How to crumb coat a cake

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If you want your frosting smooth and crumb free, there are just a few easy tricks to know. Professional baker and author Liv Hansen for the Betty Crocker Kitchens shows you how to do a crumb coat to seal in all those crumbs, making the final frosting a snap.

How to crumb coat a cake When a cake that has cut edges, it's a really great idea to crumb coat your cake.  A crumb coat is a thin, smooth layer of frosting that covers the entire cake to seal in the crumbs, so that your final coat of frosting is beautifully crumb-free.  Liv Hansen shares her tips for  crumb coating a cake:

  • Add a large dollop of frosting to the top of the cake and smooth out to cover the entire top, allowing the excess to go over the sides and corners of the cake.
  • Load the offset spatula from the top edge to the bottom edge and spread it evenly on the sides of the cake.  You can use the excess frosting that comes over the top to help with crumb coating the the sides with frosting.
  • Once you have the entire cake covered, you will need to remove any excess frosting.  When the cake is square as shown in this video, you will start at one end of a side and glide the spatula to the other end, forming a lip of excess frosting on the corner. Use the excess on the corner to frost the next side of the cake, and so on.
  • After crumb coating the sides, a lip of frosting will have formed on the top edges of the cake.  Using a motion like an airplane landing and taking back off, scrape the excess frosting from the edge towards the center of the cake.  Continue around the entire perimeter of the cake.  After every pass, scrape the excess frosting off of the spatula onto the corner of a bowl or frosting container.  
  • When you have finished with your crumb coat, chill the cake for 30 minutes to one hour before applying the final coat of frosting.
meet theexpert
  • Liv Hansen

    Liv Hansen Professional Baker and Author Liv Hansen is the author of three books, has appeared on the Today Show, Top 5 (Food Network), The View and Roker on the Road, and was a finalist on the Food Network Challenge: Haunted Gingerbread. more about this expert »

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