Smooth Sides & Sharp Edges on your Buttercream Cakes Using Acrylic Cake Plates

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A few weeks ago I created a tutorial showing you how to make gumpaste orchids and the cake I placed them on was a pink buttercream cake. When I uploaded the photo to my Instagram Page (Check it out if you don’t already follow me!) I mentioned that I used ganaching plates / acrylic discs, and so many of you asked for a video showing how I used them. So this weeks tutorial is showing you how I used acrylic plates to get smooth sides and sharp edges.

You can watch the video tutorial below ⇩

The Ganaching Plates

So depending on where you buy them you might find they are called ganaching plates or acrylic discs / disks. They can be used for buttercream, ganache or Royal Icing. In the video I’m using my American buttercream. The plates usually come in a set of 2. One for the top and one for the bottom of your cake and you want them to be slightly larger than your cake, to allow room for your buttercream. The plates I’m using I brought from The Cakes Decorating Company and they measure a quarter of an inch larger than your cakes. Some companies do sell them in slightly different sizes, so half an inch larger. It really just depends on how much buttercream or ganache you want around your cake.

One thing to consider also is the size of your cakes. In the video you will see I’m using my 6 inch tins, but the actual cakes come out a tiny bit smaller than 6 inches, so if you’re discs are too much bigger you will be using alot of buttercream.

How to use acrylic cake ganache plates for your cakes

Why use ganaching plates?

If you ever have trouble getting smooth sides or a sharp top edge on your buttercream or ganached cakes these plates are great as they allow you to smooth the side of your cakes, pushing your scraping tool against the plates at the top and bottom. They act as a guide. You can’t push in too far with your scraper which can be a great help if you ever find your cakes can taper in at the top too.

Now I’ve only just started using them, but from the experience I’ve had over the past month using them, one of the main advantages is they speed up how long it takes to cover your cakes in buttercream.

I do have a tutorial showing how I cover my cakes in buttercream without the plates, so if you don’t have any or you want to compare the different techniques you can find that tutorial here!

How to use acrylic plates / discs / disks to get smooth sides on your buttercream cakes

The Buttercream

For this tutorial I’m using my vanilla American buttercream, but you could use Italian or swiss also. I used 1 and a half batches of my buttercream recipe to fill and cover my 6inch cake.

One thing I have noticed is you want a buttercream which is very smooth and quite soft for your outside layer. If you find you have alot of bubbles in your buttercream, from beating it for a while, try to push as many as you can out of your buttercream before applying it to your cakes (I eat my buttercream for 5 minutes for this cake). If its too firm you won’t get that smooth side as your scrapper will just pull the buttercream round. If you think your buttercream is too firm try adding a touch more milk. Also make sure your cake with your crumb coat is fully chilled. I popped mine in the fridge for around 20 – 30 minutes and found this really helped with the finish.

I really hope this tutorial will be useful, maybe if you’ve been thinking about trying the plates or if you’ve been struggling to get your cakes smooth give them a try. Plus if you haven’t already you can subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Free cake decorating video tutorials.

Tools I used

I have put a list below showing all the tools that I used throughout this video or if you would like to see all my favourite cake decorating tools just click here:

Ganache plates / Acrylic disks:
Offset spatula (small):
PME Cake Smoother 10inch:
Glass Cutting Board (similar):
Spirit Level (similar):
PME mini pallet knife:
Non slip mats:

~ Please note that some of links above may be affiliate links. If you click the link and purchase any item through that link, I will receive a small commission from the website but this does NOT add any additional costs to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog x ~

Plus why not save this tutorial for later and pin it to Pinterest

how to use Acrylic cake plates

Thank you for reading!

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Hi, I’m Lynsey and welcome to Cakes by Lynz. I LOVE everything cake! Here you will find all my latest cake decorating video tutorials from my YouTube channel, reviews and general cake ramblings!

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