How To Put Sprinkles On The Side Of A Cake

Adding sprinkles to a cake is a delightful way to create a festive and eye-catching dessert. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or simply want to add a touch of whimsy to your baking, decorating a cake with sprinkles is a fun and easy technique that anyone can master.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of adding sprinkles to the side of a cake, step by step. We’ll cover the types of sprinkles you can use, how to prepare your cake for sprinkles, and various techniques for applying them to create stunning designs. With a little practice and creativity, you’ll be able to turn an ordinary cake into a spectacular centerpiece that will wow your guests.

Key Takeaways

  • Decorating a cake with sprinkles adds a festive and visually appealing touch to your desserts.
  • There are various types of sprinkles available, including jimmies, sugar sprinkles, and specialty sprinkle blends.
  • Properly preparing your cake by crumb coating and chilling it ensures a sturdy foundation for the sprinkles.
  • Applying sprinkles can be done by pouring them onto the cake or placing them individually for different effects.
  • Cleaning up any stray sprinkles and adding finishing touches completes the polished look of your sprinkle-decorated cake.

Why Decorate Cakes with Sprinkles?

Sprinkles are a popular choice for cake decoration because they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can add intrigue and make your cakes more visually appealing. Adding sprinkles to your cake can transform a plain dessert into a festive and fun treat for any celebration.

Enhancing Visual Appeal

Sprinkles are like colorful confetti that instantly elevate the look of a cake. Whether you’re decorating a birthday cake, anniversary cake, or just a simple everyday cake, sprinkles can add that extra touch to make it special. They bring vibrant colors and a playful texture that catches the eye and creates a sense of excitement.

Variety of Options

When it comes to cake sprinkles, the options are endless. You can find them in different shapes such as stars, hearts, circles, or even novelty shapes like dinosaurs or unicorns. There are also various sizes available, from tiny nonpareils to larger sugar crystals. Additionally, sprinkles come in a wide range of colors, allowing you to match them to any themed event or personal preference.

Easy Application

One of the reasons why sprinkles are so popular for cake decoration is how easy they are to use. You don’t need any specialized skills or tools to sprinkle them onto the cake. Simply hold a handful of sprinkles and gently sprinkle them over the frosted cake. Their small size ensures even distribution and makes it simple to create your desired design.

Adding Texture

Not only do sprinkles add visual appeal, but they also provide a delightful texture to your cake. As you take a bite, the crunch of sprinkles adds a fun element to the overall eating experience. The contrast between the soft cake and the crispy sprinkles creates a pleasant mouthfeel, making each bite more interesting.

Universal Appeal

Sprinkle-decorated cakes have universal appeal, loved by both children and adults alike. They bring a sense of nostalgia and playfulness, evoking memories of childhood celebrations. Whether it’s a kids’ birthday party or a sophisticated wedding, cakes adorned with sprinkles never fail to captivate and delight.

Now that you understand why decorating cakes with sprinkles is such a popular choice, let’s dive into the different types of sprinkles available and how to use them effectively to create stunning cake decorations.

Types of Sprinkles

Sprinkles are a must-have for cake decoration, adding color and a touch of whimsy to your creations. With a wide variety of types and blends available, you can easily find the perfect sprinkles to match any theme or color scheme. Here are some popular types of sprinkles you can use to elevate your cake decorating game:


Jimmies are classic sprinkle strands that come in various colors and are perfect for adding texture and visual interest to your cakes. These thin, rod-shaped sprinkles are made from sugar, chocolate, or other confectionery coatings. Whether you want to create a rainbow effect or stick to a specific color palette, jimmies are a versatile choice that never goes out of style.

Sugar Sprinkles

Sugar sprinkles, also known as sanding sugar, are larger, coarse crystals that add a delightful crunch and sparkle to your cakes. They come in a wide range of vibrant colors, allowing you to create eye-catching designs. From a light dusting to full coverage, sugar sprinkles can be used to create a variety of effects, making them a popular choice for birthday cakes and celebratory desserts.

Specialty Sprinkle Blends

If you’re looking to take your cake decoration to the next level, specialty sprinkle blends are the way to go. These blends combine different types of sprinkles, such as jimmies, nonpareils, sugar pearls, and more, in unique color combinations. With sprinkle blends, you can easily achieve a professional and sophisticated look without spending hours individually placing sprinkles. These blends often come in themed mixes, like mermaid or unicorn, making them perfect for themed parties and special occasions.

