The Crumb Coat- Cake Basics 101

The Crumb Coat

We all want beautiful perfect cakes and even though icing a cake might appear
to be a simple task, it isn’t. Achieving the perfect icing requires practice and once you learn how to do it, it will become easy and fast.

There are many ways to ice a cake. I have tested many of them and most of them work but each person will find one to be their favorite. My favorite way to ice a
cake is by doing a crumb coat. I will eventually talk about other ways of icing a
cake so you guys can choose the one you like best, but I will start with the way
I do it.


A crumb coat is a very thin coat of
icing that is used to seal the crumbs
on the cake. It’s called a crumb coat because you will see the crumbs in
this layer of icing. I use crusting buttercream with my cakes but this technique works with other icings too. One thing to keep in mind is the consistency of the buttercream.
It can’t be too thin because it won’t make it easier for the second coat
to be applied but it can’t be too stiff because it will break the cake. It
needs to be in a good medium consistency.

I do have a system I follow when I ice my cakes. I bake my cakes a few days earlier. I seal them well and place them in the fridge. This will not only help
the flavors to settle down, but you will have a nice cold cake to work with. Many people make the mistake of working on cakes that are too fresh and not
completely cooled down from the baking. Some people can manage working with
a cake in that condition and do an awesome job. But most people will have
a hard time working like that. A fresh baked cake is softer, there will be more
crumbs and the cake will break easily

Raspberry filling

Now that I have a cold cake, I can torte and fill the cake and get it ready for the
crumb coat. The video I am posting
shows how I do this step. Make sure
your cake is cold. Not only does it make
it easier but it will control the crumbs
and it will help you move faster. If you
are working with stacked cakes, it will be faster to do all the crumb coats and place the cakes in the refrigerator so they cool down and the buttercream hardens. This will make the second coat easier to apply without lifting a lot of the crumb coat.

If you plan to leave the cake with the crumb coat overnight in the fridge, make
sure to cover the cake with some plastic wrap to avoid condensation. if you
get too much condensation on your cake from leaving it overnight, you want to
pat the water away with paper so the second coat doesn’t slide over the first
coat. But keep in mind that it’s better to avoid the condensation than to deal with it. Make sure your refrigerator is not too cold either as it can make condensation worst. There are other ways to avoid condensation but I will do another blog about that.

 Bench scrapper

I talk in the video about the spatula I use when
I ice my cakes. I love my 7 inch angle spatula but keep in mind you might prefer a different one. The bigger the spatula, the more buttercream you can add but it will be heavier
to handle. My other favorite tool would be the scrapper. You want a Scraper that is food
safe and has a nice L-shape that helps control how straight your cake will be. And finally it’s a good idea to have a good turntable. All these things do help to move faster and when you are earning money from making cakes, time is money.

I am posting below the link to the Crumb Coat Tutorial and below it I am adding
the link for How to Ice a Cake.

Even though the tutorial How to Ice a Cake is very old, I still use the same technique to ice my cakes.


I hope you enjoy, until next blog… ta ta!

Edna 🙂




My Favorite Chocolate Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream Recipe

Presione aqui para Español

Chocolate is my addiction! I just love it! I have a great recipe in my website for a Crusting Chocolate buttercream. That recipe is great for cakes that are going to be stacked and for those who need a strong buttercream due to hot weather or humidity. The high ratio in this recipe helps stabilize the buttercream.

The recipe I am posting here (click here for recipe) is a recipe that I use all the time for my personal cakes. It’s made with butter and no high ratio. It’s delicious and very easy to make. Usually I like  recipes that crust so I can smooth it almost to look like fondant. This recipe doesn’t crust the same as the recipe listed above, but it crusts enough to be lightly smooth out with Viva Paper.
If you haven’t used this technique you can click here to watchDark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
 tutorial about it.

I made a step by step Tutorial on this
recipe that is in a video on my website.
One benefit from this recipe is that you
can pipe beautiful borders with this recipe.
The cake itself can stay outside the
fridge for a few hours as long as you
leave it in a room with air conditioner.
If you live in a state that is colder than
Florida, you can probably use it on your stacked cakes. But make sure you do
a test before you use it on a cake for
a client. Just make sure to use
butter and not margarine when doing
the recipe.

I love to use this buttercream with my dark chocolate cake recipe. If you love chocolate, this is death by chocolate. I will work on the tutorial for the cake and post it soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the recipe just as much as I do. Look below for the link to the recipe and tutorial.

