Icing Cake Woes... Ugh!

Decorating By MariaK38 Updated 9 Sep 2010 , 3:52am by tesso

MariaK38 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:36pm
post #1 of 9

So I just iced my first cake, a 2 layer 8 inch round chocolate cake with white buttercream. Baked fairly level, a little sloped on top, not too big a deal. Put the layers, wrapped, in the freezer for a couple of hours while I made the frosting. Put the crumb coat on and let it sit until it was dry to the touch, about 2.5 hours. Put the next icing layer on... crumbs like crazy! It didn't pull the crumb coat layer up, but so many crumbs are showing through, too many to remove. What did I do wrong? My icing recipe... 1 cup softened butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tsp. vanilla, water until it was the right consistency. The cake was a box Duncan Hines with an extra egg. I thought I put enough icing on...
Please help... any suggestions are appreciated!

Thanks! Maria

8 replies
MariaK38 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 11:44pm
post #2 of 9

anyone?... any crumb coating/icing cake masters out there that can help a newbie out?

CWR41 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 12:08am
post #3 of 9
Originally Posted by MariaK38

It didn't pull the crumb coat layer up, but so many crumbs are showing through, too many to remove.

Since the crumbs aren't in the icing, just showing through, you didn't use enough. Did you run out of icing? I wouldn't have stopped adding icing until all of the crumbs were covered. How about icing it with a third coat?

cakeythings1961 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 12:14am
post #4 of 9

Well, since none of the real experts have responded yet, I'll take a stab at it!

First, your recipe doesn't have enough powdered sugar...my recipes call for about 4 C. of PS for each cup of butter/shortening. You are basically trying to ice your cake with sweetened butter...no wonder you're having trouble!!

Second, when an icing recipe has only butter, it won't set up well and it's generally considered non-crusting. A crumb coat really can't do a good job unless it crusts. Most crusting BC recipes have at least 1/2 of the fat coming from shortening, and some are all shortening. The recipe section here on CC has several good ones.

Third, even a crusting BC recipe will do better when the crumb coat gets a quick chill before applying the final coat. I put mine in the freezer for 10 min. or so.

Try these suggestions. Good luck! You can do it!!

ETA: CWR41, I didn't mean to imply that you aren't an expert...we must have been typing at the same time! icon_smile.gif

CWR41 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 12:22am
post #5 of 9
Originally Posted by cakeythings1961

ETA: CWR41, I didn't mean to imply that you aren't an expert...we must have been typing at the same time! icon_smile.gif

Gotcha! icon_biggrin.gif

MariaK38 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 1:26am
post #6 of 9

good tips, ladies (I assume!) thanks!
do you think that half butter/half crisco would work better? I really like the taste of butter in my icing. Or should I go all crisco? Does butter flavoring work well to get a good butter taste... or does it just taste fake?
I've tried indydebi's recipe, and it's good, but a little too sweet for me. I tried replacing some of the powdered sugar with cornstarch, but it kind of had an odd "powdery" taste and texture to it.
oh well... off to look for a good crusting recipe! thanks again!

TheBlonde Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 1:33am
post #7 of 9

I use a half butter half shortening BC recipe. Never all butter. The previous poster had a lot of good advice. I think you just need to put a thicker coat of BC on the cake so the crumbs do not show through. However, I haven't had this problem before. Let us know how you make out!

cakeythings1961 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 1:58am
post #8 of 9

Yes, lots of ppl use half butter & half shortening, so it should be fine. If you think most BC icings are too sweet, you might want to try cream cheese buttercream. I use Edna's recipe:


My son, like you, doesn't like overly sweet icing, and he luuuuuuuuuuvs this recipe and insists I put it on all his cakes no matter what their flavor!! Seriously...lemon, fudge, mojito, butter rum--everything!

I thought of one more tip for you: pay attention to your icing technique. As you ice your cake (crumb or 2nd coat) be sure that you don't lift your spatula straight up--this creates suction and could pull away a section of icing, thus exposing crumbs! Also avoid removing your spatula when you are at the "edge" of a newly iced section...move your spatula to the middle of an iced section and carefully slip the knife away without creating suction. Some people try to never remove their spatula at all by putting a huge blob of icing on the cake, then moving it around as they ice, then removing the excess at the end. I'm personally not skilled enough to do that!

I hope I didn't confuse you!

Oh, and you could try IMBC or SMBC. I don't have much experience with these, since cooked icings aren't my thing!

tesso Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 3:52am
post #9 of 9

If an icing is too sweet, all it takes is a dash of salt. It will cut down the sweetness immensely. It only takes a TINY amount of salt.

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