Can Someone Explain Crumb Coating To Me?

Decorating By TTran Updated 25 Sep 2009 , 8:05pm by TTran

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TTran Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 3:45am
post #1 of 9

I tried it on my first topsy turvy cake and I got more crumbs in the icing than there are in the cake. Plus, it made my icing very soft and it seems as though my cake is melting. I used to freeze my cakes and then ice them but it took FOREVER for the icing to crust that way so I watched Edna's video and tried to crumb and obviously missed something icon_smile.gif Now i'm worried this cake will not be presentable for the shower the lady is picking it up for tomorrow.

8 replies
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xstitcher Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 4:05am
post #2 of 9

The main reason for a crumb coat is to seal the "crumbs" so they do not effect the final icing layer. You only need a very thin layer (you should still be able to see the cake through it). I'm going to assume that you carved your cake to do your topsy turvy which in itself will create more crumbs than if you were not carving. Carving a slightly frozen cake is usually easier to do than a cake at room temperature. It also helps to reduce the # of crumbs as well. You will want to brush off as much of the crumbs as you can before you crumb coat your cake. After you've crumb coat it let it crust a few minutes (it shouldn't take long because it's a very thin layer of icing). Then you can add your final/outer layer of icing and the crumbs should all be contained in the "crumb coat" - just be careful not to disturb the crumb coat layer when your applying the outer coating of icing.

I'm not sure why your icing got softer as I've never had that problem myself. Is this a new recipe or the same that you've always used?

It is not necessary to crumb coat a coat before you ice it and if you have done well without it up until now there's no reason to change.

I personally always ice a cake that is either room temperature or just slightly cold but never frozen. I know that other ccer's do it with success but I have never tried it myself so cannot comment if this is a reason for the difference in the consistency of your icing.

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madgeowens Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 4:10am
post #3 of 9

seal crumbs.....especially with chocolate cake...those pesky crumbs....

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cutthecake Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 4:38am
post #4 of 9

And that's why some people call it "dirty icing".

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indydebi Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 12:37pm
post #5 of 9

Think of it as your base makeup .... base foundation makeup fills in the pores and the lines in your skin, to give you a smooth base to apply your blush and shadow.

Crumb coating holds those pesty crumbs in place, but it also fills in the holes, the rough spots, etc., to give you a smooth base to apply your final icing.

It's funny, coz when I sold skincare, I'd use cakes as the example. To have a good looking birthday cake, you have to start with a nicely baked, smooth, even, level cake. Same with your makeup. You have to start with smooth skin that's clean ... a good foundation.

now here I am using smooth clean skin as the parallel to baking cakes! icon_lol.gif

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cylstrial Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 3:09pm
post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by cutthecake

And that's why some people call it "dirty icing".

That's exactly what I was going to say! Buddy from Cake Boss always says, "Dirty Ice" the cake. icon_biggrin.gif

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cabecakes Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 3:26pm
post #7 of 9

I don't know if this will help, but I always lightly brush my cake with either a paint brush (new never used for paint lol) or a bbq basting brush before I put on my crumb coat. I never fully freeze my cakes, because I had a cake disaster doing that. The moisture from the condensation actually caused my icing to "bleed" if you will (I don't know how else to explain it) food coloring. It was green icing, and there were green droplets all over the cake. Thank goodness it wasn't for a customer. But I digress. Back to crumb coating. If you take a few extra seconds and lightly brush your cake, then add the thin layer for a crumb coat, it will significantly reduce crumbs.

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tonedna Posted 19 Sep 2009 , 3:47pm
post #8 of 9

Yes, like everybody said.
Think of it as nail polish..2 coats cover better.
You put the cake in the fridge. Give it a coat of buttercream. It will get crumbly.
Be careful your icing is not too stiff or too thin. You will get crumbs at this stage, but mainly all you want is to seal the cake.
After the crumbcoat, put the cake in the fridge again and let it cool down and the icing harden. Then you go ahead and give it another coat.

Make sure you are not playing with the crumbcoat when you are giving the second coat.
How you know for sure???...Try this

Crumbcoat in white icing
Second coat in a color
If you start seeing white in your second coat, that means you are playing with the crumbcoat


Crumbcoat is a thin film of icing meant to seal the cake. You should see the cake translucent through the crumbcoat. If you put too much, you might tun the risk of having 3 inches of icing.
Hope this helps.
Edna icon_smile.gif

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TTran Posted 25 Sep 2009 , 8:05pm
post #9 of 9

Thank you all very much. I think i will try again next time I have a chocolate cake using the tips you guys gave me.

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