Get a Smooth Buttercream Finish

April 10th, 2012 by Beth Somers

There is nothing more satisfying in the world of cake decorating than getting a perfect, smooth finish on a buttercream iced cake…and sometimes, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to achieve that perfection!

If you’ve ever iced a cake in buttercream, you know that getting it super smooth with perfect 90° angles is a challenge that all decorators, from beginner to expert experience. Using your spatula to go around and around the sides of the cake, smoothing out a few air bubbles only to create several others in a different spot…going around and around again, shaving off too much icing so that the side of the cake shows through…and around and around, until the side of the cake is slanted on one side…

UGH! When I was working in bakeries, we referred to this process as “the death spiral.” Around and around the cake you go, fixing one blemish while causing another, never happy enough with how the cake looked. Has this happened to you?

The death spiral is why I love the new Wilton Icing Smoother. It will change the way you ice buttercream cakes. It’s a sleek, double–sided piece of stainless steel that will help you smooth the top and sides of your cake much more easily than a traditional spatula. Since it has a flat base, when it is rested on the cake board, it automatically creates sides that are at a 90° angle to the base of the cake. Also, the hand grip is designed for secure and easy grasp of the smoother.

The blade knocks out air bubbles and smooths icing to an even finish with just a couple rotations of the turntable. The Icing Smoother is 9 inches long, so bring on your double and triple layered cakes. Even the tallest cakes can be iced perfect smooth with this great new tool! The Icing Smoother is also great when crumb coating cakes to be covered in rolled fondant, because it helps you achieve those perfect angles.

As with many cake decorating tools and techniques, the more you use the Icing Smoother, the easier and more comfortable it becomes. You’ll be turning out perfectly iced buttercream cakes in no time!

See our latest video as Beth shows you how easy it is to get that perfect finish on a buttercream cake.

Beth Somers Beth Somers is the Senior Test Kitchen Manager and has taught at the internationally acclaimed Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionery Art in Darien, IL. As a competitor on the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, she shined as a champion during season 6. Before joining Wilton, Beth honed her pastry skills at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago. Beth loves showing people how fun and easy it can be to bake and decorate amazing sweet treats with Wilton products.

35 Replies

  1. Andrea says:

    And where can I purchase this wonder tool?
    I have a really important wedding cake coming up in May.

  2. Michelle says:

    Can this be purchased in stores yet?

  3. Kirstine Fuller says:

    Are these available in the UK please?

  4. Trish S. says:

    I’ve been using a dough cutter forever … works just as good, has the wood handle that’s easy to hold, and gives me the perfect 90 degree angle from the cake board. Cheaper too. But this is a good idea Wilton.

  5. Kim Doolin says:

    I use a plastic tool from the hardware store. It is a smoother for caulking.

  6. Joanna Hall says:

    I usually use a straight edge to smooth out the icing, but this looks to be a much better system because of the extra length. I can’t wait to get one and try it out.

  7. jenni says:

    Hi there, could you give the recipe for the icing used on this cake? Thanks so much.

    • Beth Somers says:

      Jenni, I actually used Wilton’s ready-to-use Creamy Decorator Icing , but you can use any icing you like as long as it is a smooth, even consistency for spreading.

  8. fran says:

    this is vey good tool ,can you show us the DVD how you do it by used this tool,befoe I purchase ,thank you

  9. Margo Osti says:

    When using this tool, do you dip it into hot water like we do with the spatula?

  10. rubia khan says:

    are these available in jeddah (saudia arab)?

  11. nina gruzdeva says:

    when will you deliver to russian federation? i order through friends in the usa and it takes so much time and money

  12. joanne says:


  13. amanda slater says:

    I have a question about the ribbon cutter video. The cute cake to the right during the video has little curley ‘circles’, they look the same. Are they from a mold? If so, where can I get it please. Thank you. ( sorry if this isnt the correct place to ask this question but the video is playing directly above this)

    • Beth Somers says:

      Hi Amanda! Those spirals on the side of that cake are actually just piped on with buttercream icing with a small round tip. Try a #3 or #4 tip to get this effect. Thanks for the question!

  14. mag says:

    pls i want to know when a butter cake is iced does it get dried easily or you have to put it inside the freezer, to make it strong.

  15. Linda Moncrief says:

    Can the buttercream icing in the course books that are made with meringue powder be frozen? Also my sister says she has frozen fondant. Do you recommend that? And if it can be frozen, would you freeze fondant on a cake iced with the buttercream frosting. I have a wedding cake to do soon and would appreciate any advice you could give.

  16. Beverly says:

    I’m icing a wedding cake with butter cream icing. (3 layers of different flavours) – If I ice it Friday, would it be okay to be not refridgerated overnight? The wedding is Saturday at 1pm. Temperature wise – I am in New Zealand and we are in winter, highs of about 16-18 degrees celcius.

  17. Beverly says:

    Sorry, I meant to also to ask where or how I can obtain this smoothing tool in New Zealand. (Hamilton NZ)

  18. danielle says:

    what icing recipe is best for smoothing? can you send it to me

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  20. kay johnson says:

    What is the paper towel process to smooth a cake

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