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What Are Sprinkles Made Of? Nutrition + How to Make Your Own – Healthline

Sprinkles add a pop of color to everything from ice cream cones to cookies and cakes. Despite their popularity, many…

By Reader Post , in Health , at July 27, 2021

Sprinkles add a pop of color to everything from ice cream cones to cookies and cakes.

Despite their popularity, many people are unsure what ingredients sprinkles contain and how they’re made.

This article explains sprinkles’ ingredients, their nutrition facts, and how to make your own at home.

The exact ingredients used in sprinkles vary depending on the brand and type. However, most are made from (1):

  • corn syrup
  • sugar
  • cornstarch
  • wax
  • artificial food colorings
  • artificial flavors

This mixture is made into a paste, which is pushed through a machine to produce long, noodle-like strands.

These strands are then placed on a conveyor belt, broken into small pieces, and sprayed with food coloring and a sugar glaze, which gives them their crunchy texture and shiny, rainbow appearance.

Sprinkles are not usually vegan, as most companies use a glaze that contains shellac, which is made from insects. Some varieties may contain gelatin, which is also nonvegan (1, 2, 3).

While most sprinkles are considered gluten-free, some manufacturers may produce gluten-containing foods in the same facility, which increases the risk of cross contamination.


Sprinkles are made from corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, wax, and artificial flavors and colors. This mixture is shaped into long, noodle-like strands, broken into small pieces, and sprayed with food coloring and a sugar glaze.

Although they’re typically eaten in small amounts, sprinkles are relatively high in sugar, carbs, and calories. They also contain a small amount of micronutrients like copper, magnesium, and iron.

Just 2 tablespoons (21 grams) of chocolate-flavored sprinkles contains (4):

  • Calories: 107
  • Protein: 0.5 grams
  • Sugar: 13 grams
  • Fat: 6.5 grams
  • Carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Copper: 10% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Magnesium: 3% of the DV
  • Iron: 2% of the DV

Sprinkles are particularly high in sugar.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends limiting your sugar intake to under 10% of your total daily calories. On a 2,000-calorie diet, this equals around 12 teaspoons (50 grams) per day (5).

Added sugar is linked to many chronic health conditions, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and liver disease (6).


Sprinkles are high in sugar, carbs, and calories. Eating too much sugar is associated with several illnesses.

Making your own sprinkles at home is an easy, fun way to enjoy this tasty treat while cutting back on your sugar intake.

Some recipes pair sweeteners like powdered sugar, stevia, or erythritol with egg whites, whey powder, or arrowroot starch for texture. You then shape this mixture into long, thin lines, dry it for several hours, and break it into small, sprinkle-like pieces.

You can use food coloring or natural ingredients like turmeric, beetroot, carrots, blueberries, or spirulina for color.

You can also give your sprinkles a healthy twist by using shredded coconut, which can be dyed and baked at your oven’s lowest temperature for up to 1.5 hours. Alternatively, use a food dehydrator to replicate the unique texture and crunch of store-bought sprinkles.

Store your sprinkles in an airtight container and use them to garnish baked goods, smoothie bowls, yogurt parfaits, and more.


You can make your own sprinkles using ingredients like shredded coconut, sweeteners, egg whites, whey powder, and arrowroot starch. Homemade sprinkles can be dyed, dried, baked, or dehydrated and added to a variety of dishes.

Store-bought sprinkles are made from ingredients like corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, wax, and artificial colors and flavors.

Although sprinkles are typically eaten in small amounts, they usually pack a lot of carbs, calories, and sugar.

However, you can easily make homemade sprinkles using shredded coconut or other natural sweeteners, which can lower your sugar intake while adding some extra color to your favorite foods.