Do you let your crumb coat sit before putting the final layer of BC on?
I usually refrigerate the cake for 15-20 minutes, then apply the icing. It does depend on which recipe you use and sometimes, the humidity and the temperature. When it is warmer, chill a bit longer.
I happened to have done 3 cake decorating demos today at a high school. I put the crumb-coated cake in their freezer while I showed them how to make a couple of roses ... pulled the cake out of the freezer and it was ready to go.
When doing a cake in my kitchen, I will crumb coat all three tiers and by the time I am done with the 3rd one, the first one is ready to go. I don't refrigerate the crumb-coated ones .... they are just on the counter while I'm working.
I just have to say - and this is out of ignorance, perhaps - what is the point of crumb coating? I have never done this. It seems like a needless additional step. Please help me understand - is it really necessary? And, why? I have never had any problems - but then, I don't really know what problems this would prevent.
Crumb coating "glues" the cake crumbs to the cake so they don't get in your icing and then look really "crumby" (hahahaha! Gosh, I crack me up sometimes!) in your icing. I can really tell the difference when icing a chocolate cake. I can slap the crumb coat on and it doesn't matter if I get choc crumbs in the icing or not, because once the crumb coat crusts (just a few minutes), it holds the crumbs in place. The final coat of icing goes on this nice smooth surface nice-n-smooth with no crumbs showing up in the final coat.
Sometimes, if the cake is a little more frozen than normal, I can skip the crumb coating on a white cake, but I usually go ahead and do it out of habit.
And don't feel ignorant. I'd been doing cakes for 25 years before I found CC and I never knew it was called a crumb coat. I just knew that sometimes I had to ice a cake twice to cover up the crumbs that I'd gotten in the icing the first time round!
Than you for your responses - here I had been crumb coating the night before and waiting, thinking that the cake needed to "settle" so I didn't get the bulge on the sides.
Another crumb coating question though - this summer I have an order for 150 mini tiered cakes, I need to get as much done ahead of time as I am a one man show with an in home bakery and two small children. Could I bake and crumb coat the cakes and then freeze them like 2 or 3 weeks ahead of time?