Are Betty Crocker sprinkles celiac safe?

Quick Answer

Most Betty Crocker sprinkles are not certified gluten-free and likely contain gluten. However, Betty Crocker does offer some gluten-free sprinkle options that are labeled “gluten-free” and safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It’s important for those with gluten issues to carefully read labels and only choose products that are explicitly labeled as gluten-free.

Ingredients in Regular Betty Crocker Sprinkles

The regular Betty Crocker sprinkles, often simply labeled as “Sprinkles,” typically contain the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Palm oil
  • Confectioner’s glaze
  • Soy lecithin
  • Artificial colors (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40, Blue 1)
  • Natural and artificial flavors

The key ingredient of concern is cornstarch. Most cornstarches are derived from corn, which is typically genetically modified and sprayed with glyphosate (Roundup). Trace amounts of corn protein can be present in corn-derived ingredients like cornstarch, making them unsuitable for a gluten-free diet.

The FDA allows products to be labeled “gluten-free” if they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. However, regular Betty Crocker sprinkles do not make a gluten-free claim. Since they contain cornstarch without a “gluten-free” label, it’s safest to assume they contain gluten and are not suitable for celiacs.

Cross-Contamination Risks

Even if cornstarch didn’t contain traces of gluten-containing corn protein, there would still be a risk of cross-contamination in a shared facility. Betty Crocker sprinkles are produced in facilities that also handle wheat-based ingredients. Some amount of gluten could get into the sprinkles through shared equipment.

For extremely sensitive celiacs, even tiny amounts of cross-contamination can trigger symptoms and intestinal damage. So non-certified products made alongside wheat pose a real risk.

Gluten-Free Sprinkles from Betty Crocker

While standard Betty Crocker sprinkles likely contain gluten, Betty Crocker does offer some gluten-free sprinkle options:

  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Sprinkles
  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Birthday Cake Sprinkles
  • Betty Crocker Gluten Free Rainbow Sprinkles

These three sprinkle varieties are explicitly labeled as “gluten-free” and can be safer options for celiacs. It’s still important to check the ingredients and manufacturing precautions for assurance.

Ingredients in Gluten-Free Betty Crocker Sprinkles

Gluten-free Betty Crocker sprinkles are made with the following ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Potato starch
  • Palm oil
  • Confectioner’s glaze
  • Soy lecithin
  • Artificial colors (Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40, Blue 1)
  • Natural and artificial flavors

The main difference is that cornstarch is replaced with potato starch. Potato starch is inherently gluten-free, since it’s derived from potatoes, not grains. Replacing the cornstarch with potato starch removes the concern about trace corn protein.

The potato starch supplier also provides certification that the potato starch is gluten-free. And Betty Crocker audits the purity and prevents cross-contact at their manufacturing facilities.

So gluten-free Betty Crocker sprinkles have gluten-free ingredients and are made in dedicated equipment to prevent contamination. This makes them a safer choice for gluten issues.

Are Gluten-Free Betty Crocker Sprinkles Celiac Safe?

While gluten-free Betty Crocker sprinkles have gluten-free ingredients and manufacturing precautions, no product can be 100% guaranteed gluten-free. Even with rigorous standards, there is always potential for tiny amounts of cross-contamination.

Whether the gluten-free sprinkles are celiac safe depends on an individual’s sensitivity level:

  • People with mild gluten sensitivity can typically tolerate small traces of cross-contamination and should do fine with Betty Crocker’s gluten-free sprinkles.
  • People with celiac disease have to be more cautious. The amount of gluten they can safety consume varies enormously – for some celiacs even 5-10ppm can trigger issues.
  • Extremely sensitive celiacs may want to avoid the gluten-free sprinkles, since theres no way to prove zero contamination.
  • Less sensitive celiacs will probably tolerate Betty Crocker’s gluten-free sprinkles without reacting, since any traces are likely minimal.

So while Betty Crocker’s gluten-free sprinkles are very low risk, they can’t be considered 100% celiac safe for the most sensitive individuals. Anyone with celiac concerns should evaluate their own tolerance levels.

Other Gluten-Free Sprinkles

In additional to Betty Crocker, there are other brands offering gluten-free sprinkles:

Sweets Indeed

Sweets Indeed is a gluten-free bakery that produces gluten-free sprinkles in many fun colors and shapes. Their sprinkles are made with potato starch, sugar, and vegetable gums. Sweets Indeed does gluten testing to less than 5ppm. Their sprinkles are produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility.


Glutino is a popular brand known for high-quality gluten-free products. Their gluten-free sprinkles come in color varieties including confetti and rainbow. The ingredients are potato starch, sugar, palm oil, carnauba wax, and colorings. Glutino tests for under 10 ppm of gluten.

King Arthur

The King Arthur baking brand sells gluten-free sprinkles made from cane sugar, tapioca starch, palm oil, carnauba wax, and colors. King Arthur has strict standards and tests below 5ppm. Their sprinkles are produced in a dedicated facility.


Katz offers certified gluten-free sprinkles, including rainbow and confetti options. They are made from cane sugar, palm oil, and colors. Katz tests below 10ppm for gluten and follows gluten-free manufacturing standards.


Sweetapolita is a bakery specializing in gluten-free baked goods. Their sprinkles are made with organic cane sugar, potato starch, gum arabic, carnauba wax, and mineral colors. Sweetapolita tests for under 5ppm gluten.

