I just had a question. I was trained in a grocery store bakery where we used the large cake icer to get the icing on the cake, then a comb to do the sides and spatula to smooth out the top. Speed, not perfection was the goal.
Now that I am doing cakes on my own I'm trying to figure out the best process for smoothly icing a buttercream cake. I never had heard of a crumb coat until joining this site, nor did I know how to ice the sides of a cake with a spatula.
I still use the large cake icer but have been doing a crumb coat in the past few months to see if it helps, as occasionally I'll have a problem with a crumb or two showing up in the icing. So I crumb coat, pop in the fridge until firm, then take it out & ice again. Wait for a crust, then viva towel method.
I just wanted to be sure I was doing it right. Sometimes I have issues with the cake 'sweating' from being in the fridge so the icing won't crust for a long time (I use Sugarshack's recipe). Also, do any of you not use a crumb coat? It seems like a lot of extra time & extra icing when I rarely have a problem with crumbs, just gotta get the icing on thick enough the first time.
Any tips would be appreciated!
I use a thin coat when I crumb coat, just enough to cover cake and seal in crumbs. The cake can still be seen through icing. I then pop in fridge for approx. 10 - 20 minutes and don't have a problem with it sweating. I've tried just using the icer tip but I end up getting crumbs in icing.
I never refrigerate my cakes. I use Indydebi's bc, and I just let the crumb coat crust before covering it and letting it rest for a few hours before frosting.
I don't refrigerate either. I crumb coat and immediately use the icer tip. Sometimes I forget to crumbcoat.
hmm, ok you all have me rethinking my strategy. gotta keep trying until I figure out what works best for me I guess!
I was thinking the crumb coat had to be very firm (from fridge or freezer) or else it would just pull away & you would get crumbs in the icing.
I never refrigerate my cakes either. Sometimes I ice the cake right after crumb coating and sometimes I don't. Works just as well either way for me.
I don't always crumb coat either. Always with a chocolate cake, but not always with a vanilla cake...and almost never a sheet cake-unless it's chocolate, that is! I hope I've totally confused everyone.
Also, do any of you not use a crumb coat? It seems like a lot of extra time & extra icing when I rarely have a problem with crumbs, just gotta get the icing on thick enough the first time.
I don't crumbcoat either, and I don't see the point if you're able to ice it the first time without getting crumbs in the icing. You're correct, just gotta get it on thick enough at first. I always say the name of the game is to slap it on and wipe it off! Once the excess is removed, the perfect amount is left. If too much was scraped away, it's easy to add a little more because the crumbs are already sealed under the thick coat. If you get crumbs lifted into your icing, it's normally because too little is trying to be spread too thinly, or your knife is being lifted too many times. (of course, you know this already... you were trained well!) When switching from the comb to a knife (if righthanded), you'll only have to get used to icing the left side of the cake while spinning your turntable, instead of combing the right side of the cake. I hope this helps!
I don't crumb coat either. The closest thing I get to a crumb coat is after i fill a cake i press down on the top to get it even and make sure the layers aren't going to shift on me. In doing this a little bit of my dam is pushed out, so I just smooth this around the outside of the cake. Then i use the icer tip, ice the cake and smooth it out.
It's my opinion that if you're using a speed icer, then you don't need to crumb coat. If you're using a spatula then you would need one.
But I've iced cakes both ways and never used a crumb coat.