To Crumb Coat Or Not

Decorating By kellyh57 Updated 21 Jun 2005 , 2:58pm by momsandraven

kellyh57 Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 10:13pm
post #1 of 20

Do you use a crumb coat or not? I usually have pretty good luck with Wilton's icer tip and a lot of thinned buttercream, but with chocolate cake, that's a diffferent story! I end up giving up halfway through most of the time and turning my frosting into a crumb coat. I'm just curious if the more experienced bakers still use it or not.


19 replies
MrsMissey Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 10:19pm
post #2 of 20

I have never done a crumbe coat. I just put the icing on nice and thick with the icer tip and have had no problems. I am puzzled as to why the chocolate would give you problems??!!

sgirvan Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 11:32pm
post #3 of 20

I ALWAYS do a thin crumb coat or I have crumbs in my icing. If I were to just ice a cake that I didn't have to level off or alter in any way, I could get away with not crumb coating but once I cut into the cake crumbs get every where. I let it sit for about 15 minutes and then put on my icing and have no problems with crumbs. I also know what you are talking about when it comes to chocolate cake, it is the worst icon_evil.gif

Kristy Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 11:38pm
post #4 of 20

i always always do a crumb coat. not too thick, just something to seal in the crumbs.

jscakes Posted 18 Jun 2005 , 11:45pm
post #5 of 20

I've done the thin crumb coat on a couple of choc. cakes lately and it does seem to help some.

Just make sure when you put on the final icing that it's thick enough not to pick up any of your crumb coating.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 2:31am
post #6 of 20

Hhmn, not sure what chocolate cake you are having trouble with, is it cake mix chocolate cake or a from scratch one?
I have to admit that I don't need to crumbocat any cakes due to crumbs, I really use it as an extra moisture sealant. But for regular cakes and cakes for home, a lot of the time, I don't crumbcoat.
Likely don't have crumb issues because I have been icing cakes for so many years, it isn't an issue.
I do find some chocolate cake mixes crumbier. I find making them from the box instructions makes for a cake with more crumbs. I find cakes made with cake flour, more crumby. I find cakes made with buttermilk have more crumbs too. Cakes made with cocoa powder tend to produce more crumbs than cakes made with unsweetened baking chocolate.
Possible solution is to wrap your cake in plastic wrap once it is cool and leave it overnight before crumbcoating. Some cakes ice better once they have had a chance to sit overnight.
Possibly a simple syrup crumbcoat or an apricot glaze will make the crumbs less of an issue for you too.
Some cakes are more delicate in nature than others. Perhaps with a chocolate cake, you might be wise to thin down your icing more for both the crumbcoat and the final icing coat.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

tcturtleshell Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 2:55am
post #7 of 20

I don't crumb coat all the time. It depends on if I see crumbs before I even touch the cake. I use a thin BCI when I crumb coat. When it's a wedding cake I usually crumb coat w/ simple syrup. That way it stays moist & helps w/ the crumbs.

I have the same problem w/ choc cakes. They are crumbly no matter what kind of recipe you use. I just use the BCI crumb coat & that works fine.

I don't use the icer tip because I feel it is a waste of time to keep adding icing to the bag. I have a very large bag & I still have to add more icing. Plus it goes on too thick. I use more icing that way. I'd rather not.

Good luck ya'll~

momsandraven Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 3:01am
post #8 of 20

When I am making a cake for home, I do not crumb coat. I just use the icing tip and lay it on thick. Chocolate cake (mix) gives me troubles with those darn crumbs too, so I always crumb coat if it's not for me. The last chocolate cake I made for someone else, I refrigerated the cakes unfrosted overnight, and that cut down on the crumbs quite a bit.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 3:09am
post #9 of 20

Haha, well I must admit I bought the icer tip when it first came out and it is still sitting in my container, never used. One day I will give it a try, haha!
Interesting thing about the final coat of icing. My youngest took the Baker's Course and worked decorating cakes for about 1 year and a half. Heavens when she iced a cake at home, I used to make up the icing for her. Now I had to make up twice as much icing as I would for me. She loaded that cake with icing, like you wouldn't believe. Think about twice as much as you would. But then as she spun and smoothed the cake, she would remove about half of it. I know that it ended up with likely less icing than mine do. But she was taught that the best way to get a smooth finish was to really load the icing on. I must admit that it really worked well for her and I started adding more icing too, then removing it as I smoothed. I have to say that she does an amazing job of smooth icing a cake.
So perhaps this is the theory behind the icing tip. Really loads it on, but then as your spin your stand to get the cake smooth, you remove a lot of the icing. Just a thought.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

SquirrellyCakes Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 3:10am
post #10 of 20

Freezing cuts down a lot on crumbs too!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

mixaleena Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 3:13am
post #11 of 20

I know my ignorance is going to be available for public ridicule on this question but...

how exactly do you crumb coat? Is it just a thin layer of buttercream, because I tried that and fridged it for about 15 min...but I still got crumbs when I went to put on my icing. I have heard of people using things like apricot glaze, but how would you do that...and would there be a flavor associated with that?

