The 9 Types of Sprinkles to Make Every Dessert Sparkle

Who cares about the icing on the cake when you can have sprinkles!? Sprinkles is basically a codeword for happiness. They are colorful, they are festive, and they are fun. Honestly, there may be nothing more inviting than a beautifully (and somewhat childishly) decorated dessert to signal to your stomach that this work of art you are about to indulge in is going to be incredibly tasty.

However, there is an art to the sprinkle selection. Did you know that each different kind has its own name? Did you know that they each have a specific decorative purpose?

Well, if you want to know how to maximize the potential of your sprinkles, keep reading and see how you can sprinkle variety onto your favorite desserts to make them simply splendid.

1. Confetti Sprinkles

Think Funfetti. You can use these little embellishments inside the batter or on top of the frosting. The opportunities to recreate childhood memories are endless!

2. Quins

Quins are basically confetti sprinkles in fun shapes. So if you like confetti, but you want different shapes as well as colors to adorn your sweets, look no further than your local selection of quins.

3. Nonpareils

These little round balls of joy are a wonderful option for mixing and matching colors while adding fun texture. Sprinkle, dip, or dust.

However you choose to dose your cupcake, you won't be able to help but smile when you see the results.

4. Dragees

Dragees (pronounced drah-jays) are basically edible pearls. They come in a few sizes, usually bigger than your typical sprinkles, and are often metallic. Use them sparingly, however.

They are incredibly crunchy so when used en masse, they may make your desserts decadent but a little difficult to consume.

5. Jimmies 

These are your classic cupcake sprinkles that are shaped like hot dogs. They come in every color of the rainbow as well as any other RGB color combo you can dream up. They're perfect for kids desserts or anytime you have a bad day.

They are also the ultimate ice cream topping.

6. Sanding Sugar

Add crunch and color to any cookie or cake pop with sanding sugar. This is a perfect option for anything with frosting really as it creates a beautiful "crust" that makes transporting your baked goods so much simpler.

Also, if you want some shine, use these in lieu of edible glitter because it just has so much more character and so many less chemicals.

7. Crystal Sugar

This decorative sugar is slightly bigger in grain than granulated sanding sugar - more like coarse sea salt if you want to be really specific.

Use the same way as sanding sugar if you want the same sparkle effect, with an appearance that is reminiscent of jimmies.

8. Pixie Dust


This is the fancy term for edible glitter. That's right, you heard it here first. You can now have glitter on your baked goods! Although dramatic and gorgeous in its presentation, you don't want to use this in mass quantities.

It is non-toxic rather than edible, so it's not actually a food product and should be used in moderation.

9. Luster Duster


More of a dessert accent than a sprinkle, luster duster leaves behind a pearly sheen. So if you want some depth to a matte finish, whip out a paint brush and apply some luster duster for ultimate elegance.

They're perfect for fondant and gum paste creations.

Read More: 25 Homemade Frosting Recipes That Taste Better Than Store-Bought