Find out what sprinkles are made from, used for, and what brands are considered safe to enjoy on a gluten-free diet.
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When it comes to baking, one ingredient I always have a variety of different colors and shapes on hand in my pantry are sprinkles. This seemingly simple addition to a dessert is what turns a recipe into something special – at least in our household.
My family loves having different types of sprinkles to add some festive flair to our favorite gluten-free sugar cookies. Adding red and green sprinkles makes a dessert perfect for Christmas, black and orange – great for Halloween, and rainbow sprinkles make anything just a little more happy and joyful.
And every year when my son asks me to bake him a birthday cake, I always load up a frosted cake with sprinkles to hide the fact that my cake decorating skills are much more “homemade” than they are professional looking.
Sprinkles are an essential baking ingredient, especially if you love to decorate cakes, cookies, and have ice cream sundaes. But if you’re following a gluten-free diet, are they safe? Do the simplest and littlest of ingredients contain gluten?
In this post, we’ll talk about what sprinkles are used for, what brands you can find at stores, and what sprinkles are mostly made of. The ingredients will help us determine if a brand is safe for a gluten-free diet, so we’ll dig into a few popular brands to get our answers.
We’ll also go through a list of gluten-free sprinkles brands to help you make some quick and easy decisions next time you’re at the store shopping for this ingredient.
What are sprinkles used for?
Sprinkles, sometimes called jimmies when referencing this topping for ice cream, are little colorful bits of sugar used to decorate desserts. Most often found on cakes and cupcakes, sprinkles are usually used to add a pop of color to a dessert.
You might also find sprinkles mixed into cakes creating a rainbow effect that’s fun for kids. Or used to add some fun to the top of an ice cream sundae. My family loves adding sprinkles to our homemade gluten-free donuts too.
What are sprinkles made of?
Sprinkles are mostly made out of sugar, artificial coloring, carnauba wax, cornstarch, natural and/or artificial flavors, and corn syrup. Different brands may have different combinations of these ingredients, but they’re usually all a variation of these.
You might also find sprinkles with vegetable oil, confectioner’s glaze, dextrin, soy lecithin, and even cocoa powder.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Are sprinkles gluten-free?
Many brands of sprinkles are made without gluten ingredients, however not all manufacturers will label their products with a gluten-free label.
If you’re following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or are extremely sensitive to gluten due to an intolerance, finding a brand that has a gluten-free label is going to be your best (and safest) option.
If you have a food intolerance or avoid gluten for other health reasons, you may want to review ingredients lists and be sure there are no gluten ingredients present even if there is no gluten-free label.
Without a gluten-free label, there may be a chance for gluten in this product from cross contamination that comes about during the manufacturing process. This usually comes from shared equipment with other gluten ingredients the manufacturer produces.
If a product doesn’t have a gluten-free label on the packaging, it’s unclear whether the manufacturer doesn’t use one because they can’t guarantee there’s no gluten, or if they don’t test for gluten and therefore can’t confirm whether the product is gluten-free.
Brands of gluten-free sprinkles
There are quite a few brands of sprinkles that are gluten-free. Look for one of these options next time you’re at the store or get fancy and get some of the more elaborate sprinkles mixes with the brands below.
Let’s go through some of these gluten-free sprinkles brands now:
This brand offers natural sprinkles that are gluten-free and vegan.
Most (if not all) of this brand’s sprinkles are labeled as gluten-free.
This brand makes sprinkles without gluten and many of their options are labeled as gluten-free.
Both the rainbow and chocolate sprinkles from this brand are labeled as gluten-free.
These natural sprinkles are labeled as gluten-free and vegan. They’re also artificial dye-free and plant-based.
This brand’s sprinkles are all naturally gluten-free and labeled gluten-free.
All sprinkles from this brand and gluten and wheat-free, according to their website.
These keto sprinkles are gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, sugar-free, and have no artificial coloring.
The sprinkles that come in the Funfetti frosting containers are labeled as gluten-free.
This brand makes gluten-free and dye-free sprinkles.
This brand has a whole section on their website with gluten-free sprinkles you can choose from.
This brand of sprinkles are gluten-free, vegan, and made with natural food colors instead of artificial dyes.
This brand offers gluten-free sprinkles in a variety of colors and themes.
This brand has gluten-free sprinkles in a variety of colors.
This sprinkles from this brand are gluten-free and made with natural food colors instead of artificial colors and dyes.
Are Wilton sprinkles gluten-free?
The Wilton brand is helpful to the gluten-free community by pointing out on their labels that their sprinkles are “made in a facility that also processes wheat.”
If you are Celiac, this is one brand you’ll definitely want to avoid. If you are gluten intolerant, you may or may not choose to use this brand depending on your level of sensitivity to gluten.
Some folks who can’t tolerate gluten avoid foods with cross contamination potential during manufacturing, while others aren’t concerned with this. Do what feels right for you and your body.
Are Betty Crocker sprinkles gluten-free?
Betty Crocker’s website shows that their sprinkle options are all listed as gluten-free. This includes their sanding sugars and other colors and shapes of sprinkles that they offer.
If you’ve been wondering if you can enjoy sprinkles on a gluten-free diet, I hope this information has helped you get what you’ve been looking for. While many brands of sprinkles are made without gluten ingredients, not all of them have gluten-free labels to trust that they’re safe.
Using the list in this post to help you make decisions about which brands to buy and have on hand should help make choosing sprinkles for your next dessert just a little bit easier – and dare I say, sweeter!