Are Sprinkles Vegan?

Sprinkles are probably one of the most popular cake decorating options. Being cheap and easy to use, what’s not to love about sprinkles. Sprinkles are so common on any kind of desserts and bakings they almost seem like natural or compulsory topping. Edible sprinkles bring so much texture, brightness and colour to desserts, and most of them taste pretty amazing too.

Sprinkles may sound like a perfect option for anybody who is following vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, since they seem to be made of not much more than coloured sugar. Which is actually true, since the primary ingredient of most sprinkles is indeed in fact sugar.

There is a big but though, and in reality, there are hardly any vegan sprinkles out there. It all comes down to the ingredient list, that you will need to check before you will buy a jar or sprinkles from your supermarket or cake decorating supply store.

Sprinkles generally contain large number of ingredients, some of the most common of them are sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, dextrin, Confectioner’s Glaze, food colouring and vegetable oil.

The ingredient that you need to keep an eye out, is confectioner’s glaze. This might come as a surprise, but confectioner’s glaze is actually insect-derived ingredient. Confectioner’s glaze is a shellac used to coat candies and other things like chewing gum and pills. Confectioner’s glaze gives the sprinkles their glossy coating.  

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Confectioner’s glaze isn’t the only ingredient though, when it comes to identifying vegan sprinkles. Sprinkles may also contain beeswax, gelatine, and food colourings such as E20 or Cochineal. So, even though sprinkles may seem like a simple sugar lolly, they are so much more than that.

You can still enjoy commercially produced sprinkles that are 100% vegan, though there aren’t that many brands out there that manufacture them. If you’re lucky to find vegan sprinkles, then they are usually also free of the artificial flavours and colourings commonly found in non-vegan sprinkles.

One of these brands that manufacture vegan sprinkles is Quality Sprinkles. They have the most amazing range of different sprinkle mixes, that are also gluten free and artificial colouring free. Most of their sprinkles are also halal and kosher certified

Whenever you’re hunting for vegan sprinkles, make sure you definitely check the packaging, and if still unsure, talk to the seller or manufacturer. Make sure to read the labels on coloured sugar too, as they can contain confectioner’s glaze as well. And if you’re really strict with your vegan diet, you may even want to check the pills in your medicine cabinet, because chances are that quite a few of these smooth and shiny little tablets are coated with shellac as well.


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