Let’s talk about THPARKLETH! I mean, sparkles.
I’ve watched a good number of cake videos, mostly by a couple of artists I like, and I admit, I didn’t really understand the obsession with gold and sprinkles. But having decorated a good number of cakes now, I totally get the sparkle obsession.
A lot of times, a cake just needs that little bit of an accent to elevate it to awesome.
There are sprinkles, and then there’s luster dust. Here’s my sprinkle collection:
There are jimmies, which are the little sticks. They don’t run as quickly as others do, so they’re best for mixing into batter, or if you have to decorate well ahead of time. There are pearls, the ones that look like “edible ball bearings” as Doctor Who once put it. They’re great just as sprinkles, or they are nice to stick in the centre of a piped flower or star. There are nonpareils, the little balls, and dyed sugar for max sparkle (this might have another name I don’t know). Both of these tend to run, so wait until right before delivery/serving to put them on.
I get the rainbow jimmies in bulk on Amazon, because a whole cup goes into every batch of rainbow bit cake. I snag those Triplet sets whenever I see a new one at Northern; they’re expensive but I’m slightly obsessed with them. I bought the white pearls online for a wedding cake design that fell through, and the grey dyed sugar was a destash.
The baggies on the right are leftovers from a rainbow Triplet set. I mixed them all together for a fun technique I learned from one of JJR’s Craftsy classes. You just mix a bunch of sprinkes together, then take a freshly final-coated cake in one hand, hold it over your bowl of sprinkles, and press sprinkles into the bottom edge of the cake. You can go up as far as you want with this technique; I didn’t go that high with the cake below because I didn’t want to cover up the colour dragging.
As you can see, I really like pairing this technique with some drizzly drippies. In this case, that’s just colored buttercream which has been put in the microwave for ten seconds. ALL of this was completely stolen from JJR! He’s my sparkle queen.
Then, there’s luster dust.
Luster dust is not cheap. But this tiny canister has lasted me quite a long time, used sparingly. If you invest in the real deal, it is so effective. You just use it dry, dipping a clean paintbrush in it and brushing it on whatever you want to be gold.
I like using it on fondant best of all. I mean, how can you say no to a golden sparkly unicorn horn?
Less often, I will use it on buttercream. Make sure your cake is very cold. And you’ll have to stop and switch brushes every so often, because the brush will pick up fat from the cake and cause the gold to clump.
That’s what I have to say about sparkle. It’s the accent that takes a cake to the next level! What accents do you like to add to your cakes?