Homemade Sprinkles

January 29, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by [email protected]
  • Makes around 1 1/2 cups
Author Notes

Homemade sprinkles make a world of a difference and allow you to customize your colors and flavors. —[email protected]

What You'll Need
  • 8 ounces confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg white, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or any other extract like rose water, orange blossom water, or peppermint)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Assorted food coloring
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a handheld electric whisk), combine confectioner's sugar, egg white, extract and salt. Mix the ingredients on low speed until a paste forms. The paste should have the consistency of liquid glue. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing until all the confectioner's sugar is fully incorporated.
  2. Divide the paste into as many portions as you have colors (although, this recipe works best with a maximum of 3 colors), tinting each batch with the color of the choice. Use a rubber spatula to stir the food coloring into the paste until it is an even color.
  3. Transfer the different colored pastes into their own pastry bags, each fitted with a small pastry tip (I recommend Wilton's #2 or #3). Pipe out long, thin lines on a cookie or jelly roll pan, ensuring that the lines do not touch each other. Repeat the process with the remaining colors and allow the piped lines to set, uncovered in a dry place, for 24 hours.
  4. Once the piped lines have dried completely, inside and out, use a bench scraper or a butter knife to break and/or chop the piped lines into short, sprinkle sized pieces. Use immediately, or store in a dry, airtight container for up to 1 month.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • laurakolker
  • Hipfoodiemom
  • Sietske van Schaik
    Sietske van Schaik
  • James Murphy
    James Murphy
Baker, blogger and photographer at I first started stress baking during my sophomore year of college and have not stopped since.

8 Reviews

laurakolker July 27, 2020
My 4yo kid and I made this.
I'd call it a qualified success. Some observations:
1. I found lining the cookie sheet with parchment made the last step where you chop up the sprinkles and put them in a jar exponentially easier. My sprinkle mixture kinda wanted to stick to metal. The paper not only released easier but you can roll it into a cone, and use it like a funnel to slide the sprinkles into the jars.
2. The flavor came out a bit saltier than I was expecting. That might be the intention. I'm inclined to try dialing it back just a bit the next time I try this.
3. I tried it out with pasteurized egg whites and it worked fine. For reference, while the box suggested 1 egg white=2T pasteurized egg white, I ended up needing about 3T to get the liquid glue texture suggested. (Aside: I'm pretty certain that's not why it was salty based on the information on the box, but in theory that could be a variable.)
4. So acknowledging that my kid was disinclined to make neat efficient rows, since she was only involved in 2 out of the eventual 5 cookie sheets worth I think it's safe to say you need to be prepared to have some place to stow 3-4 cookie sheets (and if you have kids, out of reach of impatient and curious fingers). All my usual waiting locations (island, stovetop, that other spot on the counter, etc) were kind of no good for a full 24 hours. This last logistical bit was IMO the actually most difficult thing about the recipe. ­čśé
5. Noting that since I used pasteurized egg white, it's no big deal to half the amount of egg, I'm going to try making a half recipe next time.
James M. May 1, 2017
Homemade sprinkles! Incredible! I finished reading about techniques for cooking (I found a great book that was free called How to Cook: An Easy Guide to Cooking Techniques) and I've been looking for baking techniques and found this. Next on my list to try ... !
Eileen March 27, 2017
So, dried Royal Icing, but with flavoring. OK, that's a step up from the mystery ones in the store. I wonder if one could make tiny dots using the smallest round decorator tip. It would take forever, but it would be a fun project to do with children.
Hipfoodiemom February 17, 2014
I love this!
Crystal C. February 9, 2014 sounds like these are basically dried royal icing.
Sietske V. February 7, 2014
I grew up in Holland, where sprinkles are an artform. Ok, maybe not an artform... but they're serious business. Adults and kids alike eat them on buttered bread for breakfast. They're sold in dark and milk chocolate, mocha, vanilla, sugar covered anise seed, fruit and berry flavors.. and that's just the rounded varieties!

Imagine my disappointment when I stumbled upon the waxy tasteless things I found in US supermarkets. ICK. My step-son loves sprinkles (I believe he may have been born without tastebuds, judging by the rest of his food favorites). I really need to make these for him!
Eileen March 27, 2017
What an interesting thing to know about! As for sugar-covered anise seed, I found a bag of those in an Indian food market. In Indian restaurants I have seen those offered at the exit, with a little spoon for serving, in the way an American restaurant might offer mints. They are very colorful. But they do taste like anise, of course, and children might not prefer that.
arcane54 January 31, 2014
Suddenly sprinkles are no longer a scary "food"! Thank you! thank you! the little people in my life who clamor for sprinkles (and think I'm just being a stingy aunt) thank you!