Here are a few popular sprinkle brands known for their high-quality and imaginative sprinkle blends:

  • Sprinkle Pop
  • Fancy Sprinkles

These brands offer a wide range of sprinkle blends that will add a touch of magic to your cakes.


Now that you know about the different types of sprinkles available, it’s time to explore how to prepare your cake for sprinkles in the next section.

Preparing Your Cake for Sprinkles

Before adding sprinkles to your cake, it is crucial to properly prepare the cake to ensure a flawless and professional result. This involves a few essential steps: frosting the cake with the final layer of buttercream, making sure the frosting is still wet to the touch, and applying a crumb coat.

When frosting the cake, aim for a smooth and even layer of buttercream. This will create a perfect canvas for the sprinkles to adhere to. It’s crucial to ensure that the frosting is still slightly wet to the touch when you proceed with the sprinkle application.

Next, the crumb coating step is necessary to create a sturdy foundation for the sprinkles and prevent any indentations in the final frosting finish. To crumb coat your cake:

  1. Apply a thin layer of buttercream frosting to seal in any loose crumbs.
  2. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set.
  3. Once the crumb coat is chilled, you can proceed with applying the final layer of buttercream frosting.

This simple and effective technique ensures that your cake is perfectly prepped for the sprinkle application, resulting in a stunning and professional-looking finished product.

Tips for Perfect Cake Preparation:

  • Use an offset spatula or a cake smoother to achieve a smooth and even layer of buttercream frosting.
  • Allow the crumb coat to chill sufficiently before applying the final layer of frosting to avoid any smudging or mixing of crumbs with the frosting.
  • When applying the final layer of frosting, use a rotating cake turntable to achieve an even and seamless look.

By following these cake preparation steps, you’ll create a solid foundation for the sprinkle decoration and ensure a visually stunning cake that will impress your guests.

Adding Sprinkles to the Cake

Now that your cake is prepared, it’s time to add the sprinkles and bring your creation to life! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply sprinkles to the side of your cake:

  1. Begin by placing a jelly roll pan under your cake turntable. This will catch any fallen sprinkles, making for easier cleanup later on.
  2. Pour a generous amount of sprinkles into the palm of your hand.
  3. Angle your hand towards the cake, allowing the sprinkles to gently fall onto the side. Be sure to distribute them evenly for a visually pleasing result.
  4. Next, carefully spin the turntable to achieve an even line of sprinkles all around the cake.
  5. If any sprinkles fall onto the surface or bottom of the cake, you can easily lift and place them back onto the side using an icing spatula.
  6. To create a top line of sprinkles on one side of the cake, use your icing spatula to lift and place sprinkles in a straight line. This will add an extra touch of charm and make your cake even more eye-catching.

Follow these simple steps, and soon your cake will be adorned with a beautiful sprinkle design. The sprinkle application process is not only fun but also allows you to let your creativity shine by experimenting with different colors and patterns.

sprinkles application

Creating a Concentrated Sprinkle Placement

Adding a concentrated sprinkle placement to your cake can create a visually striking and impressive design. By following these steps, you can achieve a thicker band of sprinkles around the entire base of the cake:

  1. Pour a generous amount of sprinkles into the palm of your hand.
  2. Gently press the sprinkles onto the side of the cake, starting at the base.
  3. Continue this process around the entire cake, ensuring even coverage.
  4. Add in larger sprinkles to create variation and interest.
  5. Fill in any gaps or areas that need more coverage.

By focusing the sprinkles in a concentrated band, you can create a dynamic and eye-catching design. To ensure complete coverage and neatness, use a pastry brush to clean up any stray sprinkles on the turntable.


Sprinkle Type Color Size
Jimmies Assorted Small
Sugar Sprinkles Rainbow Micro
Specialty Sprinkle Blends Gold, Silver, White Various

As you create your concentrated sprinkle placement, feel free to experiment with different sprinkle combinations and designs. The possibilities are endless, and you can truly customize your cake to fit any occasion or theme.

