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Are sprinkles vegan? Do vegan sprinkle brands exist? We’re here to answer all of your questions and more!
In this guide, you’ll learn…
- Are sprinkles always vegan?
- What vegan sprinkle brands are there?
- What red flag ingredients should you look for on the label of sprinkles?
Are Sprinkles Vegan?
Sprinkles are sometimes vegan, but not always. Whether you call them sprinkles or jimmies, they can be just what you need to take your cupcake decorating to the next level, but you need to read the labels.
To make things easier, we’re going to list the vegan-specific brands. We’ll also examine some brands sitting on grocery store shelves to see for yourself what to look out for, like confectioner’s glaze.
So what’s not vegan in sprinkles?
Confectioners glaze quite typical in sprinkles and candies with waxy coatings.
It contains insects or at least insect byproducts. Confectioner’s glaze is based on a resin produced by the lac bug and may contain the insects themselves, so it’s far from vegan.
For sure, stay away from the confectioner’s glaze. This applies to chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, and other common types.
We found many different formulations of sprinkles during our research. Some may contain gelatin, which vegans should avoid as it comes from animal collagen.
Let’s check out some of the sprinkles you’re most likely to see and some big-name brands…
PS: If you’re concerned about the sugar in sprinkles being filtered with bone char, please read this post on vegan sugar.
Rainbow sprinkles are characterized by the variety of colors in their makeup. As the name suggests, they’re all different shades of the rainbow.
These are some of the most common types of sprinkles, so it’s important to know what they’re usually made of.
We discovered that they’re typically not vegan, as you’re about to see…
Cake Mate Rainbow Sprinkles
We’ll start with a brand of rainbow jimmies frequently sold in chain supermarkets. Right off the bat, we know that.
Cake Mate Rainbow Sprinkles aren’t vegan from this statement on the company website:
“Our Sprinkles contain ‘Confectioner’s Glaze,’ which is derived from shellac and is NOT vegan.”
Indeed, they do:
Ingredients: Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed, Soybean), Cornstarch, Dextrin, Carnauba Wax, Confectioners Glaze, Soy Lecithin, Red 40 Lake, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Red 3.
No Cake Mate Rainbow Sprinkles for us, then!
Chef’s Select Rainbow Sprinkles
They’re not vegan. Chef’s Select Rainbow Sprinkles also contain confectioner’s glaze:
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Starch, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Soya Lecithin, Gum Arabic, Confectioner’s Glaze, FD&C Colors (Yellow #6 Lake, Yellow #5 Dye, Yellow #5 Lake, Blue #1 Lake, Red #40 Lake, Red #3 Dye).
So, these are also to be avoided.
A Great Surprise Rainbow Topping Sprinkles
They’re vegan. Not all rainbow sprinkles automatically include confectioners’ glaze. According to A Great Surprise on Amazon, these don’t:
Ingredients: Sugar, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Corn Starch, Sunflower Lecithin, Fd&C Colors (Yellow #6 Lake, Yellow #5 Lake, Blue #1 Lake, Red # 40 Lake, Red #3 Dye), Maltodextrin, Carnauba Wax, Vanillin, Cellulose Gum.
Carnauba wax comes from a type of palm native to Brazil, which means it’s vegan. These sprinkles may not be the healthiest with the hydrogenated oils, but at least they don’t have bugs in them.
If you see A Great Surprise Rainbow Topping Sprinkles in the store, feel free to grab them!
Now it’s time to check up on the chocolate sprinkles, which are almost as popular (if not as popular) as the rainbow kind.
We found that if a brand makes rainbow sprinkles with confectioner’s glaze, it probably also uses this ingredient in its chocolate sprinkles.
This means that chocolate sprinkles are not typically vegan…
However, if a brand doesn’t put confectioners glaze in their rainbow sprinkles, the chocolate ones are probably safe too.
A Great Surprise Chocolate Topping Sprinkles
They’re vegan. We see no confectioner’s glaze or any other non-vegan ingredients in A Great Surprise Chocolate Topping Sprinkles:
Ingredients: Sugar, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Corn Starch, Cocoa Powder, Soya Lecithin, Glucose, Gum Arabic, Fd&C Red 40.
Make that rainbow and chocolate sprinkles from A Great Surprise that you can buy with confidence.
Chef’s Quality Chocolate Sprinkles
They’re vegan. Just don’t confuse this brand, Chef’s Quality, with Chef’s Select, which uses confectioner’s glaze.
Sugar, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Corn Starch, Soya Lecithin, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax And Vanillin.
Just carnauba wax. No beeswax, insect resin or any other type of animal-based ingredient.
