Crumbs In My Icing

Decorating By Debba53 Updated 23 Jun 2015 , 2:59am by bubs1stbirthday

Debba53 Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 12:22pm
post #1 of 11

Hi ,

I am new here and I need some advice.   Every time I make a chocolate cake and I do the crumb coat and I allow it to crust when I put the top coat on it pulls the crumb coat off and I end up with crumbs in the top coat of icing. 

Does anyone have any tips for me?     

10 replies
LizzieAylett Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 1:06pm
post #2 of 11

It sounds to me like your top coat is too thick.  Try thinning it out a bit with some milk (or what ever would suit your recipe) and that should go on better.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 1:49pm
post #3 of 11

LizzieAylett is absolutely right. You need to thin out your final coat of icing and remember to be generous with the amount of icing you apply. Your icing spatula should never directly touch the crumbcoated cake, only the icing on the icing spatula should touch it. So basically your spatula is going from one area of iced cake while sitting on top of the blob of icing you are applying.

Chocolate cakes are the worst for crumbs. I like to use a simple sugar syrup on them first. Also, I find freezing the well-wrapped layers for several hours or overnight, sets the crumb and I have less crumbs to deal with.

cakesrock Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 2:32pm
post #4 of 11

Do you use cake release? it makes the cake come out so nicely and has less crumbs. Also, I always brush my cakes lightly with a pastry brush to remove crumbs before crumb coating. Then freeze for 10- 15 mins before icing (after crumb coating). And I echo what the others said about GENEROUS amount of icing. Very thin for crumb coat and very generous for actually icing it. Try these techniques and I'm sure you will no longer have this issue! good luck!

Debba53 Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 4:50pm
post #5 of 11

I do use cake release but the chocolate cakes  are always very crumbly. I will try all of your suggestions.  I never thought about a simple sugar coat.  I assume that you put it on before the crumb coat?

Thanks so very much

SquirrellyCakes Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 5:33pm
post #6 of 11

Yes, the simple syrup goes on first. Use a pastry brush to brush off dry crumbs.  Bring one cup of sugar and 1 cup of water just to a boil. Let cool to room temperature. Once cake has cooled to room temperature, brush simple syrup on cake. You will only need a portion of the recipe , the rest can be refrigerated for further use. I usually pour about a quarter cup into a bowl, refilling as needed.  Let it set up for an hour or so.

Apti Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 5:51pm
post #7 of 11

Your problem is most likely in how you use your spatula to apply the final, thicker coat of icing over the crumb coat.  New decorators (me included!) tend to lift up the spatula instead of a smoothing-back-and-forth-motion.  The second you lift up the spatula incorrectly--ooops... it will pull the crumb coat and the crumbs beneath right up onto your spatula.  Although this is infuriating and discouraging in the beginning, it CAN be fixed with practice and the right technique.

Watch this video by Edna de la Cruz.  Note how she moves her offset spatula at the 2:05 to 2:20 time mark on the video.  Look at how she moves the spatula back and forth in a sweeping motion and only touches the extra icing, NEVER touching the crumb coat beneath.  When she lifts up the spatula, it is done with a sweeping motion to the side to minimize any "lift" that could lift the crumb coat below.

In addition to proper spatula movements, you are probably using too little frosting when you do your final coat.  It took me years to learn that I ALWAYS need more frosting than I made for the cake project.  If you make "just enough" frosting, you'll end up "stretching" the frosting to make it work so you don't have to make another batch.  This will cause nothing but headaches and frustration.

I use a crusting American buttercream recipe found on the Wilton forum called "Mock Shack".  Although I hobby bake infrequently, I now make twice what is needed before I start a cake project.  I can freeze any leftover frosting.

Apti Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 5:52pm
post #8 of 11

Aaaaaagh!    I WANT AN EDIT BUTTON!!!!!!!

Forgot to put the link to the video:

Whiteflower1 Posted 22 Jun 2015 , 7:51pm
post #9 of 11

Get your cake cold in the refrigerator first, Always a thin skim coat , then refrigerate for awhile, then top coat. Applying the frosting for the top coat with a piping bag wil help not to stir up the frosting below it. Good luck, it can be frustrating we know!! -Marianne, white flower cake shoppe 

Debba53 Posted 23 Jun 2015 , 1:35am
post #10 of 11

Thanks this video was awesome a huge help.   I am going to try to watch her other videos.  I would love to see how she puts that 3 tier cake together without messing up the icing. 

bubs1stbirthday Posted 23 Jun 2015 , 2:59am
post #11 of 11

The biggest tip that I picked up has to do with the amount of icing that you put on - put on more than you need then wipe of the excess, this will avoid pulling up the crumbs. So I blob on heaps of icing and then use my bench scraper to smooth it off,

Not putting on enough icing will make life so much harder than it has to be :-) and as above don't lift your spatula directly from the cake or your icing will all rip off with it  (trust me on that one lol)

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