Fairy Bread

published Dec 12, 2023
Fairy Bread Recipe

Buttered bread doused in colorful sprinkles is the happiest snack you can eat.


Prep5 minutes to 7 minutes

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Overhead shot of a piece of fairy bread with a bite taken from the top right, on a white surface, and extra rainbow sprinkles scattered on the surface.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Childhood is where we make our sweetest food memories, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, sprinkles are involved in many of them. That edible confetti is what makes rainbow sprinkle cookies and banana split ice cream sundaes so much fun. Luckily there’s no need to wait for a special occasion to use that jar of sprinkles when fairy bread — a simple three-ingredient treat that kids of all ages will love — is involved

What Is Fairy Bread?

Fairy bread is a treat of buttered white bread topped with sprinkles. In Australia and New Zealand, it is served as a snack and at children’s birthday parties using rainbow sprinkles. In the Netherlands, they refer to sprinkles as “hagelslag” or “hailstorm” and use chocolate sprinkles.

What Ingredients Are in Fairy Bread?

  • White bread: Reserve the hearty, seedy loaves for another recipe, as soft white bread is best for fairy bread.
  • Salted butter: The small amount of salt from salted butter really does make a difference and keeps the fairy bread from being overly sweet. If you only have unsalted butter on hand, sprinkle lightly with salt before adding the sprinkles. 
  • Sprinkles: Rainbow nonpareil sprinkles are ideal for fairy bread, or opt for good-quality chocolate vermicelli sprinkles for the Dutch iteration. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

How to Make Fairy Bread

  • Soften salted butter. Butter needs to be soft to easily spread over the bread slices. There are so many ways to soften butter, but for this amount, I like to cut butter into small pieces and set out at room temperature until it is spreadable.
  • Spread butter on bread: Spread softened butter evenly over slices of bread. You can leave a small border around the edge to make picking up the fairy bread easier.  

Do You Remove Crusts on Fairy Bread?

To remove the crusts or not is a personal preference. The crust of white bread is soft enough that I tend to leave them on, but if you or your kids prefer to go crustless, trim them before adding the sprinkles. 

What Is the Best Way to Add Sprinkles to Fairy Bread?

Sprinkles are the glitter of the kitchen — they add a touch of festive fun, but they also get everywhere. If you try to add sprinkles to the buttered bread directly on the cutting board, the colorful nonpareils that don’t immediately stick will bounce off and make a mess. If you fill a plate with sprinkles and try to press the buttered bread into a layer of sprinkles, you can bruise the bread and waste a lot of sprinkles.

The best way to add sprinkles to fairy bread is to transfer the buttered bread to a plate (it’s best if the plate has a shallow rim), shower evenly with sprinkles and press lightly to make sure a thick, even layer of sprinkles sticks to the bread. The plate will help corral excess sprinkles, so that they are easy to scoop up and sprinkle onto the next slice of fairy bread. 

Fairy Bread Recipe

Buttered bread doused in colorful sprinkles is the happiest snack you can eat.

Prep time 5 minutes to 7 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 3 tablespoons

    salted butter

  • 4

    slices white sandwich bread

  • 1/4 cup

    rainbow nonpareil sprinkles (about 2 ounces)


  1. Let 3 tablespoons salted butter sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. Butter 4 slices white sandwich bread with the softened butter, leaving a thin border around the edges. Place each slice butter-side up on a plate. Generously coat the bread with 1/4 cup rainbow nonpareil sprinkles (1 tablespoon per slice), then gently press them into the butter so they adhere.

  3. Transfer the bread to a cutting board and cut each slice on the diagonal from the top two corners, forming 4 small triangles from each slice of bread.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient substitution: Chocolate sprinkles, known in Dutch as “hagelslag,” can be substituted for the rainbow nonpareil sprinkles.

Storage: Fairy bread is best served right after assembly. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.