How To Cover A Cake In Sprinkles

Holiday sprinkles cake by Sugar and Sparrow

This was originally a guest post that I wrote for SprinklePop’s blog. It’s too good not to re-share over here, because covering a cake in sprinkles is an essential cake decorating skill you’re gonna want in your repertoire. Oh, and it’s a whole lot of fun too, so enjoy!  

Incorporating sprinkles into cake design is something I’ve loved from the beginning of my cake making journey. But although I’ve been caking for years, I’ve never actually attempted to cover an entire cake in sprinkles – until now, that is! Behold:

Christmas sprinkles cake by Sugar and Sparrow

sprinklepop sprinkles cake by sugar and sparrow

How pretty are those sprinkles? They’re the Oh Snow Cute sprinkle mix by SprinklePop and they’re part of a beautiful collection of Holiday sprinkles available in their shop! I love the color contrast of the icy blues and Christmas reds, and if you look real close you’ll find some tiny little snowmen and snowflakes mixed in (hence the name “Oh Snow Cute”). I think they’re so perfect for a non-green-and-red Holiday look, but you’ve got to check out the other Holiday sprinkles in the collection because they’re all so beautiful!

I was totally surprised to find that covering a cake with sprinkles was actually easy, even as a first timer. All you need is a smooth buttercream cake and a tray full of sprinkles to roll it around in! Ok, maybe there are a few other things you need, but I promise I will spare no details so you can reach sprinkle cake greatness. Here’s a quick video of the process before I walk you through the step-by-step below:

You Will Need:

  • 8oz bottle of Oh Snow Cute sprinkles (or other favorite sprinkle mix)
  • A baking sheet
  • A crumb coated cake
  • Enough buttercream for a final frosting layer
  • Icing scraper
  • Angled icing spatula
  • Cake turntable
  • Cardboard cake circle (the same diameter as your cake)

Step 1: Frost The Sides Of Your Cake

Start by frosting the sides of your cake only. Use your icing scraper to create smooth, straight sides as a buttercream finish. For the buttercream ridge that forms around the top rim of the cake, use your angled icing spatula to frost it inward (across the top of the cake) and create sharp edges around the top rim.

how to frost a cake with smooth buttercream

When your sides are looking smooth and your edges are looking sharp, place the cake into the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes so the buttercream begins to set, but isn’t too firm to the touch.

Step 2: Spread Sprinkles Onto Baking Sheet

While your cake is chilling in the refrigerator, spread the sprinkles onto the baking sheet. Feel free to shake them around so they get mixed up really well.

how to roll a buttercream cake in sprinkles

Step 3: Roll The Cake In Sprinkles

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and place a cardboard cake circle on top of the cake. With one hand on the top cardboard cake circle and one hand on the bottom one, gently roll the cake through the sprinkles.

how to roll a cake in sprinkles

how to cover a buttercream cake in sprinkles

Feel free to stop halfway around, shake the sprinkle tray to keep the sprinkles well mixed, and continue rolling the cake until the sides are completely covered.

Step 4: Ice The Top Of The Cake

Place the cake back onto your turntable and remove the cardboard circle from the top of the cake, then frost the top with buttercream.

sprinkle covered cake tutorial

Use your angled icing spatula to make sure the top of the cake is as smooth and level as possible while maintaining your sharp edges. When you’re finished, pop the cake back into the refrigerator for about five minutes so the buttercream on top begins to set slightly.

Step 5: Cover The Top In Sprinkles

Finally, pour sprinkles over the top of the cake and smooth them with your icing spatula until the entire top is level and covered in sprinkles.

sprinkle cake tutorial by sugar and sparrow

Voila! A sprinkle-covered masterpiece! I ended up piping an open star border with my Wilton Tip 6B for some extra flair. 

sprinkle covered cake by sugar and sparrow

The best part about this technique is that it will work with sprinkles of all shapes and colors. It’s an easy way to make an eye-catching creation, whether it’s for the Holidays or any day!


  1. Hi,

    I love your site, I can’t stop looking at it! I have been getting into making cakes and love all of your techniques and tips, they are so helpful!!

    How many ounces of sprinkles would it take to cover an entire 3 tier 6inch cake, like this one?

    • Hi Roxanne! You are so sweet! I’m so happy to hear you’re loving the blog 🙂 For this cake, I used an 8oz bottle of sprinkles to roll the cake in and it was perfect. I had sprinkles left over (I think I only ended up needing about 5oz to cover the cake entirely), but to roll the cake its better to have more sprinkles than too little.

  2. Hi Whitney this is amazing!! I was just wondering how you would just cover the bottom of the cake in sprinkles as you have done in the picture with your vanilla cake recipe?

    • Hi Jess! To just cover the bottom of the cake, I grab a handful of sprinkles and press them to the side of the cake with the palm of my hand. It works best when the buttercream is still slightly wet to the touch.

  3. WOW! I am so impressed with your cakes. I finally have time to browse your archives, and I am so inspired. Thank you so much! You are bring great recipes, and joy to my day! and… the video tutorials are great!

  4. Kristin Groh

    Hello! I am going to try this style out this week. I was wondering if you use an American buttercream for this or if that will not work because it is crusting? Thanks

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