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Cake Sprinkles Decorating

Updated on March 30, 2013

How To Decorate The Sides Of Your Cake With Sprinkles

Cakes and sprinkles are perfect together. With all the beautiful cake decorating out there flowers and writing and photos and toppings, my favorite is still sprinkles. Rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, pink and white and specialty color sprinklings of love for every occasion is still the cake I am most attracted to in the bakery showcase.

I love baking my own cakes too. I'm not a master baker for sure, I love simple and easy recipes that most often start with, gasp, boxed cake mix and cake decorating is almost beyond me I just can't get the hang of making those beautiful little roses and incredible designs. But I can do sprinkles. Well, mostly. I have decorated about a million home baked cakes with sprinkles on the top. But I could never figure out how to get the sprinkles to cover the side of the cake. I think that's the most delicious look ever. Sprinkles on the side of the cake to decorate it. Makes me want to eat it every time.

Finally. I have mastered the technique of cake sprinkles decorating all around the cake. Today I am so happy to share because sprinkles are always better when shared. Included below each photo is one complete step by step tutorial with written instructions and photos that are sure to make it easy for you to follow. Please share because I remember when I looked online, I really was hoping someone had a tip for me that would teach me how to decorate the sides of my home baked cakes and there were so many people wondering the same thing.

How the heck CAN you get sprinkles to stick to the sides of your special occasion or holiday cakes all the way around?! I Hope this How To cake decorating tutorial will help you and maybe even get others to give it a try too. This is awesome!

Cake With Butter Cream Frosting

Cake With Butter Cream Frosting
Cake With Butter Cream Frosting

Start out with your favorite fresh baked cake. It can be a mix out of the box or your very own tried and true from scratch cake deliciousness. Your icing or frosting can be from a can or home made secret recipes.

The cake I baked in this photo is a Red Velvet Double Layer Cake from a box mix. The icing is my home made butter cream frosting. My favorite!

It's best to start adding sprinkles while the icing is still soft and freshly applied but if you can't, that's OK, all is not lost.

Pile Up The Sprinkles

Sprinkles In A Pile
Sprinkles In A Pile

Ok got your sprinkles ready? Pile them up next to a section of the side of the cake you are ready to start decorating. A big pile. I had mine on a mostly flat plate just larger than the cake so I was able to pile, pile the sprinkles. Did I mention expect a mess!

There is going to be sprinkles everywhere no matter how careful you are but, the important thing is when you are done, there will be sprinkles all around your cake and it's worth the clean up.

Sprinkle Shopping

Sugar sprinkles are not hard to find in the stores at all. They aren't terribly expensive either. Rainbow and chocolate sprinkles are the most common to find in your supermarkets or big stores like Target. If you are using a lot of them for a special occasion coming up, or like me, you just love sprinkles they are easily available online to buy in bulk at a better discount rate.

Some people call them sugar sprinkles. Some call them Jimmies. I say just don't call me late for dessert.

If you have a special occasion coming up like baby showers and birthdays you might even want to buy sprinkles colored just for your event. When we made cupcakes for my daughter's baby shower I ordered bulk amounts of pink and white sprinkles and everyone just loved them.

CK Products 16 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bag, Pink
CK Products 16 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bag, Pink

Pink sprinkles are always my favorite for baby showers and my girls birthdays.

 
CK Products 3.2 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bottle, Yellow
CK Products 3.2 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bottle, Yellow

Yellow sprinkles are fun for Easter and spring and school graduation colors

 
CK Products 16 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bag, Mixed
CK Products 16 Ounce Jimmies/Sprinkles Bag, Mixed

Rainbow mixed color sprinkles in bulk are perfect for cookies and cupcakes and side sprinkle cake decorations

 
CK Products 3.2 oz Bottle Jimmies, Blue
CK Products 3.2 oz Bottle Jimmies, Blue

Blue sprinkles are great for boys birthdays and graduations

 
CK Products Chocolate Jimmies, 16 oz bag
CK Products Chocolate Jimmies, 16 oz bag

My favorite chocolate sprinkles add a little elegance and taste to every baking masterpiece.

