Rainbow Sprinkles · GF (hundreds and thousands!)
I know how this looks. I know having a recipe for homemade sprinkles essentially brands me as some kinda baking weirdo, culinary elitist, or just someone with too much time on her hands.
But it’s not like that. I’m not crazy. Really. I like grocery store sprinkles just fine, or maybe some from fancy flours if I need something . . .fancy.
Yet, sometimes you just want to say, “I made this 100% from scratch!” Sometimes, you need to make your own sprinkles.
If you’d like to make an egg-white free/vegan version, click here.
For the prettiest (and easiest!) sprinkles, you’ll need a piping bag fit with a multi-opening tip, I adore #134 but #89 works too.
8 ounces powdered sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla, or other extract
assorted food colorings
as many piping bags as you have colors, fitted with small or multi-opening tips
With a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the first four ingredients until a semi-thick paste forms.
Divide the paste into as many portions as you have colors, tinting each batch with the color of your choice.
Put the colored paste into a piping bag and, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, pipe out long, thin lines. Take care the lines do not touch each other.
Repeat the process with the remaining colors and allow the piped lines to dry for 24 hours. Really. You will have an unworkable mess if you say, “Oh, it’s been 8 hours. I can go ahead and do the next step.” 24 hours. They need to be dried out to the core for this to work.
After the time has elapsed, use a bench scraper or knife to scrape off the dried sprinkle lines and then to break/chop the lines into fairly long pieces for "jimmies" or quite short for "hundreds and thousands".
Store in an airtight container, indefinitely.
These make the perfect finishing touch for a 100% homemade Pop Tart.
Vanilla Mint Sprinkles, mix the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean in with the powdered sugar along with 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. This flavor has a tendency to get toothpaste-y really fast, so start small with the mint. To make the color gradation I did here, begin by tinting the entire batch the palest shade of green. Pipe an inch’s worth of rows then return the mixture to the bowl and add a little more food dye. Repeat like this, piping a few rows then re-tinting, until you’ve used up the whole batch. It seems like it would be easier to mix up several shades of green and layer them into the bag, but the mixture is incredibly stiff and difficult to pipe, so I wouldn’t advise it.
Jan 26, 2011 · 7:57 PM
So is this similar to royal icing? I’d feel so awesome if I made my own sprinkles!
· Tiffany @ Conor & Bella · conorbella.wordpress.com
Jan 26, 2011 · 8:12 PM
Tiffany, you got it! I have been using them at my work because the owners don’t want to use any ready-made foods. So I can’t order sprinkles to put on cupcakes and Pop Tarts. I had to improvise! But now, I am so excited because my color options are now endless. yay!
Jan 26, 2011 · 8:59 PM
This is an awesome idea. I was thinking of making some sprinkles with fondant/ gumpaste but maybe i will give this a shot first
· Cakewhiz · www.cakewhiz.com
Jan 26, 2011 · 9:05 PM
This is amazing. At the sight of the piping bag I had this horrible idea that you actually piped a zillion little sprinkles. Yes, I realize that doesn’t make very much sense. You could totally customize your colours to match anything.
· Joy · theherbedkitchen.blogspot.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 1:27 AM
Ok…Impressive! That is such a special touch…And don’t worry…in the company of other crazy cooks! lol
· foodies at home · www.foodiesathome.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 10:00 AM
It never occurred to me that sprinkles could be homemade, but I love it! I have to try it.
· lisaiscooking · lisaiscooking.blogspot.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 11:32 AM
That’s amazing! I always feel a little guilty because of the gross fake ingredients in sprinkles. These would be great for my homemade funfetti cupcakes! Thank you for sharing – I don’t think you’re weird, I’m just really really impressed
· Stephanie · www.52kitchenadventures.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 12:34 PM
What an excellent idea!! I would never have thought of it, but I can’t wait to try! Love it!!
· Kim - Liv Life · livlifetoo.blogspot.com/
Jan 27, 2011 · 1:39 PM
this is brilliant! any ideas of what would work instead of the egg yolk? i bake for began friends, and vegan sprinkles come in incredibly boring colours!
