To Crumb or Not to Crumb

filed under: Miscellaneous on December 6, 2011

So I have struggling with a very important and life changing issue.

I literally ask myself the same question every time I make a cake.

Should I clean up crumbs on the cake stand or leave it as is?

I completely understand if you just rolled your eyes at me.  

Now.  Please forgive this strange as heck picture.  As much as I would love to reveal what is under those mysterious red blobs.. I gotta save it for the book!

So just pretend its little red blobs of joy.

Bet ya didnt think you’d be reading that sentence today.

Ok!  Back to the question at hand.  What do you like better?

Cake with frosting and crumbs?


Or clean cake stand.

This is life and death stuff here.

Er… not.

But I’d love to know which option you favor!


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  • Toni says:

    I would say crumbs if you’re shooting down on it.. but maybe clean if at eye-level. But I really do prefer the crumbs – makes it so much more real.

    My blog:

  • Faith says:

    crumbs. it just looks so delicious that way!

    but for your book, perhaps vary it. Toni of shinydewdrop probably expressed my view the best. Shooting down, crumbs. Shooting eye-level, clean.

    Good luck!

  • Michelle says:

    with crumbs…just like it…looks weird without the crumbs….

  • gigi says:

    Think each visual/image/composition needs to be considered individually.

    In this particular shot, considering the main subject is a more contemporary style cake w high color contrast on a clear glass pedestal w a low contrast white-washed wood ground, my vote would be to remove at least the bright red curved streaks/crumbs, as my eye immediately takes them in, rather than your oh-so-fun cake, as the red streaks/crumbs are more color saturated than the bled/more diffuse red spots of frosting. They’re a bit of a distraction from your masterpiece, IMHO.

    Perhaps in each photo you could determine where you want us to visually focus. If a photo is a close-up to demonstrate how moist a cake is, crumbs would be fairly critical in communicating such, don’t you think?

  • JenMarie says:

    Crumbs. Fo Sho.
    It makes me want to dip my finger in and take a taste.

  • gigi says:

    Could you clean away some of the bright red crumbs/streaks to lessen their attention-grabbing color impact while leaving most or all of the white?

  • DeniseMarie says:

    I vote for crumbs. I’m inherently suspicious of too-perfect looking serving dishes, utensils, and slices of anything. I want to know what it’s going to look like when I make it – not after some some stylist gets done prettifying it up.

    • gigi says:

      Great point! Hope you can stick to your ‘gut’ and what you truly prefer and works for your life. Guess it all boils down to your target market ~ selling to niche prof’l or home-based cake bakers, those that appreciate such, but don’t have time to execute, ckbk collectors, those that find everything about you appealing, impulse shoppers, etc. Whatever it is, hope you preserve ‘you’ in the process. Probably not much help, huh?

  • Sarah Arensen says:

    I like the crumbs! Makes me want a piece.

  • Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says:

    Leave the crumbs!!!! Makes it real once you’ve sliced open your unreal looking creations. 🙂

  • Danee Kaplan says:

    clean which is crazy because I don’t clean my own…I might now.

  • Hannah says:

    I totally think you should leave the crumbs. It lets us see the color of the cake from that up above shot where you don’t see actual cake. Plus it looks more delicious that way, less like pac-man and just more real. The clean plate looks too “perfect” which any baker knows, it’s not always perfect, and that’s why it’s awesome.

  • Angela says:

    I’m a Virgo so no crumbs 🙂

  • Jennifer K says:

    Crumbs all the way.

  • Beth says:

    Crumbs, icing smears, and all! It looks more delicious to me when it looks real. And really, the plate wouldn’t be clean after you cut the cake unless you took the time to wipe it down, and who would do that in real life? Keep the crumbs!

  • Rosie @ Sweetapolita says:

    Well, yes, this *is* a life changing dilemma–absolutely! Truly, though, my vote is definitely a few crumbs, but just the white cake crumbs. You know? You go, honey! xo

  • Janet says:

    Always leave the cake stand and your plate… CLEAN!


  • Barbara Lambert says:

    Please leave the crumbs. This is not a perfect world, your cakes are gorgeous but leave realism where it needs to be.
    I’m recovering from growing up in a era where pearls, an apron, and working in heels trying to do a full days work with appliances and situations that weren’t the least big convenient then as they are today…so in other words..leave the crumbs, I really don’t want to have to enter therapy again. lol.

  • Georgia says:

    So…. you’re giving us teasers for the new book, eh? LOL!

  • Charmaine says:

    with cake crumbs of course – isn’t it a real cake that is so deliscious that after you took a slice all your intention was – is to enjoy your cake or even to go back and get another slice . who REALLY has time to clean up with those possibilities existing?

    a plastic cake with no such possibilities now – that’s different.

  • Charlotte says:

    With crumbs and icing, looks a bit clinical without, a bit strange.

  • ElizaBeth says:

    I think with crumbs is better. I like the look that says, “I’m having some of this fabulous ( or insert favorite adjective) cake and I wanna share it with you.” The clean one says, “cake time is over…time to put it away for later.” And I SERIOUSLY want you to share it with me!!

  • Mary Walker says:

    To be honest, a little bit of both. I love the cleanness in pictures. especially in a lot of your side shots. And yet, there is something very enthralling about a non-perfect pictures. You know? So I would say, Add a few shots through out of the real, endearing smudgy cake plates, but definitely keep the crystal clear, “I would die to come visit your kitchen for a week” pictures coming. Keep ‘um coming! Thanks for making this last year sweeter than it was before I found you. Happy New year!

  • AMY says:

    Clean looks nicer, crumbs look more real!

  • Pam says:

    I don’t think it would matter except the crumbs are red and it does not seem to go because the cake looks white.

  • Veronica says:

    First can I just say I love your site!? So inspiring that you are a mother of 4 who still finds time to bake and enjoy what you do. But anyways to answer your question… With crumb! Makes it look like someone just finished enjoying the cake… Way more inticing!!