Home Today Is You Know Them As Sprinkles. What Were They Originally Named?

You Know Them As Sprinkles. What Were They Originally Named?

If there’s anything, any child can tell you it’s that no matter how bad life is, it can always be improved with the addition of sprinkles. These delightful confectionery decorations bring a bright splash of joy to whatever you put them on, and they’re most popular added to cupcakes, cakes, and ice cream.

It doesn’t end there though, sprinkles are used in all sorts of things all over the world, and Sprinkles Day is all about learning about these variations and trying them out at home.

  • Were originally referred to as Nonpareils and can be found as early as the 18th century, though there is evidence to suggest that they were in use even earlier than that.
  • Nonpareils, these tasty decorations are known by different names all over the world.
    • In Holland they’re known as hagelslag,
    • in Philadelphia and Boston they’re known as Jimmies,
    • in Indonesia they’re known as meses,
    • in Belgium, they’re known by the somewhat whimsical muizenstrontjes or mouse droppings.
  • In the UK, sprinkles are known as “hundreds-and-thousands.”
  • Another UK variant of the term is vermicelli, especially when said of chocolate sprinkles.
  • In the Netherlands, chocolate sprinkle is used as a sandwich topping.
  • In Australia and New Zealand, there’s a special treat made using candy sprinkles known as fairy bread, which involves buttered white bread with sugar sprinkles on top!
  • The idea of the modern sprinkles dates back to 1913 when Dutch confectionaire, Erven H. de Jong created something by the name of ‘hagelslag.’
  • 18th Century – First evidence of Nonpareils.
  • 1913 – Dutch confectionaire Erven H. de Jong invents the hagelslag.
  • 1930s  – Jimmies are used as a cake topping.
  • 1940s – Sprinkles are used as ice cream toppings.
  • Sprinkles have a coating of shellac, which is something extracted from insects.
  • Sprinkles are made of sugar, corn syrup, cornstarch, shortening, wax, and coloring.
  • Sprinkles are not vegan.
  • The German version of nonpareils, is popularly known in Germany as Liebesperlen (love pearls). Invented by confectioner Rudolf Hoinkis, the name derives from a conversation Hoinkis had with his wife, proclaiming he loved her like these “pearls”, the nonpareil. The factory where he first manufactured the treat, was founded in 1896.
  • A dessert called confetti cake has sprinkles mixed with the batter, where they slowly dissolve and form little colored spots, giving the appearance of confetti. Confetti cakes are popular for children’s birthdays in the United States.
  • The Pillsbury Company sells its own variation known as “Funfetti” cake, incorporating a sprinkle-like substance into the mix.


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