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How to make buttercream icing smooth on a cake

Making buttercream icing smooth on a cake is easy if you follow these steps:

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How to make buttercream icing smooth on a cake

A query I get on virtually each cake video I share is “how do you get your frosting so smooth??” It’s virtually like individuals suppose clean buttercream is a few type of secret.

Lots of people suppose I’m utilizing some particular or obscure sort of frosting, or that there’s a secret ingredient I embody to create that silky clean texture.

Reading: How to make buttercream icing smooth on a cake

image of smooth dairy free buttercream frosting in bowl

I’m sorry to damage any of these illusions, but it surely has nothing to do with the kind of frosting or components. All of it comes down the way you make your frosting.

Now don’t get me improper, it’s nice having a go-to frosting recipe that tastes nice and that you just’re snug working with. For me, I exploit my American buttercream recipe as a base about 90% of the time.

Actually, the ideas I share beneath may be utilized with most varieties of frosting starting from American buttercream, to Swiss meringue, to Russian buttercream.

Why is Easy Buttercream Necessary?

Have you ever ever made a scrumptious batch of frosting, solely to see it riddled with air bubbles as you add it to your cake?

Or have you ever spent tons of time attempting to clean frosting in your cake, solely to finish up with a zillion little air pockets throughout the edges of you cake??

It may be extremely irritating and may make it not possible to get actually clean sides in your cake. And it has nothing to do along with your cake adorning skills!! It’s actually simply your frosting being tough to work with.

As soon as I found out the best way to make my frosting actually clean, I had a a lot simpler time frosting my truffles with clean sides.

image of chelsey white of chelsweets smoothing frosting onto a cake

My cake adorning course of turned a lot quicker and simpler. It nonetheless takes me time to frost a cake, however I don’t get as wired or pissed off as I used to. Frosting a cake now feels less complicated and virtually therapeutic.

How I Make Tremendous Easy Buttercream Frosting

There are some things I try this makes my frosting tremendous clean.

I by no means actually considered them as distinctive or completely different till I began displaying precisely how I make my frosting in personal cake classes. Every time I shared my suggestions, individuals had been fairly stunned.

You’ll have heard of some or all of them, and I don’t suppose any of them are actually groundbreaking. However when mixed, they will let you make extremely clean buttercream frosting.

Tip #1: Use a Paddle Attachment

Most stand mixers (I exploit a 5 qt KitchenAid stand mixer) include each a whisk attachment and a paddle attachment. The whisk attachment permits you incorporate air into no matter you’re making, which is nice for sure desserts like meringues or whipped cream.

It additionally is critical to make use of a whisk attachment to make sure varieties of frosting like Swiss meringue, Russian buttercream, or Italian meringue. Nonetheless, you solely want to make use of the whisk attachment for the primary few steps of the method.

image of melted white chocolate being added into american buttercream to make white chocolate frosting

Some varieties of frosting don’t require a whisk attachment, like American buttercream. In these conditions, I like to recommend beginning with the paddle attachment.

Even when you need to use a whisk attachment in the beginning of a frosting, you’ll be able to swap to a paddle attachment when you’ve made your meringue or whipped up your butter.

This lets you end combining your components with out incorporating tons of air, which reduces the quantity of air bubbles in your frosting.

Read more: how to make chocolate drip cake

In the event you don’t have a stand mixer or paddle attachment, it’s okay to make use of the beaters on a hand mixer. Simply make sure you actually deal with my subsequent tip!!

Tip #2: Combine on the Lowest Pace

Once I make my American buttercream, I by no means combine on a pace larger than the bottom setting. I solely transfer my lever to the stir possibility.

It sounds loopy, however mixing the frosting as slowly as doable additionally helps make it clean by minimizing the quantity of air that’s getting added in. It additionally lowers the possibility of you protecting your complete kitchen with powdered sugar clouds.

Whereas this isn’t doable for different varieties of frosting, you’ll be able to nonetheless make the most of this tip on the finish of the method.

It doesn’t matter what sort of frosting you make, I like to recommend mixing your frosting on the bottom pace for a pair minutes with a paddle attachment on the finish of the method.

This helps push extra air out of the frosting, which makes it good and clean.

Don’t be afraid to let your mixer run on low for a couple of minutes. It makes such an enormous distinction within the texture of the frosting.

It’s fairly tough to overmix your frosting, particularly once you’re mixing it on a low setting.