Individual Sprinkle Placement

Once the base of the cake is covered with a concentrated sprinkle placement, it’s time to add individual sprinkles in a floating pattern. This technique allows you to create intricate designs and unique sprinkle patterns on your cake. Follow these steps to achieve stunning individual sprinkle placement:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

To create individual sprinkle placement, you’ll need the following:

  • A variety of sprinkles in different colors and shapes
  • A small plate or bowl to hold the sprinkles
  • Tweezers or small food-safe tongs

Step 2: Preparing the Sprinkles

Pour a small amount of sprinkles onto a plate or bowl. This will make it easier to pick up the individual sprinkles and create your desired sprinkle pattern.

Step 3: Placing the Sprinkles

Using tweezers or small food-safe tongs, carefully pick up an individual sprinkle and press it onto the side of the cake. Place the sprinkles about an inch apart, ensuring different colors and shapes are not placed next to each other. This will create a visually appealing and balanced sprinkle pattern.

Step 4: Creating Sprinkle Patterns

Experiment with different sprinkle patterns to achieve a unique and personalized design. You can create straight lines, curves, or even shapes using the individual sprinkle placement technique. Let your creativity guide you!

individual sprinkle placement

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Continue placing individual sprinkles on the cake until you achieve the desired sprinkle pattern. Take your time and be patient, as this process can be meticulous but rewarding. Ensure that the sprinkle placement is balanced and visually appealing.

Step 6: Cleaning Up

After all the individual sprinkles are placed, gently brush off any excess sprinkles using a clean pastry brush. This will give your cake a clean and polished look.

Sprinkle Color Sprinkle Shape Placement Style
Red Hearts Straight Line
Pink Stars Curved Pattern
Blue Rounds Diagonal Placement

By following these steps and experimenting with different sprinkle patterns, you can create a beautifully decorated cake that will impress your guests. The individual sprinkle placement technique adds a touch of artistry and personalization to your cake, making it a true showstopper for any occasion.

Cleaning Up and Finishing Touches

After adding all the sprinkles to your cake, it’s time to give it the final touches and clean up any stray sprinkles. These last steps are essential to achieve a polished and professional cake decoration. Here’s what you need to do:

Cleaning Up Stray Sprinkles:

Use a pastry brush to gently sweep away any stray sprinkles on the turntable. This will ensure a clean and neat presentation of your cake.

Brushing off Excess Sprinkles:

Take a close look at the cake board and brush off any excess sprinkles that may have fallen onto it. Collect these stray sprinkles and add them to any areas of the cake that need more coverage. This will create a cohesive and uniform look.

Adding Additional Decorations:

To elevate the overall cake design and add a touch of elegance, consider incorporating additional decorations. Here are a few ideas:

  • Piped Buttercream Swirls: Using a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip, pipe buttercream swirls or rosettes onto the cake. This adds texture and dimension to the overall design.
  • Ganache Drip: Create a beautiful and enticing ganache drip by pouring slightly warm ganache along the edges of the cake. Allow it to gently cascade down the sides, creating a stunning effect.

Final Touches:

It’s crucial to add these final touches while the frosting is still fresh, as it allows the additional decorations to adhere easily and seamlessly integrate with the sprinkles. By paying attention to these details, you achieve a professional cake decoration that will impress your guests.

Image: Sprinkles on a professionally decorated cake

After Steps
1 Sweep away stray sprinkles on the turntable with a pastry brush.
2 Brush off excess sprinkles from the cake board and incorporate them into areas that need more coverage.
3 Add additional decorations such as piped buttercream swirls or a ganache drip.

Serving and Slicing the Cake

When it’s time to serve the cake, presentation is key. Follow these steps to ensure clean and tidy slices for an impressive dessert experience.

Step 1: Prepare your tools

Gather the following items:

  • A long, sharp knife
  • A cake server
  • A bowl of warm water

Step 2: Cut the first slice

Using the long, sharp knife, make an incision about an inch away from the cake’s edge. Dip the knife in warm water to prevent sticking. Slide the knife through the cake until you reach the bottom, and then cut a larger slice by angling the knife toward the center. This will make it easier to remove the first piece.

Step 3: Lift the slice

Place the cake server under the larger slice, using it as a support. Gently lift the slice, sandwiched between the knife and the server, and transfer it to a serving plate. This technique prevents the cake from crumbling and ensures a clean presentation.