 

Prepare For A Mess

Messy Sprinkles
Messy Sprinkles

Prepare for a sprinkle mess even using my new and successful sprinkle decorating technique! There will be sprinkles on your counter. Sprinkles on your cake plate. Sprinkles on your chairs. Sprinkles on the floor - you can pretty much count on it.

Prepare for messy sprinkle decorating the best you can beforehand. I lined the counter with wax paper and then placed a baking/cookie sheet on top of that. The my cake stand holding the plate that was holding the cake about to be decorated.

It was better than in the best when I have tried by far, but sprinkles everywhere. Those little goodies can really bounce!

Pull Your Sprinkles Up

Sugar Sprinkles Going Up
Sugar Sprinkles Going Up

Use a small rubber spatula and dig into the pile of sprinkles you made on the plate at the bottom of the cake. Slide the spatula with sprinkles up against the cake and "drag" or pull the spinkles up, up, up as high as the sprinkles will go. Repeat again until you have a pretty good amount of sprinkles in that area.

Then pile up more sprinkles in the next area and repeat the same technique. Spatula into the pile of sprinkles and drag up. Replenish the pile of sprinkles as needed and move to the next area of the cake. You guessed it.....

Keep repeating until you have covered a good amount of the bottom part of the cake as far up as possible all the way around. It's not hard at all, in fact you get better and better at it as you keep doing it. It is a little time consuming but you will love the end result!

Technique Tip: Be sure to take a little care not to mess up the beautiful icing or knock into the cake while you are doing it and especially not to knock off the sprinkles you did already get to stick!

Sprinkles Halfway Up

Sprinkle The Cake
Sprinkle The Cake

So now your sprinkles are halfway up the cake, all the way around or in a rectangle sheet or square. Not bad we are about halfway there. From this point on the more we "drag" the sprinkles we just start messing up the cake and the rest of the sprinkles.

Hmmm, I thought now what! I just have to have the whole side covered with sprinkles! So I needed a new plan. Ready......

Sprinkles On The Side Review

Sprinkles Step By Step
Sprinkles Step By Step

OK let's review what we have so far, I love pictures the best so step one, start with your freshly frosted cake. Next pile the sprinkles on the side. Use a spatula or something flat to get under the pile. The start dragging the sprinkles up onto the side of the cake. All the way around.

It is a little time consuming but keep you eye on the prize - a cake with sprinkles all the way up and around the side of your gorgeous cake.

Sprinkles On A Spoon

Spoonfuls of Sprinkles
Spoonfuls of Sprinkles

I needed a plan to finish off the perfect sprinkle sided cake. I thought I was pretty smart piling sprinkles on the side and dragging them up to the cake and that worked great. Halfway up. Now what? I just needed to get those sprinkles to the top!

A spoon! I got out a great big serving spoon and loaded it with sprinkles. Then positioning the pile of sprinkles on the spoon next to the cake I was able to transfer them to the top side of the cake. It worked! All the way around. Sprinkles on the spoon. Sprinkles to the cake! And as an added bonus, as the ones that didn't make it onto the cake hit the plate, I was able to spatula them back on the spoon and keep on going.

I'm pretty sure I'm a sprinkle decorating genius now LOL and delighted in finishing the cake side sprinkles.

Sprinkles Everywhere

Sprinkles Everywhere
Sprinkles Everywhere

Sprinkles everywhere on the side of my cake. I couldn't believe it, every spoonful was decorating my cake and making me happier and happier.

Spoonful by spoonful I went around the cake. Filled it in to the top. Went back and filled in all the small spaces that I missed lower on. Around and around the cake until there was no tiny bit of the side of my cake that didn't have sprinkles!

Sprinkle-icious success!

Cake Decorating Sets

Cake decorating sets are fun. They usually include decorating tips to make stars and leaves and twirls. The sets will also have the bags you load up with your icing. Some are for the beginner and some for pros with lots of tips and cake decoration needs. These work great whether you are frosting and decorating cakes or cupcakes. There are wonderful books too, filled with cake decorating step by step instructions so you can really show off your baking like a pro.

None of the books though have my special Decorating The Side Of Your Cake Technique, because, as far as I know, I made it up and it's probably very unprofessional, but it works!