· amy dame · www.craftydame.blogspot.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 1:39 PM
Just. Speechless. Cannot wait to try; I have seriously googled homemade sprinkles before but never found anything as simple and straight-forward as this. YOU ARE BRILLIANT!!!
· CinnamonQuill/GlutenFreeFeed · www.glutenfreefeed.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 3:14 PM
OMG, never thought to make my own…but now I will!
· ceecee · withinthekitchen.blogspot.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 3:35 PM
Wow I have always wanted to make my own sprinkles! I am hosting a cupcake fondue soon and this will be a great addition!
· Amanda McMillen · missamandamae.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 5:07 PM
Thinking about the ridiculous price of awesome colored sprinkles makes me realize how great this could be. I bet flavoring them with something besides vanilla would be amazing. Do you have any suggestions for what could be added to give them a pearlescence?
· unsightly · www.domesticresignation.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 5:25 PM
Never thought of making sprinkles from scratch but I am totally trying this. Almond or coconut might be nice alternatives to vanilla, depending on what you’re sprinkling. Thanks!
· Terence Zahner · zahnerphoto.etsy.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 6:24 PM
Now, I am a make-it-all-from-scratch kinda gal, and I never even dreamed of making my own sprinkles!! So cool. Thanks for sharing!!
· Kristen · decoratethis.blogspot.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 6:42 PM
I am so encouraged to see how many people are so excited about homemade Sprinkles!! I don’t have to feel guilty anymore for being OCD, I am not alone!
@Amy, my understanding is you can substitute corn syrup for the egg whites to create a vegan version. I haven’t tried it myself, so I can’t endorse it fully, but I can imagine that it would dry out equally well. I will make a batch tomorrow and let you know how they go!
@unsightly, you can color them a base color with regular food coloring, and then, once they are dry, put them in a little baggie with a few grams of pearlescent or luster dust and toss to coat. Depending on your budget, you could also just color the paste with luster dust too.
@Terence, I have made orange and also coffee sprinkles. You can definitely replace the vanilla for other flavorings, and I use espresso powder to make the coffee sprinkles. It will, however, tint them to a latte/brown color. So dye accordingly!
So happy to see everyone getting excited over sprinkles! Let me know if you re-create them for your fun projects, I’d love to see what everyone comes up with!
Jan 27, 2011 · 7:43 PM
Brilliant! I never even considered making these at home.
· briarrose · flourdusted.blogspot.com/
Jan 27, 2011 · 9:05 PM
oh yay! I’m so happy I found this. I’ve looked all over the internet for sprinkles recipes! Thanks!
· Zahra · edible-moments.blogspot.com
Jan 27, 2011 · 9:23 PM
Crazy, maybe, but also so cool. Can’t wait to show my daughter who loves sprinkles!! So glad I found you on Tastespotting!
· Deborah Dowd · play-with-food.blogspot.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 3:35 AM
never even thought to make my own sprinkles! This is another level well done!
· jenny @ melting butter · www.meltingbutter.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 10:59 AM
Oh.MY. This is the COOLEST THING EVER!!!
· Marianne at MealMixer · www.mealmixer.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 11:29 AM
Brilliant! Possibly the most amazing idea ever.
Congrats on the Food Buzz.
· Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table · www.sprint2thetable.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 11:30 AM
Custom colors here we come. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
· superstitches · www.chimerathreads.blogspot.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 11:32 AM
wow! love the sprinkles! i love making things from scratch. congrats on top 9!
· Junia · juniakk.blogspot.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 11:43 AM
It is a pleasure and thank you for sharing this recipe with us!
· latache · www.grandcru4you.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 12:36 PM
This is too cool; I remember looking for a “how to make your own sprinkles” tutorial a few months ago, but not finding any to my satisfaction. This one’s perfect! Have you tried doing something fancier, like piping tiny stars or hearts?
· Mary at n00bcakes · noobcakes.thundernoodle.net
Jan 28, 2011 · 3:28 PM
Um. How about, AMAZING?! They look so purdy!
· Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie · www.okiedokieartichokie.me
Jan 28, 2011 · 3:41 PM
I think this is an excellent idea. Sometimes homemade has to be fully HOMEmade. x
· Holly B · recipesfromanormalmum.blogspot.com/
Jan 28, 2011 · 9:26 PM
@Ginny, come back! I would love to meet a real Sprinkle Insider! Holy crap, I want to be your best friend. E-mail me!
@Karen, I’ve never used a dehydrator, so I’m not sure! If you need sprinkles that fast, it may be best to go buy some! Let me know if you try it out!
I am totally overwhelmed by the Sprinkle Love that’s hit BraveTart! Never knew how many sprinkle enthusiasts were out there!!
Jan 28, 2011 · 10:22 PM
You’re my heeeeeeee-ro!
I am all over this one. I love the idea of not having to pay exorbitant prices for organic sprinkles! Many thanks!
yay! <3 <3
· allyson · www.manifestvegan.com
Jan 28, 2011 · 11:39 PM
amazing! I would have never thought to make these at home!!
· plainchicken · www.plainchicken.blogspot.com
Jan 29, 2011 · 10:06 AM
Brilliant! No, I don’t think you’re crazy, otherwise I would be one, too! I do enjoy making things from scratch, everything! I mean it!
· Renata · testadoprovadoeaprovado.blogspot.com/
Feb 04, 2011 · 4:43 AM
This is amazing! I’ve been avoiding baking with sprinkles ‘cause I like to make everything from scratch! I’m definitely trying them. I’ll have to see if I can make shapes as well as the straight lines… hearts would be good to stand up on top of a red velvet cake!! I’m drooling allready
Feb 04, 2011 · 8:47 AM
I’m exhausted just thinking about piping out individual sprinkles! Wow! Good luck, email some pix if you try it,
Feb 07, 2011 · 7:57 AM
I had made a similar sprinkles. Very nice idea, thank you
· casminella · casminella.blogspot.com
Feb 09, 2011 · 7:47 PM
What a uniquely wonderful idea. I really like the idea of making your own sprinkles and having complete control over colours and what goes into them. You are so clever!
· Jennifer · www.ledelicieux.com
Feb 10, 2011 · 1:54 PM
This is such a great idea, and so easy! (It would also be a great use for leftover royal icing – I always find myself throwing out the extra!) I’d love to figure out how to make chocolate…
· jami · nightbaking.blogspot.com
Feb 10, 2011 · 6:10 PM
I love this, it gives you alot more freedom to experiment with decorating your baked goods! I’d also love to try chocolate, mint, tye-dye colors. I think you’ve opened pandora’s box!
· Dagmarette @ The Finishing School · www.thefinishing-school.com
Feb 10, 2011 · 7:09 PM
I am so impressed. It’s a brilliant idea. I once read that sprinkles from the store have 7 grams of fat per serving..not that I care, but I like knowing what’s in the food I give to my little ones. Thank you for this!
· Jessa · www.sparklepantsgirl.com
Mar 12, 2011 · 6:04 PM
Joy, I’m just waiting on the photos from Rosco before posting the vegan version! E-mail me (contact form on the about page) and I will send it to you.
May 21, 2011 · 5:12 PM
Coming soon, I promise! Shoot me an email and I’ll let you know when it’s up!
May 24, 2011 · 10:40 AM
That’s great to hear. The much procrastinated sprinkle follow-up post is coming up this weekend, or early next. More flavors, no egg white. I’m excited to share.
Jun 02, 2011 · 10:52 AM
You’re welcome! I can’t imagine what my childhood might have been like if I had homemade rainbow sprinkles growing up. My hypothetical children will be so spoiled.
Jun 15, 2011 · 9:50 AM
I’m working on a vegan version for someone with an egg allergy. I also was told there are tips that have multiple holes!! For example: this.
Jun 15, 2011 · 6:58 PM
Stella, I realized the error of my prior post shortly after clicking submit. Naturally.
You never told me that the best experience is picking up one end of the silicone liner and feeling all of the sticks of frosting shatter badadadadada … That feeling alone is worth making these again! And the the plain vanilla flavor is awesome! Thank you! Harvesting sprinkles:
Jun 16, 2011 · 10:17 AM
Laura, what a great photo!! I’m so glad you had fun making sprinkles; they are a lot of fun. And you’re totally right, breaking them up is an exquisite pleasure. Ahhhh….