Hoosier Hill Farm Chocolate Sprinkles
Not vegan. You’ll see confectioner’s glaze appear in the ingredient list for Hoosier Hill Farm Chocolate Sprinkles:
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Starch, Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel Oil And/Or Palm Oil), Cocoa (Processed With Alkali), Soy Lecithin, Dextrin, Confectioner’s Glaze, Natural And Artificial Flavor, And Carnauba Wax.
Avoid Hoosier Farm’s sprinkles!
Wilton is a well-known sprinkles brand, but ingredients in its products vary widely. At least some Wilton sprinkles are vegan, including basic sugar sprinkles like the White Sparkling Sugar.
The more complex the sprinkles look in design, the greater the chance that they contain confectioner’s glaze.
But of course, check all the labels to make sure you’ve got a vegan type—even with the sprinkles you think are vegan. Ingredients seem to vary even within specific sprinkle types from Wilton, so it’s hard to pin down what’s vegan all the time and what’s variable.
Always read the ingredient lists.
Wilton White Sparkling Sugar
These sprinkles are vegan and super simple. There are only two ingredients in them:
Ingredients: Sugar, Carnauba Wax.
Since sugar and carnauba wax are vegan, these sprinkles pass the vegan test.
Wilton Rainbow Nonpareils
Side Note: Trying to figure out how to go vegan in a healthy and sustainable way?
Check out this vegan starter kit
These nonpareil sprinkles are vegan.
Ingredients: Sugar, Corn Starch, Dextrin, Carnauba Wax, Titanium Dioxide (Color), FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6, FD&C Red #3, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Blue #1.
That’s a lot of food dye, but none of these ingredients are animal-based.
We can call these Wilton Rainbow Nonpareils vegan.
Again, make sure you’ve got a vegan version of Wilton Rainbow Nonpareils.
Wilton Flowerful Sprinkles Medley
Not vegan. Wilton Flowerful Sprinkles Medley has that ever-popular ingredient in non-vegan sprinkles:
Ingredients: Sugar, Rice Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed and/or Soybean), Corn Starch, Cellulose Gum, Confectioners’ Glaze, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Gum Tragacanth, FD&C Yellow 5, FD&C Yellow 6, FD&C Red 3, FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Blue 2, Gum Arabic, Artificial Flavor.
Due to the confectioner’s glaze, vegans should avoid the Flowerful Sprinkles Medley.
Do you adore confetti sprinkles? Here’s good news: Some at the grocery store are vegan. We’ll show you which ones are (and which ones aren’t)…
Betty Crocker Parlor Perfect Confetti Sprinkles
These are vegan, though like other incidentally vegan sprinkles, they don’t say so.
Ingredients: Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Corn Syrup, Cornstarch, Red 40, Soy Lecithin, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Carnauba Wax.
Find Betty Crocker Parlor Perfect Confetti Sprinkles in major grocery stores or online at Amazon.
Wilton Jumbo Confetti Sprinkles
Not vegan. Wilton’s does not appear to offer vegan confetti sprinkles—at least not any that we found. We’ll look at Wilton’s Jumbo Confetti Sprinkles:
Ingredients: Sugar, Rice Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Cottonseed And/Or Soybean), Corn Starch, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin, Confectioners Glaze, Gum Tragacanth, Gum Arabic, Artificial Flavour, Fd&C Red #3, Fd&C Yellow #5, Fd&C Yellow #6, Fd&C Blue #1.
Confectioner’s glaze is the non-veg ingredient that keeps coming up with this brand.
Sweets Indeed Rainbow Carnivale Candyfetti
Not vegan. Sweets Indeed Rainbow Carnivale Candyfetti sprinkles contain confectioner’s glaze and beeswax:
Ingredients: Sugar, Rice Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Corn Starch, Gum Arabic, Cellulose Gum, Confectioner’s Glaze, Carrageenan, Soy Lecithin, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Malic Acid, Corn Syrup, Calcium Stearate, Tapioca Dextrin, HPMC, Carnuba Wax, Bees Wax, Mica Based Pearlescent Pigment, Titanium Dioxide, Natural and Artificial Flavors & Colors FD & C Yellow # 5, #6, Blue #1, Red #3, #40.
Definitely don’t buy Sweets Indeed’s Candyfetti sprinkles.
Great Value Sprinkles
Great Value, a Walmart brand, offers a variety of sprinkles. From what we’ve seen, the vast majority aren’t vegan.
But you have a safe bet in at least some of the sugar sprinkles. We’ll check out these and a few other Great Value sprinkles now.
