When I heard about the concept of DIY sprinkles, I rolled my eyes. Really — how much time are we expected to devote to something that is readily available, inexpensive and already gets the job done? That said, mere irritation wasn’t going to put me off this project as my curiosity had been piqued.
Turns out they’re dead easy to make, and far from time-consuming. In fact, you can make a batch in about ten minutes and then walk away. Plus, making your own sprinkles allows you to know exactly what’s going into them (mostly sugar). Finally, how impressed will your neighbours be when they come over for make-your-own sundaes? When they point to your glorious sprinkles you can say, “Oh those? I just whipped them up.”
There are several sources on the web that have worked on these already. Cooking blog theKitchn seems well-versed in these tiny confectionary treats, as does Brave Tart and others. Pulling together the best ratios and methods I could from these sites, here’s a darn good (and easy!) recipe if you want to try your hand at making sprinkles.
A few tips before we get started:
- Sift the sugar. If you don’t you’ll end up with clumps, and clumps are a piping tip’s enemy.
- Use gel-based food colouring. Making sprinkles is all about moisture management. Gel colouring has the most concentrated colour.
- Divide your mixture into separate batches if you want to make multi-coloured sprinkles.
- Mix different colours into each and then pipe individually. If you’re afraid of raw egg whites, you can buy powdered egg whites. Mix according to package directions with enough water to yield 4 tsp. Use that in place of the egg white.
Prep 10 min
Total 10 min, plus 24 hours resting time
Makes about 11/2 cups
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- warm water
- food colouring
- LINE a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Tape down the edges to keep it in place. Fit a piping bag with a No. 2 or 3 round tip—or make a paper cone out of parchment. Set aside.
- SIFT icing sugar into a large bowl. Add egg white and stir until absorbed by the sugar. Add drops of warm water a tiny bit at a time, until the mixture is very thick and smooth, but thin enough to pass through a piping bag (see above image). Stir in food colouring.
- SPOON into piping bag. Pipe long, thin lines across the parchment. Pipe as close together as you like (without touching) as they won’t spread. Transfer to a safe place and let sit, uncovered for one day.
- REMOVE tape from parchment and slide onto a large cutting board or counter. Chop into small sprinkles. Enjoy!