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Back to School Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

Our yearly tradition is a cake to celebrate the new school year. This year our cake was a vanilla sprinkle cake covered Swiss Meringue Buttercream and LOTS of sprinkles. 

vanilla sprinkle cake

I think that the first day of school deserves a certain amount of reverence. Starting a new school year is a big deal. When we were little, my mom would make a special dinner for me, my brother, and my sister the night before the first day of school. My mom is really good at making things feel special. It’s one of her greatest gifts.

The back to school dinner tradition is something that I have continued to do with my own children and one that I love to do year after year. This year, I tried to do something different and the kids were not happy about it. They acted like I tried to cancel Christmas.

This year I made them a Sprinkle Cake. A vanilla cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream COVERED in sprinkles. This cake is so much fun. I have a hard time believing that anyone could be grumpy when a slice of this cake is put in front of you.

I’m not going to lie, getting the sprinkles all over your cake makes a mess. The best way that I have found to contain the sprinkles is to pour the sprinkles into a 9×13 pan and use your hand to press it up the sides, and the pan will catch most of the fallout. It’s worth it though, covering a cake in sprinkles is very forgiving if you aren’t the best at frosting a cake.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

This step isn’t necessary because you are going to cover your cake with sprinkles anyway, but I colored mine with some yellow gel food coloring. I baked two 8-inch layers of yellow cake. Let them cool completely. Pro tip – chill the layers, they are easier to work with when they are cold.Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

I put a small amount of white into a bowl and added some sprinkles and mixed them in. That’s for the filling. I used regular sprinkles (or jimmies if you are from NJ like me) and little colored round balls that I got at the grocery store.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

Frosting a cake isn’t hard, but it does take some practice. And a few tools can really make the project a lot easier. An offset spatula, pallet knife, and a side scraper are the difference between smooth edges and cake that looks like it might fall over.

Spread the sprinkle frosting over the bottom layer of cake. Top with the other cake layer.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

Crumb coat the cake. What does that mean? You put a very thin layer of frosting on the cake to seal in the crumbs. When you are scraping the frosting over the edges, make sure not to add the crumby frosting back into the bowl. Chill the cake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you touch the cake and no frosting comes onto your fingers.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

After the crumb coat has chilled, add a thicker layer of frosting, making sure the edges are straight and the top is smooth.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

Before the frosting has set, cover the cake in sprinkles. I find the best way is to do it over a pan with deep edges. Pressing the sprinkles up the sides of the cake. Cover the top and fill in any holes you see.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

Clean off the edges with a damp paper towel.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cake

Chill the cake for a few hours to let everything set.

Slice and enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using a link from this post, a small portion is paid to me at no cost to you. 

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  1. Karen Linnell

    October 15th, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Which cake recipe did you use?

  2. bakedbree

    October 19th, 2018 at 4:27 am

    I doctored a box of cake mix.

  3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Cookies - Baked BreeBaked Bree

    October 24th, 2018 at 8:01 am

    […] cookie with pudding mix in it, but I’ve stopped being such a snob. (I’ve also embraced doctoring a cake mix.) The one thing I will warn you about is that these are not good until they have cooled completely. […]

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