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fall themed fault line cake
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Fault Line Cake

This tutorial shows you how to frost a very trendy fault line cake, a fun dessert idea straight from Instagram! This fall themed cake uses sprinkles, and painted chocolate to look like bark. It’s a fun dessert idea for the Thanksgiving holiday or your next autumn party. 
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 6 Inch Cake


  • Cake Turntable
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Bench/Cake Scraper
  • Paint Brush
  • Icing Spatula or Pastry Bags




Chocolate Bark

  • Melt half of the chocolate melts according to instructions
  • Once melted, spread out onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Cover with another piece of parchment and spread the chocolate into a thin layer using a rolling pin or cake scraper.
  • Roll the parchment into a tube and place in the fridge to harden, at least 30 minutes.

Frosting a Sprinkle Fault Line Cake

  • If necessary, separate any large sprinkles from your sprinkle mix
  • Take your chilled crumb coated cake and use an icing spatula or knife to frost just the middle of the cake with frosting. Immediately after frosting the middle, add sprinkles (minus the larger sprinkles) to the newly frosted area. This part can get messy as sprinkles will fall off the cake. I recommend place the entire turntable on a rimmed baking sheet to help catch the extra sprinkles so you can reuse them.
  • Add your upper and bottom frosting using either a pastry bag filled with buttercream or an icing spatula, leaving a break in the middle. Leave the break a little bigger than what you’d like your final break to look like as it will get smaller as you smooth out the frosting.
  • Using your cake scraper, smooth out the frosting until even. Be sure to look at the cake at eye level to make sure all the sides and top are even, adding additional frosting to any sparse areas and re-smoothing to try to get straight sides.
  • Add back any larger sprinkles to the fault line break. If you’re adding bark for this fall themed cake, move on to the next step, otherwise you can add any other decorations to your cake and that’s it for a regular sprinkle fault line cake!

Adding Bark to your Fall Fault Line Cake

  • Remove the chocolate bark from the fridge and unroll. It should start to break apart, but break it apart even more to sizes that fit your cake.
  • Add pieces of the bark along the tops and bottoms of the newly frosted fault line cake. It helps to add the bark right after you frost it so it sticks. You want it to look organic and natural so it doesn’t need to be perfect.
  • Chill the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Melt the other half of the chocolate melts. Using a paint brush, paint the chocolate onto the bark that you have placed on the cake. This helps it to look like wood.
  • Let the chocolate dry. If necessary, you can go over the bark a second time with another layer of chocolate.
  • If you haven’t done so already, add back any larger sprinkles. If the frosting starts to harden or crust over and the sprinkles don’t stick, add a tiny bit of frosting to one side of the sprinkle and place on the cake so they stay.
  • Optional, but adds a really nice fall touch is to brush on cocoa powder and edible gold luster dust in the highlights and lowlights of the chocolate bark.
  • That’s it! A simple and fun fall themed fault line cake perfect for your next Autumn dinner party or Thanksgiving holiday.


The chocolate bark idea is adapted from Sugar Hero
These instructions are for a 6 inch cake. If you’re making a 8 or 9 inch cake you might need more frosting and chocolate melts.