Click here or on the photo to go to the tutorial and the recipe.

Chocolate Buttercream Recipw


Until next blog, ta ta!

Edna 🙂



Cake Decorating 101- The Shell

Piped Shell Borders Tutorial. Para el Blog en Español, Presione Aquí.

I love piping and through the years I have learned that piping gets better the more you practice. Of course, learning tips and tricks will be helpful, but let’s face it; piping is basically a form of writing. We went to school and spent many hours and years learning how to write. Why would people think it can be learned in one session?

I am not going to say that it’s not possible to learn it in one day. But it’s like school, some people will have an easier time learning and others will need more practice. But with some determination, anybody can learn to do it.

Piped shells are one of the most basic ways to finish a cake. I made a video tutorial that teaches step by step how to pipe shells. For those who are beginning to pipe, I went into more detail, making sure to explain what to do and not to do when piping them.

Just like those of you who are starting, I was a beginner once too. I know all the things I did wrong back then. These days I can explain well how things go wrong and how to avoid it. Knowing the tricks might help getting better at it faster, but practice is the only way to improve.

Click here for t the step by step video tutorial.

I hope you enjoy the Tutorial,
Until Next Blog, ta ta!


Cake Fun Contest- Week 3

We are reaching the end of this contest. So many beautiful cakes! I wish all of them could win a prize, but I assure you that you guys are all winners in my heart. The love and passion for cake decorating shows.

Here are the winners for this past week contest. Beautiful job!

Michelle Head-advanced

Michelle Head- advanced


Debbie Shaw- beginner

Debbie Shaw-beginner








We now begin voting for this week contest. This is the last week for the contest, but I love when everybody shares their work with me, so please keep sharing! I still need you to come and choose the winner for this week and the winner of the month which will be posted next week. So stick around. 🙂

Scroll down to choose your favorite beginner and advanced cake. Leave a comment below with your favorites for each division.

Here are the names and the cakes chosen for Advanced cakes:

Brenda Oliveira Henkel

Brenda Oliveira Henkel

María Alejandra Lizárraga

María Alejandra Lizárraga

No Ordinary Cakery-Cabanatuan

No Ordinary Cakery-Cabanatuan



Here are the names and the cakes chosen for Beginners cakes:

Daniella Dahl‎

Daniella Dahl‎

Holly Rhodes

Holly Rhodes

Sandra Van Berkel-García

Sandra Van Berkel-García

Remember to choose one cake for the advanced level, and one for the beginners level. Post the names of your favorite cakes in the comments below. I will announce the winners next week.

I will ask of you guys to not spam the contest with fake votes or business promotions; this is a contest that is for fun. Remember to vote only once, and to list the names of each contestant for each division. Just have fun with it.

Next week I will post the winners of this week and then the voting will begin for who is the winner of the month, for both advanced and beginners category.
Thanks so much to those who participated in this contest. I will do another one soon so others can have the chance to win too and show off their beautiful creations to other cake friends.
I need you guys  to stick around to help me choose the winners next week too. I will post the reminders in my Facebook Page.

Sugar Hugs to everyone!

Until next time..ta ta!



My Favorite Mixer for Cake Decorating

Image When I started making cakes years ago I always thought that for cake the most important things were piping bags and tips. I quickly found out that cake is much more than that. This is not an inexpensive hobby. You start with bags, tips, spatulas, turntables and pans, then you realize that this list is just the beginning. And it’s going to be really long. Now I need molds, veiners, gumpaste tools, special ingredients, special cutters and at the top of the list what most of us want is a great mixer. Yes, we all dream of the perfect mixer. That little handheld device you bought was great for small jobs but it just won’t do for long because we require power; to mix our buttercream, to make those cakes that require long periods of creaming the butter or making fondant and gumpaste. We put the mixer in a wishlist, we search for what we think would be the best and then we research about it; horse power, speeds, attachments and extras that we might get later. Then the question becomes: Do I want a tilt machine or the one that goes up and down? Usually we want bigger bowls so that kind of makes it even more complicated.

ImagePersonally I love the kitchen Aid mixer. If you’ve seen my videos you already know this. I love my tiny 4 quart Kitchen Aid. I found this machine on sale in Home Depot for $159.00, over 17 years ago and it still works like the first time I used it. Cake at the time was more of a hobby. I never thought when I started that cake was gonna become my life. So my little 4 quart cake mixer was perfect for my cakes and all the people that I made cakes for back then were enjoying the fruits of my new passion.

