Cake Frosting Basics 11 – Crumb Coat

Cake Frosting Basics

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The Crumb Coat
Cake Crumb Coat

The crumb coat is a thin under-layer of frosting that seals in the crumbs on a cake so that they don’t show in the finish. It works especially well for wedding cakes or special occasion cakes when you want to achieve a clean-looking cake that’s free of flaws. It’s an optional step that is not always used in bakeries. Some experienced cake decorators are able to frost cleanly without needing a crumb coat with the help of a speed tip.

For most chefs, the decision of whether or not to add a crumb coat depends entirely on the type of cake and the intended decoration. If it’s a plain white wedding cake, it’s important to add a crumb coat. If the cake finish is more dark or not as important to the design, because, for example, it’s being wrapped in dark modeling chocolate or covered in fondant, it’s entirely possible to skip the crumb coat.

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Cake Frosting Basics 11 – Crumb Coat — 2 Comments

  1. Hello, I have a burning question about all butter buttercream…

    When I tried out Swiss Meringue Buttercream I had a terrible time covering it with fondant successfully because as soon as it warmed up a little the buttercream would start to blob under the fondant and the fondant would move and look terrible after a few hours. I am a hobby baker, I live in Florida and my house is never going to be colder than 76F. So I gave up on frosting with SMBC and now only use good old reliable ganache. I would like to try again with your buttercream (because although I love dark chocolate ganache I despise even the best of white chocolate ganaches) but am afraid the same thing will happen once I get the cake out of the fridge, cover it with fondant and leave it at room temp. What are your thoughts? Thanks again, Kristen for your help. I feel like what I paid for this book does not cover the help you have given me! By the way, I reference your site a lot on my amateur cake blog :

    • Sally,
      If the buttercream is blobbing beneath fondant, it’s probably because there is too much buttercream under there. Especially if the fondant is rolled out thick, it will push down on the frosting. Just a crumb coat of buttercream is all you want underneath fondant. Not a thick finish coat like you would use on a frosted cake.

      My solution to dealing with buttercream during the hot summers and sunny days here in Southern California is to frost cakes at night when the sun’s down and the air’s cooler.

      You’ve got a great blog going! Love your rendition of the grand piano cake 🙂

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