Hello Kitty (smooth frosting for decorating)
I love the look of smooth fondant but I don’t love the taste, and people usually just peel it off to get to the good stuff! I mostly get requests for the smooth frosting option. I have to use my cake turner, it makes is SO much easier. I use an inexpensive one for small and medium cakes, the “Wilton Trim N Turn” and for large or stacked cakes the “Wilton Tilt N Turn Ultra.”
To get smooth and even frosting I give my cake a crumb coat then put it in the refrigerator to chill. Once it is chilled I fill a large zip lock bag (or a frosting bag ) and cut a 1/2 inch corner off one side. I then just pipe stripes top to bottom all around the cake (right next to each other no space between!) Let it sit for 5 minutes, the coolness of the cake helps the frosting to firm just a little. This gives me an even amount of frosting around the cake.
Then I use a dough cutter to just go around without too much pressure, hold the dough cutter sideways and smooth the stripes, you will have a little excess frosting as you go, just wipe it clean and go back. It is amazing how well it works! Of course it takes a bit of practice and I always go back over with my spatula, a Wilton 9 Inch Angled Spatula, to fill in any little holes.
IMPORTANT, when smoothing always make sure you start each stroke with a CLEAN tool, frosting tends to harden and will scratch your smooth cake. To smooth the top, pipe lines across and them smooth them in one direction. Use the small spatula to round up the sides and over the top to finish it off.
When applying Fondant details it helps if your cake is cold, that way it is easy to adjust your decorations. Room temp frosting will adhere like glue! (See “Tricks of the Trade” for Making Fondant)