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Rainbow Sprinkles 2.0 · GF (egg white free)

I developed this recipe as a vegan version of my original sprinkles. They’re both super easy to make, but lots of people had concerns about the egg white in the other sprinkles. So here’s a worry free recipe.

The key to making really pretty sprinkles lies in striking a balance between a stiff, dry sugar-dough and a pipeable paste. You don’t want to give yourself carpal tunnel piping a psychotically stiff mixture, but thin it down too much and it will ooze into flat, not-so-attractive sprinkle blobs. Aim for a Play-Doh like thickness.

a rainbow of jimmies

For uniform sprinkles, use a multi-opening tip, which allows three to five rows of sprinkles to be piped at once. Alternately, a small plain tip, or a tightly rolled parchment cone will get the job done.

Rainbow Sprinkles
8 ounces powdered sugar
3 3/4 ounce corn syrup
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp extract; Silver Cloud Estates boasts a huge selection of natural extracts
1/2 ounce liqueur of choice (more info on why I use liquor here)

assorted food colorings
piping bags for each color, fitted with a small multi-opening or plain tip
a sheet pan lined with parchment paper

Combine all of the ingredients (except for the food coloring) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on the lowest setting until it forms a stiff paste. Add extra liquid only if absolutely necessary to achieve a pipe-able consistency.

Divide the paste into as many portions as you have colors and tint each however you like.

Put one of the colored pastes into a piping bag and, on the parchment lined sheet pan, pipe the mixture into long, skinny lines. Take care the lines do not touch to avoid conjoined sprinkles.

Repeat the process with the remaining colors and allow the piped lines to dry, uncovered, for 48 hours. My original sprinkle recipe only needs 24 hours to dry, but the lack of egg white and relatively higher liquid content means these take longer to dry completely.

Depending on the weather conditions where you live, this could take more or less time. A humid climate may prolong the process and those living in an arid place may find they dry quite speedily.

Regardless of how long it may take them to dry in your locale, the important part is to dry them out to the core. Check by cutting into one of the piped sprinkle lines. If the cut piece lifts easily from the parchment and does not feel squishy to the touch, it’s ready.

Use a bench scraper or knife to scrape the dried sprinkle lines off the parchment. Break/chop the lines into fairly long pieces for "jimmies" or mince for "hundreds and thousands".

Store in an airtight container, indefinitely.

Taste the Rainbow

To make Rainbow Flavored Rainbow Sprinkles, you will need seven kinds of extract and liquor on hand.

Make a double batch of the above recipe, but stop shy of adding the extract and liquor. Divide the mealy powdered sugar & corn syrup mixture into seven portions.

Add 1 tsp of extract, 3/4 tsp liquor, and the coordinating food color to each batch, and mix until a thick paste forms. Proceed with piping and drying the sprinkles as directed above.

Vanilla mint sprinkles

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.


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Any questions?

Dec 08, 2011 ·  8:46 PM


I’m writing an article for Central Washington University’s online magazine Student Health 101.

For Valentine’s Day, I would like to feature your recipe; however, because this article is aimed at ALL college students, I was wondering if you had a variation on this vegan recipe that has no liqueur in it.

I look forward to your reply!


 · Malissa · 

Dec 09, 2011 · 12:10 PM

@Malissa, the sprinkles can be made with just water, but they take much longer to dry and won’t have quite the same texture. So while they “get the job done” I don’t particularly endorse. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!


Jan 05, 2012 ·  5:02 PM

can you use agave nectar in place of the corn syrup? I’m guessing you’d need less, and then increase the water a bit? Thanks for the recipes!

 · Anna ·

Jan 06, 2012 ·  9:18 PM

@Anna, I don’t think there’d be any trouble substituting the agave nectar in the recipe, but I’m not sure what would happen if you reduced it. The role of the corn syrup isn’t to sweeten the mixture (that’s what the powdered sugar is for, haha), but to moisten it and bind the ingredients. The sprinkles turn out best when there’s as little water as possible, so you’ll have to play around to find the best ratio for agave nectart/water, but just bear in mind, the less water the better. Good luck, let me know how it turns out!


Mar 20, 2012 ·  8:15 PM

I’m super excited to make homemade sprinkles! I followed the recipe word for word but the piped lines keep separating. Any tips??

 · Jen · 

Mar 21, 2012 ·  3:02 PM

@Jen, can you explain what you mean by separating? I’m not sure I understand…


Mar 22, 2012 · 10:10 PM

The lines didn’t stay solid they turned into multiple blobs.

 · Jen · 

Mar 23, 2012 · 11:03 AM

@Jen, Oh, I see! The mixture should be incredibly stiff and somewhat of an effort to pipe, that yours are turning into blobs is a sure sign of too much liquid. It may have happened if you didn’t use a scale, or if too much liquid was added while adjusting the consistency for piping. With the sprinkles, it’s about finding a balance between a stiffness and pipeability. To stiff and it’s impossible to pipe, to thin and it will run like you described. Sorry to hear you ran into trouble with your sprinkles, I hope this info helps!


May 30, 2012 · 11:20 PM

hey, I’m just really curious, how long does it keep for? Will these last longer than the egg ones?

 · ethel · 

May 31, 2012 · 10:13 AM

@ethel, in an airtight container at room temperature, they’ll last pretty much forever. I’ve yet to find an upper limit.


Jun 07, 2012 ·  5:09 PM

Hi Stella,
I want to try making champagne flavored sprinkles but I find that food coloring adds flavor. Is the base color suitable or do you have any ideas for coloring that won’t shift the flavor? I would go for anything from white, ivory or maybe even pale pink.
I just stumbled on your blog and I am really enjoying your work!

