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Crumb Coating a Cake: Step by Step

Posted 18/09/2013 by Rebecca Cannon

Chocolate cake preparation.

Have you ever wondered how those masterpieces you see in cake shop windows are so smooth and lump free? Well read on to find out all about the perfect crumb coating.

To get a really smooth icing finish on a cake, most experienced bakers will ‘crumb coat’ first. It’s a little bit time consuming, but omit it at your peril. It really does make a difference if you do it correctly – it’s like putting an undercoat on your wall to achieve the perfect painted finish.

Crumb coating is actually a layer of thin buttercream icing, that catches crumbs and sticks them down. Crumb coating creates the perfect foundation before covering your cakes with fondant, it also helps to seal in moisture, keeping your cake fresh.

Here is our:

Step by Step Guide to a Perfect Crumb Coat


Step 1:

Bake two sponge cakes and pipe a 1/4″ (6mm) dam of buttercream around the bottom cake’s outer edge.


Step 2:

Add an even layer of jam, keeping it within the buttercream dam.


Step 3:

Add buttercream until the jam is covered and then smooth over.


Step 4:

Add the second layer of your cake face down.


Step 5:

Go back over the join, filling in any gaps with buttercream. Smooth down the sides.


Step 6:

Thin the buttercream and apply a thin layer to the top of the cake


Step 7:

Apply a thin layer of buttercream to the sides, effectively sealing the cake.

Cool and Use!

Refrigerate your crumb coated cake for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up a little before applying your fondant.

Need some interesting icing alternatives? Take a look at some more icing ideas.

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