I am new to this and probably going to ask a question that's been asked many times (though I did search first).
I'm making some sandal shaped cakes next weekend. I've done a few trial runs and am getting a lot of crumbs in my second coat of icing, so my crumb coating is obviously needing help!
I read here to use a tip and thin icing. Two questions:
1. What tip to use? I see Wilton has one in their catalogue called an icing tip but it looks grooved and it says it doesn't fit a coupler.
2. Should I thin my normal buttercream to crumb coat? I'm using a half shortening/half butter recipe right now.
Okay one more question, I'm considering using a cream cheese frosting instead of a buttercream (I just find it too sweet). Can I pipe with a cream cheese and color it the same way I would with BC? I was hoping not to use an icing that needs to be refrigerated but I suppose I can bring the cakes to room temperature for a few hours.
Thanks in advance. The forums are very helpful.
The icer tip is what you want. It's grooved on one side but smooth on the other. It doesn't fit a coupler. To use it, just snip the tip of your bag a little smaller than the icer tip and drop it in. The bigger the bag, the better.
The frosting you crumb coat and frost with should be thinner than what you'd use for decorating.
As for the cream cheese frosting, there is a recipe for a crusting version. That might be the way to go. Search the forums for "cream and cheese and crusting"
If you use the icer tip, you won't need to do a crumb coating! That icer tip is the best invention!! Until you get the icer tip.....after you do your crumb coat, let it crust over (you can even put it in the fridge) before you attempt to put on your next layer of icing. That will help keep the crumbs locked in the crumb coat!
Thanks for your responses. I will see if Michaels has the tip today. So one coat should be enough with the icer tip? That sounds like a dream. I've been spending way too much time on the crumb coat.
...yep, the icer tip allows you to put it on nice and thick in one go 'round!!
I never used an icer tip until recently. I love it! Now all I need is a big putty knife!
sorry if i sound preachy, but i've iced thousands of cakes, and i've always found that crumb-coating actually causes more crumbing, because with such a thin layer of icing you're more likely to be touching the cake surface, which is what makes crumbs.
try these steps for a cake that you only have to ice once, without crumbs and without using an icer-tip (which you need a huge piping bag to use, and once you cut the bag big enough to accomodate the tip, you can't use it for anything else anyway! ):
1) fill your cake and brush off any serious crumbs, but don't disturb the surface -- then freeze the cake for about an hour (or at least refridgerate it). cold cake is firm cake and firm cake is your friend (to say nothing of improving the stability of soft, shifty fillings).
2) stir your icing to knock the air out of it.
3) place a large amount of icing on the top, and work it around the top and down the sides. don't dig into the icing -- keep the palette knife on top of the icing, and add more icing as needed (think of it like using the knife to work a thick piece of fabric onto a 3-d shape, rather than like applying spackle to a wall). as you work, wipe off any excess icing from your knife into the edge of your bowl, and then wipe the blade clean with a damp towel. a clean knife will give you a clean, smooth surface. you should be vertically building up the edges of the cake so that the top can be leveled by stroking from the side, across the top toward the center ( and removing excess icing), and you can get nice square corners (if the cake is square) and create a level top where it might not have been square or level to begin with. good luck!
I never crumbcoat. I basically ice my cakes just like aunt-judy described. It's so fast and easy. I think the trick is making sure your icing is thin enough so it won't lift back off the cake when you run your knife over it. Good luck!
Thanks for all the feedback. I do have an icer tip and 2 big cakes to ice. I'm thinking I'll try both methods and see which works better for me.
Any suggestions for an icing to use instead of bc? I have bc ready to go but I wanted to do a cream cheese instead. Will this be harder to work with? I have the crusting recipe.
Cream cheese can be a little harder to work with because it gets soft so quickly..at least that is true of the cream cheese icing recipes I have used! Try putting your cakes in the fridge to get nice and cold before trying to ice with the cream cheese icing, it does help!