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, and my favorite Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting for decorating, but you can use whatever type you prefer!
Supplies / Equipment:
- Cake + filling + frosting of your choice (recipes to mine linked above!)
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- Large piping bag & tip (I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!)
- M&Ms mix of your choice (I bought Halloween M&MS at a grocery store, but couldn’t find them online. You could always just pull orange and green M&Ms from a regular bag in a pinch!
- 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)
- Edible glitter (or lustre dust + a bit of clear vanilla extract or vodka or an edible cake spray) for adding a metallic accet to your fault line! Incidentally, I found out earlier this summer 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, trim about an inch off the outside edge of your middle cake layer. I don’t usually do this, but since M&Ms are so much bigger than the sprinkles I usually use for a fault line cake I decided to give myself more room to work with!
Next, 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 over the middle of your cake, covering the crumb coat. This is where you’ll put the M&Ms! Press your M&Ms into the frosting, being sure to press them in fairly evenly so they don’t stick out and 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 or you’ll bump the M&Ms and create bumps in your frosting.
Of note here – your frosting will spread as you smooth it, so don’t put it on too thick right at first!
I found it the easiest to smooth either the top or bottom layer first and then the other – as suggested but @sheri.wilton (formerly CakeDesignBySheri) on Instagram. Repeat the process around the opposite layer (top/bottom, whichever you didn't start with), adding on a similar layer of frosting and smoothing it with your bench scraper.
Pipe a few frosting swirls around the top rim of your cake, and add an M&M onto each one. Melt a bit of your frosting if you’d like, and use it to hold more M&Ms onto the top of the cake!
The fun part! Grab a new or food-safe paintbrush and a bit of edible glitter (or a lustre dust/vodka mix) and outline the edges of the ‘fault line’ you just created in your frosting. If you’d like, you can flick the paintbrush across the top of the cake to add a bit more sparkle 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!