I am making sugar cookies that I want to decorate with sprinkles, but I don't really want to mess about with making royal icing, which is what the recipe calls for. In the past, I've used clear corn syrup as a flavourless sprinkle "glue" and it's what I'd use now, except that I haven't seen it in the grocery store here in the Netherlands.

Are there any other easy to make options for "sprinkle glue"? I've seen references on the web to using some sort of glaze, but in my experience, this wouldn't set up hard enough to hold sprinkles to a cookie. Maybe it needs special proportions for this application?

3 Answers 3


If corn syrup works, it seems to me that simple syrup (i.e. a saturated solution of sugar and water) ought to work, too.

  • I guess that's not too different from a glaze really. I ended up making a thick paste with icing sugar and milk and it seems to have worked. In retrospect, water or lemon juice might have been better from the perspective of not needing refrigeration.
    – Allison
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 19:41
  • @Allison, once the sugar+milk glaze dries, it shouldn't need refrigeration either (or at least no more so than the cookies themselves).
    – Marti
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 0:36
  • I would have thought the uncooked milk would still require refrigeration, whereas the ingredients in the cookies have been baked? But I guess this is another question altogether. :)
    – Allison
    Commented Feb 16, 2011 at 11:52
  • European bakery manuals often recommend using apricot jam as a sticky glaze for such purposes. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 15:17
  • @rackandboneman: European bakers use apricot jam for all sorts of purposes, some less, uh, felicitous than others. They seem to forget that apricot jam has a flavor of its own, and will freely use it to "seal" a cake before frosting it. If it's, say, a lemon cake, that's fine, but on a chocolate hazelnut cake? Yeah, not so much. In this case, where the asker wanted to adhere sprinkles to sugar cookies, using apricot jam would result in apricot-flavored cookies - not necessarily a bad thing, but possibly not what the asker desired.
    – Marti
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 16:17

Growing up, we'd whip up an egg white as a glue, but with today's concerns of salmonella, it might not be the best choice unless you have a local source of eggs, or use pasteurized eggs.

  • 2
    If you can get it in your area, you can use meringue powder, which is pasteurized. (wisegeek.com/what-is-meringue-powder.htm)
    – Martha F.
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 20:14
  • @Martha : good point -- I know I can get it near me in cake shops that sell decorating supplies and some hobby stores (that sell candy and cake supplies)
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 20:35

Our favorite way is to make a glaze with powdered sugar, lemon juice and warm water. Start with about 4 cups of powdered sugar, and about 1/3 cup of lemon juice (this helps it from being so painfully "straight-sugar" sweet. Then, add hot water very slowly, blending thoroughly with a wire whisk. You want it to end up about the consistency of... um... glaze. (Thick enough to stick to cookie when brushed on, but not overly gloppy.) Use a pastry brush to coat top of cookie and then sprinkle to your hearts content. If you also decide to use a little decorator icing for accent, let the glaze dry enough to at least have a hard "crust" on it or the icing won't stick.

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