Valentine's Sprinkle Drip Cake

1 Cake
1 hr

I don’t think there’s a more perfect cake for Valentine’s Day than red velvet!

Valentine's Sprinkle Drip Cake
Recipe details
  • 1  Cake
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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Ingredients
Red Velvet cake
  • 2 red velvet cake mixes (I like Duncan Hines)
  • 2 1/4 c buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 6 eggs
Frosting/decorations
  • 8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
  • 16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
  • 6-7 c powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 T clear vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter) small drop red or pink gel food color – I used just a bit of Americolor Electric Pink
  • - 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle or acrylic cake disc) I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
  • - Sprinkle mix of your choice – I used SprinklePop’s ‘Mixed Berry’ sprinkles
  • - 1 teaspoon(ish) Crisco or shortening – for adding sprinkles to your drip!
  • - 4oz Bright white candy melts + 2 1/2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream for your drip (recipe below!)
  • - Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Links to my favorite tools are at intensivecakeunit.com/valentines-day-sprinkle-drip-cake)
  • - Squeeze bottle OR piping bag OR spoon – whatever you’d prefer to add your ganache drip to the cake
Instructions
Red Velvet Cake
Of note – you have lots of options here! I opted for the easy way - doctoring up boxed cake mixes - I used two mixes, substituted butter for the oil, replaced the water with buttermilk, and added two extra eggs!
To make the cake layers from scratch though, I recommend this recipe – Chelsweets’s Red Velvet cake recipe has never let me down! (https://chelsweets.com/oreo-red-velvet-cake/)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or three 8-inch cake pans with parchment rounds, and /or grease with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray.
Mix together all wet ingredients (butter, buttermilk, eggs) in a bowl or stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined. Add cake mixes and stir to combine, then beat with a mixer or whisk for 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8-inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7-inch cake pans (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans – it helps to run an offset spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan first. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
This is a great time to make your frosting!
Frosting / decorations
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting, and add the next layer on top. Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer. I usually do this with my large offset spatula. Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part – for semi-naked cakes, make this layer very thin, not much thicker than your crumb coat, to let the cake layers show through a bit. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting and to chill the cake in preparation for adding the drip!
Place heavy cream and candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between. I usually find a squeeze bottle or piping bag work the best for this ganache, but I’ve used a spoon for similar drips before. When your candy melt mix has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid – transfer it to a squeeze bottle or piping or small ziplock bag and snip off a corner. A spoon will work if you don’t have any of those; I’ve just found spoons to be a little bit more difficult to work with. Slowly drizzle ganache around the upper edge of your cake, pausing every inch or so to let more fall in a drip down the side of the cake. Add more candy melt ganache to the top of the cake – just enough to cover it – spreading it with a small offset spatula or spoon and adding a bit of texture if desired.
To add the sprinkles to the drip, shake some of your sprinkles into a shallow bowl or dish. Spread a bit of shortening on your fingertip – this will make the sprinkles stick to your finger, and make it easy to transfer them to the drip! Add as many sprinkles as you’d like, and return cake to the fridge or freezer to set the drips.
To decorate the top of the cake, I melted a bit of leftover pink frosting in the microwave and transferred it to a small piping bag, then used it to add a ring of swirls and small hearts to the top of the cake, covering them with a few sprinkles. Up to you! You could pipe some frosting along the cake border as well if you prefer.
Tips
  • Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!
Intensive Cake Unit
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