Cake Central › Tutorials › Upside Down Icing Technique for Perfectly Smooth Icing

Upside Down Icing Technique for Perfectly Smooth Icing


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This technique works best with an icing containing at least one-third butter, but can be done with an all shortening icing with slight modifications in the chilling steps.


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1. To begin with, there are some tools I consider "must have" items: A Turntable A Spackling Knife [from a hardware store]


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2. Trace the outline of the pan [top side down] onto a sturdy surface, such as a piece of foamcore, cardboard, or for a more permanent use, masonite.


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3. Cover the outline with a piece of parchment paper about 1 to 2 inches larger than the pan's outline and tape securely so that there are not wrinkles. Some people have had success using acetate instead of parchment.


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4. Using a very smooth icing, "ice" the area of the circle, extending the icing about 1/4" past the outline; any extra icing will be removed later. Apply the icing about 1/4" thick. Place the "iced" board in the refrigerator and allow to chill until firm, about 10 to 15 minutes. If using an all shortening icing, you may need to place the board in the freezer instead.


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5. Once chilled, remove the board from the refrigerator and place the "top" cake layer top down on the iced circle, centering is in place. Fill and add aditional layers. Here I have used only 2 layers, but normally I would have torted the layers into four.


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6. Lightly crumb ice the sides of the cake and chill a few minutes if desired before applying the final coat of frosting. Apply the final coat of frosting to the desired thickness using a spatula or large icing tube.


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7. Place the cake on the turntable. Dip the spackling knife in hot water and dry with a paper towel. Hold the blade against the side of the cake at about a 45 degree angle and reach the other hand around the back until it is near the hand holding the knife.

BE SURE THE SPAKLING KNIFE IS TOUCHING THE PARCHEMENT or else there will be a line of icing pushed out beneath it.


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8. SLOWLY turn the turntable one full rotation WITHOUT STOPPING. Inspect the side so the cake. If it is not smooth to your satisfaction, repeat step #7 again. If a small amount of icing has pushed under the blade, simply scrape it away before step #7.


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Smooth any icing build up over onto the "bottom" of the cake with a small angled spatula. When the side are smooth to your satisfaction, carefully cut the parchment paper loose from the board ALL THE WAY AROUND THE CAKE using an Exacto Knife. Carefully return the cake to the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes to firm the icing [all shortening icing may need to be put in the freezer].


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9. Prepare the final cake board by smearing a few strokes of icing on it. Remove the cake from the fridge, center the board and quickly "FLIP" the cake over. REMOVE the cardboard, but leave the parchment in place and return to the fridge for about 10 minutes.


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\10. Carefully remove the parchment..you should have a beautifully iced cake with perfect edges and a very level top.

By: Jeff Arnett

Comments (70)

hi wow this is soo nice but i was wondering did you make the buttercream its so white and smooth do u think you can give me the recipe thanks
My icing is: 3 sticks room temperature butter 1 cup shortening [avoid transfat free shortenings] 2 pounds powdered sugar 1 tablespoon clear vanilla Mix butter and shortening until well blended. Add sugar all at once and mix on low...mixture will be dry at first, but will become smooth as it mixes. If too stiff, warm a few tablespoons milk in the microwave until very hot and add a tablespoon or two. Add vanilla.
Great technique! Would this work with IMBC or other non-crusting bc like cream cheese bc?
Thanks for sharing!
thanks for the great tip that looks so much easier and faster than I've been doing all this time!
With IMBC or SMBC what worked for me is: 1) crumb coat 2) place in the fridge 3) spread 2nd coat of b/cream generously making edges as crisp as possible 4) place in the frdge again 5) when cold take a bench scraper and scrape away all the excess cream This leaves the cake smooth as can be. I have not tried this with the butter/crisco frostings
I will have to try this, so glad you gave the recipe too!
ok, gotta try this....Im curious :)
This is brilliant. Can't wait to try it out. Thanks for sharing!
Totally trying this one - can't wait to see how it turns out for me!! I'm somewhat new to this but this looks awesome!! Thanks!
OMG - this worked perfectly - i used the recipe posted by Jeff_Arnett and it looks amazing. I'll post picture when I finish decorating it but I'm so using this technique again!
Does it work good on color icing? or will it change the color with the heat of the spatula ? Thanks!
Jeff_Arnett, I just may love you! Brilliant!
thats so cool! I can't wait to try it, thanks alot
I am a Wilton Cake Decorating Instructor and I just want to thank you for sharing this with my students. Last night was the last night of class and one of my students used this icing method and I never seen a more flawlessly iced cake. It was smooth as copy paper.
This is a brilliant idea...thank you for sharing!
wow love it thanks so much
I love this. I just bought my spackling knife today!!!! Could it work with whipped cream? I need to make a cake with whipped cream frosting and I would love to try this. I have such a hard time getting my frosting to come out smooth and neat. Thanks, Dawn
I try to avoid BC, as I find it so hard to get a crisp finish that you get with fondant. But lot's of people prefer the tast of BC, now I can't wait to try this so I can be a convert. Thanks soo much for sharing
I don't like the taste of "american buttercream", so can I use this with cream cheese buttercream? I have a recipe that crusts.
Cake Central › Tutorials › Upside Down Icing Technique for Perfectly Smooth Icing