Homemade Gluten-Free Sprinkles

For maximum control, many gluten-free bakers choose to make sprinkles from scratch at home. This avoids any risk of cross-contamination and lets you control all the ingredients.

Homemade gluten-free sprinkles are typically made by mixing sugar (confectioner’s or coarsely ground) with potato starch and optional corn starch. Food coloring and flavor extracts are added to create fun colors and flavors. The mixture is formed into sprinkle shapes before drying.

Making homemade sprinkles takes more work but gives you peace of mind that they are completely gluten-free. You can customize them to your desired colors and flavors. Kids may enjoy helping make fun sprinkle shapes and colors.

Availability of Gluten-Free Sprinkles

Gluten-free sprinkles were once hard to find, but they are becoming widely available as demand increases:

  • Online: Many brands of gluten-free sprinkles can be ordered online from grocery or specialty food sites, which is helpful if local stores don’t carry them.
  • Groceries: Mainstream grocers increasingly have gluten-free sections with products like Betty Crocker’s gluten-free sprinkles.
  • Bakeries: Gluten-free bakeries will carry or make gluten-free sprinkles.
  • DIY: As mentioned, you can make custom gluten-free sprinkles at home.

So while gluten-free sprinkles may not always be sitting on the baking aisle, some searching online or asking at the bakery counter should turn up options in most areas nowadays. The gluten-free landscape continues to expand.

Tips for Cooking and Baking with Gluten-Free Sprinkles

Gluten-free sprinkles can be used as fun decorations just like regular sprinkles. Here are some tips:

  • Read labels carefully to make sure any sprinkles used are certified gluten-free, even if the rest of the recipe is gluten-free. Cross-contamination can occur easily with sprinkles.
  • Store opened gluten-free sprinkles in an airtight container to prevent moisture absorption and cross-contact with any stray gluten-containing sprinkles.
  • Use a clean, dedicated spoon each time to scoop out gluten-free sprinkles.
  • Add sprinkles at the end once gluten-free baked goods are cooled. Sprinkling onto hot items can cause melting. And any stray sprinkles might contaminate other surfaces.
  • Sprinkle cupcakes, cookies, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, pudding cups, or any other desserts! Sprinkles add a festive touch to both homemade treats and store-bought items.
  • Make gluten-free sandwich cookies using sprinkles in the filling. Fun flavors include cookies with sprinkles mixed into vanilla or chocolate frosting or cream cheese.
  • Create colorful gluten-free sprinkle cookies. Roll slice-and-bake cookie dough in sprinkles before chilling and slicing.
  • Decorate the tops of pancakes, waffles, or crepes with festive gluten-free sprinkles.
  • Add sprinkles to gluten-free chocolates, candy bark, or truffles.
  • Use them to decorate gluten-free chocolates, like rice crispy treats or chocolate-dipped pretzels.

With endless decorating options, gluten-free sprinkles can add bright colors and fun textures to all kinds of gluten-free treats.

Are Gluten-Free Sprinkles Nutritious?

Sprinkles are considered a decorative topping rather than an ingredient that adds nutritional value. Both regular and gluten-free sprinkles typically contain:

  • Sugar – Sprinkles get their sweetness from regular white sugar or powdered confectioner’s sugar. These provide carbohydrates and some caloric energy but minimal nutrition.
  • Starch – Cornstarch or potato starch are used to provide structure and bind the sprinkles together. Starch provides carbohydrates.
  • Fats – Palm oil or carnauba wax give sprinkles their smooth texture and consistency. These provide some healthy fats.
  • Colors – Artificial dyes like Red 40 provide vibrant colors but no nutritional benefit.
  • Flavors – Natural and artificial flavorings like vanilla or almond extract give taste but minimal nutrients.

So the small amount of sprinkles used mainly provides carbohydrates and fat, along with eye-appealing colors. Sprinkles are best enjoyed in moderation as a decorating accent, not as a significant source of nutrition. The treats they decorate should provide the real nutrition.

Health Concerns with Sprinkles

While gluten is the main health concern to watch for with sprinkles, some other ingredients may also raise concerns for some:

1. Artificial Colors

The dyes that give sprinkles their vibrant colorings are made from petroleum and linked to effects like hyperactivity in some children. Brands like Sweets Indeed use vegetable-based, natural colors instead.

2. Palm Oil

Palm oil raises environmental concerns about deforestation and unethical labor practices. Opt for brands using alternative oils or oils certified through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

3. GMOs

Cornstarch from GMO corn is commonly used. Choose organic cornstarch or potato starch instead to avoid GMOs.

So read ingredient lists carefully and do some research to find sprinkles aligning with your health priorities, whether that be gluten-free, non-GMO, organic, etc.


Most regular Betty Crocker sprinkles contain questionable ingredients like cornstarch and artificial dyes and are not gluten-free. But Betty Crocker’s specially-marked gluten-free sprinkle varieties are produced with gluten-free ingredients in dedicated facilities, making them a safer option for gluten-sensitive individuals.

It’s still impossible to guarantee any product is 100% gluten-free, so personal tolerance levels need to be considered. Other brands producing gluten-free sprinkles include Sweets Indeed, Glutino, King Arthur, Katz, and Sweetapolita. Gluten-free sprinkles can also be made at home for total control.

While sprinkles provide fun colors and textures, not nutrition, they can be enjoyed in moderation by those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance by selecting a gluten-free brand and taking basic precautions to prevent cross-contamination. As gluten-free diets become more mainstream, sprinkles and other specialty items are increasingly available so those with dietary restrictions don’t have to miss out.

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