How to a Smooth Cake with Buttercream

In this article, I explain in detail how I smoothly smear my cakes.

a cake

In this example, I used a cake consisting of 3 layers of cake. You can also use a biscuit cake, the principle is the same. The same goes for the buttercream. There are more options for smearing the cake, it is also possible with (whipped) ganache for example.

cake decorating


We start with a thin layer of buttercream. With this, you fill, as it were, all gaps and remove irregularities. This is also known as a crumb coat. After all, some cake crumbs always come off during mooring and you can also fix them with this. This way you will not have any visible crumbs after the “real” smearing. You have already made a fairly tight foundation. You can now continue right away, or put the cake in the fridge for a while to make it firmer. I sometimes do this with a biscuit, but usually not with a cake.

The next step is to cover the cake with a layer of buttercream. I start on top and then finish around the side. It doesn’t have to be neat, but try to apply the same amount of buttercream everywhere. I use a spatula for this, but you can also use a knife.



Time to cover the cake tightly! I use a dough scraper for this. This one is made of plastic, but I also have a large metal that I use for larger and higher cakes. In any case, make sure your scraper is higher than your cake. By the way, you buy these types of scrapers in cookshops. It is also possible with a large spatula or knife, but you have less control over what you do.

Then place your scraper on the cake plate (or whatever your cake is on), place it at an oblique angle against your cake. In terms of angle, think of the same angle with which you spread your sandwich with a knife.

It is important that you do not press the scraper too hard against the cake, otherwise, you will scrape off the buttercream. That is not the intention, you just want to spread the cream evenly and get a sleek exterior.

Gently go around the cake with the scraper. The easiest is a turntable to do this, but it works fine without it. Continue until you are satisfied with the sides.

You do the top last. Scrape from the edges to the center to get the edge as sharp as possible. Believe me, it can be even tighter than you see in the pictures.

Finally, I often make around with the scraper around the cake, but this is not necessarily.


Now your cake is very nice and tight, but the platter still has some leftover cream. To clean this, I take a piece of kitchen paper which I wrap around my finger, so you can clean the plateau very carefully.

First I do this with a dry piece of paper, then I moisten it a bit to get rid of the greasy smears. Be very careful, you don’t want to accidentally pierce the cake with your finger. I will also tell you that this will happen to you sometime, I am still guilty of this myself.

And that’s it! I hope that with this explanation it is completely clear how to smoothly spread a cake. As you can see it is really not difficult. More a matter of practice and patience.

For more tips on baking and decorating cakes, read here.