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Topic: Crumb coat drying time?
inanity09 05/13/2011 12:25 PM
I've just started doing crumb coats with my last two cakes and it seems like it takes a really long time for it to dry. In fact, I get too impatient and have ended up just putting on the rest of the icing on top evey before it dries. Do crumb coats normally take longer to dry than icing that isn't thinned with water or am I doing something wrong?
ponyjockey 05/13/2011 12:30 PM
Welcome to the forums!! If you are using a crusting BC recipe, it should take 15-20 minutes to crust, more if it is humid. Crusting butter cream crusts so that you can lightly touch it without icing coming off on your finger, it will still be wet underneath.
inanity09 05/13/2011 12:48 PM
Thanks, Pony. You are right, it does crust, but it feels like it takes longer than 15-20 minutes and it doesn't set underneath. I guess I was expecting it to dry all the way through since it was so thin. It wasn't as bad with the cake I made last night, but the previous one when I spread the regular icing on it messed up the crumb coat so I ended up getting crumbs in my icing anyway.
ponyjockey 05/13/2011 12:51 PM
Some butter creams do take longer then 15-20 minutes but if it says crusting, they should eventually crust. Humidity also has an adverse affect on dry time so if it was rainy the day that you made the cake, it will take a LOT longer to dry.
denetteb 05/13/2011 1:47 PM
If you put a crumb coat on and then ended up getting crumbs in your top coat, you probably were removing too much of your top coat and went into the crumb coat. It doesn't need to be dry all the way through, the crumb coat is just enough to cover the cakes and crumbs. I would suggest you put more on for your top coat, then when your remove icing as you smooth it that you won't be getting into the crumb coat.
LBGunnin 05/13/2011 2:20 PM
I put mine in the freezer after crumb coating for a short time to help it along and works great.
ginnyl 05/13/2011 5:08 PM
When I do my crumbcoating I only let it set for a minute or two and put my final coat on nice and heavy. The final coat is the one I want to crust after it is smoothed out..I don't let my crumb coat crust..
Cake_Crazy 05/15/2011 1:28 AM
I have been crumb coating my cakes and letting them sit overnight. Then I do the final icing the next morning.
BlackWidowNor 05/15/2011 11:39 AM
Alot of my cakes don't get a crumb coat. I've watched toneda1's video... she does crumb coat.. but you can use that "top coat" technique to completely cover the cake. Depends on how much time I have and how much my back hurts from standing all day at work. If it hurts, I'll take a cup or two of icing, thin it out a bit and slap a crumb coat on and go take my medication and let it work before putting on the final icing.
cakesbychrystal 05/15/2011 12:46 PM
I don't do a crumb coat unless it's chocolate cake, because chocolate is so crumby. If you put enough icing on your spatula you don't need to crumb coat.
whoknew? 05/15/2011 12:54 PM
inanity09, we don't know how many cakes you've done, but like so much with cake decorating, getting the crumb coat and top coat correct comes with practice. In addition to what the others have said, it may be your icing technique. You have to use a certain "movement" pattern and avoid lifting the spatula and/or touching the cake surface. An excellent video by Edna shows the movement pattern I'm talking about:
inanity09 05/15/2011 7:11 PM
whoknew, thanks for sending me the video link. Edna does it much differently from how I remember my Wilton instructor doing it and I can now see why I have some trouble with icing my cakes. Not trouble, really, but I can't get them that smooth, etc. I have definitely not been using enough icing and haven't been using that motion she used to spread it. I knew not to touch the cake surface but even not doing that I would get crumbs and couldn't figure out why, but now I see it's that I don't use enough icing. I have two cakes to do this week and am looking forward to trying this new technique! Thanks to everyone for all the feedback.
whoknew? 05/15/2011 10:08 PM
You're very welcome! The "side-to-side" motion is very important as is avoiding lifting the spatula from the frosting. I've only been doing this a year and a half so far, and I STILL put too little frosting on my cakes!!! I almost have to slap my own head to remember: "LOTS of frosting!". There is actually another video that is better, but I couldn't find it.

Keep in mind when you watch Edna, that she is a SUPERB decorator with years of experience. Let me know how your next two cakes go, ok?

I'll also send you my favorite crusting buttercream recipes by private message.
new-to-cakes 05/16/2011 6:44 AM
I'm having a similar problem with getting my icing to crust thoroughly. When you more experienced decorators "smooth" your top layers, do you use parchment paper, and then smooth over with a spatula or fondant smoother? This is the way I was shown in my wilton class, but when doing my last couple of cakes, the parchment has stuck to the buttercream, often lifting up the icing and exposing the cake, and I can't get it to smooth nicely.
BlackWidowNor 05/16/2011 7:16 AM

Actually, the ideal thing to use is a paper towel with no pattern - the Viva method. Viva doesn't seem to stick to the icing like parchment has a tendency to do. You do have to make sure the icing has crusted though... that's the trick.
ladycatisadiva 05/16/2011 8:25 AM
Here is the solution:

Find a technique that will work for YOU!

Next, be ready for a lot of practice, mess ups, hmmmm, this one looks great! I will do another one Oh no!! What did I do wrong? Mm seems like this is the best way. Yes, I've got it now. I love this technique. Someone else does it differently, but this method works best for me.

Next, even more practice and patience in letting the cakes set and your bc crust. You may have to start a day in advance on something if it takes a long time for your bc to crust. You might have to alter your recipe and add less liquid?

I crumb coat all my cakes. I love working with them cold! I did not know the benefit, until I tried it. Also once you crumb coat a cake, you should never disturb the Crumb Coat. You need to use more frosting, you can always remove what you don't need.
new-to-cakes 05/16/2011 8:47 AM
Thank you for the advice!