Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

How to make sweet and cream rainbow chip frosting at home! Tastes even better than the real deal! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Not sure if you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing the tub of miracles otherwise known as rainbow chip frosting. It’s a tangy-sweet, but mostly sweet, vanilla frosting that has soft and colorful chips swirled inside. If unicorns and leprechauns owned a bakery together, rainbow chip frosting is what they would sell.

But in real life, it’s sold in the baking aisle. I understand some of you may completely despise rainbow chip frosting and if you are one of those people, come back on Wednesday when I share a brownie cookie brownie chocolate chip pie concoction I whipped up recently. But, then again, maybe you won’t despise the homemade version which– and I may be biased here– tastes 1,098x better than the canned version.

How to make sweet and creamy rainbow chip frosting at home! Tastes even better than the real deal! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Then there are the rainbow chip frosting lovers. Those who completely understand the tub of miracles I awkwardly typed up there and are currently nodding their heads in agreement. Rainbow chip frosting is the best frosting in the history of store-bought frosting and my heart broke a little lot the day they discontinued it. They’ve since put it back on shelves and I believe there was even a petition for its restock. I swear I wasn’t the frosting guru who initiated the rainbow chip frosting petition, but the hat would certainly fit.

Let me just say something real quick though: I don’t use canned frosting. I think vanilla canned frosting is cloyingly sweet and it always leaves a film on my teeth. I can actually feel them rotting away. Chocolate’s pretty tasty, but the one exception I have is the rainbow chip. It’s sweet as ever, but those rainbow chips?! MAN! They bring me back to childhood. So much respect, rainbow chip. 

But let’s try making our own at home! We never know when it might go missing from the shelves again. And by making our own rainbow chip frosting at home, we can have a lifetime supply. (I believe we are all in serious, serious trouble.)

White chocolate for homemade rainbow chip frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The actual rainbow chips is where I began. There I was with the store-bought rainbow chip frosting, taking notes about these mysterious little rainbow chips. They aren’t sprinkles. They aren’t chocolate. They aren’t hard or crunchy. They’re soft. Very very soft. And sweet. Almost creamy. One thing came to mind: real white chocolate. Colorful white chocolate.

So you’ll melt white chocolate, then you’ll color it. It may look like your children’s science project, but ignore all that for a second because soon you’ll be eating rainbow chip frosting. I only used 2 drops of food coloring per bowl. You can use any color you like, but stick with just 4 because you won’t have enough white chocolate for more. If you use a ton of liquid food coloring, your white chocolate will seize up. So stick to just a couple drops or you can use gel food coloring or even a little powder. Colorful candy melts are another direction you could sway, but you want that taste of real white chocolate. It does make a difference!

White chocolate for homemade rainbow chip frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

White chocolate for homemade rainbow chip frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Spread the colors out onto a silicone baking mat or parchment paper, refrigerate for about 15 minutes until solid, then cut into little tiny pieces. That’s all! Took about 25 minutes to make the little suckers. I got the idea from Not Without Salt.

And now the actual frosting! Rainbow chip is an unbelievably and unmatchably creamy and soft frosting and the only way to get that exact texture is to throw in a little cream cheese. But this most certainly is not a cream cheese frosting. It’s a buttery vanilla variety, with a touch of cream cheese.

How to make sweet and cream rainbow chip frosting at home! Tastes even better than the real deal! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make sweet and creamy rainbow chip frosting at home! Tastes even better than the real deal! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It tastes exactly like the real thing, only creamier. Very sweet, but not as eye-watering tooth-aching sweet as the store-bought variety. Reminds you of childhood. Perfect for birthday cakes. Oh! And pictured here is my yellow sheet cake baked in a 9×13 pan. Takes 40 minutes in that size pan if you want to try it yourself.

Would also be perfect on homemade marble cake too!

How to make sweet and creamy rainbow chip frosting at home! Tastes even better than the real deal! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

A recipe of miracles!

