timer for 10-20 minutes (less for 8 or smaller pans). Leave cakes in pan until it is lukewarm to touch, turn cakes over onto a cooling rack. If you remove too soon, it will crack. If you remove too late, it will stick to the now hardened pan release and leave chunks in pan.

Wait until the cake has cooled two hours. Prepare your ultra-stiff buttercream for the dam to hold in the filling and put in a pastry bag. Tort (slice layer in half horizontally), or just put filling between the 2 high cakes. Pipe the dam 1/2 in from the outer cake edge. Put buttercream or filling on layerdo not get any higher than your stiff buttercream dam. (Example of stacked cake: two 8 round cakes, torted, will have 4 layers of cake, 3 layers of filling, and be about 4 tall when stacked.) After youve finished with the stacking and filling of your cakes, they HAVE to settle! Place a cake pan or cookie sheet with about a 1 lb. book on top of the stacked cake. Make sure the weight is level or your cake will be lopsided. Leave out overnight. You can gently place saran wrap around the cake under the weight, do not wrap tightly, youre just protecting from dust. Next day, apply a thin crumb coat of buttercream. Wait at least 30 minutes until the buttercream has crusted!
Once youve followed all the instructions above, watch this excellent video showing how to get smooth buttercream by Edna De La Cruz and you will learn how to get level, smooth cakes!,%20how%20to%20ice%20a%20cake&FORM=VIRE7

Another method of applying the icing is to use a large piping bag and the Wilton tip #789. You must thin your icing or the icing will fall off the sides of the cake. Here is a pictorial on this method, and a video:
(Remember that Wilton uses Styrofoam cake dummies, so dont expect your cake to look like theirs.)

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debbief Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 5:26pm
post #7 of 9

Using an icing tip to apply the buttercream before spreading it helps tremendously. And it's also a lot easier to spread the icing without taking off chunks of cake if you have the cake chilled really well.

As for getting it smooth, have you tried the foam roller (melvira) method? That works really well on crusting buttercream. I use a combination of viva and the roller. And lots of practice.

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dchockeyguy Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 5:31pm
post #8 of 9

I find the best thing to use is a metal bench scraper. I put it in hot water, wipe the water off, and use the hot blade to smooth the icing.

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cmalin3 Posted 30 Sep 2010 , 12:40pm
post #9 of 9

Hey guys - have you checked into sugarshack's technique? She gives you the best recipe to use (stands up in high heat, even) and how to get it both incredibly smooth and with nice sharp edges. Made a pretty huge difference for me. You can get her DVDs too which go more in-depth ( SO worth it, trust me!
As for the icing falling off (yep, happened on my fist wedding cake order!), that's just 'cause the icing is too thick. Let the cake chill a bit longer and make sure your crumb coat is fully set and you should be able to avoid crumbs too.

Good luck - hope it helps!

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