We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Crumb Coat?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A crumb coat is a baker’s trick for sealing in the moisture of a cake, and for making frosting the cake easier. It is a thinned layer of frosting applied to the cake, as it is almost cool, or just cooled. This layer is allowed to set for one to two hours before the cake is frosted and decorated. It seals in any crumbs so they don’t show up later when the cake is frosted.

Any type of frosting can be used to create a crumb coat, but it should not interfere with the taste of the frosting that later be used to frost the cake. Bakers can use either commercially prepared or homemade frosting, although homemade is often easier to thin than commercial from a can because it doesn’t contain fillers that can break down when extra liquid is added. If the baker plans to use a frosting made with egg whites, she might want to make a simple buttercream glaze for the crumb coat.

The consistency of crumb coat frosting should be just barely thick enough to spread on a cake. Here, the goal is not to provide the wonderful thick frosting that will later top the cake, but instead merely the thinnest of layers. A baker can thin the frosting by adding either water or milk until it resembles a glaze. Once the baker has applied the thin coat, patience is required because it must be left to set until it feels hard to the touch. Bakers who skip this part often find that the coating doesn't provide the desired results, and the cake may actually be harder to frost.

Adding a crumb coat is also an important step for cake decorators who plan to cover a cake with fondant. Fondant will work much better when it can adhere to the thin layer of frosting. Patience is again required to allow the frosting to set. Some bakers suggest applying two layers, sometimes called a sticky coat, to cakes topped with fondant. Decorators should wait about two hours between applying the first and second coat.

With fondant, the undercoat can also be made out of jam, which can add a nice flavor to the cake. Alternately, lemon, orange, or another flavored glaze can be used to boost the total flavor of the cake. Fondant is usually simply sweet and not very flavorful, so it helps to have a base that tastes good.

Cooks don’t need to use a crumb coat on cupcakes or on any cake that will be served quickly. Square or oblong cakes that are not taken out of the pan don’t require this coating either. For those cakes where the baker really wants to showcase the frosting, however, the crumb coat remains a great way to start a beautifully frosted cake.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon150083 — On Feb 06, 2011

Where do you buy crumb coat at or how do you make it? can someone please help me? i am confused and i am trying to make a red velvet and cream cheese icing cake with fondant. If anyone has answers, can you please help?

By anon119779 — On Oct 19, 2010

Once you spread your thin coat of icing (crumbcoat) How long do I wait before I spread my actual frosting for the cake?

Can I place the cake in the fridge to wait a smaller amount of time?

By anon39411 — On Aug 01, 2009

A crumb coat is meant to seal in the crumbs not put them on the outside. You can use cream cheese frosting for your crumb coat just separate the frosting that you are using for frosting for the crumb coat from the frosting to be used for frosting the cake.

By anon36938 — On Jul 15, 2009

you don't add the crumbs to the frosting, you just add a thin coat to seal the crumbs before your thicker coat of icing.

By anon15781 — On Jul 21, 2008

I just want to make sure I'm understanding how to apply a crumb coat.

I take the crumbs from the cake and add to a thin layer of frosting and ice the cake. Once this has been done, can I ice the cake the next day, if so, can I cover in plastic or aluminum foil? Also, if I'm using Cream Cheese as my frosting, can I crumb coat w/a thin layer of Butter Cream? Thanks, Tonia

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.