I Wasn't Taught To Crumb Coat - Is It Really Necessary?

Decorating By Wildgirl Updated 8 Jul 2011 , 10:28pm by Unlimited

Wildgirl Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 7:50pm
post #1 of 14

At my class, the instructor just had us use a large flat tip to cover the cake with the bc - then we used an offset spatula to smooth it, and finish smoothing it with waxed paper and your hand. I haven't really had any problems doing it like this, but I keep seeing references to crumb coats - do I need to relearn how I do this?

13 replies
BlakesCakes Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 7:59pm
post #2 of 14

I think that you just do what works best for you.

I was taught to crumb coat. One of the reasons that it works well for me is that I like to allow my crumb coated cake to sit for up to 24 hours at room temp & settle. The crumb coat keeps the cake fresh. Once settled, if there's a bulge at the dam line of the filling, I can scrape it away and it's not visible in the final icing coat.

For me, it's a process that takes very little time, gives me the chance to easily repair a problem, and I'd feel funny not doing it at this point.

HTH
Rae

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:01pm
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildgirl

I haven't really had any problems doing it like this, but I keep seeing references to crumb coats - do I need to relearn how I do this?




If it ain't broke, don't fix it. icon_smile.gif

I do crumb coat. I torte, fill and crumb coat then let my cakes settle. In that situation it is more to keep the cakes fresh while they are sitting out than it is about the crumb issue.

I will also crumb coat if I am doing a sculpted cake where I have a lot of cut edges. It just makes the icing go smoother and I get less crumbs in it.

Using the cake icer tip is a good way to avoid having crumbs.

tonedna Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:02pm
post #4 of 14

Do what works for you. I do a crumbcoat, but other people don't. Nobody is wrong or right.
Edna icon_smile.gif

Bettyviolet101 Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:15pm
post #5 of 14

Agreed if it works then just do it. Several people have opinions on stuff like this and basically will tell you "if you don't do it this way you will fail." Maybe you will find it better if you crumb coat but if you don't then do it how you are comfortable! If you are really curious just try one cake with a crumb coat and see if you liked it better or if it helped you in any way. If it doesn't then stick to what your doing! icon_smile.gif

sweetflowers Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:20pm
post #6 of 14

For me it depends on what icing I am working with. I crumb coat with buttercream, no crumb coat with nondairy whipped frosting. It also depends on if I'm doing a chocolate cake, those have so many crumbs... Really, unless you are having problems with your current process, there is no need to change it.

Wildgirl Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:21pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

Agreed if it works then just do it. Several people have opinions on stuff like this and basically will tell you "if you don't do it this way you will fail." Maybe you will find it better if you crumb coat but if you don't then do it how you are comfortable! If you are really curious just try one cake with a crumb coat and see if you liked it better or if it helped you in any way. If it doesn't then stick to what your doing! icon_smile.gif




Makes sense. I'll have to do a search here to even find out how to do it! lol! But it would be good to try. Thanks everyone! icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:24pm
post #8 of 14

The crumb coat is done by taking a small amount of the icing and smearing it all around the cake. Getting crumbs mixed in is fine. Some will say they thin down the icing a little, others don't. icon_smile.gif

terrylee Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:43pm
post #9 of 14

I never use to crumb coat...but lately I have starting doing that...like Blakescakes stated..it give the cakes a chance to rest and settle....and I don't seemed as rushed the next day when I start the final icing. But it is just a matter of preference....happy decorating.

kakeladi Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 8:47pm
post #10 of 14

I just have to chirp in here and agree w/everyone else. Is it 'really necessary'? No. Is it helpful, yesicon_smile.gif
Many times in a large, busy bakery there is no time to crumbcoat. Or I should say it would delay things very much.
There are different ways to crumb as with everything else.
Some say let it sit overnight or even 24 hrs. Wow, again a busy bakery could not afford that much 'wasted' time. So they put on a thin coat of icing then almost right away put on the finish coat.
I like to melt my crumbcoat icing - put about 1/4 cup icing in the micro and let it melt. This only takes maybe 5 seconds. You don't want to get it HOT, just melt it. Now, *working quickly*, pour on top of cake and work it around and down the sides. If necessary more can be added especially to the sides but since it is almost liquid it spreads quickly. This gives the cake a glaze (will look like a glazed donut) that sets up/dries almost instantly so you can go back right away to finish coat - no need to put it in the frig or let it set even 1 hour. It also gives the cake a smooth finish so the final coat goes on easier. Any leftover melted icing *CANNOT* be used again - for anything so just melt what you need for that cake.
For those of you who have had problems with crumbcoating - who put your cake in the frig for as much as an hour or more- try this - bet you'll never go back to your old wayicon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 9:11pm
post #11 of 14

When I crumb coat, it never takes it more than 15-20 mins to crust over, which is all you really need. If I am doing several cakes, then it by the time I'm done with one, the other would be crusted over. I don't know why you'd have to let it sit an hour. And I never put anything in the fridge, since then I'd have to deal with condensation.

JessDesserts Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 9:21pm
post #12 of 14

You should always do what works for you. Key word "works" icon_wink.gif

When I was in pastry school, we were taught to crumb coat also, in a similiar manner to what you described.

When I started my internship in a very busy bakery, there was no such thing as crumbcoating. I was given a plastic triangle scraper ( some people call them icing combs) and a straight medium spatula. Huh? What do I do with these?

I quickly learned how to work with both. Their method was plopping the bc on top of the cake and using either tool- depending on if you wanted straight or combed finish- and spinning the turntable while 'pushing' the bc down the sides .

If you're doing something that works for you, theres probably no need ot change it.

tokazodo Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 9:33pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessDesserts

You should always do what works for you. Key word "works" icon_wink.gif

When I was in pastry school, we were taught to crumb coat also, in a similiar manner to what you described.

When I started my internship in a very busy bakery, there was no such thing as crumbcoating. I was given a plastic triangle scraper ( some people call them icing combs) and a straight medium spatula. Huh? What do I do with these?

I quickly learned how to work with both. Their method was plopping the bc on top of the cake and using either tool- depending on if you wanted straight or combed finish- and spinning the turntable while 'pushing' the bc down the sides .

If you're doing something that works for you, theres probably no need ot change it.




I 'dislike', the icing comb. icon_sad.gif It's okay for getting the job done, but I really like my Viva smoothed buttercream now! icon_lol.gif

I was not taught to crumb coat, but I always do it with my chocolate and red velvet cakes. It seals in those pesky crumbs!
Vanilla cakes, not so much...
I agree with the others, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! thumbs_up.gif

Unlimited Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 10:28pm
post #14 of 14

I'd never heard about using a crumb coat 35 nearly 40 years ago, and high-production facilities definitely don't allow for itchocolate cake or not.

Using cake combs were frowned upon by decorators because they were viewed as an alternative tool for someone who couldn't ice a cake smoothly.

Today some professionals view crumb coating in a similar wayfor those who can't ice a cake smoothly the first time without a crumb coat. If you can just ice it, I don't see the need to take the extra steps unless you're trying to ice a carved shape with raw edges in a specialty shop without time constraints.

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