Wilton 23-Piece Cupcake & Cake Decorating Set
Wilton 23-Piece Cupcake & Cake Decorating Set

This is a cool cake decorating set that is good for beginners and those with a little more experience offering plenty of decorating options and accessories.

 
Norpro 8 Piece Cake/Decorating Set
Norpro 8 Piece Cake/Decorating Set

Cake decorating sets perfect for beginners and everything you need to get started on the basics.

 
The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible: Over 150 Techniques and 80 Stunning Projects
The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible: Over 150 Techniques and 80 Stunning Projects

Learn cake decorating from the pros using everything from fondant to icing and step by step instructions for advanced decorations.

 
Wilton 415-0906 Dessert Decorator Plus
Wilton 415-0906 Dessert Decorator Plus

This decorator set has a hand friendly barrel and plunger with an assortment of favorite tips like leaves, stars and rosettes

 
Wilton 13 Inch Angled Spatula With Black Handle- Discontinued By Manufacturer
Wilton 13 Inch Angled Spatula With Black Handle- Discontinued By Manufacturer

A basic icing/frosting spatula for cakes with the perfect angle to cover your whole cake.

 

Cake Decorating Tools

Cake Decorating Tools
Cake Decorating Tools

Now that I have discovered the perfect way to decorate the side of my cakes with sprinkles I was thinking of marketing the tools I used. I know everyone will want them.

I have spent tons in the past buying cake spatulas, cake frosting knives, cake decorating sets with those awesome bags and tubes and couplings to add icing flowers, leaves, hearts and even write a message on the cakes. I have squeeze tubes and cupcake corers. I am an avid fan of everything Wilton for cake decorating.

Now there needs to be a specialty set of Cake Side Decorating tools, marketed for home bakers just like us. And professionals too, I bet they would love this.

Or you can just use what I did. A large serving spoon and a small spatula!

Beautiful Cake Sprinkles

Beautiful Decorated Cake With Sprinkles
Beautiful Decorated Cake With Sprinkles

Isn't it beautiful! I'm so proud of my sprinkle sided cake you would think I just invented something worthy of a Nobel Prize. I have spent so many years and so many cakes trying and trying.

For anyone who has ever tried to sprinkle the side of a cake, well you know. You probably have done the same things as me in the past but never until today was I successful.

I knew immediately it was my calling to share and teach others How To successfully decorate the sides of their cakes with sprinkles so they too can make amazing and beautiful sprinkle cakes they will be so proud of.

This is big news! I'm not sure how real bakers do this stuff, but in my home you can bet there are going to be a lot of sprinkle sided cakes being made from now on!

Sprinkle Project Time

Sprinkle Time
Sprinkle Time

Decorating the side of your cakes with sprinkles is a little time consuming. Even using my new tried and true technique you have to have a little patience. You don't want to squish the icing or the cake. You certainly don't want to miss any single spot all the way around. If you take your time the clean up is a little better too.

I would say it took me about 45 minutes to prep and bake the cake. Probably another 20 to whip up the buttercream frosting.

And probably about 12 hours to add the sprinkles to the side of the cake LOL! Only kidding but it did take more time than just throwing them on the top. Totally worth it.

To me any cake is just more beautiful, more appealing to the taste buds and even more delicious with sugar sprinkles all around.

Rotate The Cake - What!

Rotate The Cake - What!
Rotate The Cake - What!

Before I invented my cake side sprinkle technique I did what I always do when I need great advice - I Googled. And Googled. Lo and behold, there are lots and lots of people who really want sprinkles on the side of their cake too! I wasn't in this alone.

The most common advice on blogs and forums and baking websites was to lift the cake up firmly in your hands, rotate it sideways after icing it and roll it in sprinkles placed in a long baking sheet.

What!! I don't know about you but I would have trouble even doing that with one layer, never mind two. That just wasn't going to work for me.

I tried using handfuls of sprinkles and placing them on the cake. I can honestly say I ended up more than once just throwing them at the side of the cake hoping they would stick because they just end up falling out of your hand and on to the counter and floor more than they make it onto the cake. By the way - throwing the sprinkles at the cake doesn't work either but it does make an even bigger mess!

Apparently I'm not alone in that either!

