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If you are curious about how to use sprinkles to decorate the sides of a cake, look no further! If you don't have the correct knowledge to base your job off of, it may be difficult. You want the sprinkles to look even and stay in place. Without the proper methods, they will start to fall off and you will have spots that stand out for all the wrong reasons! You will also have a mess with cleaning up the loose sprinkles that came off the cake!

If you thought adding sprinkles to decorate the sides of a cake was just tossing them on there and hoping for the best, there is a much better way! The right product and the right application give you a professional look you will be very pleased with! It doesn’t take much time either, and I am going to share with you how to get it done! Keep reading to learn more about:

· Pour in your palm

· Shaker method

· Create a border around the cake with a spatula

· Mix sprinkles into the icing

· Using stencils and sprinkles together

· Extra tips for amazing cakes

Pour in your Palm

One of my favorite methods to apply sprinkles to the sides of a cake is with the palm of my hand. This works well for round cakes when you plan to cover the sides from top to bottom. Gently pour a generous amount of sprinkles into the palm of your hand. Push gently but firmly against the side of the cake. Pressing them into the cake will help them stick to your icing. Don’t press too hard though or you can put a hole in your cake.

The good news though is it is easy to fix any mistakes you make! It won’t take long for you to determine how much pressure you need to get them to stay in place without damaging the cake in front of you. I always spin the cake around a few times after I finish and look for any bare spots. It is easy to add a bit more to any of those areas so the cake looks amazing!

This process works well with the smaller, round sprinkles or the long, thin ones. However, you can experiment and try it with many different types. Make sure the sprinkle factory brand you buy is well-known for its quality. Otherwise, you will struggle because the cheaply made sprinkles aren’t going to stay where you apply them with the pour-in-your-palm method.


Shaker Method

The shaker method is one I enjoy too! I use this frequently for the top of a round cake or to cover the top of a square or rectangular cake. If you buy small bottles, you can just open them and shake the product. The harder you shake, the more sprinkles you will get in a given area. Do your best to apply them evenly so you don’t have lumps and bumps on your cake.

You can spread them out with your palm or a spatula too if you accidentally get too many in one area. You can also gently remove that chunk of them and go it over. No one will know you did that either! As you practice the shaker method, you will find it easier to gauge how much to apply for your desired look.

I buy sprinkles wholesale to save money on them without sacrificing the quality. Then I pour them into an empty shaker bottle. You can buy them or you can just keep empty ones that you previously used. When I buy sprinklers wholesale, I can mix and match them too – creating something brand new and exciting! I just add what I want in an empty bottle, mix them well, and then shake them onto my cake.


Create a Border Around the Cake with a Spatula

You don’t have to apply sprinkles on the sides from the bottom to the top, you can do it just around the bottom of the cake. This gives it some flare, but it also keeps it very simple. I like to do this with sugar pearls because they are elegant. They add a professional touch within a couple of minutes.

Use a clean spatula and pour them around the base of the cake. Flip the spatula upward to get them to stick to the cake where you want them all around the bottom of the cake. The spatula gives you a guide too, so your height up the side of the cake matches all the way around. Don’t worry too much if it isn’t perfect.

I promise, no one is going to notice if there are a few more sprinkles on one side compared to the other. We can be our own harsh critics, and it is important to let go of the idea of perfection. Sprinkles, I also call them jimmies, are delightful to work with. They are meant to be playful and decorative so go with the flow!


Mix Sprinkles into Icing

One of the fun ideas I engage in now and then is just mixing the sprinkles into my icing. Then I spread it all on there at the same time! I often do this for cakes I have to transport to reduce loose sprinkles from getting all over the place while I am in transit. I also like the way it looks, very simple but also a nice touch above just simply icing the cake.

I have found the kids seem to really like the mix of sprinkles in the icing too. They tell me it makes the icing taste delicious, and who am I to argue with such cute critics in my kitchen? If you are new to using sprinkles or you are pressed for time, this is a good method to start out with.


Using Stencils and Sprinkles Together

This last option takes more time, but it looks very lovely! I have done it a few times, and it always makes me smile. Using stencils, place them onto the cake where you want the decoration to be. Next, apply the sprinkles within the framework of that stencil. I often use shapes candy and sprinkles to create the design Once you are happy with them in place, carefully remove the stencil.

The lovely design should remain. I have a large assortment of stencils I use for this method. They include holiday themes, sports themes, and the one my daughter loves – the unicorn! I recommend saving this option until after you have made a few basic cakes with the other methods I shared to apply sprinkles. This one takes more time and it is a bit more challenging, but you will love the way it looks when you are finished!


Extra Tips for Amazing Cakes!

Armed with the best quality sprinkles/jimmies, you can create some amazing cakes! I want to share with you the best practices for applying sprinkles to the sides of your cake. If possible, put your cake on a rotating cake display. This allows you to spin it to work on the sides without reaching around the back of the cake.

If you use buttercream icing, you must apply the sprinkles before it starts to crust. Once it crusts, the sprinkles aren’t going to stick to it. For other types of icing and fondant, chill the cake for a few hours. The coldness provides the sprinkles with a better opportunity to stick in place.

As a rule of thumb, don’t apply the sprinkles more than 12 hours before you plan to serve the cake. When you do so, even with quality sprinkles, the risk of bleeding colors increases. You can create the cake the first day and frost it. Put it into the refrigerator an hour or two before you plan to apply the sprinkles. If you use buttercream icing, make the cake the day before. Allow ample time to apply both the icing and the sprinkles before you need to serve the cake.

It won’t take long to put the sprinkles around the sides of the cake. Even if you decide to add shape candy or sugar pearls along with the sprinkles/jimmies. The best method is to sprinkle them generously into your hand and then apply them with your palm. You won’t have to push too hard to get them to stick. If you push too hard, you can damage your cake.

As you experiment, you will find what works best for you! Clean up is easy too when you use a clean paintbrush to remove any of the sprinkles that didn’t make it onto the cake. You can gently take it around the bottom of the rotating cake holder and remove it. This gives the cake a cleaner look when you display it!



When you follow these tips, you can use sprinkles, or jimmies as I fondly refer to them, to decorate the sides of a cake! It is simple, and fun, and the results are amazing! There are plenty of colors and designs of sprinkles you can select from too. This allows you to create a unique-looking cake you are proud to serve for any occasion!


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