Thanks for the tips! I have used both the Viva and Melvira methods, but still can't seem to get the hang of a perfectly smooth top of the cake and any cake that is wider than the paper towel or foam roller. The cardstock tip is new to me, do you use it like a scraper? I have used a bench scraper for the sides of cakes, but again they were never wide enough to do the top without leaving a line. Thanks for the other tool recommendations.
I have always wondered how the supermarket bakeries do it when they surely don't have the time to obsess over perfection. Anybody know? I'm sure they are very practiced, but what method or tool do they use?
We use a speed icer and a plastic scraper to ice our cakes: Use the speed icer on the sides first, then the top. Use the plastic scraper to smooth out the sides first, then smooth the top. Lightly spread the ridge on top into the top icing, one side and corner at a time, while spinning the turntable so you can eyeball the angle of where you're spreading.
It took me awhile to master it -- practice, practice, practice! We're not allowed to use spatulas because it takes too long.