Great Value Chocolate Decorating Sprinkles
Not vegan. Confectioner’s glaze comes up once again in the Chocolate Decorating Sprinkles from Walmart’s Great Value brand:
Ingredients: Sugar, Cornstarch, Palm Oil, Palm Kernal Oil, Cocoa, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Soy Lecithin, Confectioner’s Glaze (Shellac)
, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax.
Of all the non-vegan ingredients in sprinkles, you’ve probably discerned by now that this is at the top of the list for major brands.
Great Value Rainbow Sprinkles
Not vegan. Like the chocolate sprinkles, the Rainbow Sprinkles contain confectioner’s glaze:
Ingredients: Sugar, Cornstarch, Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Dextrin, Confectioner’s Glaze (Shellac), Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Red 3, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Carnauba Wax, Blue 1.
Great Value Non Pareil Rainbow Sprinkles
Not vegan. The Non Pareil Rainbow Sprinkles have the same issue:
Ingredients: Sugar, Cornstarch, Red 3, Confectioner’s Glaze (Shellac), Carnauba Wax, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Yellow 6, Red 40.
Great Value Christmas Colored Sugars
These are vegan. The Great Value Christmas Colored Sugars are made of sugar, carnauba, water and dyes:
Ingredients: Sugar, Carnauba, Water, Fd&C Yellow #6, Fd&C Yellow #5, Fd&C Red #40, Fd&C Red #3, Fd&C Blue #1.
If you’re looking for Great Value sprinkles, stick with the sugar crystal kind and double-check the labels to make sure no confectioner’s glaze is present.
Butter Buds Sprinkles
These are not vegan, but they’re different sorts of sprinkles, anyway. Butter Buds are not the kind t
hat you’d put on vegan ice cream. They’re actually butter-flavored toppings for a meal.
Ingredients: Maltodextrin (A Natural Carbohydrate Derived From Corn), Butter, Salt, Natural Butter Flavor, Rice Starch, Soybean Lecithin, Annato And Turmeric.
Both butter and natural butter flavor (we’re assuming from butter) are in Butter Buds, so they’re not vegan. But there are plenty of vegan butters out there, as you may already know.
Vegan Sprinkles Brands
If you want certified vegan sprinkles or sprinkles that are more natural, stick with these brands, which offer lots of vegan options. Many are labeled as vegan, which makes your shopping a little easier.
- Let’s Do…Organic
- 365 Everyday Value
- Fancy Sprinkles
- Color Kitchen
Here are the common brands that have vegan sprinkles in their product line by accident (which we already covered above)…
- A Great Surprise
- Chef’s Quality
- Betty Crocker
- Great Value (just some sugar sprinkles)
Where to Buy Vegan Sprinkles
Whether you’re out and about looking for vegan sprinkles or shopping from the comfort of your couch, we’ll point you in the right direction.
Here are some easy-to-find grocery stores and online locations known to carry vegan sprinkles.
If you need chocolate or confetti sprinkles, Whole Foods has your back. The mega grocery store chain carries at least a few different vegan sprinkles varieties:
- Let’s Do… Organic Confetti Organic Sprinkelz (certified vegan)
- Supernatural Rainbow Starfetti (vegan per the Supernatural website)
- 365 Chocolate Sprinkles
Amazon is a one-stop-shop for many vegan supplies, including sprinkles. Search for any of the brands you’re looking for on Amazon. Here are a few you may be interested in:
Fancy Sprinkles is a company you can purchase vegan sprinkles from directly. Choose from shimmery gold and silver confetti sprinkles, Valentine’s Day jimmies, Birthday mixes and more.
How to Make Vegan Sprinkles at Home?
Can’t find vegan sprinkles locally, but you need them ASAP? No problem. You can actually make your own vegan sprinkles in no time at all. It’s so easy.
For the icing sugar in these sprinkles, get powdered sugar, aquafaba (chickpea water), sea salt, and natural food dyes.
Natural food dyes can be very intuitive. You can use powders like matcha green tea (for green) and beetroot powder (for pink and purple), but spices, turmeric (golden yellow), and fruit juices will work, too.
It can be tough finding vegan sprinkles. Certainly, if you’re looking in your local grocery store, you should carefully red the labels as confectioner’s glaze is a prevalent non-vegan ingredient (sometimes beeswax is added, too).
Whole Foods, Amazon and other online retailers that cater to vegans are good places to spot vegan sprinkles that are also more naturally made if you’re looking to avoid a ton of artificial dyes. Of course, making your own can be super simple and bring out the artist in you.
Hey, I’m Joey. I’ve been cooking since I was a little kid and love everything about it. You can find my writing about food, kitchen appliances (such as blenders) and much more. Thanks for stopping by!