What is the next step after you have stacked up your cake layers and have given your cake its crumb coat?
You get to take a break.
No really, I’m serious. Take a break. You’ll thank me later.
If you haven’t made many cakes you probably haven’t had to really deal with this, but if you do not allow time for your cake to settle you will almost always end up with the dreaded bulge around the middle of the cake. The bulge, a ring around the middle of the cake where the layers come together, is caused from when the weight of the top layer plus gravity pushes down on the filling. There is nothing worse than getting a cake finished, coming back a few hours later and seeing the bulge. Believe me I know from experience on this.
I try to let my cake settle six to eight hours or over night, but even a few hours is better than nothing.
I also feel that it is helpful for you to move your cakes around while you are working with them. Pick them up and move them around a few times. If the first time the cake is moved is for you to take it some place, you might find issues, like the bulge or even large air bubbles that form under the icing.
Next you get to move on to the fun stuff, icing and decorating.