(If this topic requires a separate post, please feel free to copy my question into a new topic.)


tcturtleshell Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 3:17am
post #12 of 20

Da' Momma of cakes~ LOL

I put a lot of icing on my cakes just like the icer tips does. I just don't use the icer tip. More icing does give it a better look.

What is Baker's Course? I really would love to take more classes. I would love to hear about that~

SquirrellyCakes Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 3:57am
post #13 of 20

Haha, sorry, I should have been more specific. There is a licensed baker's course at the community college level, in Canada. Basically they take a full-time course and do a placement. They have to apprentice under a licensed baker and put in so many hours before they qualify for their license. This qualifies as a commercial baker. They can then add on to this course and get a culinary arts diploma or use it as part of a restaurant management diploma or specialize and become a pastry chef etc. When using it as part of another diploma they do not become a licensed baker, but use part of the course, not the whole course, as a credit towards another more generalized field of study.
Cake decorating is taught as part of the baker's course, they learn to make a fondant covered wedding cake and do a lot of the things covered in the Wilton courses. They cover breads, pastries, cakes, cookies, desserts etc.
The length of the course varies from place to place, somewhere between 1 and 2 years in addition to the initial placement and the apprenticing hours put in under a licensed baker.
We are fortunate here also, in having a Cordon Bleu school. Extremely expensive, but there are many additional courses offered that can certainly add on to the Baker's license and open a lot of doors. The Cordon Bleu school operates under the authority of the original school from France. They offer many specialized course, in chocolate, pastries and such.
Hugs Squirrely Cakes

tcturtleshell Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 4:16am
post #14 of 20

That sounds wonderful!!!

After I start my new job (school bus driving) at the end of July I might look into taking some classes at the Tech College here in Bossier. I only drive in the morning & afternoon. Hopefully I could take a mid-day class. I want to so bad! Thanks for the info!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 4:21am
post #15 of 20
Originally Posted by mixaleena

I know my ignorance is going to be available for public ridicule on this question but...

how exactly do you crumb coat? Is it just a thin layer of buttercream, because I tried that and fridged it for about 15 min...but I still got crumbs when I went to put on my icing. I have heard of people using things like apricot glaze, but how would you do that...and would there be a flavor associated with that?

(If this topic requires a separate post, please feel free to copy my question into a new topic.)


Well, I am a big fan of apricot glaze for crumbcoating. To answer your question about flavouring, I find thinned down with water, no it doesn't leave the taste. Straight, yes it does flavour the cake.
I use half butter, half shortening and cream and milk in my buttercream along with vanilla and powdered sugar. When I use this as a crumbcoat, I don't refrigerate the cake, I just let it set for about 25 minutes before flat icing over the crumbcoat. I also do not thin my crumbcoat icing and more than I thin the final coat of icing.
Here is how I make it, copied from a post I did on the Wilton site.
I can buy the glaze ready-made and I measure it and add 1/2 that amount in water. So for two cups glaze, add 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, measure out about 1/4 cup which will cover most cakes. Brush on while hot onto your cakes as soon as they come out of the pan if you like, or you can brush hot glaze on a cooled cake. Let cake cool until room temperature. You can leave a cake sealed like this up to about overnight before frosting.
Otherwise, use pure apricot jam. Bring jam to a boil, over about medium low heat and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring off and on. Press through a sieve to get rid of pulp. Measure and add half this amount in water, so 2 cups heated strained jam to 1 cup water. Return to a boil for about 3-5 minutes. Ready to use.
By thinning with water, you will not get the taste of the apricots. Otherwise you can just heat the ready-made glaze or jam without the additional water.
Brush very sparingly on a cake, just enough to get a sheen, not enough to soak a cake. 1/4 cup will do a ten inch round or bigger, you don't use much.
Store glaze for months in the refrigerator, removing what you need and heating it in the microwave in a custard type glass cup.

If you use the pure apricot jam, it will harden up more. Watered down it sets, but does not get hard. Do not soak the cake with it, that isn't the purpose. I use this nearly all of the time.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

diane Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 7:43am
post #16 of 20

i hate doing chocolate cakes because i always have a problem with them too. i haven't used the icing tip. i may give that a try. i just don't like putting on too much icing, and some of my customers don't like a lot of icing either.

mixaleena Posted 19 Jun 2005 , 11:47am
post #17 of 20

Thanks Squirrelly!

KayDay Posted 20 Jun 2005 , 3:41am
post #18 of 20

I crumb coat most of the time.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 20 Jun 2005 , 3:51am
post #19 of 20

Well the thing is, even though you use a lot of icing with the cake icer, you actually are supposed to remove a lot of it while you smooth out the icing.
Regarding the amount of crumbing people seem to feel chocolate cakes create, I wonder if it is partly because chocolate cake crumbs are more visible than other cake crumbs/
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

momsandraven Posted 21 Jun 2005 , 2:58pm
post #20 of 20

I think you may be right about the chocolate crumbs being more visible, Squirrely. Thanks for the glaze info, I always learn something from your posts! icon_wink.gif
The classes your daughter took sound awesome! I live just far enough away from a Cordon Bleu school that it wouldn't be feasible for me. Doh! (There's one in Chicago, FYI, Chicago area people!) I have a friend who is a recruiter of sorts for the school, and it sounds so fun!!

Happy Baking,

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