Jimmies vs. Sprinkles What is the Difference Between them?

You can easily spruce up desserts, such as cupcakes, scoops of ice cream and other small delicacies, by…

You can easily spruce up desserts, such as cupcakes, scoops of ice cream and other small delicacies, by using Jimmies and Sprinkles. Never heard of them? These are small pieces of different colored candy that add a splash of color to baked goods and sweets. Children and adults alike love how they enhance the look of the desserts as well as the taste.

The History of Jimmies

Jimmies first appeared on the market in the 1930’s but there are several stories as to how they received their name. One story has it that they were a product of the Just Born Candy Company in Philadelphia. The employee who ran the machine that made them was Jim Crow and he went by the nickname of Jimmy. These small candies were named for him. Another story has it that Jimmies received their name from the mayor of Boston, James Curley, who loved these candies.

About Sprinkles

Although you can get Sprinkles in all colors today, when they first came on the market they were all white. They are a lot older than Jimmies because they date back to the 1700’s when they were used by the French to add decorations to desserts. The original name of these confections was nonpareils.

Sprinkles are scattered all over a dessert to add color and taste and can be used on almost anything. Add them to desserts topped with whipped cream or the icing on cakes. They can be used in many different ways, such as a topping for bread pudding in Australia.

What is the difference between Jimmies and Sprinkles?

There is basically no difference at all between Jimmies and Sprinkles. What they are called depends on where you buy them. If you are in the cities of Philadelphia and Boston, or the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, you will have to ask for Jimmies. However, in every other part of the world they are sold under the name of Sprinkles.

Some people also have different ways of identifying certain candies as Jimmies and others as Sprinkles. To them, the chocolate colored candies are Jimmies, while all the rest of the colored candies are Sprinkles. There are also those who say that Sprinkles are harder.

Whatever name you call them they are delicious and make desserts more tempting.



  1. Jimmies and sprinkles refer to the same types of tiny colored candy. They are called by different names in different places. The residents of Michigan, Wisconsin, Boston and Philadelphia are the only ones that call them Jimmies.
  2. Some people say that the brown candies are Jimmies and all the rest are Sprinkles.


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