Please, please, please share this wonderful cake side sprinkle tutorial for everyone else to read. I know how much it means to want sprinkles on the side of your cake and not know just how to get it there.

Cake Sprinkles Decorating Tutorial

Step By Step Instructions.

1. Start with your favorite cake all frosted with icing and ready to go. This will work with any cake and any type of frosting that is your favorite. It's easiest done while the icing is still soft and newly applied to the cake

**NOTE: Remember to prep the area around and under the cake because the sprinkles that don't stick will be falling all around!

2. Pile sprinkles in the area of the cake you are ready to decorate at the base of the cake

.

3. Drag - Pull the sprinkles up onto the cake as far up as you can go using a small rubber spatula without messing up the icing or the cake.

If you are having trouble getting the sprinkles to stick, clean your spatula off removing sprinkles and icing as you go and you can dip the spatula in some water to help the process occasionally if the icing is starting to set.

4. Continue all around the cake. This will work on round cakes, square cakes or any shape cake. This technique is a little time consuming but totally worth it.

If you are decorating a cake you don't have a plate or serving tray for you can always place it on top of parchment paper or a cake board with lots of wax paper or easily removed paper underneath that will catch the extra sprinkles.

5. Use a large serving spoon filled with sprinkles and get it as close to the cake as you can, again being very careful not to disturb the icing, cake or sprinkles already on there using a small spatula to transfer the sprinkles from spoon to cake.

You will have to refill the spoon with sprinkles pretty often but you can usually scoop up some that drop onto the plate or wax paper and recycle them for the next spoonful!

6. Continue all around the cake in every area you can still see the icing until all sides of your cake are sprinkle-icious.

Love The Sprinkles

Princess Sprinkle Cake
Princess Sprinkle Cake

I love sprinkles so much and by now was so delighted with my decorated cake I was even thinking about making the whole top of the cake filled with sprinkles too! But since this super cake was baked to be a birthday cake and the granddaughters were coming over, I decided we would let this sprinkle on the side first ever made by me (!) cake become a princess birthday cake.

On went Ariel. On went Rapunzel thrilled with their sprinkle princess stage. On went the marshmallow hearts and birthday candles. On went the birthday party!

I do love the sprinkles, but OK, I love my granddaughters more.

But next up may have to be sprinkles on the top of the cake too.

Decorating With Sprinkles

Love Sprinkles!
Love Sprinkles!

Have you ever tried to decorate a cake with sprinkles around the SIDE of the whole cake? If you have, how did you do it, were you successful?

Share Your Cake Sprinkle Experience With Us

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Sprinkle Fun
Sprinkle Fun

Sprinkles Are My Best Decorating

Sprinkles are pretty much my best cake and cupcake decorating tools. Not only are they my best decorations they are pretty much my only ones! There is no holiday or special occasion that I can't find the perfect candy, colored sprinkles or pre-formed sugars to adorn my delicious baking.

But.....those beautiful icing flowers and lines and stars pretty much escape me. I just can't do it. Don't you love Cupcake Wars where they swoosh out the frosting in swirls and mountains of beauty, I know I do. And I try it on my cupcakes. And fail every single time.

I really have tried. I have read books. I have bought decorator kits. No matter which tip I choose or bag I fill, all my cake decorations seem to come out exactly the same. A blob of icing! I have to be honest with myself and face the truth - I may be cake decorator challenged.

But oh, how I can sprinkle! I sprinkle cupcakes and cakes with the best of them. I'm pretty darn good at chocolate chips, coconut, nuts and marshmallows too. Crunched up cookies like oreos work great on top of a cake too.

Now though I have taken my sprinkle ability to a whole new level - the side!

My tried and true sprinkle technique will also work great for coconut, cookie crumbs and mini chocolate chips too! I'm not a really big fan of the little round non-pareil type sprinkles. I think they are too crunchy and sweet and get stuck in my teeth but they would work perfectly with this technique too.

Crumbling up some of the cake crumbs would be awesome along and around the cake too. So please, be creative.

Sometimes you only need a little bit of sprinkles, but sometimes you really need a lot!

Cake Side Sprinkles Photo

Cake Side Sprinkles Photo
Cake Side Sprinkles Photo

Your Family Will Be So Proud

Your friends and family will be amazed and delighted with the results of your awesome baking skills. The cake will look as delicious as it tastes. Fun for birthdays, holidays and everyday to celebrate, enjoy and share.