Tip #3: Get the Consistency Proper

The 2 suggestions above are nice, but when your frosting isn’t the precise consistency within the first place, you’ll nonetheless battle getting clean sides in your cake. I discover my frosting is the smoothest after I get the consistency good.

It is a delicate stability between the temperature of your kitchen, the kind of bowl you employ, the temperature of your butter, and the quantity of heavy cream used.

It looks like it shouldn’t be that difficult, however every of these variables can have a huge impact on how your frosting seems.

I even have a complete separate put up about making your frosting the proper consistency. It may appear extreme, however the neurotic frosting lover in me felt it deserved its personal put up.

Tip #4: The Spatula Take a look at

The simplest approach to see in case your frosting is the precise consistency is to do (what I wish to name) the spatula take a look at.

This take a look at confirms that your frosting is stiff sufficient to carry its form, however skinny sufficient so that you can simply frost your cake. I like to make use of this take a look at with American and Russian buttercream, and I do it with each batch of frosting I make.

Firmly press a rubber spatula into your frosting, and pull straight up. Flip the spatula proper facet up, and take a look at the frosting on the tip of the spatula.

It ought to type a considerably comfortable peak that has somewhat curl on the tip. It’s stiff sufficient to carry up that curl, however comfortable sufficient to create that little curl.

That little curl is a superb visible cue to know that your frosting is good.

If it’s too stiff and sticks straight up, I counsel including in additional heavy cream (1 Tbsp at a time).

If it’s too skinny and doesn’t type somewhat peak in any respect, strive including a bit extra powdered sugar (1/4 cup at a time) or chill it within the fridge in 5-minute intervals.

Read more: How to make edible raw cake batter

After every adjustment, make sure you retest the frosting along with your spatula earlier than making any extra modifications.

Tip #5: Combine by Hand on the Finish to Get Rid of Any Pesky Air Bubbles

This closing tip I believe is the best, but additionally has the largest influence. As soon as I’ve made a batch of frosting and it’s the proper consistency, I don’t cease there.

I aggressively grip a rubber spatula and work the frosting across the bowl by hand.

Now I do know you’re pondering, however I simply had my mixer beat my frosting on low for a very long time!! Shouldn’t which have pushed out sufficient air??

The mixer is nice, however this closing step makes it silky clean. There’s one thing about stirring by hand {that a} stand mixer can’t replicate.

I push the frosting forwards and backwards and unfold it alongside the edges of the bowl for a pair minutes. Please watch the video that’s on this put up to see what I imply.

In the event you do it proper, it needs to be a fairly critical arm exercise. I’m at all times drained by the tip!

image of a batch of super smooth air bubble free frosting that has been stirred by hand
A batch of my caramel buttercream after being stirred by hand with a rubber spatula.

Then, and ONLY then, is your frosting clean and able to be added to your cake. You need to see a notable distinction in texture, and your frosting needs to be freed from any air bubbles.

That is additionally vital to do once you make frosting prematurely and let it thaw. I discover my frosting is straight up riddled with air bubbles as soon as it’s thawed.

I normally go to city stirring it by hand, and discover it’s good and clean after a couple of minutes of aggressive stirring.

Ideas #6: Repeat Step #5 As Wanted

Your frosting may be completely clean now, however sadly it received’t keep that manner without end. It doesn’t matter how excellent it was once you began. As your frosting sits out at room temp, it is going to slowly develop air bubbles.

However concern not, it might simply be mounted. Simply give your frosting one other good stir by hand along with your rubber spatula.

I at all times have to do that after I crumb coat and chill my cake. By that time within the course of, my frosting normally has been sitting out for at the least half-hour. That’s lengthy sufficient for air bubbles to type.

I stir it for a couple of minutes by hand earlier than taking my cake out of the freezer, and don’t cease till it’s good and clean once more.

image of beautiful purple frosting colored with americolor gel food coloring to make a buttercream rosette cake

There’s no level in making tremendous clean buttercream solely to let your frosting get air bubbles as you add your second layer of frosting.

That’s when the smoothness of your frosting issues probably the most!! Take the additional jiffy to stir it earlier than including your closing layer of frosting.

Let Me Know What You Assume!

In the event you check out these tricks to make clean buttercream frosting, I’d love to listen to how they be just right for you!

Please go away a remark beneath, and let me know for those who use another tips to make silky clean buttercream.

Additionally make sure you tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets so I can see your creations!

Read more: How to make blue cake icing

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