Are Sprinkles Vegan? Rainbow Sprinkles and Dairy Content

Introduction – Are Sprinkles Vegan

Embracing veganism today signifies more than a simple dietary change—it is a conscious choice aimed at better health, animal welfare, and a more sustainable planet. A thorough understanding of food and its ingredients becomes vital in this journey, extending even to the most colorful corners of our pantry, such as the innocent-looking sprinkles. The surprising answer to sprinkles, is that they’re in fact not vegan. Read on to find out why.

Sprinkles enhance the visual appearance, texture and flavor of cakes

A Deep Dive into Sprinkles

Sprinkles, those tiny confetti-like sugar pieces, enhance the allure of our beloved sweet treats. Colored by food dyes and sometimes even flavored, they are a universal favorite. However, for those committed to a vegan or a dairy-free lifestyle, it’s important to scrutinize what exactly goes into these delightful tidbits.

Unpacking the Vegan Question in Sprinkles

Despite containing mostly plant-based components like sugar, corn syrup, and food coloring, sprinkles cannot always be assumed vegan. Some variations contain confectioner’s glaze, a shiny finish originated from the secretions of insects, undermining its vegan status. This is true for rainbow sprinkles in particular. A careful review of the ingredient list pre-consumption becomes crucial.

Confectioner’s Glaze – Surprising Facts

Confectioner’s glaze, also known by other names such as shellac, resinous glaze, or pharmaceutical glaze, is a substance derived from the secretions of the female lac bug (Kerria lacca). This bug resides on trees and secretes a resinous substance which is harvested and processed to create confectioner’s glaze​.

The process of making confectioner’s glaze involves dissolving the harvested resin in alcohol and then allowing it to dry, forming a clear, hard, and shiny glaze. This glaze is often used in the food industry as a coating to give candies, pills, and other products a shiny appearance​​. It’s also used in some baked goods and confections to achieve a glossy finish.

Unfortunately, confectioner’s glaze is not considered vegan because it’s derived from insect secretions​. The collection process of the resin may also lead to the incidental dissolution of bugs, which further solidifies its non-vegan status​. This aspect of confectioner’s glaze can indeed be a surprise to many individuals, especially those following a vegan lifestyle and aiming to avoid animal-derived ingredients in their food.

Due to its non-vegan nature, some in the vegan community advocate for the avoidance of products containing confectioner’s glaze and suggest looking for alternative plant-based glazes or coatings when looking to achieve a glossy finish on food products

The Dairy Content in Sprinkles

Similarly, those who are lactose intolerant or prefer dairy-free diets can face obstacles too. Certain brands could use dairy-derived products, making it essential to check labels diligently to avoid unwanted allergens.

Exploring Vegan Sprinkles And Sprinkle Alternatives 

Fortunately, several brands have begun to cater to these specific dietary requirements, offering both vegan and dairy-free sprinkles. Brands like Baking Time Club, Wilton, and Sweetapolita are perfect examples.

Baking Time Club

Baking Time Club offers a range of vegan and gluten-free rainbow sprinkles to satisfy your decorating needs. Their collection includes classic styles and modern shapes, providing a colorful palette for your baked goods. Notable products include the “All the Love Sprinkle Mix” and “Alphabet Letters Rainbow Confetti Sprinkles,”

All the Love Sprinkle Mix

This mix is one of the delightful offerings from Baking Time Club priced at £4.99. It seems to be a colorful blend suitable for various baking and decorating endeavors.

Alphabet Letters Rainbow Confetti Sprinkles

Priced at £4.99, this fun sprinkle mix features alphabet-shaped confetti in a rainbow of colors, adding a whimsical touch to your treats.

Wilton (via Amazon)

Wilton is known for its plant-based sprinkles, catering to both vegan and dairy-free consumers. They offer a vast array of sprinkle styles, from classic to unique shapes, available in multiple color combinations. Some of their products include the Wilton W992 Sugar Sprinkles 8 Ounces priced at around $6.29, the 10oz Shaped Sprinkles Mix (Sea) priced at $12.89, and the Jimmies Sprinkles 10.5oz Tub-Rainbow priced at $10.99

Wilton W992 Sugar Sprinkles (8 Ounces)

Priced around $6.29, this product offers a simple and sweet embellishment option for a variety of baked goods.

10oz Shaped Sprinkles Mix (Sea)

This unique blend priced at $12.89 brings a nautical theme to your baking, featuring sea-themed shapes.

Jimmies Sprinkles 10.5oz Tub-Rainbow

For $10.99, this classic rainbow jimmies sprinkle mix brings a traditional touch of color to your desserts.


Sweetapolita is a brand that balances taste with a commitment to earth-friendly practices. They provide an extensive range of vegan, gluten-free, and sustainable sprinkles.

Their pricing varies from as low as $4 to $14 for a 4-ounce pack, depending on the style and blend of the sprinkles. Some specific offerings include the “Bone Appetit” sprinkle mix priced from $10.00 USD, and the “Halloween Crunchy Sprinkles” priced from $8.00 USD

Bone Appetit Sprinkle Mix

Starting at $10.00, this playful mix seems to be a nod to Halloween or spooky-themed treats with its bone-shaped sprinkles.

Halloween Crunchy Sprinkles

Priced from $8.00, this mix appears to cater to the Halloween season, providing a crunchy texture to your baked goods.

The variety in pricing and styles among these three brands offer a broad spectrum of choices for consumers, catering to different tastes, themes, and dietary requirements. While Baking Time Club and Wilton provide more budget-friendly options, Sweetapolita offers a range of premium and uniquely themed sprinkle mixes.

Sprinkles and the Environment

Our choices, even as small as choosing sprinkles, can have a significant impact on the environment. Traditional sprinkle manufacturing methods can contribute to our carbon footprint. However, vegan sprinkle production generally requires less energy, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 


Embarking on a vegan or dairy-free lifestyle need not strip away the colorful joy sprinkles bring to your desserts. As evidenced, many brands cater to these niche dietary preferences, ensuring your spruced-up desserts align with your diet and ethics.

It remains pivotal to make a habit of reading labels for ingredients, as it not only guarantees diet compliance but also aids a larger cause—environmental conservation. Every sprinkle of choice potentially impacts our planet, making each one count!

Staff Writer
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