I'm a beginner baker and I recently heard that if you put a "crumb coat" on your cake, then the buttercream won't shred the crumbs between the layers. Question is... what is a crumb coat? How is it used? I did a search and didn't find the answer. Sorry if its a dumb question.
No dumb questions - that is how we learn! A crumb coat or dirty ice as some call it - is just a thin coat of icing to seal all the crumbs in, before you put your final coat of icing. So you would fill your cake, then crumb coat it, chill or let it sit for a few hours to settle, then put on another coat of icing or your fondant on.
A crumb coat is a thin layer of buttercream that has been applied to your layers. It helps to seal in the crumbs.
It can be applied to your layers and your layers can then be left to set up or crust about 10 minutes before the final coat of buttercream can be applied.
*another way to do this is to crumb coat and place layers in the freezer or fridge until the icing is set.
Crumb coating maybe used to seal in chocolate cake crumbs and keeps the chocolate cake crumbs from showing through the buttercream leaving little dark spots on an otherwise all white buttercream cake.
There is an on going argument as to whether or not to crumb coat.
I find it most useful for chocolate cakes or dark cakes like a red velvet cake.
I can almost get away with out this step when icing vanilla or white or lighter cakes.
I hope this helps!
Added as an after thought: While crumb coating a cake, make sure you do not, I REPEAT DO NOT, place a spatula full of crumbs into your entire batch of buttercream! (I use a large plastic drinking cub and scrap off any buttercream and crumbs into the plastic cup so I have a clean, crumbless icing spatula.) Crumby icing can be used for filling your cakes. Nobody cares if there are cake crumbs inside the cake!
P.S. I agree with the above poster, there is no such thing as a dumb question, only the questions not asked!
First of all, there is no such thing as a dumb question! We were all new at one time or another. Each day as we better ourselves, we will still have questions. That is the beauty of this site. There is always someone here to answer those questions
A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing on your cake. You do this first then let rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes. After it has rested you can frost your cake. The crumb coat is supposed to help by holding things together. It allows you not to have crumbs on your final layer. HTH!
You may also want to play around with the consistency of your icing when you crumb coat. I find it easier to crumb coat with icing that I have thinned down and then add a final layer of regular icing afterwards. I'm less likely to tear a cake or smear crumbs everywhere that way. It is also easier to crumb coat if the cake is at least partially frozen around the edges. I sometimes throw the cake in the freezer for about 30 minutes before icing, just to firm it up. Some people frost all of their cakes while the layers are completely frozen.
That makes all kinds of sense, thank you so much! I appreciate the help.