New Years Eve Buttercream Sprinkle Cake

How to make a New Years Eve sprinkle cake at home

A simple New Year cake design perfect to ring in the new year. Best thing about this design, it’s timeless. Sprinkles never go out of style and adding Roman numerals is an unexpected touch. As the years change, all you have to do is change the numerals. The key to understanding and growing on this design is really to take it slow. New year, clean slate, don’t let the fear of messing up keep you from making this cake.


Having a solid foundation to start with is paramount in this case. Strawberry studded champagne cake filled with both strawberry and champagne Italian meringue buttercream, strawberry compote and finished with champagne Italian meringue buttercream is the perfect backdrop for any new years design.


Of course, the easiest and most dependable way to achieve straight sides and sharp edges, I used none other than my Cakesafe acrylic discs. If you don’t already have a set of discs, you should give cakesafe a visit to see what they have to offer.

Let’s get to it!

This cake is a demonstration of a few techniques within cake decorating. With this in mind, I created this piece as a stepping stone or inspiration for more cakes in the future. I’m sure a fluent decorator can look through this tutorial and find a few alternative ways to achieve this design, however, I chose this route because most of these materials can be found around the house. Surely different components can be deconstructed and applied elsewhere, you be the artist! I state this as a preface because there are multiple ways to go about this cake design, however, I chose this in order to display more techniques in one project.


Supply list

  • Roman numerals of your desired year, printed

  • Iced cake of your desired flavor and size. I used a 4 layer 6” cake strawberry Champagne cake

  • Clean sheet pan

  • Monochrome sprinkle mixture

  • Piping bag filled with white buttercream fitted with coupler, tip #2 and coupler ring

  • Gold luster dust ( made paintable with either alcohol or extract)

  • Printed out Roman Numerals for your year

  • Acetate or stencil paper

  • Edible marker

  • Cutting board

  • Tape

  • Xacto knife or scissors

  • Food only paint brush

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Luster dust pump (optional)

Authors Notes

  • This tutorial was made with common household tools to so it can be achieved by even the humblest of decorators no matter age. Because of the inclusion of common tools, you may notice a few extra steps

  • Steps 2-6 can be skipped if you want to freehand the Roman numerals at the end or if you prefer to just make a sprinkle cake

  • It is recommended that this cake be created using a meringue based buttercream because it hardens with refrigeration instead of crusting like a traditional powdered sugar based icing. Rolling iced cake in sprinkles will prove easier with an Italian or Swiss meringue buttercream

  • Roman numerals can be cut out of parchment paper instead of acetate if intended for one use only. I used acetate so I could reuse but that is up to your discretion.

  • If you have a Cricut cutter, it can be used to create cut out letters instead of cutting by hand

  • If you can find Roman font stencils intact, those can be used instead.

  • I made my font as large as my computer would allow. Because I am working with a 6” cake, I took care that when my letters were spread out they didn’t exceed 6.2” in length so they remained on the front of the cake and not a wrap. Find the circumfrence of your cake by multiplying your cake size by Pi then dividing by 3.

  • Icing cake using acrylics or cake boards makes applying sprinkles easier. Acrylics should be left on until after sprinkles are applied then removed using a hot paring knife

gather tools

Getting Prepared

  1. Prepare your space by gathering all of the tools that you will be needing and having them in close reach

  2. Secure your print out to a cutting board with tape. Lay acetate on top and secure with tape as well

  3. Using edible marker, trace over the roman numerals onto your acetate. This will be used as both a cutting guide and a visual marker so when it is placed onto the cake you can see it instead of it being clear.

  4. Once you have outlined your numerals, go back over your outline with an xacto knife to cut out. You may need to go back over with scissors or your xacto once again to fully cut out numerals. When all of your numbers are cut, set them aside

  5. Using a ruler, measure your iced cake to figure out where the middle height is

  6. Carrying over that measurement, measure a piece of scrap paper as high as the middle of the cake and cut it straight across at your designated height. This will be used as a guide so you can line your letters on your cake straight. IF YOU ICED YOUR CAKE USING THE UPSIDE DOWN METHOD, MAKE SURE YOUR CAKE IS RIGHT SIDE UP BEFORE APPLYING LETTERS. Apply Roman numerals to cake.

  7. Refrigerate cake

8. Ready your sprinkles for use by pouring them into your cookie sheet. Mix up your sprinkles how you like and feel free to take liberties with other colors.

9. Remove chilled cake from the fridge. Make sure that your hands are clean and dry for this next step because you will be rolling your cake at an angle and you don’t want to drop it by accident. Acrylic discs should still be on your cake. Remove parchment guide from the bottom of the cake but leave letters until after sprinkles.

10. Holding cake securely at both the top and the bottom, gently roll it in your cookie sheet full of sprinkles until it is complely covered.

11. When cake is completely covered, set it upside down on table. Remove bottom acrylic using a knife or offset spatula and then mount it on your presentation board. Run the knife just underneath the acrylic that is rested on the table to release it from the top of the cake.

12. Quickly and with caution, flip over your cake and set on table. Make a final pass with knife under acrylic to release it and reveal the top

13. Take a moment to examaine your cake, if it needs any extra sprinkles or even repair, now is the time to do that. You should be able to clearly see the Roman numerals from the cut outs you made earlier. Make sure that the covered area didn’t pick up any sprinkles and be ready to move on to the next step.


You did great! Now it is time to add the final touches .

14. Get your piping bag ready with your #2 tip. Remove letters from cake one at a time piping over negative space before removing the next letter.

  • If you chose to freehand numerals on at the end instead of the cut outs, now is the time to practice your piping skills

15. After letters are fully piped, return cake to fridge to chill no less than 15 minutes.


16. While cake is chilling, mix a bit of gold dust and carrier ( either extract or alcohol) with your food only brush until viscus. Remember, the longer you set out your mixture, the more it will dry so try not to let too much time pass before mixing and painting onto your cake.

17. Remove your cake from the fridge and paint your numerals over with the gold dust mixture until they are completely covered. This may take a few passes. If your buttercream begins to soften, just pop your cake back into the fridge for 10 minutes to harden up again.

Finishing Touches

These are all completely up to you, express yourself! Maybe you can finish your cake off with a buttercream piped rope, flowers, a wreath or even more sprinkles. I added some pearl luster dust as a finish using my luster pump for bonus sparkle.

Happy New year!