Safer Sprinkles! How to Make an Allergy-Friendly Version

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You'd think that making gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, vegan sprinkles would be a massive pain, but the truth is, these sprinkles are a piece of cake. Plus, making them ensures that dessert can look totally party-worthy, and still be enjoyed by all.

What's the magic ingredient in these sprinkles?

Wait for it... chickpea water! Weird, right? But in a good way. Traditional royal icing recipes (which is what's used to make sprinkles) call for egg whites or meringue powder as a base. Thankfully chickpea water shares the same protein-filled properties as egg whites, without the allergen. (And the taste difference is not even noticeable.)

Literally all you have to do is pop open a can of chickpeas and drain the water from the can. That's all! (By the way, chickpea water can be used as a fabulous substitute in many recipes that call for egg whites so if you have leftover from the can you opened here, give it a try.)

How to make gluten-free, vegan sprinkles

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chickpea water
  • Gel food coloring

Special supplies:

  • Parchment paper or silicon baking mat
  • Piping bags or paper cones
  • Offset spatula
  • Small round piping tips (optional)

The yield on this recipe is difficult to quantify. It depends on the kind of sprinkles you make. You'll end up with about ½ cup of paste that you can shape any way you like. 

Step 1: Make the dough

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and chickpea water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl if using a hand mixer or spoon). Beat on medium-low speed until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and it has the texture of a thick paste. 

Step 2: Dye the dough

Divide the paste between as many bowls as colors you're using.

Tint each portion using gel food coloring ( Wilton's colors are kosher and vegan). The paste should thin out a little after you've added the food coloring. Ideally, the mixture should be thick but still fluid. Add a drop or two of water if your paste is too thick to easily squeeze out when piping. A tiny bit goes a long way, so add the water in steps. 

Step 3: Pipe the dough

Fill piping bags fitted with small round tips or paper cones with the colored pastes. Pipe many lines of each color on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

For non-pareil–style sprinkles, pipe out itty-bitty dots and for quin-style sprinkles pipe larger rounds.

Set your sheets aside to dry out overnight. The sprinkle paste needs to be completely hardened before moving onto the next step. 

Step 4: Loosen the sprinkles

Use an offset icing spatula to help lift both sizes of the round sprinkles off of the paper. If you made jimmie-style sprinkles, follow the instructions below.

For the long sprinkles, roll the sheet of sprinkle strips up length-wise, then again in the other direction. Open the paper back up and most of the sprinkles will have released from the paper.

Use an offset spatula to scrape up any sprinkles still stuck to the paper.

Store sprinkles in an airtight container at room temperature and they will last for up to three months. 

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