Add a little sparkle and a whole lot of fun at your Fourth of July bash this year with this whimsical cake dreamed up by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the two founders of the adored Brooklyn bakery Baked. Here, layers of vanilla cake laced with colorful sprinkles are stacked, frosted, and then covered with red, white, and blue sprinkles in honor of the upcoming holiday. Of course this evergreen recipe can also be used for any event or occasion even after Independence Day—just change the sprinkle colors to match the theme, or the honoree’s favorite hues.
“This cake is incredibly fun to put together,” says Lewis. “Essentially, you are throwing sprinkles at a cake.” To keep your countertop and floor tidy, place the cake stand on a large rimmed baking sheet or in a very wide and large mixing bowl to catch the falling candies, he advises. To decorate the sides, just press handfuls of sprinkles against the cake and any excess will just fall back in the bowl. “This sounds neat and orderly, right? Well, it is and isn't, says Lewis. “But if you want neat and orderly, you should not be making this cake.” For more July 4th recipe ideas, be sure to pick up the July issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download June 10.
Sprinkle Layer Cake
Makes One 8-inch layer cake
Active Time 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Cooking spray for pans
3/4 cup red candy sprinkles
3/4 cup navy blue candy sprinkles
3/4 cup white candy sprinkles
2 boxes white cake mix
3 12-oz. containers white frosting
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
3. Stir together red, blue, and white sprinkles in a medium bowl.
4. In a large mixing bowl, make the cake batter. Stir in 1 cup of the sprinkle mixture and divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.
5. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 34 minutes, rotating pans front to back halfway through. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, remove them from the pans, and finish cooling on wire racks until completely cool, about 1 hour.
6. Using a serrated knife, trim off the rounded tops (about ¼ inch) of each cake layer to make them flat. Discard scraps.
7. Place one cake layer on the cake stand.
8. Tuck four sheets of parchment paper under the cake, allowing the excess paper to hang over the edge of the cake stand (this will keep the surface clean while frosting). Then, use an offset spatula to frost the top with 1 cup of frosting. Repeat stacking and frosting cake with the second and third layers. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides of the cake and smooth the frosting all around, making it as flat as possible.
9. Center the cake stand on a rimmed baking sheet or inside a wide bowl. Using your hand, scoop sprinkles and gently press them around the sides of the cake until completely covered.
10. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Serve immediately, or cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Cake may also be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.