Here is my granddaughter saying Wow Grammy you really did it, look at the sprinkles all around the cake, can I eat them all LOL, it was a really fun share.

By the way, much like me when I finally got to taste the cake, Kaitlyn ate pretty much just the icing and the sprinkles even though the cake was really delicious too.

More Cake Decorating Accessories

These are some of the cake decorating accessories I used for frosting and decorating my layer cake with sprinkles around the entire layer cake. They are all terrific because they can be used fairly frequently for a lot of your cooking, baking and entertaining needs. Most of them are not expensive and all of them are dishwasher safe, one of my favorite features!

Seriously one of my favorite ever gifts is the 6 in 1 All Purpose Cake Plate featured below. It is also shown in the photos above and in some of my lenses. Not only the perfect size for round and bundt cakes with a cover to keep them fresh, it also turns into an appetizer tray (with cover), a salad bowl or even a punch bowl. Holds cupcakes and goodies and pile it high with bagels or croissants. It's a great investment and the one listed below that I have is only $19.99. True it is not glass but in my home, that's a plus! It's dishwasher safe which is another plus in my world too.

Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set, Blue
Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Silicone Spatula Set, Blue

Every kitchen should have a set of rubber or silicone spatulas in small, medium and large sizes perfect for so many baking and cooking needs

 
OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Spoon
OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Spoon

A large size serving spoon will work to hold your sprinkles while you decorate your cake and can be used when entertaining and serving

 
Amazing Cake Stand Multifunctional Cake and Serving Stand 30.4 cm (6 Uses)
Amazing Cake Stand Multifunctional Cake and Serving Stand 30.4 cm (6 Uses)

This is one of my favorite ever gifts. It is pictured above and in many of my lenses. It is perfect for my round cakes and bundt cakes. Holds cupcakes. Turns into a salad bowl, and appetizer dish and features a wonderful dome cover.

 
Kitchen Supply 8150 White Porcelain Pizza/Cake Plate 14-Inch Diameter
Kitchen Supply 8150 White Porcelain Pizza/Cake Plate 14-Inch Diameter

This oversized plate is perfect for round cakes and works great for this decorating technique. You can use it for pizza pies and home entertaining too.

 
Wilton Silver Beaded Cake Knife and Server Set- Discontinued By Manufacturer
Wilton Silver Beaded Cake Knife and Server Set- Discontinued By Manufacturer

I love cake servers and knives, they don't have to be expensive to make slicing and serving cake easier and add just a touch of class to every slice.

 

Any Way You Slice It.....

Cake Slice Heaven
Cake Slice Heaven

It's true, any way you slice your cake - it will still look delicious and irresistible. Even once the candles are blown out and taken away. Even after the decorations and the cherry on top is scooped up and eaten. Even slice after slice is given out. Every bit of cake that is left - will still have sprinkles on the side.

We really hope you enjoyed a slice of cake decorating technique with us today! What's your favorite cake decoration?

Share Some Sprinkles With Us!

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    • Bonfire Designs profile image
      Author

      Bonfire Designs 3 years ago

      @Charito1962: My sweet tooth likes way too many bites, thank you for stopping in and your yummy comment

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      My sweet tooth wants a bite of your cakes! Yummy-looking!

    • Bonfire Designs profile image
      Author

      Bonfire Designs 4 years ago

      @NoremacWW: Hope it works out for you too, sprinkle side cakes are great!

    • NoremacWW profile image

      NoremacWW 4 years ago

      getting those darn things to stick to the sides without messing everything up has always been a problem. Thanks for the tip!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I have love sprinkle since the first time I saw them as child. They are a fascinating decoration.

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 4 years ago

      Awesome, I will try to add sprinkles to my cake your way next time. =)

    • Bonfire Designs profile image
      Author

      Bonfire Designs 4 years ago

      @getmoreinfo: It was delicious, I know because I ate way too much of it! Thanks for stopping by to share some with me!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      Yum Yum this Red Velvet Double Layer Cake looks so good, I am amazed at how large those sprinkles look too. LOL