Jun 26, 2011 · 2:20 AM
Wowza! I’m going to try this. We have 100s & 1000s but that’s it down under. I’m going to get creative!
Thanks a lot for the link!
· Maureen · www.orgasmicchef.com
Jun 26, 2011 · 12:34 PM
@Maureen, oh no problem! They’re really fun to have around; yeah, a little annoying to pipe out, but one day’s work will last a year, because no one eats that many sprinkles or “100s & 1000s.” The idea of piping out that many tiny dots is scary though…
Jul 19, 2011 · 12:31 PM
@W, Unfortunately, I don’t think so. They become quite brittle, I think they would shatter if you tried to stamp them out like cookies. You could manually pipe the letters out, thoug; excessively painstaking, but would be cool.
Sep 01, 2011 · 11:34 AM
@mommyhamm, be sure to take lots of pictures! I’d love to see how they turn out, have fun!!
Sep 13, 2011 · 12:09 PM
@Aisha, they wouldn’t be as perfect, but you could just try chopping them very, very small. The alternative would be to pipe the tiniest little “kisses” and hope that as they dry the peaks would settle down into more of a sphere shape. I have been working on ways to make that kind of sprinkle— I tried making a batch like couscous; getting a really stiff dough and then rubbing it through a sieve, but I haven’t had much luck yet.
Sep 29, 2011 · 3:07 PM
Awesome. haha! Culinary elitest…I’ve seen a few, but this is just straight up awesome, for sure. Well done.
· Kate from Scratch · www.KatefromScratch.com
Sep 29, 2011 · 9:10 PM
@Kate, thanks! You’ll have to join the club and whip up a batch sometime.
Oct 05, 2011 · 4:31 PM
This is wonderful! Have you been able to play around with all natural ingredients—i.e., coloring? As I often tell my customers, they are not as vibrant as the artificial coloring. They are not loaded with any food dyes, however. Usually, these customers are less concerned with the appearance anyway. Food for thought! Thanks for posting this. Sprinkles DO make people smile!
· carmelina b. · www.bakersconfetti.com
Oct 06, 2011 · 10:13 AM
@carmelina, I haven’t done much experimenting with natural food dyes but I do love their muted color palate. This recipe would no doubt work with them, give me a shout if you try a batch!
Oct 14, 2011 · 6:12 AM
I just had a go at making these and they turned out great! Aside from the hand cramps they were lots of fun!
· thingsforboys · www.thingsforboys.com/2011/10/home-made-sprinkles.html
Oct 15, 2011 · 9:02 PM
@thingsforboys, ugh, they are a bit hand cramp inducing. I’ve found you can thin them just a touch more to ease the cramping, but definitely the drier the better. I dropped by your site, yours turned out beautifully! Thanks for stopping by to let me know about ‘em!
Oct 23, 2011 · 7:43 PM
I am making, homemade gifts for baking this year as christmas gifts and this is differently a gift for my sister in laws.
· helen · eatknitsew.blgospot.com
Oct 23, 2011 · 8:22 PM
@Helen, you’re so welcome! Snap a few pictures for me when you do, I’d love to see how yours turn out.
Nov 01, 2011 · 7:54 AM
Oh, I can’t wait to do this for christmas cookies!!!!!!!! Thanks for the DIY!
· Alyssa · momdecuisine.wordpress.com
Nov 16, 2011 · 7:43 PM
@Laree, thanks so much. I hope you have a chance to whip a batch up, they’re a lot of fun and really tasty. Just in time for Christmas, perhaps?
Nov 17, 2011 · 10:49 AM
First let me say WONDERFUL! I have to live a gluten free diet (required) and with it becoming Christmas time I really have been missing out on decorating Christmas cookies because believe it or not most normal store sold jimmies or sprinkles either are made OF wheat or have a warning of.
I do have a question though and I have seen the ‘no egg white’ version but what about us that are uneasy about raw egg? To me letting egg white sit out for 24hrs or more when you add storing time into it, makes me uneasy. Any advise other then store in the fridge?
