If you have ever tried to decorate a cake, you must have encountered a little problem. How do professionals achieve that sleek look? The answer may be easier than you think. However, the first step is going to be crumb coat cake.
And the crumb coat is a layer of frosting that holds firm any part of the cake, that wants to fall away from it.
Crumb coating is essential to prevent the frosting outer layer from mixing with crumbs that alter its texture. You’ll also need it when you want to cover your cake with something else, like fondant.
Thus, we have found the best crumb coat frosting recipe as well as a few secrets in order to achieve the best results.
The Secret Is In The Softness For The Best Crumb Coat Cake
The best buttercream to use for crumb-coating is one that has a soft consistency. Krazy Kool Cakes and Designs details a great recipe for a vanilla meringue buttercream. They stress the importance of the fatty content, this kind of buttercream has to have.
The secret here lies in where that fat comes from. Usually, buttercream recipes are a mixture of butter and sugar, but here it is always a little bit different. Thus, we will use half the butter, half and shortening, as this will give the icing its softness.
This recipe will make a full batch of icing, but you can easily make half of it. You can also use this recipe for the filling.
- 1 cup of high-fat ratio shortening (NOT vegetarian shortening)
- 1 cup of butter
- 2 tbsp of meringue powder
- 2 tsp of clear vanilla extract
- 8 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
- 9 tbsp of milk (regular or 2% work great)
For other types of cakes, you can change up the extract to achieve different flavors. You do not need to add coloring to the crumb coat, as it will not be visible once the cake is finished.
How Soft is Too Soft
You need to consider how delicate your actual cake is. If you are working on a very moist lemon or strawberry cake, for example, you may need a softer buttercream so as not to damage it. To achieve this, you can add more milk to the mixture until you are comfortable that it will not hurt the cake. If you want to ice harder chocolate or red velvet cake, you may not have to adjust it.
Also, keep in mind the temperature and humidity you are working on. The hotter and more humid it is, the softer the buttercream will turn out overall. Thus, check your mixture while you are making it, to ensure that it does not turn too soft. If it turned out too soft, you can always add more confectioners sugar.
But how do you know when it is done? It needs to be creamy and soft, of course, but not watery. Once it sticks to a spatula and does not fall down, then it is done. Furthermore, take into account our previous tips and always do a small test on the lowest part of the cake, where you cannot see it after the fondant is on.
As you can see, it is fairly easy to get a great buttercream for crumb coating. Just have it mind that fresher is always better and that if you freeze it and re-whip it, the consistency will change, as it will get dryer and therefore harder.
Exactly the opposite of what we want! Tell us in the comments if you have tried this recipe! Did you find it easy to follow?