If you’ve ever tried to throw a party you probably noticed that the desserts are often the priciest part. When you’re busy making paper chains or tissue paper garlands, it’s hard to imagine all that work to diy half your party…and then pay $100 just for the calories! A huge part of how this blog got started was the fact that I was tired of paying a fortune for a party that wasn’t 100% authentically what I wanted. I was planning my sister’s sixth birthday party with a One Direction theme and a couple downtown bakeries quoted me over $80 just for two dozen sugar cookies! I knew what I wanted, but not how to afford it…or how to tell a six year old why there was no cake. Back then I taught myself how to handle the sugar cookies, and the cupcakes, and the ice cream sundae bar, but I figured I’d never learn how to tackle a cake.
Fast forward a year and we’ve been so busy in the Party Girl kitchen teaching ourselves how to pull off parties like the pros, at prices real people can afford. And we knew it was time to tackle cakes. So I’m hesitant to call this a new “series”, but I am giving you the heads up you’re going to see a lot more delicious cake tutorials around here in the next little while! Hopefully one of these will inspire you to skip the expensive bakeries and give it a try at home, for less!
This cake was on our list from the beginning because I’m obsessed with sprinkles. Since I was a little girl I was always pouring sprinkles on all kinds of desserts. Ice cream obviously, but I even managed to sneak it in on pies (and maybe breakfast once or twice). The sprinkle-covered cake was an obvious must have. Turns out with a little creativity and a lot of hands, it’s almost as easy as it is adorable!
First, bake a cake. Haha. Seriously though, bake a cake (use a box, we won’t judge) and crumb coat it. Pop it in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes. All you really need for this cake is icing and sprinkles. We bought a 2 lbs bag because I told Fernanda we’d need it, and she said we didn’t, and I said I was positive we would, and we didn’t at all and had like a pound and a half left. They’re still in my cupboard. Damn. Anyways, listen to the cautious one and go for like, a pound to be safe. It’s not like they go bad okay Fernanda? Gosh.
There is no graceful and/or clean way to make this cake. We put our cake plate on a cookie tray which was brilliant because it was actually alarming how messy we were. Basically, you have to start in chunks. We started at the top because it was easiest, but you can face the challenge head on with the sides if you’re brave. You have to go in sections. Apply icing to wherever you’re starting and immediately place a handful of sprinkles on the icing. The trick is to go for quantity over quality with the handfuls; the icing will dry and harden very quickly so you want to make sure you get as many sprinkles as possible on the fresh icing right away.
After you’ve dumped a handful, gently tap down on the sprinkles, patting them into place. You want to make sure the icing is “gluing” the sprinkles to the cake, so patting and gently brushing away excess will ensure you’re covered everywhere.
The hardest part is the sides. What we found worked best was cupping a handful of sprinkles and sort of gently pressing the sprinkles against the cake sides. We also tried various techniques of throwing and or “dripping” sprinkles onto the sides with different levels of success. One of us holding the cake on a slight angle (make sure you use some icing on your cake base before you place the cake down to help secure it) and the other dumping handfuls on the sides and applying more icing seemed to work the best. It’s a live/learn process, but actually once you get the rhythm down it’s not that bad. The best part is you can’t really screw it up. You can use a spatula to clean up the base and gently press the sides so the sprinkles are clean and straight.
And that’s it! We didn’t make a topper for this because I loved how the sprinkles looked and couldn’t get over it, but if you’re serving it up and want to make it pop, why not add some drama with sparklers? Sprinkles demand bold gestures like that 😉