Learn to make your own sprinkles (or “jimmies” or “hundreds and thousands”) and never run out! Customize the color and sprinkle them over your favorite baked goods.
Every Thursday the local radio station asks people to call in and talk about their simple pleasures. I’ve never called in (as one of my simple pleasures in life is being able to text and actually speak on the phone as little as possible) but it always manages to elevate my mood a notch or two.
I am definitely a person whose day can be made by a simple pleasure, and I do mean simple.
I consider my day made if a squirrel or a chipmunk scurries across my path while I’m walking (fuzzy rodents make my heart melt), or if I find my believed-to-be-lost tube of Carmex in my pocket.
Another simple pleasure? Sprinkles. Lots & lots of them.
Whether it’s ice cream, or cupcakes, or a buttercream lathed cake, sprinkles always make things better (hence why I have so many Funfetti recipes on my blog).
This weekend I needed sprinkles for a recipe I was making, but I very specifically (and for no good reason at all) wanted particular colors that I didn’t have on hand. Fortunately, a quick look at the ingredients on my bin of (so-called “rainbow”) sprinkles made me realize that they’re actually made of some pretty basic ingredients, and I could probably tackle the recipe on my own.
So now, many attempts later, I have a simple, easy sprinkle recipe to share with you.
I took a lot of pictures to walk you through the steps, though they’re not difficult. The hardest part is waiting for the sprinkles to harden (I suggest waiting at least 12 hours, though yours may be done faster, or take longer).
The first step is to combine your sugar, corn starch, water, corn syrup, and vanilla extract (or whatever extract you prefer!) in a medium-sized bowl following the recipe at the bottom of the post (don’t put all the sugar in at once, it becomes too difficult to stir). If you want, you can then divide the mixture into separate bowls and color each separately to have several different colors of sprinkles. I found that one batch makes about 1/2 – 2/3 cup sprinkles, so depending on how many sprinkles you want you may wish to do multiple batches rather than divide the one batch.
Add your food coloring of choice and stir well. I used a gel food coloring which gives a very deep, vibrant color. Just remember, the more food coloring you add, the more you will be able to taste it in the final product, I don’t recommend more than 1 1/2 chocolate-chip-sized drops (max!).
Next, transfer your mixture into a piping bag fitted with a #4 Wilton tip. If you don’t have this specific tip, you could also get away with using a similar size, or with cutting a small (sprinkle’s-width) hole in the tip of a ziploc bag and using that. Just be careful using a Ziploc bag, as the sprinkle mixture is thick and may cause the Ziploc bag to burst if squeezed too hard.
Line two cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper and draw long horizontal lines across the paper. As you’re making them, take note that they are the width that you desire. Try to keep your lines as straight as possible, but don’t stress if they’re a little wobbly (like mine are). When you break them up you won’t be able to tell!
Also, as you can see here, I made some of my sprinkles into cute half-spheres by making small dots alongside the lines. I think it added some nice variety to the traditional sprinkle shapes.
Now comes the hard part — waiting. You are going to have to wait at least 12 hours for these to dry and harden completely.
Once they’ve dried, peel off any dots that you’ve made and then use a large knife to cut down your rows to make your sprinkles! You decide how long or short you want them to be. The ends of my rows were a little sloppy, so if yours are too you can cut them off first and discard (or shamelessly eat all of them).
And that’s it! Combine your colors as you please and sprinkle away. These keep well in a sealed airtight container.
Who knew you could make sprinkles from scratch?
Scroll down below the recipe for a sneak peek at my next post where I used these sprinkles to their full advantage.
What’s your simple pleasure?
Make Your Own Sprinkles
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar divided
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp water not hot water
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or any flavor you prefer -- vanilla goes with pretty much anything, though)
- Gel food coloring
- In medium-sized bowl, stir together 1 cup powdered sugar, cornstarch, water, corn syrup and vanilla extract until well-combined.
- Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
- Add food coloring and stir until well-combined and desired color is reached (remember, the more coloring you add the more you will be able to taste it in the final product).
- Transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a #4 Wilton tip*.
- Line two cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper and, using your piping bag, draw long, sprinkle-width horizontal lines across the paper. If desired, also make small dots (about the size of a pencil eraser) along the sides of the wax paper for some variety in shape.
- Allow to set undisturbed for at least 12 hours to dry.
- Once dried, peel off any dots or shapes you have made and then use a knife to cut down your horizontal lines to make sprinkles.
- That's it! Sprinkle over your favorite treats! These keep well in an airtight container.
Now use those sprinkles! Try out this recipe for Funfetti Cheesecake Squares
Or decorate some Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!
Or, for some more DIY, learn how to make your own vanilla extract!