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).
So let’s begin.
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 ½ – ⅔ 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 ½ 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.
More Recipes You Might Enjoy:
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 ½ cups powdered sugar divided
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 ½ Tbsp water not hot water
- 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
- ½ 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 ½ 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.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Hi! I just tried this recipe and they are sitting out now to dry! Is there any way to speed up the drying process? Maybe using a hair dryer on cool? Thank you!
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Jamie! You can place them new a fan. I have not tried a hairdryer on cool but might work. Keep me posted on how it does if you try it. 🙂
Hello! Will these sprinkles hold well like regular jimmies if baked into a cookie?
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Zara! Yes, they will! Enjoy! 🙂
Would honey work in this to replace the corn syrup? I don’t like the excessive sweetness of corn syrup.
Sugar Spun Run
Hi, Beth Ann! I’m so sorry, unfortunately, I haven’t tried this with any substitutions for the corn syrup so I don’t have anything I could recommend to you. 🙁
Thanks for this recipe! Do you have any suggestions for what to use for coloring instead of gel food coloring? If I do end up using food coloring, does it have to be the gel type?
Hi Diane! You can use liquid food coloring instead, the color just won’t be as vibrant.
Thanks! Food allergies have kept us from using store-bought sprinkles, and one of my kids keeps wanting to try them. 🙂
Hi can we skip the corn syrup.
Unfortunately it will not turn out properly.
where do you leave them to set should i leave it in the fridge
Sugar Spun Run
It’s best to let them dry at room temperature. 🙂
Awesome! One question, though. I don’t have cornstarch or corn syrup because my dad is allergic to corn. I know a substitute for cornstarch, but I don’t have one for corn syrup. Can you use something instead of corn syrup in this recipe?
Hi Rebekah! I’m so sorry, unfortunately, I haven’t tried this with any substitutions for the corn syrup so I don’t have anything I could recommend to you. 🙁
Maybe try liquid glucose?
At the website biggerbolderbaking.com she has a recipe for a corn syrup substitute.
Hello, at my job we use cane syrup as a substitute for corn syrup. It functions in the same way! I know this is a late reply, but I hope you see it!
Hi, I made these, and they came out super stiff. Is that supposed to happen?? What did I do wrong
Sounds just about right to me! The “batter” will be stiff when you pipe it and of course when it dries, too.
Oh why is super loose to me..it’s running batter..wer did I go wrong..is that 1.5 tbsp water or tsp?? Recipe mentioned tsp
The recipe calls for 1.5 tbsp water. Make sure it is not hot water. The batter should be relatively loose but should be able to hold it’s shape when piped. 🙂
Thank you for the recipe! I plan to make these for my daughter’s first birthday. I’ve been talking about making my own sprinkles for years and am using this opportunity to be extra extra. 😉
One question I don’t expect you to have an answer for, but I’m curious. Why do other sprinkles recipes call for dried egg whites and yours do not? My niece has an egg allergy, so I’m happy not to use it, but noticed that every other top recipe called for it.
Hi, Amy! I like it a lot better without egg whites. I also don’t carry that on hand and like to make my recipes a little more user friendly so you don’t have to go out and buy odd stuff for a recipe. 🙂
Hey i tried a recipe with meringue powder but it stuck to my butter paper and wont come off.. what do i do..
Hi, Anjali. It sounds like you used a different recipe, I don’t use meringue powder in this recipe so I am not sure.
Easiest recipe I found. Thanks! Is it best to let sit out n dry or can I refrigerate to dry
Hi, Mari! It’s best to let them dry at room temperature. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe. 🙂
Thank you for the recipe, I live in Brazil and here it has only the Wilton brand and it is expensive. I’ll make them for own use. How long can I keep them? Two months or less?
Hi, Clara! I think they would be ok for several weeks in an air tight container. Enjoy! 🙂
Looks fun! I’ll definitely be trying this- my sister’s birthday is coming up and she adores Funfetti cake. 😄
I hope everyone loves it! ☺️
I am looking for a cheap way to let my daughter (2 yo) go nuts with sprinkles and suck on cookies. Do you have a list of how much each batch cost to make? Also how long would they stay good, like if I make them in bulk and keep them from holiday to holiday?
I don’t know the exact cost, but there are not many ingredients so it should be fairly inexpensive. They would only last several weeks, but they are easy to make so you can whip up a batch shortly before needed. ☺️
Am I allowed to use maple syrup or alternative to light corn strip ? Because I don’t have any x
I have not tried it, but I am afraid they wouldn’t harden if you use maple syrup.
I have been looking at recipes for sprinkles and found a couple different versions. What I am really after us a sprinkles that can be added to cake or cookies before they are baked. Will these melt into the cookie or cake when baked? Thanks.
Yes, these would melt in the cookie or cake the same way the storebought kind would.