Recipe Review

The Problem with Martha Stewart’s Picture-Perfect Sprinkle Cake

published Oct 5, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Headshot: Getty Images

Martha Stewart is one of the most legendary icons of the food world. Whenever I embark on a celebrity recipe showdown, I always look to see if Martha has a relevant recipe. Plus, her most recent cookbook is all about cakes, so I figured she knew a thing or two about Funfetti.

I was instantly intrigued by Martha’s Sprinkle Cake, which calls for cake flour, shortening, buttermilk, and a handful of other unique ingredients. It was certainly more labor-intensive than most of the other recipes, but I had a feeling it would be worth it. Here’s what happened when I gave it a go.

Get the recipe: Martha Stewart’s Sprinkle Cake

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

How to Make Martha Stewart’s Sprinkle Cake

You’ll start by buttering and lining three cake pans with parchment paper. Then mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer, then add sugar and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and continue mixing until combined.

In another bowl, mix together milk, buttermilk, and ice-cold water. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture, until a smooth batter forms, then mix in the sprinkles. In another bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a bowl of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer the mixing bowl to the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until smooth and glossy. With the mixer running, add butter a few tablespoons at a time, followed by a dash of vanilla extract. Mix with the paddle attachment until all of the air bubbles trapped inside the frosting are eliminated, then assemble and frost the cake as desired.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My Honest Review of Martha Stewart’s Sprinkle Cake

This was a beautiful three-layer cake. Each bite was studded with sprinkles, and the layers had impressive height. Plus, it tasted good! It had a nice light crumb and pleasant flavor. While the cake itself was a tad dry, the homemade buttercream helped add some moisture, so I really didn’t mind.

But ultimately, I’m just not sure it was worth all the effort. Between the multi-step buttercream and the whipped egg whites in the cake batter, this cake required a significant amount of time and effort, and dirtied a ton of dishes. So while I really liked the cake, I’m not sure I would tackle it again.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If You’re Making Martha Stewart’s Sprinkle Cake, a Few Tips

  • Make the buttercream the day before. Between dissolving the sugar on the stovetop and mixing the buttercream twice (once to whip it until fluffy, and once to eliminate the air bubbles), the buttercream takes quite a bit of time to make. To save time day-of, I recommend making it in advance and stashing it in the fridge. Before frosting the cake, let it come to room temperature on the counter, then mix it using an electric mixer to smooth it out again.
  • Check the cake early. My cake turned out slightly dry, so make sure to start checking your cake earlier than the recipe instructs. If a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, it’s ready.

Rating: 8/10

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Headshots: Getty Images

Have you ever made Martha Stewart’s sprinkle cake recipe? Let us know in the comments!