Coloring Chunky White Sugar and Candy Sprinkles

Feb 26, 13 • Featured, Sweet Treats10 Comments

Rainbow Sprinkles And Sugar - Just Helen

I think I have died and gone to sprinkle and sugar heaven!  Do you ever have moments when you want smack yourself in the head and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  That’s me, right now!  I have found the source, I have seen the light and I am forever changed! I have bought the basics and opened up a whole new world of possibility!  I have learned how to color plain, large crystal and sanding white sugar…and sprinkles! 

 White Sprinkles - Just Helen

A few months ago I had a reader ask me if I colored my own sugar for my Jell-O cookies…my answer was “no”.  If only that had sparked a deeper fire for investigating the process, I could have saved myself a small fortune!  I don’t know why I didn’t pursue this sooner. Maybe it was because I didn’t know what to look for or the right questions to ask.  At one point, I found a bakery supply warehouse where I could buy sprinkles of all colors in bulk.  When I went there, and it was quite a drive, I found out that all the items I wanted had to be ordered in advance…nothing was in stock.  Discouraged, I put that the whole idea on the back shelf. Then I found myself needing specific colors of sprinkles again and I remembered seeing something on Pinterest (love my boards!) about coloring sprinkles and I looked it up!  Seemed easy enough!  Then I thought about coloring sugar and realized that there were different types of sugar: granulated, sanding and  large white crystals, to name a few…didn’t used to know that, but now I do!  It seemed like a lot to buy at one time, but not when you consider how much stuff costs in the little containers.  I love my little cake shop, but in all honesty, I bake a heck of a lot and so I need large quantities.  I am thrilled with the idea that I can keep the white/crystal colorless basics and color them to my liking when I need them!  So if you already have the gel/paste food colorings, for about $25 you can have 22 lbs of raw material to make your own rainbow!  You can follow these easy steps to coloring chunky white sugar and candy sprinkles!

Rainbow Sugars 3 - Just Helen

Aren’t they beautiful?

So here’s what I did.  I took quart-sized Ziplock Freezer Bags, put a heaping 1/2 cup of sugar in and added a drop of food coloring (I have only used Americolor, but I understand that Wilton Gel Paste works well, too.  Gently shake and mix with your hands until all the color is incorporated.  The sprinkles (aka jimmies) absorbed the color fairly quickly, as did the sugar, but once I mixed the sugar, they seemed to be a little wet, so I put it into a pie tin and let it dry out overnight.  When I got up in the morning, this is what it looked like…

Clumpy Large Crystal Sugar - Just Helen

I just took a fork and broke it up; then I put the sprinkles and sugars in a jar with a tight lid.

Rainbow Sugars - Just Helen

Here are the different sugars and sprinkles all in the same color…

Green Sprinkles And Sugars - Just Helen

Sugar crystals on the left, sprinkles in the middle and sanding sugar on the right.  You can see the differences pretty good, right?

Green Sugars - Just Helen

Crystals on left, sanding on the right.

Rainbow Sprinkles And Sugars 2 - Just Helen

This is soooooo much fun!

I have sprinkled sugar and sprinkles on a frozen cupcake, hoping that the moisture, as the cupcake thawed, would cause the colors to run, but it didn’t.  That’s good news.  Next experiment?  To bake them into a batch of Sprinkle Cake Mix Cookies…I’ll keep you posted.  One more photo before I rush off to work…

Rainbow Sprinkles - Just Helen

…my own Spring Sprinkles Mix!

 

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10 Responses to Coloring Chunky White Sugar and Candy Sprinkles

  1. […] but a pretty, long lasting, crunchy coating. Out of  yellow sugar? Make it yourself in seconds! This post on the blog, Just Helen, has changed my colored sprinkles/sugar future! Knowing I can make any color […]

  2. Cherie says:

    I really appreciate this post. Thanks for being willing to share your wisdom.

  3. Heidi says:

    Hi Helen,

    I so love these colors you have made. I think I am going to try making these as my lil girl loves doing stuff like this plus her birthday is right around the corner. Where can you buy Americolors food coloring at? I only have the Wilson Gel Food Coloring. Plus where do you buy Bulk White Sprinkles to? I usually like buying stuff at Walmart if I can…lol

    • Helen says:

      Hi Heidi,

      Well…I never knew how lucky I was to live close to the suppliers I do UNTIL I started looking online to see where to send you to get started. First, the Americolor food coloring is easy to find online and probably cheaper than you will find it in a store. I have a cake decorating store a few miles away that sells the .75 ounce bottles for $1.99, so it is easy to build up your collection a bottle at a time, but you can find them for $1.35 a bottle, and good deals on color kits. I honestly didn’t even think about buying them online because I don’t usually plan far enough ahead to wait for them to be shipped. But the sugars and sprinkles are a whole different animal.

      I have been paying $8-$9 dollars for a 6 lb. box of white sprinkles (or jimmies) at a bakery supply shop about 20 miles away. I also get my chunky sugar and sanding sugar there for about $6 for a 6 lb. box. I have been looking around the Internet for almost an hour to see if I could find anything cheaper, but no luck. I could rarely come across a 1 lb. package for less than $7. Your best bet is to look online for local bakery supply warehouses and inquire if they will sell to the public. You can also see what other kinds of deals they have on other items that you might use, like cupcake liners (I got a sleeve, I think 500 count, of brown liners for $4.50!) and doilies for WAY less than in the 12-20 count packages. They come even cheaper per pound when you buy a 25 or 50 pound bag…now that is truly bulk!

      That said, it is a very fun prospect, and while the color is not quite as intense as if you were to buy the individually colored jimmies and the finish is not shiny like the pre-colored ones, I love the freedom it gives me to stock up on the basic white and color as needed. As far as the sugars go, I can’t really tell the difference between the commercially colored and the ones I do myself. Good luck on finding those jimmies…the Americolor should be easy peasy!

  4. […] but a pretty, long lasting, crunchy coating. Out of  yellow sugar? Make it yourself in seconds! This post on the blog, Just Helen, has changed my colored sprinkles/sugar future! Knowing I can make any color […]

  5. D says:

    I absolutely love the vibrant colors!!!!
    Would love to know what 5 Americolors you used in the above photos?
    Thanks so much! love your site

    • Helen says:

      Thanks. I love these colors, too! I used Electric Blue, Electric Pink, Electric Green, Orange and Regal Purple. I have collected a bunch of the Americolor colors – I add one or two new ones each time I need a color that isn’t in my palate. The fun thing about coloring your own is that you can have the base components, but you can color what you want when you need it.

      I love collecting colored things…buttons, ribbons, glitter, paper, threads, straws, baker’s twine, etc. Vibrant colors make me happy!

  6. […] you can find the Jell-O cookie recipe can be found here.  You can find how to make the sugar here.  You can enjoy pictures of the cookies […]

  7. Jake Naylor says:

    Where do you get the different types of sugar? Do grocery stores sell it like that? I never noticed anything besides granulated and confectioner’s sugar.

    • Helen says:

      I started looking at grocery stores, but no luck. I was able to find larger crystals of turbino or raw sugars, but they were too brown – didn’t think that the color would work as well, although I haven’t tried it yet. I found the clear/white sugar crystals (biggest chunk) and the clear/white sanding sugar (smaller than the crystals, but bigger than granulated) and the white sprinkles at a bakery supplier. I got it in 6 to 8 lb boxes, but I think you can get it in even larger quantities. So…if you figure that you are paying $2 for 2 oz bottle of colored (or clear) sugar, you can get the sugars for less than $2 a pound – that’s a great deal! Just buy the bigger boxes and color it as you need it. It is so fun and easy to do!

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