You can use a crumb coat of glazed jam on cakes covered with fondant, but you may find it difficult to apply a crumb coat to a cake frosted in butter cream. Because the crumb coat is designed to lock in not only the crumbs but the imperfections in the cake, a thin layer of jam glaze may not fully seal the crumbs. Additionally, it may smear along with your frosting. Consider the finishing layer and different techniques available before you try to apply a glazed jam crumb coat.
Fitting for Fondant
Jam works well for a crumb coat if you intend to cover your cake with fondant, or a similar rolled paste like marzipan. The jam glaze traps the crumbs against the edges of the cake and provides a tacky surface to which the fondant can stick. Apricot jam provides a refreshing, light flavor that pairs well with many cakes. As with any crumb coat, smooth the jam evenly along the edges for a consistent surface to ensure that when you add the fondant, it lies evenly and smoothly.
Let It Set
If you're set on using jam for your crumb coat but do not wish to cover the cake with a rolled frosting, allow the jam to set up before covering it with butter cream or another icing. After you crumb coat the cake with the jam, leave it uncovered in a cool spot on your counter or in the refrigerator. Once the jam has set to tacky, cover the cake with the frosting. Start with a thicker than normal layer to ensure that you are not pulling up the jam and smearing it in your frosting. Once the frosting is in place, you can pull off some of the extra as you smooth the sides.
Use jam for a base crumb coat, followed by a frosting crumb coat, if desired. A double coating ensures that the jam does not smear into your final layer of frosting but still provides the light fruit flavor of the jam. Essentially, the jam glaze seals in the crumbs, while the frosting crumb coat seals in the jam. With this method, you can even create a thicker layer of jam to glaze the sides. Allow the jam to set up, then pull a thin frosting crumb coat over it. Finish the cake with the icing you desire.
Unless you intend to use fondant, skip jam glaze as a crumb coat. If your regular frosting is too stiff to pull over the cake in a crumb coat layer without creating additional crumbs, thin it by adding a small amount of liquid, such as water or milk. Alternatively, whip the frosting until it's a more workable consistency. If you want to use jam for its flavor, apply your favorite variety between the layers of your cake. Add a thicker layer by itself or above or below a layer of frosting to impart a stronger fruit flavor to your dessert.
- Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft; The Culinary Institute of America
- The Art and Soul of Baking; Cindy Mushet
- The Professional Pastry Chef; Bo Friberg
- Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images