Originally Posted by bakechef
The crumb coat is the best bet.
Also when frosting a cake, make sure that you don't lift the spatula off the cake while spreading, you'll want to use a sweeping motion, lifting will pull up cake.
In bakeries where they are usually doing a lot of cakes at a time, and don't have time to crumb coat, they pile on the icing, seal it completely then removing the excess while smoothing.
An offset spatula is the best tool for the job.
BC, I once dated a fellow who graduated from culinary school. He wanted to be a baker. Got a job that makes all those cakes you buy at the supermarkets and small stores. This was a company that was the biggest bakery in town. They had two plants that were the size of a factory. His job was to do the crumb coats. Tray after tray all day long as they came out of the oven and were cooled. That is all he did for eight hours. Every single day. After a couple of years of doing this, he asked to be able to go to the decorating department. The fired him. He gave up baking and became a bus driver where the pay was so much better.