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This trendy sprinkle fault line cake is made with layers of homemade vanilla cake, Italian meringue buttercream and colorful sprinkles.
Fault Line Cake Trend
Fault line cakes are all the rage right now. I’ve seen fault line cakes with everything from sprinkles to buttercream flowers to real fruit. I just had to try out this new technique. Although my first fault line cake wasn’t perfect, I wanted to show you what I learned in the process. I love how this trend allows you to be creative and really add something to the middle of the cake to make it “pop.”
Step 1: Add a thin layer of frosting around the middle of the cake
After you have crumb coated the cake and chilled for at least 10 minutes, add a thin layer of frosting around the middle of the cake. This is where your sprinkles will go so make sure you have the width that you desire. I tried out a Italian meringue buttercream frosting for this cake but you can use an American buttercream frosting. I used a my from scratch vanilla cake. The recipe below is for a 6″ inch vanilla cake or you can use my 8″ vanilla cake.
Step 2: Add sprinkles to the layer of frosting
Put a cookie sheet underneath the cake to catch all the excess sprinkles. Then, using your hands, gently add sprinkles to the middle layer of frosting all around the cake. Be gentle when putting on the sprinkles so you don’t dent the cake.
Step 3: Add frosting to the top and bottom of the sprinkles
Using your offset spatula, add frosting to the top and bottom of the sprinkles. Don’t worry about it being perfect. This is the beauty of the fault line cakes. Allow the natural flow of frosting to go up and down. This will create a more natural “fault line” in your cake. Be sure to add a equal layer of frosting around the cake.
Step 4: Add frosting to the top of the cake
Don’t forget to add a layer of frosting to the top of the cake!
Step 5: Smooth out the frosting
Using a bench scraper, slowly scrape the frosting to remove the excess frosting. You can start by scraping down the sides of the cake. Then, scrape and smooth the top of the cake. Be sure to clean your bench scraper in between each scrape. Continue scraping and removing frosting until you have smooth layer of frosting all around the cake.
Step 6: Add decorations and more sprinkles
Finish the cake with any final decorations such as swirls on the top, a cake border around the bottom and of course, more sprinkles!
Fault Line Technique
I learned a lot trying out this new fault line technique. This versatile technique is really creative and can be used for so much more than just sprinkles. I can wait for you to try this new technique and see what variations you come up with!
Here’s a Halloween fault line cake that has spooky candy eyes and Halloween sprinkles.
- 2 cups cake flour (280 g)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 egg whites
- 2 sticks of butter (226 g) - room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (280 g)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk (125 ml) - room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream (130 g) - room temperature
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (169 g) room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco) (100 g)
- 2 lb powered sugar (907 g)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Butter and flour three 6 inch cake tins and line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 340°F/170°C.
- Sift all the dry ingredients (cake flour, salt, baking powder) in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the milk and sour cream together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed (4) for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Slowly add the egg whites one at a time to the mixture on low speed (2) and increase the speed to medium (4) for about 2 minutes until combined. (May look curdled but it will smooth out as you beat). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla.
- On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until barely incorporated. Then add half of the milk mixture and mix for a few seconds. Then add the remaining dry ingredients mixing for a few seconds and then add the remaining milk. Turn off the mixer and mix it by hand with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is combined. Do not overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pans. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the cakes are cooked. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean then it's done.
- Allow cakes to cool completely (15-20 minutes) and then gently remove from the pan and allow them to rest on a wire rack.
Make the Buttercream Frosting
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add half of the powdered sugar and beat of low speed for 30 seconds. Add a 1/4 cup of the milk and mix on low. Add the remaining powdered sugar and milk. Add vanilla. Mix on low for 30 seconds and gradually increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If is it too thick, add more milk.
- Add a layer of buttercream between each cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Use an offset spatula and a bench scraper to smooth the frosting. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and then apply another thin layer of frosting to the sides and top of the cake. If desired, add food coloring to a small amount of frosting and pipe buttercream flowers on the sides.