Hello everyone and welcome to my tutorial on crumb coating a cake. I often get asked by friends and family how to crumb coat a cake and to get a nice smooth finish on the cake, so here is one of my techniques.
I know you are excited to jump into decorating your cake, but I need to clarify a few things about frosting. First, there are many different kinds of frosting, the kind Americans generally use is an American buttercream. This is the ultra sweet frosting made with powdered sugar, butter and sometimes shortening. There are also Meringue buttercreams which are a little more difficult to make, but totally worth it. For this tutorial, we are using an American buttercream.
Before you begin, make sure your frosting is stiff, you should be able to scoop it up with your spatula and turn it upside down over the bowl without it falling or sliding back into the bowl. The frosting should hold its shape perfectly.
So, what is a crumb coat? That is a good question. A crumb coat is the base coat of frosting on a cake. Generally there are 2 layers of frosting spread on a cake, the 1st is the crumb coat. It seals in the crumbs, so that no crumbs can get into the second layer of icing and made your cake look dirty.
These are the tools I use to crumb coat a cake. A leveler, an off-set spatula and a scraper. All of these materials can be picked up at a craft store near you or on line. I also use a turntable and I ALWAYS have a separate empty bowl, which I will explain in a minute.
Once you have topped all of your cakes, you are ready to start stacking. Start by spreading a thin layer of Frosting on your cake board so it will stick to the bottom of your cake.
Once it is nice and flat like the picture below, you can stack the second cake. If you only have 2 cakes, turn the cake over so the bottom of the second cake is now the top of the cake. This will greatly reduce your amount of crumbs.
Once you have filled your cake, use your off set spatula to smooth your excess frosting into the cake. This is where you fill any gaps on the sides, if there are any and make sure your layers are stacked properly. This is also the time to get out that extra bowl I told you to have ready.
One of my tricks to getting a really nice crumb coat is to have my extra bowl. Anytime I get crumbs on my spatula, I wipe the frosting into my extra bowl. I always make sure to keep my frosting bowl crumb free, by putting my crumb covered frosting into a separate bowl:) It is the best way to reduce crumbs, I promise!
Note the angle of the spatula in the picture above. You want to keep you spatula at a 90 degree angle while spreading frosting.
After finishing the edges of the cake, you will have peaks on the top edges of the cake, use you scraper or spatula to draw the peaks into the center of the cake, Then smooth again.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! Please let me know if you have any questions and enjoy caking!