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Topic: Crumb coating and freezing cakes
butterflyX 04/19/2010 6:51 AM

At the weekend i made my first attempt at a two tiered fondant iced cake, having never made a cake like this before i didnt really know the best way of going about it. I made both tiers and did one layer of crumb coating - i didnt end up finishing this cake as it was for my mums birthday and she is currently stranded in the Caribbean as she is unable to get a flight home due to this volcanic ash thing that is going on, so i didnt end up finishing the cake.

One layer ended up getting eaten by my boyfriends flat mates which they loved and the other half i have frozen. I have never frozen a cake before so this is abit of a test for the future to see what happens and if it keeps its freshness.

Now my questions are:

1. How long can you keep a cake in the freezer for?
2. How long does it take for it to thoroughly defrost?
3. Do i then need to put a second layer of crumb coating on it after it has defrosted?
4. When crumb coating the buttercream dries out, how do you make the fondant stick to this?

Hope someone can help? Sorry for the long story at the beginning.

Peachygirl1 04/19/2010 8:48 AM
butterflyX....I am NOT a professional but can give you my opinion on what I have done and what works for me....again..this is just my input on my experience and my environment. First...I do NOT freeze crumb coated cakes. (that's just me) Hopefully, some of the more experienced decorators will be along shortly to offer their advice. Did you put cake in box, wrap securely in Saran (cling) wrap and put that in a large clean plastic bag? But here is some info from my experience:

1. How long can you keep a cake in the freezer for?

The longest I had a cake in the freezer was 4 months. I do NOT want to say that is a good idea..BUT mine tasted as if I had just baked it that day. I try not to keep them in there longer than a week or 2. I wrap my cakes to be frozen while they are still warm. Twice in Saran wrap, then once in HD foil then into a ziploc baggie. This method is what works for me. I do NOT crumb coat them first.

2. How long does it take for it to thoroughly defrost?

I have defrosted in the frig over night AND have also let them set on the counter. BOTH ways worked fine. However, I do not let mine thaw completely. I prefer them to be slightly frozen while I crumb coat. Again..just what I prefer to do. I do think they thaw a bit faster on the counter. Maybe hour or so. But also depends on the size of cake. I leave them completely covered/wrapped until ready to crumb coat and decorate.

3. Do i then need to put a second layer of crumb coating on it after it has defrosted?

I always do a crumb coat AND a final coat of icing. But I guess it would depend on how thick your crumb coat is?

4. When crumb coating the buttercream dries out, how do you make the fondant stick to this?

I use just a small amount (very small) of water on the back of the fondant piece and attach to the cake.

butterflyX 04/19/2010 11:42 AM
Thanks for your help Peachygirl1, alltho i was hoping i would be able to freeze them already crumb coated. Maybe i will try it your way and see what works best.

I didnt put the cake in any sort of wrap, just in an airtight box and straight in the freezer. Is it better to wrap them up in cling film and foil then?

Do they really come out nice and fresh once defrosted? I dont know why but i am really against freezing my cakes because i like my cakes to be lovely and soft, moist and fresh, i cant help but think that freezing them will ruin them. It will be brilliant though if they do come out fresh after freezing them because that will make things sooooo much easier.

If i wasnt freezing them and i was just crumb coating them and then puting fondant icing over them do i do two layers of crumb coating if i keep the layers thin? and then i am guessing i just roll out the fondant spash abit of water on one side and then put it onto the cake?
butterflyX 04/19/2010 11:43 AM
Also another thing, what are peoples views on covering the cake in jam rather than buttercream for crumb coating?
Peachygirl1 04/19/2010 2:48 PM

The airtight container that you it like a rubbermade container and has like a tight lid? Or is it just a plain white bakery box? If it is air tight like with a snap on lid I would think you might be ok? You shouldn't need to wrap that as I suggested? I do not use a container when I freeze mine. I just do all the wrapping and then place into a ziploc baggie then into the freezer. The cake in freezer...does it have a crumb coat on it or no?

I have froze many cakes and have never had a problem. They always are fresh tasting, moist and delish! But you will have to just freeze, thaw and test one to see how you like it and what you prefer.

If you are covering the entire cake with fondant, you do NOT use the water. You just roll your fondant out and then place over cake and smooth it out. My instruction for adding a small amount of water was only for attaching fondant decorations to a cake that has been frosted in just butter cream. Hope that makes sense.

For example, If I make a cake, frost it with just buttercream icing and I want to place a few pieces of fondant decorations on it, I will cut my fondant pieces out, then place a dab of water on the back and place upon the cake on top of the butter cream icing.

If I bake a cake and do a thin coat of buttercream and then want to cover ENTIRE cake with fondant, I just roll a piece large enough for the cake and gently place over the cake and smooth it out. THEN, you can add small fondant decorations to that with a dab of water on the back of them .

I do not cover cakes in jam, so I cannot help ya there.

Hope that explanation was helpful and I did not confuse you?

Peachygirl1 04/19/2010 2:55 PM
sorry....missed you other question. Yes, I do a very thin layer of crumb coat first. Let that crust and then do another coat of buttercream. I am a little more generous with the second family and friends like a lot of icing. But you just need to put enough on there to completely cover the cake. You shouldn't see any of the cake through the icing. Then cover with your large piece of fondant and smooth out. You DO NOT need to add water to the fondant if you are covering the entire cake with it. I just use the water to attach small pieces of fondant to just icing or to larger piece of fondant (in this case) your entirely covered cake....