· Missy · gluten-free-experience.blogspot.com/
Nov 17, 2011 · 11:59 AM
@Missy, I’ve seen some people write in saying they replaced it with powdered egg white, so you might try that. Alternately, you could give pasteurized egg whites from the refrigerator case a try. Unfortunately, I don’t think drying in the fridge would work because it’s a pretty moist environment, which would prevent the eggs from properly drying out. If meringue powder or pasteurized liquid whites aren’t available in your area, then I’d recommend the “vegan” version. Hope that helps!
Nov 29, 2011 · 9:40 AM
@Penny Wolf, please let me know how your experiment turns out! I’m always looking for a way to make things easier. Snap a pic!
Jan 06, 2012 · 7:36 PM
So excited to have found this! I will definitely have to try making these in the future and love that idea that I could customize my own colors.
· Emily B · averysweetlife.com
Jan 06, 2012 · 9:11 PM
@Emily, it’s so much fun, I hope you give ‘em a try!
@Rocka, I’d help if I could, but I literally don’t own any cup measures, so I have no idea! Hope you can find a work around or get motivated to grab a scale. Good luck!
Jan 22, 2012 · 1:54 PM
@E, I think most ovens don’t go to a low enough temperature. My home oven’s lowest temperature is 170, which would be warm enough to make the sprinkles start to lose their shape. But if your oven can go lower, give it a shot! I’d be curious how they turn out.
Mar 07, 2012 · 6:43 AM
Just found this post and I am so excited about the prospect of making my own flavoured sprinkles! Thank you so much for sharing the idea
· Di-licious · lifeisdi-licious.com
Mar 07, 2012 · 1:35 PM
@Di-licious, you’re oh so welcome! Hope you enjoy.
Apr 09, 2012 · 2:03 PM
Thank you so much for this recipe! I make ice cream for a living and have been wanting to make my own sprinkles but did not have a recipe! Thanks for sharing!!
· lmp · www.mdiic.com
Apr 10, 2012 · 11:24 AM
@lmp, you are so welcome!! I wish I could come try your ice cream; having an ice cream parlor someday is my ultimate dream. Ice cream is my favorite thing to make.
May 14, 2012 · 3:24 AM
This is just so so amazing! You are very creative! I love astronomical events…put tarts in them and I’m surely amazed!
· Nikki · www.bogolf.com
May 14, 2012 · 10:30 AM
@Nikki, you seem to have a lot of mysterious identities…
Sep 27, 2012 · 8:17 PM
How long do they keep? (I’d love to make them as gifts!)
Although I’m in the southwest now, in the small midwest city I’m from different sprinkle colors have an almost territorial devotion, esp. around the local bakery. Different ages, different genders, different generations—all out sprinkle wars Some people swear the different colors don’t have different flavors, others will wait whole seasons, denying themselves the pleasure of cupcakes and cookies until their favorite sprinkle colors/flavors come out. Oooh! Being able to make my own sprinkles could make me high goddess back home, lol!
Can’t wait to try the recipes (and the photos for both kinds are awesome
Thanks so much!
Sep 28, 2012 · 9:16 AM
OMG, b, this town sounds like a magical place!!! Perhaps I was switched at birth and came from there… haha. The sprinkles keep almost indefinitely if stored in an airtight container.
Oct 15, 2012 · 6:39 PM
Hi Gohar. I like to avoid iodized (table) salt because it has a harsh flavor, but you can use it to replace Kosher, just use about 25% less as its crystals are finer and fill a spoon more completely. And 8 ounces is 227 grams (you can just type conversions like that into google and the answer should pop up without you even having to click through, btw).
Oct 17, 2012 · 8:58 AM
Hi Gohar! I don’t think their conversion looks right at all; a cup of unsifted powdered sugar weighs about 4 to 4 1/2 ounces, in my experience.
Oct 24, 2012 · 10:11 AM
Hi Gohar! Oooh, shiny eh? Hmmm, what about shimmery? You can buy something called “luster dust” at many craft stores, or online. It’s an edible powder with a shimmer sparkle in it. Just put the chopped sprinkles in a baggie, add a little luster dust and shake gently to distribute the color.
