do you put sprinkles on the sugar cookies before or after baking

Do You Put Sprinkles on The Sugar Cookies Before or After Baking?

Sugar cookies are a beloved treat enjoyed by many people, and they are a staple at countless events such as holidays, birthdays, and weddings. One of the common debates about these delightful cookies is when to add sprinkles – before or after baking? In this article, we will explore the arguments for both methods and provide some expert advice and tips to help you achieve the best results.

Overview of Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a classic cookie made with simple ingredients such as flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and sometimes vanilla extract or baking powder. They are easy to make and can be shaped into various forms, from basic circles to elaborate shapes such as stars or hearts, using cookie cutters. Once the dough is shaped, it can be baked in the oven for 8-12 minutes until golden brown.

Sugar cookies can be customized with different flavorings and decorations. Some people prefer a simple dusting of powdered sugar, while others like to get creative with colorful frosting or sprinkles. Regardless of how they are decorated or flavored, there is no denying that sugar cookies are a crowd-pleaser.

Why Sprinkles?

Sprinkles are tiny colorful candies used for decorating baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and can add an extra touch of flavor and decoration to sweets. Sprinkles have been around for over a century and were first known as “nonpareils,” meaning “without equal” in French.

The use of sprinkles on sugar cookies has become increasingly popular over time as it allows bakers to customize their cookies according to their taste preferences or the occasion they are baking for. Whether you want your cookies to be festive for the holidays or just add a pop of color, sprinkles are an excellent choice.

Putting Sprinkles Before Baking

One of the methods of adding sprinkles to sugar cookies is before baking them. To do this, simply sprinkle the desired amount of sprinkles over the cookie dough after it has been rolled out and cut into shapes.


  • Sprinkles stick better to the cookie dough before baking.
  • Results in more vibrant colors as the heat from the oven melts and spreads out the sprinkles, which may create a unique and beautiful design.


  • Sprinkles may melt and spread out too much during baking, creating a mess on the cookie sheet or changing the entire appearance of the cookie.
  • The melted sprinkles can also alter the texture and taste of the sugar cookie, making it less appealing for some people.

If you choose to put sprinkles before baking, experts suggest applying them evenly across the surface of each cookie so that they brown evenly during baking. Additionally, it’s vital to avoid overloading the cookies with too many sprinkles as this can make it challenging for them to stay in place during baking.

Putting Sprinkles After Baking

The second method of adding sprinkles to sugar cookies is after they have been baked. This technique allows bakers to have more control over how much and what type of decorations will be added.


  • Allows for more control over the design and placement of sprinkles which leads to a more polished and uniform look.
  • Bakers can customize each cookie or a batch of cookies with different colors and designs.


  • The sprinkles may not stick as well, causing them to fall off or shift around.
  • The sprinkles that do not stick to the cookie can make a mess on the table, which is more challenging to clean than sprinkles that are baked into the cookie dough.

To make the sprinkles stick after baking, bakers suggest brushing the cookies with egg whites or other sticky substances before adding the decorations. They also caution against letting the cookies cool completely before adding sprinkles since it can help them adhere better to the surface of the cookies.

Tips for Achieving Best Results

Regardless of whether you choose to add sprinkles before or after baking, there are tips that can help you get the best results.

  • When putting sprinkles before baking, make sure to press them gently into the surface of the cookie so that they adhere better.
  • Avoid overloading cookies with too many sprinkles; this will ensure that they remain intact during baking and do not spread out too much.
  • Use good quality ingredients – high-quality sugar makes a difference in the texture and flavor of your sugar cookies.
  • If you prefer putting sprinkles after baking, mix some water or egg whites with corn syrup to form a sticky paste and then brush it onto each cookie’s top surface. This will secure your decorations in place.

Creative Sprinkle Ideas

If you’re looking for creative ideas for decorating your cookies with sprinkles, consider these suggestions:

  • Create a gradient effect by mixing two different colors of sprinkles and layering them across the cookie’s surface in a gradient pattern.
  • Use bright, festive colors for holidays like green and red for Christmas or orange and black for Halloween.
  • Try monochrome sprinkles on a brightly colored cookie, such as gold or silver on a hot pink cookie.
  • For themed events, use sprinkles shaped like stars for a “twinkle twinkle little star” party or heart-shaped sprinkles for Valentine’s Day.

Expert Advice from Professional Bakers

So, which is the best way to add sprinkles to sugar cookies? We asked some professional bakers to find out. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “I always put sprinkles before baking since it allows them to stick better and adds an extra texture and flavor to the cookie.” – Denise, owner of The Sweet Spot Bakery
  • “I prefer adding sprinkles after baking because it gives me more freedom to be creative with designs and colors. Brushing a thin layer of egg white over the top helps the sprinkles stick very well.” – Lana, pastry chef at Le Cordon Bleu

No matter which method you choose, the most important thing is to have fun while making your sugar cookies. Whether you are baking alone or with family and friends, decorating cookies can be a festive and enjoyable process.


In conclusion, both methods of adding sprinkles before or after baking sugar cookies have their pros and cons. Those who like an even distribution of colorful candies on their treats may prefer adding them before baking; others who want more creative control may prefer waiting until the baked goodies come out of the oven. Regardless of your preference, using high-quality ingredients and following tips and tricks will help you make delicious and visually appealing sugar cookies. With a little creativity and experimentation, you’ll soon become an expert at decorating sugar cookies!

Fun fact: The largest cookie ever made was a gingerbread man weighing over 1,000 pounds, made in Norway in 2013. That’s a whole lot of sugar and spice!

1. Can I sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar?

Yes, absolutely! You can add colored sugar sprinkles to your cookies before or after baking. It’s a fun way to add a pop of color and sweetness to your treats.

2. What about sprinkles made from chocolate chips or candies?

It’s best to add chocolate chip or candy sprinkles after baking. These types of sprinkles tend to melt during the baking process and can make a mess on your cookies.

3. Will the sprinkles stay on the cookies after baking?

If you add sprinkles before baking, they will stick to the dough and stay on the cookie. However, if you add them after baking, they may fall off easily unless you use a frosting or glaze first for them to stick to.

4. What other toppings can I use instead of sprinkles?

You can use almost any type of topping you like! Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, crushed candy canes, edible gold dust, or even dried fruit can be used as toppings on sugar cookies before or after baking.

Similar Posts