Are Sprinkles Vegan?

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Sprinkles are delightful – all those pretty colors. The tiny edible candies are great for decorating desserts. Perfect for parties and buffets where people like to feast their eyes before they eat.

But if you’re vegan, like me, you will want to know whether or not sprinkles are suitable for vegans before you risk putting them on anything.

So that is exactly what this article is going to answer, and we’ll also cover all of your most frequently asked questions on the subject along the way. Here goes!

What Are Sprinkles Typically Made Of?

Sprinkles are typically made from a combination of the following ingredients:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Water
  • Shortening
  • Corn syrup
  • Food-grade wax
  • Cornstarch
  • Artificial flavors (occasionally)
  • Liquid food coloring
  • Powdered food coloring

A quick glance at these ingredients might lead you to expect that sprinkles are suitable for vegans. In the next section we will go into whether that’s the case…

Are Sprinkles Vegan?

Unfortunately, it turns out that not all sprinkles are vegan – some are and some aren’t.

Sprinkles are not typically manufactured with veganism in mind. And some manufacturers include non-vegan products in making their sprinkles.

In the next section, we will go into details about these ingredients, so you can spot them on the label.

How Do You Tell If Your Sprinkles Are Vegan?

Sometimes, it can be clear from the get-go whether or not a tube of sprinkles is considered suitable for vegans, if you know what kind of ingredients to be wary of.

The most common non-vegan ingredients that can sometimes be found in sprinkles are as follows:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Beeswax (not vegan, but not cruelty-free)
  • Gelatin (contains shellac, which is made from insects)

And there are sometimes sneaky ingredients, which you may not suspect are wrong for vegans, because it isn’t quite as obvious. These are as follows:

  • Certain food coloring
  • Carmine
  • Cochineal
  • Casoreum
  • Confectioner’s glaze (also known as shellac, which is a secretion of insects)

Which Sprinkle Brands Are And Aren’t Vegan?

Here follows a list of vegan-friendly sprinkle brands:

  • Let’s Do Organic
  • Baking Time Club
  • Supernatural

Some sprinkle brands feature both vegan-friendly and non-vegan-friendly ingredients, so you can consider these brands, but you should also check the ingredients before you buy, just to be sure. These are as follows:

  • Natural Sprinkles Co
  • Sweetapolita
  • Fancy sprinkles

Here follows a list of sprinkle brands that you should avoid if you are vegan:

  • Betty Crocker Sprinkles 

How Do You Make Your Own Vegan Sprinkles?

Personally, I like to cook from scratch as much as possible. That’s the best way, I feel, to ensure that everything you eat is 100% vegan-friendly.

And thankfully, there are a few different recipes online for making your very own vegan-friendly sprinkles at home. Here are some of my favorites I’d like to share with you:

1. Vegan Sprinkles Recipe From Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery

For this recipe, you only need the following ingredients:

  • powdered sugar
  • vegan food coloring
  • Salt
  • vanilla extract
  • water

2. Homemade Vegan And Gluten-free Sprinkles Recipe From Simple Green Recipes

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Vegan food coloring
  • Plant based milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Light corn syrup

3. Healthy Homemade Rainbow Sprinkles Recipe From Desserts With Benefits

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Powdered erythritol
  • Arrowroot starch
  • Salt 
  • Water
  • Vanilla paste
  • Vegan natural food coloring

4. All Natural Homemade Rainbow Sprinkles Recipe From Eating Vibrantly

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Shredded coconut
  • Natural food coloring, either vegan store-bought or homemade (recipe provided)

5. Rainbow Coconut Sprinkles Recipe From Go Dairy Free

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Shredded coconut
  • Powdered stevia
  • Baking soda
  • Red cabbage juice
  • Spinach juice
  • Beet juice
  • Ground turmeric
  • Carrot juice

What Can I Use Instead Of Sprinkles?

If you would like to add a little decoration and texture to what would otherwise be a rather bland cake or crêpe, you could instead use any or all of the following:

  • Powdered sugar
  • Sliced fruit or berries
  • Vegan chocolate chips
  • Vegan marshmallows
  • Shredded coconut  
  • Seeds, such as chia seeds
  • Crushed or sliced nuts
  • Crushed vegan crackers
  • Cacao nibs

Wrap Up

So, to sum up, some sprinkles are suitable for vegans and some are not. So, if you’re going to go with store-bought sprinkles, please be sure to check the ingredients before you buy.

Alternatively, you might want to consider using something else instead, as discussed earlier, or even making your very own vegan sprinkles, using the links provided to the various recipes.

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