Last week I showed you How To Tint Your Own Custom-Colored Sprinkles, for those times when you have the right kind of sprinkles in the wrong color. This week I’m excited to share with you an unbelievably easy way to make sprinkles at home. Not only is this a fun do-it-yourself kitchen project, but it’s a great way to save a trip to the store when you don’t have sprinkles on hand (or when you don’t feel like getting our of your pajamas).
Supplies Needed to Make Sprinkles
To make sprinkles at home, you will need:
Royal icing made from your favorite royal icing recipe
Piping bags, couplers, and #2 piping tips
A sharp knife
That’s all folks… I told you it was easy! Plus, if you don’t want to take the time to whip up a batch of royal icing, there’s a cheat to skip that step. Stay tuned at the end of this post for that quick shortcut.
How To Make Royal Icing Used to Make Sprinkles
This recipe for royal icing is my favorite because it is has a yummy marshmallow-like flavor and is the perfect texture. It includes an ingredient that allows the icing to harden enough for stacking and shipping while remaining somewhat soft on the inside so it is more enjoyable to eat.
After trying several recipes for classic royal icing, I came across Sweet P’s recipe for Royal Glaze, a cross between royal icing and glaze. I loved her recipe because the icing did not harden as much as classic royal icing. I adapted her recipe slightly, making it the exact flavor and texture I wanted.
To make this heavenly royal icing, begin by using a whisk to mix 5 tablespoons of meringue powder and 3/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar with 3/4 cup of warm water. Mix it for about 30 seconds, making sure that you get rid of all lumps.
If you are not familiar with meringue powder, it is used in royal icing as a substitute for raw eggs whites. Look, Mom, no Salmonella! It also helps to stabilize the icing and give it a pleasant texture. You can find it at your local craft store in the baking section or online. I started out using Wilton brand meringue powder, but have found that I prefer the taste of CK meringue powder.
Now, get ready for a vicious arm workout! In a separate large bowl, sift two pounds of powdered sugar. Pssst… you can skip the sifting as long as you’re not doing piping with a really small tip.
Next, add the water mixture to the powdered sugar and mix it for about a minute to get it all combined. Then, add 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon of glycerin, about 10 drops of white gel food coloring, and your flavorings (I like to use 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon almond, and 1/4 LorAnn’s Buttery Sweet Dough Bakery Emulsion. If you don’t have the buttery sweet dough flavoring, you can replace it with vanilla extract. But let me just say that adding a bit of LorAnn’s Buttery Sweet Dough to a recipe is like having a secret ingredient that brings a touch of magical yumminess to anything you bake!). The corn syrup is an ingredient that is usually mentioned as optional in classic royal icing recipes. It adds a little gloss and elasticity to the icing. The glycerin is the not-so-secret ingredient that keeps the icing from being rock hard. You can find it in the baking section at craft stores or online. The purpose of the white food coloring is to make the icing a pretty bright white instead of off white.
Now, put your mixer to work! Beat the icing on medium for about 6 to 8 minutes, until you can make a stiff peak that holds its shape. Pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl while mixing if needed.
If you are saving the royal icing for later use, I suggest storing it in Tupperware containers that you use for icing only, covered with plastic wrapped, and sealed tightly. See Keep Oil Out of Royal Icing for the lesson that I learned the hard way about oil and royal icing!
Royal Icing (That Won’t Dry Rock Hard)
5 tablespoons meringue powder
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup warm water
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon glycerin
12 drops white gel food coloring
1 teaspoon oil-free clear vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon oil-free clear almond extract
1/4 teaspoon LorAnn’s Buttery Sweet Dough Bakery Emulsion
Use a whisk to mix together the water, meringue powder, and cream of tartar for about 30 seconds, making sure there are no lumps.
In a separate bowl, sift the powdered sugar.
Add the water mixture to the sugar and mix for one minute.
Add the corn syrup, glycerine, food coloring and flavoring.
Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks, approximately 6 to 8 minutes, pausing to scrape down the edges of the bowl if needed.
How To Turn Royal Icing Into Homemade Sprinkles
If you are ready to start making sprinkles, add water to your icing (a tiny bit at a time) until your icing reaches a 30-count consistency. To test the consistency of your icing, slice a knife into the surface of the icing and count how long it takes the icing to fill back in and create a smooth surface. For 30-count consistency icing, you should be able to count “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…” to 30. For more information about how to use the different consistencies of royal icing, see the How To Make Royal Icing section of 101 Essential Cookie Decorating Resources.
Separate the icing into smaller bowls, one bowl for each color of sprinkles you are making. Tint the icing with gel food coloring and load each color into a piping bag with a small tip.
Use your royal icing to draw lines on wax paper. If you want to separate your sprinkles by color, draw only lines of the same color next to each other. The lines should run parallel to each other and can be as long as you like. Set the royal icing lines aside to dry completely.
Peel the wax paper away from the icing and stack the royal icing lines together. Using a sharp nice, hack away at the icing until you have a pretty pile of sprinkles. Your homemade sprinkles will resemble jimmies, except the edges will be straight instead of rounded.
How To Make Sprinkles: The Shortcut
If you are in a bit of a rush and want to skip making royal icing from scratch, you can use the shortcut method to create your sprinkles even faster. Simply start with premade store-bought icing. I’ve used Wilton Decorating Icing to quickly make sprinkles at home. Your piping tips will fit on the end of the Wilton icing tubes so all of the other steps are the same.
How To Display The Sprinkles That You Make
After you have built a colorful sprinkles collection by making your own sprinkles, start getting creative with ways to display your sprinkles. I get lots of compliments on this spice rack that I converted into a sprinkles rack.
For more inspiration, check out these creative sprinkle display ideas:
Sprinkle Organizer Display by the Creative Orchard
Sprinkles Spice Rack by Bakerella
Painted Wooden Sprinkles Display by 20 Going On 80
Are you a self-confessed sprinkles addict?
What are your favorite kinds of sprinkles and how do you love to use them?