Saturday, August 11, 2012

How to Crumb Coat a Layer Cake

In a recent post I explained how to prep a layer cake for freezing. I find that frosting a frozen layer cake is much easier than frosting a freshly baked cake. There is less chance of the cake tearing, or crumbs getting into the frosting.

The first layer of frosting is called a crumb coat. The purpose of the crumb coat is to lock in any crumbs into a thin layer of frosting, before putting on a final coat.

First we will need to secure the cake to the plate, or cake board. A dab of frosting, on the center of the plate, helps to keep everything in place.

Gently press the cake onto the plate.

Spread the frosting, or filling, liberally. Leave about 1/4" around the edge.

Gently press the top layer into the frosting. Remove the waxed paper.

The cake is now ready for the crumb coat. Using an offset spatula, apply a generous amount of frosting to the sides of the cake, working around the entire cake. The top of the cake is frosted also.

Now that the cake has been frosted, roughly. It is time to clean it up. I start with scraping down the offset spatula, so it is clean. Then in one continual motion, pressing firmly against the outside egde of the cake, I smooth out the frosting. The excess frosting is scraped back into the frosting bowl.

Excess frosting from the upper edges are smoothed toward the center of the cake.

Just keep working around the cake until the top is smooth.

After you have applied the crumb coat, it is best to let the frosting firm up, in the refrigerator, before starting on the final layer and piping.

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