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Most of us love to eat cake sprinkles, and in the area where I grew up, they are called jimmies. There is quite I history behind these delightful items used to decorate cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. It is fun to try new colors and ideas for decorating, but it is interesting to look back at how it all got started and how far cake sprinkles have come today.

Imagine what it looks like in a sprinkles factory, where they have all of these items being made, packaged, and shipped all over the world! I know I appreciate the variety of colors and themes. The sprinkles mix and the confetti colors are my favorite ones! Yet people are working hard behind the scenes to make them and offer us convenient purchasing opportunities.

It is no secret I love to bake with sprinkles, but I also enjoy people and events that connect them. We may all live in different areas of the world, have different experiences, and speak different languages. Yet these delightful sweet tasting items are found throughout the world, and used in different ways. It is fun to learn more about them and appreciate how sprinkles help people connect from different locations.

I love history and traveling, so exploring the history of sprinkles and different concepts about them in the world is fascinating to me. When I travel, I often look for sprinkles when we walk by bakeries or cafes. It is intriguing to see how they use them. As you continue to read this information, I will share with you some fascinating facts! They include:

· Erven H. DeJong

· Sprinkles on bread and butter

· Popularity of rainbow sprinkles

· Different terminology around the world

· Uses of sprinkles today


Erven H. DeJong

Plenty of stories circulation about sprinkles being introduced in 1913. created by Erven H. DeJong. This dutchman called them hagelslag. He was an inventor and liked to create edible items for people to enjoy. They were used very differently though than we use them today. He created them to enhance the taste of bread and butter!


Sprinkles on Bread and Butter

Many of us have never heard of sprinkles on bread and butter! I know the concept was new to me. I have since tried it, and sometimes make cinnamon toast and tea at home, then add sprinkles. It brings it to life when I use the colored sprinkles, and the kids enjoy their breakfast with a smile on their faces.

In the Netherlands and Australia, the use of sprinkles on bread and butter is still common. I haven’t traveled to these locations, but may one day! If so, I will certainly find places where I can enjoy this off the menu. I was curious what the sprinkles offered to the bread other than something sweet. It had to do with the texture, and they are right! There is a difference between the cinnamon toast I make with sprinkles and a regular piece of bread with butter and sprinkles on it.

I love bread and butter by themselves, but adding the sprinkles is a game changer to the taste and the way it feels in your mouth. It is instantly addictive, in my case anyway, and I can’t tell you how many friends came over and I had to have them try bread with butter and sprinkles to get their reaction to it! Almost all of them really liked it!


Introduction of Rainbow Sprinkles

My children love rainbow sprinkles, and I use them frequently because I like the way their faces light up when they see them on treats I make for them. Rainbow sprinkles are among the most popular due to their vibrant colors. They were introduced in the 1930s around the Tri-State and New England areas. It didn’t take long for them to take off and become extremely popular. I always buy rainbow sprinkles in bulk due to the variety of items can make from them.

It was in the 1940s when rainbow sprinkles became a popular item on ice cream. Adding sprinkles to the ice cream added a few cents to the cost, but it was thrilling. Children were drawn to them and parents didn’t mind spending the extra on this delightful addition when they purchased ice cream. Plenty of parents enjoyed some ice cream with sprinkles too, there is no age limit for these tasty treats!

One note I would like to add here is don’t cut corners on the quality of rainbow sprinkles. They look and taste amazing but cheaply made products will bleed. This can diminish the beauty of what you create with them. Stick with a sprinkles manufacturer with a great reputation and you won’t have any problems.



Terminology Around the World  

One thing I have learned while traveling areas of the world is they have different terminology for many common things. The same is true for sprinkles. I grew up calling them jimmies and thought everyone did until we got new neighbors from California and they called them sprinkles. I grew up in Brooklyn, and the owner of Just Born Candy started making these delicious sugar candy toppings in the 1920s. He named them Jimmies after a co-worker who helped him create them.

It wasn’t until 1940 that the jimmies started getting recognition from more than just these area locations. They had made their way to Boston, and they were a hit! Some will argue that jimmies were started by others, but there is some controversy about that. There were some similar products out there but the name jimmies and bringing them to such fame is credited to Just Born Candy.

In England, they refer to sprinkles as hundreds and thousands. I think that is the name that fascinates me the most for sprinkles. I have often wondered when I buy sprinkles in bulk how many hundreds or how many thousands of individual pieces are in that container! I would never count them, but the name hundreds and thousands does seem fitting.

One of the oddest to me was in the United Kingdom as they also call sprinkles vermicelli. Where I come from, vermicelli is a spicing Mexican side dish made with thin noodles. There are many variables of it, but I would never think of calling sprinkles that! Imagine thinking I was getting one thing and getting the other – depending on where I was ordering!

As I mentioned above, in the Netherlands they refer to sprinkles as hagelslag. They put it on buttered bread. It is often a treat with a cup of tea. It was a way to get something sweet in the afternoon without overindulging or ruining your appetite for dinner. In Australia, they place sprinkles on bread but call it fairy bread. I think that is a cute name, and one day I will order it with a smile on my face when I travel to Australia. 



Uses of Sprinkles Today

When sprinkles were first introduced, they were in small areas. Today, they are popular all over the world. You can find different themes, designs, colors, and options. It is exciting to transform ordinary baked goods or ice cream into something new with the use of sprinkles. I enjoy the holiday-themed ones to add some excitement to upcoming holidays.

It is fun and exciting to use sprinkles. I do so all the time on cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Social media is a big place where you will see sprinkles on food items. That includes ice cream, cookies, cake pops, and even pancakes. Sprinkles are versatile and they can easily transform something from basic to amazing with very little effort involved!

I am a huge fan of sprinkles; I always choose the donut that has them on it! I keep plenty of sprinkles around for baking, but I also let the kids use them for ice cream and other snacks when they ask. They share my love for sprinkles, and I do my best to keep a variety of them available in our home!

It puts a smile on my face when we go out for ice cream and your children are adding the toppings to their items. There are always sprinkles offered, and they spoon them onto their served ice cream with delight. I have never seen anyone being sad when they eat sprinkles so I think they promote happiness!


Now that you know a bit about the origin and history of cake sprinkles, you can reflect on that the next time you eat sugar pearls or jimmies! I have shared the history with my kids, and hopefully, they will one day with their children too. I think using sprinkles to make cakes, cookies, and cupcakes my family loves is going to be part of our history and the legacy we pass along to future generations.

We create lots of fun memories when we enjoy our sweet treats with sprinkles on them! Every product out there has its beginnings, and now you know a few facts about how cake sprinkles got their start. Who would have thought something so tiny could have such a huge impact on all of us!


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