Cake Decorating Techniques : Split, Fill, and Crumb Coat a Cake!

Splitting, filling, and crumb coating, are all the basic steps to creating a layered cake just before you ice it. The crumb coat is a technique used to trap free crumbs in a thin layer of icing. That way, when you finally ice the cake, no crumbs will show up in your beautiful icing!

Here’s a video on these basic steps. It took FOREVER for me to edit, but it was so worth it. I used a better camera than my usual mobile phone video camera, and so I’m quite pleased with how this video looks!

Please leave a comment and share any thoughts! :-)

Red Velvet Cake, Cake decorating techniques

Cakeb0tHere’s the recipe we used for this cake:

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

-2 tablespoons cocoa powder mixed with sifted with 1/8 tsp of baking powder

-2 tablespoons water mixed with 4-5 drops of red gel food color

-2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

-1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

-2 large eggs

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-1 cup buttermilk

-1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

-1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix the cocoa/baking powder with the red gel solution to a nice red paste, and set aside. Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl, and set aside. Put the butter in a mixing bowl. In the mixer, slowly add the sugar to the butter on medium high. Cream together the butter and sugar on Medium High for 5 minutes in a mixer until it’s a light color, fluffy, and well-incorporated. Add the eggs at medium speed, one at a time, and scrape between each addition.

Add your vanilla extract to your buttermilk. Next, with the mixer on LOW, alternate adding about a third of the flour mixture, followed by adding 1/2 of your buttermilk to the mixture, and so on,  until all of the buttermilk and flour mixture is in the mixer. Then pour in your red cocoa paste into the mixture.

In a small cup, add the vinegar to the baking soda, let bubble, and fold into the batter. Fill two 8″ cake pans evenly with batter.

Put in the oven for about 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick which is stuck in the center of the cake, comes out clean. You make also check for doneness using a flat hand on the top of the cake. The cake should bounce back. (Be careful; it’s hot!)

Cream Cheese Filling (can be used for the crumb coat as well):

16 ounces cream cheese, cool but soft

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy cream

With a hand mixer, mix all of the cream cheese with the vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons from your heavy cream. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix until smooth. Refrigerate for 7-10 minutes to cool and harden up the mixture a bit. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in the whipped cream in two or three parts to lighten up your cream cheese mixture.


  1. says

    Thanks!!!! It really is a good recipe! Red velvet is definitely one of the tougher cakes to work with, which is why I chose to use it for this video. :-)

  2. says

    Great Blog!!! I loved it!!! :) You make everything look so easy!!! I’ll have to say I am not the best baker this will probably be out of my comfort zone!! but I’ll need to try it!!!

  3. says

    Oh my goodness! This is just the most fantastic tutorial ever! Your ‘cinematography’ is marvellous, and ten out of ten for the text/font/sparkles/music! I have to confess I expected a wobbly shot with a voice giving dodgy instructions. I was SO surprised! This looks absolutely professional. I’ve always wanted to try and bake a red velvet cake, so maybe I will now! (Mostly a chocolate girl, me.) Plus now I know why I stink at icing layer cakes. Going to try that crumb coat next time!

    I have to say ‘well done’ one more time. This is the best entertainment I’ve seen all day. :-) The end result looks beautiful and delicious!

  4. says

    Gosh, thanks for your kind comments. It really pushes me to work harder and bring you more videos! >_< I hope it shows you that anyone at ANY level can do it, and hopefully you've picked up some tricks of the trade. (Like a crumb coat, or even, using a cakeboard to transfer layers!) I used a Flip Mino HD and iMovie if you were wondering! >_^

  5. says

    I love it! Red velvet is my favorite! I am doing a 5 tier stacked cake this weekend and will try your recipe. Only the 2nd and 3rd tier are red velvet the rest are white. Sure looks yummy. Thanks for the recipe ~ Steph

  6. says

    This recipe is awesome! I <3 red velvet too. The icing recipe shown is not great for tiered cakes! (5 tiers?? awesome!!)