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces (170g) pure white chocolate, coarsely chopped1
  • food coloring: red, green, yellow, blue
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks or 172g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 ounces (170g) brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt the white chocolate. Use a double boiler or microwave. If using the microwave, stop and stir the white chocolate every 20 seconds to help avoid seizing. Pour the white chocolate into 4 small bowls and stir in 2-3 drops of coloring to each. Don't use too much food coloring, as your white chocolate will seize up. Spread chocolate out onto a silicone baking mat (recommended) or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You'll have 4 rectangles. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, get started on the frosting base. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low at first then increasing to high speed. Once incorporated, add the next cup. Once creamy and combined, beat in vanilla extract. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if you'd like. Set aside for a moment.
  3. Remove white chocolate from the refrigerator. The rectangles should peel easily off the silicone baking mat. Chop up into tiny squares or pieces. Fold a big handful of chips into the frosting using a rubber spatula. Add more if desired. You'll have a few chips leftover. (Would be great for decorating the top of the cake/cupcakes/whatever you're making!)
  4. Store any leftover frosting or chips in the refrigerator.

Make ahead tip: You can make this frosting 1 day before you need it. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Recipe Notes:

I recommend Baker's or Ghirardelli brands. They're sold in bars in the baking aisle, typically right next to the chocolate chips.

Adapted from Not Without Salt

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Here’s the yellow sheet cake I frosted with the homemade rainbow chip frosting. Again, in a 9×13 pan for about 40 minutes. It’s buttery and fluffy underneath that creamy rainbow frosting!

yellow-sheet-cake

How to make sweet and creamy rainbow chip frosting at home! Tastes even better than the real deal! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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92 Comments

Comments

  1. Iram on August 23, 2016 at 2:03 am

    I love that you posted something from my childhood. That was a very creative thing you did!
    I want to know, are you keeping that turtle your dog found? (the pic you tweeted) how cool of a thing that you discovered!

    • Sally on August 24, 2016 at 8:01 am

      No, we aren’t keeping him. There are a lot of box turtles around where we live! Not the first we’ve seen 🙂

  2. Wendy on August 23, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I couldn’ t wait to make this frosting after seeing it posted on your site early Mon morning. I baked your yellow sheet cake (our absolute favorite) and frosted it with this frosting. Despite only having red food coloring, I made only pink rainbow chips(I guess that doesn’t qualify for rainbow!!), but this frosting was a real winner!! We absolutely Loved this!! 

    • Sally on August 24, 2016 at 7:46 am

      I’m glad you loved the frosting. And the cake, too!!

  3. Hajra on August 23, 2016 at 9:32 am

    OMG OMG OMG YES! As a proud petition signer and a shameless pinterest copycat recipe hunter during what I refer to as “the dark days” before they brought rainbow chip frosting back, I cannot explain to you how happy this made me when I opened by email today! I spent basically my whole life eating that stuff straight from the tub as an after school snack and as a temporary escape to heaven, so I was naturally devastated when they discontinued it 😛 Needless to say I’m so excited that you posted this recipe, and I’ll be sure to try it out ASAP. And uhm… rainbow chip worshippers unite? 😀

    • Sally on August 24, 2016 at 7:46 am

      I’m laughing so hard right now… “the dark days” 🙂 🙂 🙂 Ha!!!

  4. Tamara on August 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    OK, mention of white chocolate, brownies and rainbow chips reminded me to ask you about this: White chocolate brownies. Do they/can they exist? There’s no such thing as unsweetened white cocoa powder, right? (assuming it’s bc white chocolate doesn’t come from cocoa?) But is it possible to make a white chocolate brownie (not blondie) with classic brownie texture/chew? (with, of course, rainbow chips added in) Or did I just eat too many of your bakery peanut butter cookies (with added Snickerdoodle baking chunks, yum) for breakfast and I’m in the throes of delusional sugar-fever??

