How to Crumb Coat a Red Velvet Cake

Let pastry chef David Crofton show you how to crumb coat a red velvet cake in this Howcast food video.

The red velvet cake is totally cool, and I’ve got my cream cheese frosting. It’s time to do the crumb coat.

We’re going to take and trim each of the cake layers, just a little bit. You don’t want to take out too much, especially if they’re already pretty flat. But you want to do a sawing motion and just trim off any sort of excess topping, and rotate the cake tray as much as you can. It’s the best way to get a nice, flat top.

Now this second layer of cake, I’m going to make the bottom of my cake, but, again, I’m sawing. I’m not going to take too much off this cake. This is a red velvet cake, and it’s going to be a little bit rustic, but it’s going to be delicious, and that’s the most important part.

So I’m going to take a pastry bag right now, put a little bit of the frosting in here, and I’m going to pipe a very thin border, all around the cake. This is just so when I set the cake on here it’s going to fill in nicely. OK. I’ll squeeze out a little bit of this up there. This is going to be the frosting that is on the layer between the two layers of cake. People tend to want to put a lot of frosting on the cakes. It’s really not necessary, especially on this inner layer. Too much frosting and it’ll just cause the whole cake to slip and slide. If the cake itself is sweet, the frosting is very sweet. A little goes a long way.

When you frost a cake, especially with red velvet or anything chocolatey, you can really see a lot of those crumbs appearing. There’s no way to get them all off. So we do a crumb coat, and it will allow you to have a nice, clean looking cake. I’m going to invert this bottom onto the top of the cake, and what you achieve through that is the top of the cake is now flat, as opposed to rounded. That’s how you get that flat look on the cake.

And to do a proper crumb coat, you want to one, have a mixing bowl on the side here, because you don’t want to get any of the red crumbs into your main frosting. So I’m going to get a little bit off this, but you’re going to be scraping a lot of this frosting off the cake. So very little, it’s a very, very thin layer of frosting. And again, this isn’t about sweetening the cake or about the flavor, this is about getting a thin layer crumb coat on the cake. And again, if you see all these crumbs forming, don’t worry about it, don’t get excited. That’s normal and that’s what it’s supposed to do, really.

We’re just about done. So for the last part of this crumb cake, we’re going to take our cake scraper, and again, you can find these at any cake shop, and I’m going to make a nice, clean coat on the outside. It looks messy at this point, and that’s okay. That’s what the crumb coat is all about. It’s going to help you get a nice, clean cake when you’re all done.

I’m going to stick this in the refrigerator for about, maybe, 15-20 minutes, let it firm up, let the frosting get nice and hard, and then we’ll add the outside layer, and decorate the red velvet cake. It’s going to look awesome. Alright. Let’s stick it in the fridge.