Homemade Sprinkles

Every year I seem to find myself in the position of making our own sprinkles.  It’s not a big deal, and is quite an easy process.  But as we begin preparing cookie dough for our yearly Christmas cookie baking day, I normally realize I am out of sprinkles after my husband leaves for work – and I’m not about to drag six kids to the store just for sprinkles, and they are too young to stay home alone.  So once again, we get everything ready for our Christmas cookie baking day this year and I realize, yet again (in true Sarah fashion), I am out of sprinkles.

You would think after 10 years of this I might start to think ahead!  Now my oldest two are mature enough to watch the little kids while I am gone for short periods, such as this.  So, off I ran into “town” to our small town grocery store.  Gone are the days of traveling two blocks to a local convenience store, and down about a mile or two to the local Meijer!  Our store was out of Christmas sprinkles, which wasn’t a big deal, and they did have couplers (which I needed for my pastry bag, which is used to make sprinkles.  Somehow all of mine ended up missing after our move).  So I grabbed a ‘starter set’ of plastic tips with the couplers that I needed and came home.  No way was I about to take a trip into “the real town” for sprinkles  – and  was very lucky our little grocery store had couplers because if they didn’t I just may have had to make a trip into “real” town.  “Real” to me is characterized by city blocks, more than 3 stoplights in a 10 mile span and more than a handful of shops along the way.  I just adore our little town.   But you do have to find a certain level of self sufficiency to be able to get by without some things unless you want an approximately 10 mile one way trip to turn into a much longer one way trip.

Anyway, back to sprinkles.  I came home and we made them.  We did Christmas colors of uncolored (white), yellow, red and green.  To make sprinkles you will need a pastry bag, couplers and a tiny round tip.  For under two bucks you can find a ‘starter set’ with all of these items and a disposable pastry bag.  Being the frugal one that I am (or maybe I’m just cheap), I reuse everything as many times as I can even though it’s supposed to be disposable.  So I rinse the “one time use” bags with hot water and give them a nice squeeze with soap, rinse and hang over a spoon in my utensil jar to dry. Oh you will also need gel food coloring – the liquid food coloring is just too liquid-y, a cookie sheet (or dehydrator) and wax paper or parchment paper.

If you want to make your life much easier, find a small ‘multi opening’ tip to attach to the end of your pastry bag.  This will press out several lines of icing at once.


  • 4 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 2  egg whites, pasteurized if you prefer
  • 2tb warm water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  1. Line a cookie sheet or dehydrator trays with parchment or wax paper.
  2. Sift your sugar.  This is very important because itty bitty lumps left will clog your tip.
  3. Combine egg whites, vanilla, salt and water.  Mix well.  Pour into your powdered sugar and mix this until it’s very smooth with no lumps.  It will form a pasty consistency.
  4. Color your paste if you want.
  5. Fill your pastry bag.  I like to hold the bag in my hand and turn the top down over my hand, but you could do essentially the same thing over a narrow, tall glass.  See the picture in the gallery below to see what I am talking about.
  6. Twist the top of your pastry bag shut.  With one hand you will hold the end of the bag where it’s twisted shut and gently squeeze as the other hand holds the bag just above the tip and leads the tip in straight lines or tight and wide zig-zags across the wax or parchment paper.
  7. Once your bag is empty, let the piped lines dry at least overnight if not a full 24 hours.  You can speed the process up a little by putting them in a dehydrator.
  8. Once the lines are completely dry, all it may take to get them off the sheet is for you to form a funnel with the wax or parchment paper and funnel the lines into a container.  They should break pretty easily on their way down, but you may find you need to shake the jar they are in to break them into smaller pieces.  If they are stuck to your paper you can use a bench scraper, butterknife or other means to remove the lines from your paper, then funnel them into a container.  Again, shake the container once the lines are in there to break them into smaller pieces.
  9. Use your homemade sprinkles any way you would use normal sprinkles – cookie, cake or cupcake decorating, ‘confetti’ in your cake mix, ice cream topping, etc.


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