DIY Sprinkles for Hanukkah


“Did you...did you say…DIY...?” you ask, the smile fading from your face.

“I sure did,” I say right back.

“...sp-sprinkles? Really?” 

You are visibly trembling. Backing away slowly. Reaching for your phone. Ready to dial 9-1-1. Ready to sprint the heck OUTTA HERE.

“Yes,” I repeat. “I said DIY sprinkles.”

I did, you know. I said DIY sprinkles. And there’s no going back.


For those of you who haven’t yet catapulted yourself out the nearest window: hello! Trust me, I know what you’re thinking. Who needs to make sprinkles from scratch?! And WHY? (And how?!) But mostly, why?

I’ll tell ya why. Because sprinkles from scratch are different from ordinary sprinkles. They’re humungous, for one thing, which just makes them all the more adorable. But they’re also customizable, meaning you can match them to whatever party theme or holiday decor you’ve got going on. You can make sprinkles to match your wallpaper. Your car. Your CAT.

They’re easy, too. Like, practically impossible to mess up. If you do mess up, however, you can just toss (or eat) the tiny messed-up pieces, and your party guests will be none the wiser. 


Oh, and homemade sprinkles actually taste good. Novel concept, right? I don’t mean to hate on store-bought sprinkles—in fact, I’m normally a bit of a devotee—but I so prefer the chewier, less crunchy consistency of the homemade ones. They’re just a little more pliable. like fondant. Which makes sense, because they’re not so much “sprinkles” as they are “dried out royal icing.” 

In fact, that’s...exactly what they are.

But I think we can agree that “dried out royal icing” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.


So that’s why i sincerely hope you’ll make these porcupine-like, sugary stunners. Not just because I want you to slave away over something you can easily pick up at the store, but because they’re bigger, bolder, more fun, and more head-turning. Weirder and wilder in all the best ways. And they’re simple.

Let’s do this thing.


DIY Sprinkles

The base recipe here is republished from Martha Stewart Living, with the colors skewed toward Hanukkah festivities. You can also watch my friend Lindsay make a batch of sprinkles in the Martha test kitchens over here!

What You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • Splash of vanilla extract

  • Neon food coloring (or regular will do if that’s what you’ve got!)

What You’ll Do

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl along with two tablespoons of water. Stir slowly until the mixture has “the consistency of glue.” If it seems too thick, you can add more water if necessary, 1/4 teaspoon at a time—but be careful, as it’ll probably turn “watery” very quickly, and then you’ll have to start all over to ensure the right proportions! (For the record, mine was just fine without any added water, so that’s truly optional!)

  2. Divide into three small bowls; tint with food coloring to create three distinct looks. be sure to start with just one drop at a time—the food coloring is powerful stuff, especially agains the white backdrop of the icing mixture. I used a few drops of the blue neon color (no more than two) for the first mixture, then did a mixture of blue and purple for the other batches.

  3. Pour each mixture into its own pastry bag (or Ziploc bag, as I did!). Snip the smallest, tiniest hole at the end of the bag, then pipe long, thin lines onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

  4. Let the lines stand uncovered, at room temperature, until very firm (for me, that was overnight). Once they’re dry, break them up into small pieces—but not too small, because you want people to notice the fun, different size. Then decorate as you normally would, and enjoy!