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Best Vegan Sprinkles For Baking (UK)

Wondering which sprinkles are vegan in the UK? This post will help. It includes all of the best vegan sprinkles for baking in 2023. From accidentally vegan options to speciality sprinkles, there’s something out there to suit your needs!

Colourful Vegan Sprinkles

If you’re a baker or cake lover, you’ve probably tried your fair share of sprinkles. They’re great for decorating cakes and cupcakes, and even for adding to you cake or cookie batter. But if you’re trying to avoid animal byproducts, your options may be more limited than you realise.

Are sprinkles vegan?

No! It may be surprising to learn that not all cake sprinkles are vegan-friendly. That’s right! Although it may not be obvious at first glance, even the sprinkles without dairy, honey or gelatine may not be free from animal byproducts. And that’s largely because of the flavourings, colourings or coatings.

When I first went vegan a few years ago, I didn’t actually realise that there was more to it than avoiding dairy, meat and eggs. So I accidentally used non-vegan cake decorations baking. Woops!

I soon learned about all of the different e-numbers and that actually, quite a lot of them are not vegan-friendly. Check out my list post if you’d like to learn more about which e-numbers are or aren’t vegan.

What makes them not vegan?

As noted above, it’s mostly e-numbers that make some sprinkles unsuitable for vegans. And of course, some sprinkles can contain milk, egg or gelatine too. Here are some of the non-vegan e-numbers you might find in cake decorations:

  • Shellac. Shellac is a glazing agent, which is used to make the outside of the sprinkles look shiny and smooth. This is actually an ingredient that comes from bugs so it’s not vegan-friendly. Its e-number is E904.
  • Beeswax. Beeswax is another common glazing agent which (unsurprisingly) comes from bees. It’s also known as E901.
  • Carmine. Carmine is a red food colouring made from insects. It used to be added to sprinkles a lot but it seems to be less common in the UK these days, with companies preferring to use fruit and vegetables for colouring instead. Other names for this ingredient are Cochineal, Carmine and Carminic acid. Its e-number is E120.

Are Dr. Oetker sprinkles vegan?

Not all Dr. Oetker sprinkles are vegan but they do have some accidentally vegan options. The options are:

squares of vegan vanilla cake stacked on top of one another
Vegan sheet cake with Dr. Oetker unicorn confetti rainbow sprinkles on top

Are rainbow sprinkles vegan?

Aside from the Dr. Oetker rainbow sprinkles mentioned above, the other vegan rainbow sprinkle options are:

Are chocolate sprinkles vegan?

There are some chocolate sprinkles out there. Many contain milk, shellac or beeswax but the following options are vegan-friendly:

a slice of caramel Tart
Vegan caramel tart with chocolate sprinkles on top

What other sprinkles are vegan?

So aside from the chocolate and rainbow sprinkles, there are still a few more options for us vegans! Let’s take a look:

Are sprinkles gluten-free?

The majority of sprinkles are gluten-free but some do contain wheat. It’s best to double check the ingredients before purchasing. It’s also worth noting that unless the sprinkles state explicitly that they’re gluten-free, there may be a risk of cross-contamination. If you have allergies, look for sprinkles that state gluten-free on the packaging.

Chocolate Cupcake With Sprinkles On Top

I hope you enjoyed this vegan sprinkles post. If you find it useful, please give it a share using the buttons on this page so we can help other vegan bakers! xo

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Nuno Dias

Saturday 6th of July 2024

"PME chocolate flakes. There’s no dairy, shellac or beeswax in these chocolate sprinkles!"

Unfortunately, it seems that there's shellac in them now.

"Contains Shellac E904"



Monday 8th of July 2024

Hi, thanks for highlighting this, I have updated the post!

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