 · Jackie  · 

Jun 07, 2012 ·  6:58 PM

@Jackie, I think the base color would look great! It will probably turn out a nice off white. Because there isn’t that much liquid in the recipe, rather than using straight champagne, I would use a champagne reduction. Just put some champagne in a pot on low or medium low heat until reduced by half; that will also intensify the “champagne” color. Please let me know how they turn out, sounds like a great idea!


Jul 09, 2012 ·  4:59 AM

Hi Stella. I am trying to reduce the amount of fructose my family consumes, and was wondering if it is possible to make these gorgeous rainbow sprinkles (and your chocolate version!) with a sugar replacement such as glucose powder or stevia?

 · Jodi · 

Jul 09, 2012 · 11:20 AM

@Jodi, in this recipe and in the chocolate sprinkle recipe, the purpose of the corn syrup isn’t not to add sweetness, but rather to wet the other ingredients into a paste without using water. So using a dry replacement wouldn’t work.

But to address the underlying issue, you’re confusing plain corn syrup with high fructose corn syrup. These two products are completely different. Corn syrup, such as Karo, is 100% glucose. There’s a ton of misinformation floating around out there and common corn syrup is taking a bad rap for it’s scary cousin HFCS. Hope you enjoy the sprinkles!


Aug 16, 2012 ·  6:37 PM

I know this was a few months ago but in response to Jackies question, the site Stella mentions, Silver cloud estates now has a Champagne flavored extract, maybe that would help

 · eva · 

Aug 16, 2012 ·  7:43 PM

What?! Champagne extract?! That’s too cool, I had no idea. Thanks, Eva!


Oct 03, 2012 ·  2:17 PM

I think I just found another use for the spaghetti maker on my KA!

 · Amazing Bakery ·

Oct 04, 2012 · 10:01 AM

Hi Natalie! Let me know if it works for you! I’ve tried using a ricer, but the strands just stick together; they’re not dry enough to remain distinct. So I’ve suspected a pasta maker would have the same trouble, but I haven’t verified that by trying. Keep me posted!


Mar 22, 2013 ·  2:01 AM

Wow thank you I’m looking forward to trying these on my next cake. Or might just make them to eat on icecream,

 · Jess · 

Mar 23, 2013 · 11:40 AM

Hi Jess! One batch should last you just about a lifetime, so you’ll have plenty of chances to eat them on just about everything, haha.


Nov 20, 2013 ·  4:55 PM

I attempted to make these last weekend, and I am not having sprinkle love like everyone else.

I tried a multi-tip, but it was impossible for me to squeeze out the paste. I then added a 1/4 oz extra alcohol and used a #3 tip. It was easier, but still ridiculously difficult. I had serious hand cramp-age.

I don’t consider myself to be all that weak. Is it really this difficult?!

 · Sarah ·

Nov 20, 2013 ·  6:11 PM

Hi Sarah! Aw, sorry to hear it was giving you so much trouble! Just a quick double check to make sure we’re on the same page, were you using a scale or cups to measure? Whatever the case, it sounds like the sprinkle paste was a liiiiitle too thick. I’ve noticed that with different alcohols the amount needed can vary (I guess based on the viscosity/water content of the booze in question).

I aim for a toothpaste-like texture in the paste, which can definitely feel a bit hand crampy by the time you get to the end of the project, but should by no means be impossible to pipe from a multi-tip. I’ve found that it’s easier to pipe when the bag isn’t too full (it’s easier to get a grip on the paste), so I try to add no more than 3/4 cup of paste at a time.


Jan 25, 2014 ·  1:58 AM

Hi, I’m wondering if something other than corn syrup can be used? I’m want to make sprinkles at home to avoid GMOs (like corn syrup). I know you said you use it as a binder, have you tried anything else? I was thinking maple syrup. ALSO, I saw your comment about using a ricer, I was hoping a sterile meat grinder might work, I don’t know how it compares to a ricer?

 · MaksMom · 

Jan 27, 2014 · 10:38 AM

Hi MaksMom! I have another recipe for sprinkles that uses egg whites instead of corn syrup, so you might give that a try instead. They turn out just a bit crispier.

There is a brand called Wholesome Sweeteners that makes organic, non-GMO corn syrup, which is what I like to use. I’m glad you asked, because I have totally failed to mention my corn syrup preference in the past!


Feb 19, 2014 · 12:40 PM

Hi Stella! I did it! Well… a bastardization of your brilliant masterpiece. Actually, totally blew it. Forgot to get the corn syrup so made a thick “corn syrup” from Wholesome Sweetener’s organic sugar (good stuff!), then, with those warning alarms going off in my head, added chocolate chips. Realized how much trouble I’d gotten in when I saw the only GF alcohol I have is my precious Nielsen Massey vanilla (I mean, does wine count?) and was only willing to part with 3 tablespoons. Had to thin it with the sugar syrup to make it work with the plastic sandwich bag (I started out with an old children’s medicine syringe, which was the right size, but a true PIA). Next time I’ll have to follow the directions. And get a multi tip. And a pastry bag. They came out surprisingly not horrible though and my spawn seems happy to eat them. Thank you so much for sharing your genius, I can’t wait to try again.

 · MaksMom · 

Mar 11, 2015 ·  7:39 PM

I am really excited about this. Do you just spread your frosting out on a sheet of waxpaper and then place lines through it and let it set up for 24 hours?

 · Okiebaker · 

May 14, 2015 ·  1:45 PM

just a question, are ALL your recipes by “weight”? including this one?

 · Jadine · 


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