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I need to prepare a cake, but in my previous attempts, I can't seem to get the chocolate sprinkles to stick to the sides of my cake. The cake will have a layer of icing as a base for the sprinkles, but I keep getting the cake squished or the sides lacking in topping. Ideally, I want the entire cake to be covered in sprinkles of the same density as the top of the cake.

Help :(

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

This is a little hard to do without making an epic mess.

First, lay out a big piece of parchment or wax paper to catch the sprinkles that you are about to throw everywhere.

Place your cake on it's platter over the parchment paper and tilt it so that you can apply sprinkles to the uppermost side. Don't tilt it so far that it slides off! Apply the sprinkles with your free hand, pressing them gently into the frosting (some suggest wearing a glove, I don't). Turn, and repeat. Periodically collect all your sprinkles from the parchment paper.

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6  
Mmm... periodical sprinkles... –  glasnt Jul 19 '10 at 3:10
    
Put them in your palm and blow, facing the cake. –  Adam Shiemke Jul 19 '10 at 12:14
4  
I prefer not to spray saliva all over my cakes :P. –  hobodave Jul 19 '10 at 16:09

I've never tried doing it, but from my experience with getting flowers to stick with cakes, I'd say that part of the trick is the right consistency of icing, and working fast enough before the icing starts to set up.

I'd probably apply the icing in three stages -- a crumb coat, let it set up, then a medium thickness icing so the cake doesn't show through, let it set up, then a quick thin coat of icing for the glue for the sprinkles. This way, you've already got the cake coated in icing, and aren't wasting time trying to make sure you have proper coverage, and it's not soft and think, making it so the whole side is trying to drip down.

For the actual application of the sprinkles, I'd work over a sheet pan to catch the amount that's going to fall off, and then take a handful and just try to pack it onto the side until it doesn't seem to be taking anymore, regularly collecting up the fallen sprinkles to re-apply. Once I did the sides, I'd dump the rest of the sprinkles over the top, pack it on like the sides, and then shake (or brush?) off the loose ones that didn't stick.

update Just saw @hobodave's answer (why I didn't get the 'new answer' message, I have no clue) ... the parchment paper is a great idea for collecting the unstuck sprinkles to reapply ... I'd still set it in a sheet pan, to keep them from rolling off the side.

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