Step 4: Repeat the process

Wipe down the knife with a damp cloth or dip it in warm water again to remove any cake residue. Proceed to cut the remaining slices using the same technique.

Remember to continue dipping the knife in warm water between each cut to maintain smooth and precise slices.

cake serving
Step Instructions
1 Gather the necessary tools: a long, sharp knife, a cake server, and a bowl of warm water.
2 Make an incision about an inch away from the cake’s edge. Dip the knife in warm water and cut a larger slice, angling the knife toward the center.
3 Place the cake server under the larger slice and lift it out cleanly, sandwiched between the knife and the server.
4 Repeat the process for the remaining slices, wiping down the knife and dipping it in warm water as needed.

Additional Tips and Variations

Here are some additional tips and variations for decorating cakes with sprinkles:

  1. Experiment with different sprinkle patterns

    Get creative and try out various sprinkle patterns to add visual interest to your cake. Consider diagonal lines, checkerboard designs, or even creating shapes with the sprinkles.

  2. Use edible glitter or shimmer dust

    Elevate the sparkle factor of your sprinkled cake by adding edible glitter or shimmer dust. This will give your cake a touch of glamour and make it stand out even more.

  3. Try adding sprinkles in a gradient or ombre effect

    Create a unique and eye-catching look by arranging the sprinkles in a gradient or ombre effect. Start with a concentrated area of darker sprinkles and gradually transition to lighter colors.

  4. Combine different types of sprinkles

    For added texture and visual interest, mix and match different types of sprinkles. Combine jimmies, sugar sprinkles, and specialty blends to create a stunning and delicious decoration on your cake.

Take a look at this inspiring example of creative sprinkle placement on a cake:

Cake Description
Creative Sprinkle Placement Cake This beautifully decorated cake showcases a stunning gradient effect created with sprinkles. The combination of colors and sprinkle types adds depth and texture to the design, making it a true showstopper.

Remember, cake decorating is an art form, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to using sprinkles to create unique and beautiful designs. Don’t be afraid to experiment, have fun, and let your creativity shine!

Showcasing Your Sprinkle Cake

Once you have decorated your cake with sprinkles, take a step back and admire your masterpiece. Share your creation with others by posting photos on social media platforms like Instagram, and don’t forget to tag the brands you used. Capturing the beauty of your sprinkle cake with good lighting and composition can make it even more appealing.

When showcasing your sprinkle cake on social media, it’s important to consider the presentation. Here are some tips to make your cake photos stand out:

  1. Choose a clean and attractive backdrop that complements the colors of your cake.
  2. Use natural lighting whenever possible to capture the true colors of your cake and avoid harsh shadows.
  3. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to highlight the details and layers of your cake.
  4. Consider using props such as cake stands, fresh flowers, or confetti to add visual interest to your photos.
  5. Ensure that your cake is in focus and the sprinkles are clearly visible.
  6. Edit your photos using photo editing apps to enhance the colors and make your cake pop.

By following these tips and putting thought into your cake presentation, you can create visually stunning photos that will attract attention and engagement on social media.

Cake Presentation Tips

Here are some additional cake presentation tips to make your sprinkle cake even more enticing:

  • Dress up your cake with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate ganache for added elegance.
  • Add fresh fruit or edible flowers as a garnish to create a vibrant and natural look.
  • Consider using a cake topper or a personalized message to make your cake more personalized and celebratory.

Remember, the goal of showcasing your sprinkle cake is to make it look irresistible and entice others to try it themselves. By presenting your cake in an appealing way both in person and online, you can share your creativity and inspire others to create their own stunning desserts.


Decorating your cake with sprinkles is a simple yet effective way to elevate your desserts and make them visually appealing. By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you can transform a plain cake into a stunning work of art that will wow your guests at any celebration.

Using a variety of decorative sprinkles and techniques, you can create unique designs and patterns that suit your personal style and the theme of your event. Whether you opt for a concentrated sprinkle placement or individual sprinkle placement, the end result will be a beautifully adorned cake that is sure to impress.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different sprinkle blends, colors, and textures. The possibilities are endless, and you can truly let your imagination run wild. So go ahead and sprinkle your way to festive desserts that are as delightful to look at as they are to eat!

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