How To Get Sprinkles To Stick To Side Of Cake

Everyone loves a bit of cake now and then, especially beautifully decorated and super fun birthday cakes.

Sprinkles are always a staple of a cake decorating- particularly when it comes to the birthday cake-, but they can sometimes be a messy endeavor, particularly when putting sprinkles on the side of a cake.

In this article, we are going to be looking at how you can go about adding sprinkles to the side of a cake in four different ways so that no matter how you choose to do it, you’ll be making some deliciously decadent and decorated cakes in no time!

Freezing Your Frosted Cake Method

This is a method that many people swear by, and for good reason. However, it does involve having to flip your cake upside down, which might be a bit of a frightening prospect for some!

If you don’t feel that you are able to turn your cake upside down without either destroying it completely or making a huge mess, then you might want to avoid this method.

If you are feeling brave enough, here are the steps on how to put sprinkles on the side of a cake via the freezing method.

  • Put your cake in the freezer for about thirty minutes so that it becomes nice and solid. Make sure that you put it on something that is sturdy that can raise up slightly. This could be a cake board, a plate, or cake stand.
  • Once out of the freezer, it is useful to put the cake and the stand on a cookie sheet so that the sprinkles don’t spill out. However, a cookie sheet isn’t all you can use to do this. Putting the cake onto any kind of pan that can accommodate its size will work just as well to keep your sprinkles contained. 
  • Next, gently place a cake board on the top of the cake to prevent sliding. You can also use parchment paper in between the cake board and the cake itself. Keep one hand firmly on the top and another underneath, and quickly flip it over. Hopefully, your cake should be flipped without any damage! 
  • When it comes to adding sprinkles on the side of your cake, you will need to put on either extra frosting or clear piping gel. This is because the sprinkles can’t adhere to a hard surface on their own. An additional layer of frosting or gel will give you a fresh and new layer for the sprinkles to stick on. 
  • Once the gel or frosting has been applied, grab a handful of sprinkles and press them onto the side of the cake. This is a bit fiddly, as you want to press firmly enough for the sprinkles to stick but not too hard, as you risk ruining the cake if you do. 
  • Continue frosting and adding sprinkles to your cake as you desire, but do not forget to do so in batches. If you apply your frosting and then wait to add sprinkles, the frosting will harden before you can successfully add sprinkles. 
  • Once you have added as many sprinkles as you want, carefully flip the cake back over, and voilà! Your cake should now be covered in sprinkles on both the top and on the side of the cake.

Freshly Frosted Sprinkle Method

You can also add sprinkles to the side of a cake once it has just been baked by doing the following: 

How To Get Sprinkles To Stick To Side Of Cake
  • First, wait for the cake to cool down, and then apply a smooth and flat layer of frosting. 
  • The application of the sprinkles themselves can be a little tricky, so make sure to be careful when doing so. If you happen to have a turntable, this can be a useful tool when doing this, but if not, it is definitely still possible!
  • Grab some sprinkles and tilt your hand so that it is at a particularly steep incline, with the bottom of your palm nearly touching the cake. 
  • As the cake rotates, add sprinkles by allowing them to fall from your palm and onto the sides of the cake.  Do this as quickly as you can- as the frosting will start to harden quite quickly- but try not to make too much of a mess!
  • Don’t worry if any sprinkles did miss the sides, as you can still use them to decorate the top of the cake. 

What To Do When Working With A Fondant Cake

A fondant cake can be a little more difficult to work with when it comes to adding sprinkles, but it is still doable by following these steps:

  • Moisten the area of the cake where you want the sprinkles to go by brushing it with a bit of water or piping gel. 
  • If you so choose, you can adapt some of the freshly frosted sprinkles technique by applying a layer of either whipped cream or fresh buttercream on the top of the fondant. Once applied, begin adding sprinkles in the same way. 
  • You could end up with either a fresh buttercream cake or a whipped cream fondant cake with this technique! No matter what kind of cake you end up with, what is certain is that you should have a particularly sprinkly cake on your hands.
  • A side note here is that fondant cakes are very sweet, so sprinkles might not be to everyone’s tastes, as they could cross that barrier into way too sweet territory! If you do still want to add sprinkles to a fondant cake, make sure to taste test so that you get the feel for how sweet it is, particularly if it is a fondant-based chocolate cake which can be incredibly rich and sweet.

Rolling On Sprinkles

Though not advisable for larger cakes, denser cake- that is particularly small- can be sprinkled by rolling the cake in the sprinkles themselves:

  • Add sprinkles onto a cookie sheet or a pan large enough to fit your cake. 
  • Apply the frosting to your cake, as it needs to be fresh for the sprinkles to stick. 
  • Roll the entire cake around in the sprinkles! This will definitely be a messier- and slightly riskier- option, but it is also a great way to get the sprinkles on in an accurate way.

Final Thoughts

If you were wondering how to put sprinkles on the side of a cake, you should now have four different techniques to choose from!

Hopefully, one of these four methods will work for you, and you’ll find yourself able to decorate and add sprinkles onto all angles of a frosted cake- including the sides- in no time.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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