How to Get Sprinkles to Stick to Cookies

Sprinkles. Who doesn’t love sprinkles? They’re bright, colorful, and perky. Oh, and they’re delightfully sweet with just a touch of crunchiness. Needless to say, they’re a perfect topping for all types of cookies. But how do you get them to stick?

There are a few different ways to get sprinkles to stick to cookies. The fastest way is to slather frosting on the cookie, then press sprinkles into the top. You can also be successful with an egg wash or glaze.

Hey! How’s it going, cookie lovers? My name is Michelle, and I’m a self-taught baker that makes cookies regularly. I love to pair my cookies with all types of wonderful toppings, including sprinkles. 

Do you want to add sprinkles to your cookies but don’t know how? Let me teach you – read on!

How to Get Sprinkles to Stick to Cookies (3 Ways)

If you try to cover your cookies in sprinkles, you’ll be very disappointed – not to mention end up with a sprinkle mess all over your countertop and floors. That said, you need to put sprinkles on cookies the right way.

Here are the three best ways to sprinkle-fy your beloved cookies.

1. Frosting

The easiest way to get sprinkles to stick to your cookies is to use frosting. (And to be honest, if you’re adding sprinkles, there’s a good chance you were going to top your cookies with frosting anyhow.)

The key is to use frosting that isn’t too stiff. It should be smooth and soft so that the sprinkles can easily stick. 

All you need to do is slather the frosting (homemade or store-bought) onto your cookies. You can use as much or as little as you’d prefer. Then, immediately drape the frosting with sprinkles. You can press down on the sprinkles ever-so-slightly to ensure they stick.

2. Egg Wash

Not everyone is a fan of frosted cookies. And, if you’re not trying to make frosted cookies, to begin with, then you won’t want to slather your cookies in buttercream.

That doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle-fy your cookies, though!

The second option is to coat the tops of your cookies with an egg wash. An egg wash is simply two pasteurized egg whites mixed with a splash of water (about ¼ teaspoon per two eggs). 

Mix these two ingredients and apply them to the tops of your cookies with a pastry brush. Immediately coat your cookies with sprinkles. Viola! Beautifully sprinkled cookies you won’t be able to keep your hands off of.

3. Glaze

If frosting is too thick, but you don’t want to resort to an egg wash, another top-notch option is to use a glaze.

Whether it’s a yummy, decadent chocolate glaze or a sweeter vanilla option, all you will do is pour the glaze on top of your cookies and immediately apply the sprinkles.

This option is great because you can add a bit more flavor without going overboard with anything too rich, which can be the case with frosting.

Tips to Sprinkle Your Cookies

Frosting, egg washes, and glazes are all wonderful ways to ensure your sprinkles stick to your cookies. To ensure you’re successful with your sprinkles, I wanted to add a few tips to help you.

Make Sure Your Cookies Are Cooled Entirely

Don’t try to add frosting, glaze, or egg wash to a still-warm cookie. It will melt the topping, resulting in your sprinkles going every which way. You even risk melting the sprinkles, in which case your adorable design will be ruined.

Tip: Place cookies on a cooling rack to speed up the process. Cookies should take 30 to 60 minutes to cool completely.

Act Fast After Applying Your Frosting, Glaze, or Egg Wash

After you coat your cookies with your preferred topping, you need to act quickly. If you wait too long, the topping will harden, and the sprinkles will be unable to be applied. That said, don’t coat your cookies until you’re absolutely ready to apply your sprinkles.

Press the Sprinkles Gently

Regardless of which type of topping you use, giving your sprinkles a little helping hand is perfectly fine. You shouldn’t push them so hard that you hurt your delicate cookies, but a gentle push with the tip of your finger can help them to settle correctly.


Sprinkles on top of cookies are always delicious, and now you know how to do it successfully. If you want to learn more about sprinkles and cookies, I encourage you to check out the frequently asked questions I’ve included below.

How do you get sprinkles to stick to sugar cookies before baking?

If you want the sprinkles to be baked into your cookie, you’ll need to apply them before you bake the cookies. Place your cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. Then, gently press sprinkles into the dough. Bake as usual.

Do you put sprinkles on butter cookies before or after baking?

Typically, sprinkles are added to butter cookies before they’re baked. You can press them onto the top of the cookie dough after they’re placed on the cookie sheet. You can also add sprinkles to the cookie dough and mix them to incorporate color throughout.

Should sprinkles go on sugar cookies before or after baking?

It’s a matter of opinion. Some people prefer to top their sugar cookies with sprinkles. Others want the color and flavor to be riddled throughout the entire cookie. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can add sprinkles before you bake your sugar cookies. Otherwise, place them on top after baking.

Sprinkles Can Easily Stick to Cookies With the Right Techniques!

When it comes to adding sprinkles to cookies, the simplest solution is to spread some frosting on top of the cookie, then gently press the sprinkles down. However, you can also use an egg wash (using pasteurized eggs only) or a lighter, less indulgent glaze. Work quickly and always wait until your cookies are cooled before attempting these methods.

Do you like adding sprinkles to your cookies? Do you have another method you’d like to share with other readers? Let’s talk about it in the comment section below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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