Sprinkle Ornament Cake – how to make sparkling ornaments for cakes and cupcakes using chocolate, cookie cutters and sprinkles.
All that glitters is my sparkly sprinkle appliqué Christmas ornament cake! I’m giving this technique the fancy title of “sprinkle appliqués”, but it couldn’t be easier to make. I’ve used this layered sprinkle idea to create gorgeous cake flowers and other elegant shapes, like in the Lux Layers cake in my book, Erin Bakes Cake.
With my sparkly ornament cake I kept the shapes super simple. You don’t have to be an expert piper to make these ornaments. Just have a little patience with the layering process and you’ll be rewarded with cake decor that costs pennies and looks like a million bucks. I’m all about brights this holiday season, but you can obviously choose to go in a more traditional red and green direction or keep things monochromatic for a chic cake look.
SPRINKLE ORNAMENTS TUTORIAL VIDEO
SPRINKLE ORNAMENT CAKE
a tutorial by Erin Gardner
- Coating chocolate in assorted colors (bright pink, white, turquoise, bright green, and yellow)
- Sanding sugar and nonpariels in pink, white, green, and yellow
- 3 cups clear sanding sugar
- Round circle cutters, assorted sizes
- Paper cones or piping bags
- Parchment paper
- Rimmed cookie sheets
- Heating pad (optional)
- 6-inch and 4-inch round cakes finished with plain white buttercream
- Extra buttercream for adhering ornaments
Melt one of the coating chocolate colors in a small heatproof bowl. Use the melted chocolate to fill a piping bag or paper cone.
Set circle cutters in assorted sizes on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill each of the cutters with a layer of melted chocolate, about 1/8” thick. Gently tap the tray against your work surface to spread the chocolate and smooth the surface.
Dust each cutter with a generous amount of sprinkles in the same color sanding sugar or nonpariels (or clear sanding sugar if you can’t find sprinkles in a complimenting color). Allow the ornaments to harden completely before unmolding, about 10 minutes. You can pop the tray in the fridge to speed the process up.
Lift a cutter from the paper and carefully slide the finished ornament out. Repeat with the other cutters. Return the unused sprinkles back to the container.
Make a mix of ornaments in different sizes and shades.
Melt the other shades of coating chocolate and use them to fill piping bags or paper cones. Set the filled bags on a heating pad that’s been topped with a paper towel. Cover the bags with a sheet of foil to keep them warm. This setup is entirely optional, but will make your life so much easier as you pipe the ornaments’ details.
Set the ornaments on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Choose one color to work with and pipe details on each ornament, like stripes, dots, and zig-zags, leaving space to add other colors later. Dust all of the ornaments with sprinkles in the same color that you piped with (or clear sanding sugar). Mix up the textures of sprinkles as you add details to your ornaments.
Pick the ornaments up one-by-one and shake off any excess. Set them aside to allow the details to harden, about 5 minutes. Return the unused sprinkles to their container.
Repeat the process to add a second detail color. Now I’ll add pink chocolate covered with pink nonpareils.
Repeat this process with as many different detail colors as desired. This time I used blue chocolate covered with clear sanding sugar.
Repeat the enitre process, starting with a different base color each time, until you have your desired amount of ornaments. I used approximately 40 ornaments on my cake. It’s always better to have too many than too few, to allow for breakage and the unexpected. Extras can always be used to garnish slices when the cake is served.
Return all of the ornaments to the lined cookie sheet and pipe a little rectangle off the side of each ornament using the white coating chocolate. Dust the ornament tops with clear sanding sugar and set them aside to harden, about 5 minutes.
Make the rectangle crisp, if desired, by trimming the edges with a knife.
Set the 6-inch round cake on a rimmed cookie sheet. Scoop up handfuls of clear sanding sugar and press the sugar against the sides of the cake, allow the excess to fall down onto the cookie sheet. Repeat until the cake is entirely covered, including the top. Repeat the process with the 4-inch round tier. Return the smaller cake to the fridge until thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.
Attach the ornaments to the cake with dabs of buttercream. Start with the larger ornaments along the bottom of the cake and work your way up the sides with the smaller ornaments, al-lowing some to peek up over the top of the cake.
Add a dowel to the center of the bottom tier and smear a dab of buttercream on top of the dowel. Stack the 4-inch round cake on top of the finished 6-inch round tier. Use dabs of buttercream to add two ornaments to the top tier. If you’ll be travelling with your cake, support the ornament toppers with lollipop sticks or skewers behind them.