    For a stiffer icing, cream together 1 cup of butter with 2 8oz boxess of cream cheese, and 1/2 cup of shortening.
    Throw a tablespoon of vanilla extract in there,
    then slowly add a 1lb box of sifted confectioner's sugar.
    Add another box if you want the frosting sweeter and stiffer! ^_^

  7. Lucia says

    What I really like and enjoy is that you genuinely want to help other bakers. There are many cake decorators that are not willing to help because they fear competition. I enjoy baking cakes from scratch and decorating them as well. I am self-taught and enjoy making cakes for my family and friends. I haven’t done much lately because my 19 month old still demands for her “mommy”. I hope to get back into it. Making videos would be “sweet” too but mine would never be as gorgeous as yours! Thanks for the inspiration and tutorials. May God continue to bless your efforts. – Lucia from Brampton, Ontario Canada

  8. Jesi! says

    Genial!… yo soy de Argentina, buenos aires… Me encanto lo que hiciste!… encontre esta pagina porque estaba buscando una receta para hacer los Cake pops y vi tu pagina es muy buena!… nose mucho ingles! pero viendo lo que haces me dan ganas de aprender!

    sos un Genio! saludos desde Argentina! =)

  9. nan says

    great videos! love it. the colours, type fonts and tutorials. easy to watch and easy to listen. more please!

  10. Hanoud says

    Hi, love your work and the time you have put in this site,

    Just wanted to know if one could use another nice icing other than cream cheese or buttercream ??

  11. hanoud says


    Thanks for your reply, do you have any nice icing recipe that is not so butter tasting or too sweet

  12. Hanah says

    Hello! I love you website. Thanks alot for putting up this website and sharing your knowlegde especially for a beginner in baking like me.

  13. says

    Thank you Hana! I make tutorials for the decorator at any level, but I especially try to make it so that beginners can get started and quickly move on to any of the techniques! I hope you keep in touch and share your progress. ^_^

  14. Cakesurgeon says

    Thank you for your video. I love picking up new tips to make things easier. I only make cakes 2-3 times a year for my kids, but when I do I like to make it interesting!

  15. says

    Well I will talk in Portuguese,is funnier
    Parabéns pelo blog e pelas indicações de pastelaria. Vou seguir tudinho…

  16. Hazel says

    Thank you SO much. Your is one of the rare few blogs I bookmark, favorited AND subscribed to. This recipe also looks relatively 1-2-3 to follow in the way you’ve broken it down simply. Thanks for that.

    Please can you kindly tell me the particular brand and shade of red gel food colouring you used to achieve this lovely vibrant red in this red velvet cake video. I have seen tons of red velvet cake recipes, videos and tutorial and yours is the first with a rich red color I prefer, as opposed to a dull browny-red. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE a prompt reply will be much appreciated as I hope to buy all the ingredients for this recipe today. Thanks once more :)

  17. says

    Beautiful videography! Such a nice job! It was clear and a pleasure to watch. I had a question about making the cake layers. How did you cut the layers so evenly by just eyeing them? I always manage to get one side higher than the other and wind up with a wobbly cake.

  18. sandra kinskow says

    I am kust starting my business and u have really helped me, thanx
    I also enjoy the red velvet cake my sons favorite, ill have to try to make it. :)

  19. lasha says

    hello binky.
    thanks for dat lovely, easy-to-practice tutorial on red velvet cakes. i av always had a paasion for cakes but have always been distracted by work or kids. now am back in the business and i felt very encouraged by that video.
    however, i would love it if you can share your buttericing recipe. mine is either too stiff if i add too much confectioner’s sugar or too much of butter if i try to soften it with more butter and i’m not into cheese. otherwise i would have tried the cheese reply.


  20. Beverly Ephron says

    Thank you for sharing tutorial with me. So I can practice your skills and recipe, love baking but can’t decorate very good. Your way is very easy, thanks again.

  21. Jamie says

    Thanks for sharing! I am making a layered red velvet/white cake with raspberry filling and this is very helpful! Now to find decorating tips for the top!

  22. Miz says

    Can you use the cheesecake filling recipe to frost the cake, not just the filling and crumb coat? Great video!

  23. says

    A lot of thanks for all your work on this web site. Gloria really loves making time for investigation and it is obvious why. We learn all concerning the lively medium you convey useful techniques via the blog and in addition strongly encourage participation from other individuals on that topic plus our daughter is truly starting to learn a great deal. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You’re the one performing a remarkable job.

  24. Trish says

    My friend who is a pastry chef said professionals only use cake flour or pastry flour in recipes, never all purpose.

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