Fault Line Cake Tutorial

Suuuper trendy on Instagram and Pinterest recently has been the 'fault line' cake! 

I've been seeing them literally EVERYWHERE lately, and obviously had to try my hand at a couple of my own!

There are plenty of tips and tricks and tutorials all over the web right now, and I’d recommend checking for tips from a couple of people if you’re trying your first one – different people seem to have different preferences for how they create their fault lines! But I’ll give all the pointers that worked best for me below!


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Fault Line Cake Tutorial

This cake style can be used with really any cake and frosting combo; I’ve used chocolate and vanilla cakes, and butter-based frostings as well as chocolate ganache!

In the video above I used this Chocolate Cake recipe, with a homemade caramel sauce (recipe) + buttercream filling. Since I was adding ice cream cones to the top, I also added some crushed waffle cone to the filling, as well as some sprinkles for a bit of color.
I used my favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting for decorating, but you can use whatever type you prefer!

Supplies / Equipment:
- Cake + filling + frosting of your choice
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- 5-6 small ice cream cones + Large piping bag & tip (I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!) You only need these if adding ice cream cones to the top of your cake.
- Sprinkle blend of your choice (Sea Glass, Sprinkle Pop’s Unicorn Mix, and this Galaxy Mix are some of my favorite sprinkle blends lately, and all available on Amazon!)
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper – I highly recommend using the turntable, spatula, and bench scraper for this style of cake! You’re likely to have a frustrating time smoothing your frosting without them.  (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use)
- Lustre dust + a bit of clear vanilla extract or vodka (or an edible cake spray) for adding a metallic accet to your fault line! Wilton sells a lustre dust combo pack for just over $6!
- Food-safe paintbrush for adding a metallic accent to your fault line

Okay! Steps and tips for creating your ‘fault line!’

First, crumb-coat your cake – in other words, apply a thin coat of frosting to keep all of the crumbs out of your final layer!
Next, spread a layer of frosting the middle of your cake, covering the crumb coat. This is where you’ll put the sprinkles (or whatever you’d like to put in the middle of the ‘fault line’)! I grabbed a large shallow pan to put under the cake at this point; sprinkles always make a huge mess. Press your sprinkles (or whatever you’re using) into the frosting, being sure to press any large ones in deeper so they don’t create bumps that will make smoothing your frosting difficult. 

Now to create the ‘fault line!’ Use an offset spatula to spread your frosting around the upper border of the cake and cover the top. Take your bench scraper in several gentle swipes to smooth the frosting – be careful not to take too much off.  

Of note here – your frosting will spread down from the top and up from the bottom as you smooth it, so don’t put it on too thick of a layer right at first! You can always go back and add more later. 

I found it the easiest to smooth the upper layer before adding the bottom layer – as suggested but @sheri.wilton (formerly CakeDesignBySheri) on Instagram. Repeat the process around the base of the cake, adding on a similar layer of frosting and smoothing it with your bench scraper.

Mix a teaspoon of lustre dust with a 5-6 drops of vanilla extract or vodka, to create a thin paint consistency (or spray a thick layer of edible silver cake spray into a bowl or small plate). With your paintbrush, outline the edges of the ‘fault line’ you just created in your ganache. If you’d like, you can flick the paintbrush across the top of the cake to add a bit more silver to the top!

Cut in and enjoy – or refrigerate until ready to serve!

Make this recipe? Let me know  how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!

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