Whether you prefer chocolate, rainbow or seasonal red and green, a healthy scoop of sprinkles can add festive flair and visual interest to any dessert. From cookies to ice cream and cake, a sprinkle of this sweet topping lets everyone know it’s time to party.
Ever wondered what sprinkles are made of or how to make them yourself? We’ve got the full story on this confectionary wonder, plus tips and tricks for sprinkle-making made simple.
Everything You Need to Know About Sprinkles
While these tiny flecks of rainbow goodness are simple to make and enjoy, their history is sprinkled with mystery. Some say that the first recipe for sprinkles came from 18th Century France, where innovative pastry chefs uncloaked a confection invention without parallel, aptly named “nonpareils”. Many argue that it was the Dutch who invented the micro-candy, while others claim that the first sprinkle didn’t appear until much later, in 1920s Brooklyn.
While we’re not sure where they made their debut, sprinkles can be found all over the world. From English ice cream shops, where they’re better known as “hundreds and thousands,” to breakfast tables in Holland, where “hagelslag” or “hailstorm” is served on toast, sprinkles are a sweet staple all over the globe.
What Are Sprinkles Made Of?
While many of us think of sprinkles as a magic ingredient, they’re just itty-bitty candies, often made of sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, shortening, wax, coloring andmore. Check out our simplified recipe that uses just a few ingredients for wholesome, better-for-you sprinkles:
- 2⅔ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup water, warmed
- 2 Tbsp. meringue powder
- Food coloring, as desired
Other Things You’ll Need
- Piping bag
- Plastic sandwich bags
- Parchment paper
How to Make Sprinkles at Home
OK, now that we’ve sprinkled in a few fun facts and have our ingredients ready, let’s make some magic:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the powdered sugar, water and meringue powder together until stiff peaks form. This should take about 5 minutes.
Scoop the mixture into a few small bowls, 1 for each color, and add food coloring.
Prepare a few baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place each color in a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe a few long lines of icing on the prepared baking sheets. Set the sheet out to dry overnight, about 12 hours.
Once dry to the touch, break or cut the lines of icing into small pieces.
Find More Sweet Holiday Inspiration
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Fresh Lane Editorial Team