Today I can say that I still love my 4 quart machine. I did use the bigger mixer from kitchen Aid in the store I worked at but I didn’t like the one that goes up and down as much. I didn’t like the fact that the spatula doesn’t reach the bottom of the bowl when mixing and when you are mixing a few egg whites in a bowl, it becomes a bit annoying to have to lift the bowl to make sure it reaches down. Everybody has their own opinion and preferences. Some people love the tilting machine and others swear by the one that lifts up and down. I decided to stay with my smaller machine and bought a 5 quart glass bowl. Then, finally,  I was completely happy with my mixer.


I loved the glass bowl because I could see the mix  and this worked great for my tutorials as well. The bowl has a lid and that is a plus in my book. But the downfall is that the bowl can get a bit heavy. Still, I love it enough to grow muscles, just so I can hold it. The tilt machines usually have less horsepower. So if you’re looking for lots of power, then you have no choice to go to the ones that go up and down. The commercial type mixers from Kitchen Aid are the type that lift. They have bowls from 6 quarts to the last one I saw that has 8 quarts. So for those of you who want bigger, they do have it and you can get extra bowls to fit your needs. They even sell lids for them and pouring shields. Of course all these extras require you to pay money for them. Like I said, this is not an inexpensive hobby. Image For those who don’t know much about the kitchen Aid, this machine comes with 3 mixing attachments. Image These attachments are the paddle, the whisk and the hook. The paddle gives the mix a folding effect. The whisk is used more to bring air into the mix. I use it mostly for egg whites. And then you have the hook. This one can be used for breads but we, the cake people, tend to use this attachment for making Fondant or MMF.  A few years ago they brought a new paddle with a rubber edge. They said that the paddle will reach the bottom and the sides of the bowl. I though that was great, so I went and got me one. Image This is the paddle that I thought was the answer to my laziness of not wanting to lift my mixer to scrape the sides of it. All of a sudden my mixer was making a mess. I couldn’t understand why. I was not doing anything different. One day I was working with  the mixer and I was using the rubber paddle.  I had to do something else. I have more than one bowl so I decided to grab my old paddle, be lazy and not wash the one with the rubber side. Suddenly, my machine was no longer making a mess. So  I decided to wash the other one and I noticed that the rubber does scrape the bowl, but that lack of space between bowl and paddle was the same reason the flour was flying everywhere. So, as far as it goes for me. I won’t use it again. I just don’t like the mess! As far as attachments, I love them. My favorite one is the pasta  roller. This I use to roll my gumpaste. Best attachment ever! Image I just saw the other day that they have something called a water jacket. I think that will be my next buy. Great for making icings that require to go from hot to cold while it’s mixing, like Suspiro, (almost the same as the 7 minute icing). Image I’m not getting paid by Kitchen Aid to talk about them, lol. But this is the mixer I love. So for those of you who want to get a new mixer I hope this helps. For those of you who would rather buy some other brand, just do your research and see the options the mixer has, the attachments and all the extras that might make your work in the kitchen a lot faster. Remember, the time you save by working faster is money you save. A good mixer is an investment. A good one should last for a long time. If  you want to check more about Kitchen Aid, you can visit their website at This is it for now. Until my next blog. Ta Ta! Edna 😉

A New Start

Sugar Rose

I have been using the Blog included in my website for a long time.
But my server changed owners and they have decided to not update my services. The most amazing part is that I am still a paying customer but seems easy to not tell customers that they have decided to forget you instead of helping you do a smooth transition to the new services. I found out because my website was moving so slow and not working as it used to do.

Not being happy with this situation I have decided to try another blog. I am right now working in a new website for my company, Design Me a Cake. I will be moving all my tutorials, photos, recipes and everything I have in the old website.

I didn’t build my website in one day. It took years to build. I open a website to help my students learn and it grew more than I’ve have ever expected.

My dream is to continue to make the website bigger and add more information, more designs and even advanced tutorials so that everybody have easy access to them. I have my DVD’s but people in other countries have a hard time with the shipping charges and I totally understand why. I just found out yesterday that Global Priority went up for around 5 dollars more. It’s a bit hard for me to see this. But I am trying to work around this.

The photo of the flower I just posted its a Gumpaste Rose.. I will talk more about it in my next post.

I have a lot of work ahead of me. Hopefully things will move fast.
All I can do is keep working and hope for the best.
It’s a New Year with a New Start…

Sugar Hugs, and until next blog… Ta ta!
Edna 🙂