    • Sally on August 24, 2016 at 7:44 am

      They do exist. But I’ve never tried them before, so I’m unsure how they compare texture wise to regular brownies– or what their flavor really is like. But I love the idea of white chocolate brownies with rainbow chips inside. So pretty! Search white chocolate brownies on Pinterest or Google and you’ll find something. Then come back and tell me how they are if you try them!

  5. Miranda on August 23, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Rainbow chip frosting is the best! I love that you even made the chips yourself!

  6. Peter on August 23, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    “If unicorns & leprechauns …” you had me on this line you are so funny baking Goddess 🙂

  7. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) on August 23, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    I AM SO EXCITED RIGHT NOW

    I love that little tub of miracles and haven’t allowed myself to the luxury of it (because ew processed food) in years–BUT NOW I CAN MAKE IT OMGEEE

  8. Joanne on August 23, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    I am looking forward to making this frosting! And, I have never bought rainbow frosting from the store either. Those store bought frostings are just too sweet for me!

    • Sally on August 24, 2016 at 7:37 am

      I think you’ll like this one!

  9. Johanna the baker on August 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Oh my gosh thank you I have been looking for a good recipe!!!! Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Peter on August 27, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Baking Goddess Sally , I want to award your hard work with some muffins . That ‘d be lovely .

  11. Jacquelyn on August 30, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Hello Sally! Just wondering but do you use European Butter in any of your baked goods? I was wondering if you’ve noticed a difference in texture and taste? I was thinking of using European Butter for this frosting recipe and maybe for the cake as well!

    • Sally on August 31, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Not typically– but it’s a wonderful option in both cakes and frostings. Use it!

      • Jacquelyn on September 6, 2016 at 10:54 pm

        Can it just be said that you’re a GENIUS!! Just finished my second piece of yellow cake with this amazing rainbow chip frosting! I will even go to the extent of saying I could use a little more frosting??! That normally would never come out of my mouth as I don’t enjoy sweet sweet frosting but this is so beautifully crafted! Yes it is sweet but a good kind of sweet! And the yellow cake!! It’s just the best one I have eaten let alone made! I made this for my husband but I think I’ll be eating more! Thank you for another great recipe! 

        Ps: Could you recreate the Starbucks Birthday Cake Pop?? Pretty please? With pearly white sprinkles on top? 😀



      • Sally on September 7, 2016 at 8:13 am

        I’m ecstatic that you said you want even MORE frosting on your cake!! I’ve had the pleasure of inhaling 1… or 10… of those starbucks cake pops. They’re certainly amazing! I have a cake pop recipe in my cookbook, Sally’s Candy Addiction, if you have a copy!



    • Mags on September 3, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      I live in Ireland and so always use Kerrygold, I haven’t had any trouble with baking.  Though a few points to note:  the butter takes longer to soften and as it isn’t in stick form, you’ll need to measure out, if you’ve got a scale it’s the most consistent method!

  12. Joy on September 6, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Hi Sally! Do you think this recipe would be enough for your funfetti layer cake or would I need to double the recipe? Thanks!

    • Sally on September 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

      I don’t think so. I would actually 1.5x it. I fear doubling would be too much, but if you’re OK with frosting leftovers– that’s ok too! I wouldn’t double or 1.5x the white chocolate rainbow chips though. The recipe as written will be plenty.

  13. Diane @ Wine and a Wooden Spoon on September 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    When I was young I would search out the half-used can of store bought frosting in my parent’s fridge and sneak spoonful after sweet spoonful until I heard footsteps on the stairs. Then I’d slam the fridge door, toss the spoon and the sink and feign innocence. The frosting mustache gave me away every time 😉 this looks ah-mazing. I can’t wait to eat it straight from the bowl in my own kitchen- no sneaking required. 

  14. Lina on September 8, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I love this idea!

  15. Pointy on September 10, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    This looks really tasty. Never heard of it before, but I’m in the UK and we don’t have the same stuff as you guys. I’m a bit confused as to what ‘brick cream cheese’ is in the recipe. Doesn’t the fact it’s cream cheese mean it’s not a brick because it’s soft?

