Cake Central › Tutorials › Quick & Easy Smooth Icing Using a Roller (Melvira Method)

Quick & Easy Smooth Icing Using a Roller (Melvira Method)





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.

Step 1 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)

Step 1 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)
Frost cake with buttercream icing as you normally would using a spatula or the cake icer tip.

Step 2 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)

Step 2 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)
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.

Step 3 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)

Step 3 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)
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.

Step 4 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)

Step 4 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)
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.

Step 5 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)

Step 5 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)
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.

Step 6 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)

Step 6 How To Get Smooth Icing using a Paint Roller (Melvira Method)
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. Troubleshooting:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Comments (72)

What a great idea. I can't wait to try it.
I'm just starting out decorating cakes and spend hours trying to get icing smooth.. I hope this help.. Thanks for the tips.
Thank you so much! This is a great help.
This is so helpful! Thanks!
I was so relieved to come across this solution. I'm anxious to try it out thanks :)
Looking forward to trying this. I am having a really hard time getting a smooth finish with my buttercream. Going to try it tomorrow.
Can't wait to try!!!!
What a great idea. I'm anxious to try this out.
I have used the paper towel/wax paper method, but never thought to use a foam roller. Can't wait to try it.
Wonderful demonstration. Thank you. FYI, the link for "the cake icer tip" doesn't work.
been decorating since I was a teenager...never heard of this meathod, looking forward to trying it on my next cake. Thanks!
i am a beg. also and it is hard to frost smoothly. thank u sooooo much i can not wait to try it.
Tried it yesterday and I am very impressed! It was so easy and helped me out a lot! Thank you.
Thanks, i'll be trying it very soon!
If this works, I'll be the happiest woman alive!!! I make many BC covered cake and can never get a good finish. Viva paper hasnt worked for me. Is it because i use only BUTTER and not vegetable shortening
Wow, what a great idea. Now to find this roller is the next trick!
I have the same problem as 'suzied'. I have been wondering if I have trouble smoothing because of just using butter. Does anyone know if this affects the outcome? Will give this a try!
I do the top no problem but I am having trouble on the sides....any ideas?
Tried this on my last cake and worked beautifully. Occasionally the frosting was sticking to the foam in a spot or two but I just rolled the roller in a little bit of powdered sugar and that was enough to remove any stickiness on the frosting surface.
WOW Im excited! Thanks for sharing. I cant wait to use this on my next cake :o)
Cake Central › Tutorials › Quick & Easy Smooth Icing Using a Roller (Melvira Method)