Mary Berry Suggests Sealing Your Cake With Jam For Easy Icing

When you're aiming for aesthetic perfection, decorating cakes can be one of the more painfully challenging tasks to undertake in the kitchen. Even after you've let a freshly made cake cool completely, slathering your baked goods with colorful icing and frosting can end up in a crumbly, messy affair. Thankfully, we have tips from professional chefs and bakers like Mary Berry to steer us in the right direction so that our next cake decorating attempts result in photo-worthy presentations instead of shameful-looking desserts. 

While you can form a crumb coat with frosting you've made, consider using your favorite jam, instead. Not only will a light coating of warm preserves add a pleasant and fruity taste to your dessert, but the coating can keep your cake fresher for longer. Sealing the cake with a spread of jam can help retain the original spongy texture of your cake, and the smooth coating can create the foundation you need to glide your choice of frosting over the cake's surface with less of a crumbly challenge. 

A sweet approach to making crumb coats

Choose a jam flavor that will complement the flavor of your baked cake, like apricot or raspberry to cover a vanilla base, or use raspberry or blueberry preserves to coat a chocolate cake. Heat the jam slightly so it is runny and sticky and can be easily spread across the exterior of your dessert to form a crumb coat

Once the jam layer has been placed, chill the cake before attempting to line your dessert with the finishing touches of decorative frosting. The cooled, gelled surface of the fruit will offer a glass-like foundation for you to begin your frosting efforts, and crumbs will stay in place as you make your way around the perimeter of the cake with your decorative tools. Even if you're planning on using fondant icing to decorate your cake, the layer of jam will serve as a kind of adhesive as you roll out icing sheets over the cake's surface. Not only will your cake taste moist and delicious, but it will also look like it was made by a professional.