    • Sally on September 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      Brick cream cheese is just cream cheese sold in a block– not the spread sold in a tub. It’s soft, yes!

    • Siggy on September 12, 2016 at 12:33 am

      Hi Pointy, in Europe it’s usually in rectangular tubs under it’s brand name: Philadelphia soft cheese (the original kind, not the whipped or soft version). Hope this helps. 🙂

      • Pointy on September 12, 2016 at 10:45 pm

        Hi. 🙂 I know about Philadelphia, but I wondered what brick soft cheese was. I’m easily confused. 😀



  16. Brye on September 14, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday on Saturday. If I make it Wednesday and just keep in the fridge it should be fine right? I just don’t have any other time to make it

    • Sally on September 14, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Yes, it would be just fine. Keep it covered in the fridge until ready to use. 🙂

  17. Moira on February 28, 2017 at 8:35 am

    It is such a shame that we don’t have block cream cheese here in the UK, only the cheese spread.

    I am sure we are really missing out.

    I am a new baker and I absolutely love your recipes and tutorials.

    Thank you
    Moira

  18. Caitlin Collier on April 23, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Hi Sally!
    Since discovering this recipe a couple of months ago
    I have made this too many times to count! I actually bought the canned rainbow chip frosting to compare. Your recipe is leaps and bounds ahead of the canned stuff! As delicious as I remember it tasting as a kid, yours is no comparison! The frosting is so fluffy and has just enough sugar. Melting and coloring the chocolate takes only minutes and it cools while you prepare the frosting. We love this recipe served on top of your yellow sheet cake (made in a 9×13) with sprinkles added to the batter. We have dubbed this recipe as “rainbow cake”. Thank you for making our tongues slap our brains out with this one!

    • Sally on April 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      You are right, as much as I adored the can as a kid, I find it much too sweet now! And just seeing those rainbow chips always makes me happy 🙂

  19. Kim on May 8, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Do you think you can put these chips into cake batter? I assume the chocolate would melt, but I feel like the matching cake mix to this frosting doesn’t have just regular sprinkles in it. Maybe I could mix in just a few into the sprinkles  to supplement?

    • Sally on May 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Absolutely! They will slightly melt into the cake batter, I assume, so adding some sprinkles in there as well would help.

  20. Lindsay on September 29, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Wow! I’m definently going to have to try this! Rainbow chip frosting means as much to me as it does to you. When I was a kid, they had bake sales in school and I ALWAYS got the rainbow chip ones. I love it to this day and sometimes eat it straight out of the tub. As far as the rainbow chips in the frosting, that’s exactly what they are-tiny little chips like chocolate or butterscotch chips, just rainbow ones.

    • Sally on September 29, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      I hope you get a chance to make this and that you love it! 🙂

  21. Allix on August 14, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Do you think this would work okay on a layer cake, or would it be too hard to spread it nicely because of the chips? Also, do you think I’d need to double the recipe if I was making a three-layer cake?

    • Sally on August 15, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi Allix! I would 1.5x the recipe for a 3 layer cake. Shouldn’t be too difficult to spread!

  22. Lauren on August 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Hello! Do you think the chips would keep if made 2-3 days in advance of making the frosting?

    • Sally on August 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Yes, just keep them in a cool place where they won’t melt 🙂

Reviews

Questions

  1. Allix on August 14, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Do you think this would work okay on a layer cake, or would it be too hard to spread it nicely because of the chips? Also, do you think I’d need to double the recipe if I was making a three-layer cake?

    • Sally on August 15, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Hi Allix! I would 1.5x the recipe for a 3 layer cake. Shouldn’t be too difficult to spread!

  2. Lauren on August 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Hello! Do you think the chips would keep if made 2-3 days in advance of making the frosting?

    • Sally on August 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Yes, just keep them in a cool place where they won’t melt 🙂

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