How to Make Custom Party Sprinkles

Originally published in Playdate Magazine
By Molly Allen

Julia Child said, “A party without cake is just a meeting.” But a cake without sprinkles? We can’t even imagine.

As a baker, making themed cakes and cupcakes is one of my absolute favorite activities, but sometimes I find myself disappointed as I’m trying to find the perfect shade of pink or green sprinkles or the ideal mixture of colors to match the rest of my decorative design. After years of just settling, I finally figured out it was possible to make sprinkles myself — and you can, too. This gives you the freedom to mix the perfect color to match your celebration, and even the ability to play with the shapes.

Whether you call them “sprinkles,” “jimmies” or “hundreds and thousands,” what these sweet little bursts of color really mean is fun! We all know they add an extra pinch of excitement to any treat, and now you can customize them in any way you like. Use this recipe to make a custom sprinkle mix to match any party theme coming up. You may even want to get your little ones in on the fun, allowing them to help prep sprinkles for their very own upcoming party.

And while this may sound like a daunting project, I promise you the steps are pretty simple. The hardest part is having the patience to wait long enough for your sprinkles to dry before you put them on your dessert. But if you plan ahead, you’ll have the perfect topping for your next batch of cupcakes or cake that needs a customized splash of color.


1 ½ Cups powdered sugar, divided into thirds

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1 ½ Tbsp warm water

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

Food coloring of your choice


Combine ½ cup powdered sugar, corn starch, warm water and corn syrup. Mix until well combined. Add in ½ cup powdered sugar, mix again, then add the remaining sugar. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Separate the mixture into multiple bowls if you plan to add color. Add a small amount of desired food coloring and mix well until you achieve the perfect color you’re looking for.

Put mixture into small piping bags. Cut the tip of the piping bag off to create a small opening. If you don’t have a piping bag, a Ziploc bag with the tip of one corner cut off will work.

Cover a flat surface, such as a cookie sheet, with parchment paper. Using your piping bags, draw long lines, the desired width of your sprinkles. Feel free to add dots or other shapes as well.

Once lines and shapes are drawn, allow to set overnight, or at least 10 hours.

Once dried, use a knife to cut sprinkles into the size you want. Store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container.