Nov 15, 2012 · 9:30 PM
Hi B! Hmm, I’m not sure that I would recommend that. My instinct is that the fat would keep the sprinkles moist and prevent them from drying out enough to cut into pieces. If you do feel like trying the fat, I’d say to start small, just a teaspoon or so. Then you can adjust from there on the next batch.
Before dashing off into the unknown world of fatty sprinkles, you might try making the Rainbow Sprinkles 2.0 instead. They’re made with corn syrup and have a much less crisp texture, tender as you said, which might be more to your linking.
Nov 22, 2012 · 12:54 PM
Hope you enjoy, B!
Dec 18, 2012 · 10:53 PM
Hi swanwalk! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I’m not very technically savvy, but I will look into what needs to be done so the recipes can be more printer friendly. Consider it a top priority!
Dec 22, 2012 · 11:50 AM
Thanks for your patience!
Dec 26, 2012 · 7:24 PM
I was wondering if these sprinkles bleed into lighter frostings at all? I absolutely love this idea, by the way, and want to forever make my own sprinkles. Being a vegan, it’s hard to find the fun decorations I’ve loved since childhood that I can eat. I am due to make my sister’s bday cake on Friday, would love to make my own sprinkles!
Dec 26, 2012 · 11:03 PM
Hi Jessica! These sprinkles hold up pretty good for about 24 hours, but after that they can start to bleed. It really depends on the moisture content of the buttercream you use. With vegan style frosting, I don’t think you’ll have much trouble with bleeding, as their oils tend to do some waterproofing. Happy birthday to your sis!
Jan 02, 2013 · 10:51 PM
Okay, Perfect! Do you think there’s anything I could do say if I was making these for a non-vegan friend to use in some other fashion? Would storing these in the freezer help prevent bleeding? Say I wanted to store them at room temp could I maybe coat them in a vegetable derived waxy coating to prevent possible bleeding? It seems like a bit of work to have them bleed in a day, so I am concerned for the extra few days that I might have some extras, but dunno if when gifting them it’s practical to have them heat sensitive or something… If that makes sense? Besides, truthfully, cake doesn’t last long with a family this big, but I digress.
Also… Here’s a challenge! Any idea how I could tackle non-pareil sprinkles? I reeeeeally want a vegan cake that looks like a jar of non-pareils exploded all over it. Thank you for your advice!
Jan 03, 2013 · 9:29 AM
Hi Jessica! It would help if I knew what sort of frosting you were using. With European style buttercreams, there is very little if any bleeding. I say “about a day” because I never have cakes last longer than that! Haha, so I’ve never really had a chance to determine how long they’ll hold up. In butter/powdered sugar frostings, though, you’ll be more likely to have bleeding. Your best best would be to frost a small plate and sprinkle it with sprinkles, and then set it aside to see how it holds up with whatever frosting you use. I am trying to figure our the non-pareil kind, I’ll let you know if I have success! Those are my favorite too.
Jan 04, 2013 · 8:23 PM
I know you’ll enjoy them, they are so much fun and always make everyone in the room totally freak out. You can recognize right away the colors are different from regular sprinkles and something about that is just so much fun.
Feb 13, 2013 · 10:27 PM
Hi Sophie! I think it would work out just fine, it’s very much like royal icing.
Feb 16, 2013 · 9:56 AM
THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS AMAZING RECIPE!!!!!IT IS AWESOME!!!!!
· abi · ACNNCACNAL
Apr 17, 2013 · 1:37 PM
I’m just getting ready to make these and randomly decided to read through comments. If you just heard a loud squeal of joy coming from the south, it’s because I just read that they can be made sparkly with my pearly dust. Yay!!
A quick question though, can the ones made with egg whites also be stored indefinitely. I tried to see if you posted that, but my eyes went blurry reading. Sorry if you get asked that a lot.
Apr 17, 2013 · 9:22 PM
Hi David! Haha, so that's what that was! The egg white ones last pretty much forever too. I haven’t really tested for the upper limit, because I use them up so fast at work, but so far I’ve never seen a batch go bad.