Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › How Do I? › smooth finish
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

smooth finish

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
ok ~ I give up! I have tried half a dozen buttercream recipes and tried everything from the paper towel to the parchment paper to the fondant smoothers to the warm spatula to smooth it. I do just fine on the corners and the edges (i could do better but i'm happy with it if only i could do the rest of it smoothly). My crusting buttercream doesn't even seem to want to crust in a reasonable amount of time. What am I doing wrong? How do you smooth a sheet cake ~ I can't even get a smaller cake quite right? I must have been meant to use fondant!

Help me please!
Debbie
post #2 of 41
Hi Debbie! Most of what I do are sheet cakes so maybe I can help. At first I thought I would pull my hair out trying to get the top smooth but then I tried that really big flat spatula, I think it's 14" (something like that). Anyway, I run that longways across my sheet cakes a couple of times and that's it. Regarding the crusting issue...I use 1 Tablespoon of meringue for each cup of Crisco. It usually crusts over in about 15-20 minutes. I have heard about another technique where you turn the cake upside down after it has crusted and it flattens the top...but I have never resorted to that method....... icon_eek.gif sounds too scary for me! Hope this helps! Happy baking, Missey
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
Reply
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
Reply
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help! At this point i'll try just about anything!

Debbie icon_biggrin.gif
post #4 of 41
MrsMissey, How ya doing? icon_biggrin.gif
I have a question. How can I get a clean smooth line for the edges? Everytime I Ice the top and the sides I get this thin line of icing on the egdes and there I go again smoothing those out and then I've done messed up the top for messing with the edges and lord knows I need a new method. It just drives me crazy. icon_cry.gif It makes it so difficult to pipe a border. Any tips?
A woman is like a bag of Tea.
You don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
Sweet Days and Happy Baking!
Reply
A woman is like a bag of Tea.
You don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
Sweet Days and Happy Baking!
Reply
post #5 of 41
I am convinved that icing a cake smooth with buttercream is a skill you are born with. How can I make what I've been told are beautiful cookies and fondant-covered cakes, but I can't get buttercream to smooth evenly? I think God only gave this talent to certain people to cut down on the competition. icon_biggrin.gif
post #6 of 41
Haha, I like that line about God giving the talent to only a few to cut down on the competition!
I use a half butter, half shortening, whipping cream and milk icing. It doesn't crust so much as is sets. That seam line is always a challenge. Honestly sometimes I literally pinch with my fingers all along that line. Other times I use my little fondant roller or fondant smoother on an angle to take dare of it. Some folks use the pop bottle routine that Sewsweet uses for her Faux Fondant.
Some folks have better luck with icing the sides first, others with icing the top first the sides last. So maybe try reversing whatever you do normally.
I agree the larger the icing spatula the better, Some prefer the straight one, others the lifter/bent one.
It does come eventuallly though. Then the trick becomes trying to remember what the heck you did this time differently and wondering if it was only to tease you into thinking you finally figured it out! icon_cry.gif
A folded piece of parchment or waxed paper all along the edge and pinching it as you go. I hve even hear of someone taking a sheet of craft board the same size as the cake. Put a fold in it and place it over the top of the cake with the fold lined up to the seam and pinch.
Until you get that line right, though, choose to make your top border in the same colour of icing as the top and side of the cake. The same colour won't jump out as much and draw the eye to the imperfect cake edge. Also instead of trying to pipe your border all along this seam, go in slightly along the top and keep your cake at a level where you can see that you are piping in a straight line. I hope that makes sense. What I am trying to say is as long as you pipe your top border perfectly straight, even if your seam line isn't, it won't be noticable. But if you follow a crooked seam line, it will just make it pop.
A vertical dropped shell border is another good camoflauge. You know, the one where you do each shell vertically from the top of the cake down, resting on the side? Well as long as you train your eye to make these in a straight line, they will hide this seam line. So will a really large star type of tip.
And keep practising!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #7 of 41
...yeah...what Squirrelly Cakes said!!! thumbs_up.gif If all else fails, take a deep breath and say a prayer to the cakes goddesses...they are out there somewhere! icon_biggrin.gif Good luck, Missey
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
Reply
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
Reply
post #8 of 41
" I think God only gave this talent to certain people to cut down on the competition." icon_biggrin.gif
Hmmm...I think god gave me the skill to challange myself! icon_cry.gif UGH!!!
Thank you for all the tips!!!
I am going to try the upside down thing one day. icon_surprised.gif I will let you know what kind of mess I make!
A woman is like a bag of Tea.
You don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
Sweet Days and Happy Baking!
Reply
A woman is like a bag of Tea.
You don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
Sweet Days and Happy Baking!
Reply
post #9 of 41
Unfortunately Mrs, Missey, I suspect that there are more Cake Gremlins than Cake Goddesses, haha!
I know a lot of people swear by that upside-down method, so you might as well give it a try. Personally, I can see it making the top smooth (same principle as buttercream transfers), but I think the seam will still be an issue. But hey, whatever works for folks, right?
I can tell you that upside down on the floor, does not work and don't ask how I know that, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #10 of 41
...hey Squirrelly Cakes...would that be a story you would want to share with us in the "Cake Disasters" section of this forum icon_biggrin.gif
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
Reply
Whatever you do, do with all your heart!
Reply
post #11 of 41
Haha, nope! Joking! Heck I thought of posting to that thread, but figured by the time I was through, it would fill up all available space, haha! The Internet would come crashing down!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #12 of 41
Briansbaker and Squirrelly Cakes and MrsMissey, I would love to see you three working together, what a great time I'm having reading all the replies! Thanks!!! icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 41
Haha Jscakes, we would all make quite a group, cake fight! Girls just gotta have fun.
Hugs Squirrelly
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by impressivecontr

OK ~ I give up! I have tried half a dozen buttercream recipes and tried everything from the paper towel to the parchment paper to the fondant smoothers to the warm spatula Help me please!
Debbie



It's a HOT knife, not a warm knife that does the trick. I can't tell you how many people have told the method doesn't work, I get them to use a HOT knife and all of a sudden they are in love.

BOIL WATER!!!!! Yep!! Boiling water will do it. I boil a pot of water and have my cake smooth in literally a couple of minutes. If the icing doesn't melt off the spatula almost as soon as you dip it back in the water, it's simply not hot enough.

I use more than one spatula so that the one I just used can be getting very hot again while I'm using the second one to smooth.

My cakes have pretty crisp edges (still some room for improvement- but pretty darn good) and it's all because of a HOT knife.
post #15 of 41
Cali4Dawn...I did the extremely hot water once, but like a not-so-smart move, or lack of intelligence moment, I knocked the container over with all the water in it and turned my good hand into a lobster color red! (Good hand because you know how it is, catch it before something happens...luckily it didn't hit the cake and you know where that story would have ended up at :O) What type of container do you keep the hot water in and still have it deep enough for the knife, and safe? Any ideas would be appreciated. I did switch to the Viva paper towel method and was real pleased with the results.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: How Do I?
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › How Do I? › smooth finish