Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

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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

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

92 Comments

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  1. I love that you make your own unicorns and rainbows! Or more accurately, the rainbow chips. That’s above and beyond. I hear ya on that film from the bought kind. It feels gross after a couple of bites. No, thank you!

    1. It really does! Except I don’t get that same mouthfeel from chocolate varieties, just vanilla. From-scratch never disappoints though!

  2. OMG…I love, love your pictures. They speak their own language. Your post gave me a few ideas… And, yes I agree with you. Childhood memories are so special … just like rainbow chip! But the question is where did time go? And why all of sudden I am a little nostalgic? And I want whole world to make rainbow chip! Is it too much to ask?

  3. This! I love it so very much. For years I would steer clear of the vanilla cans of frosting because it was so sickeningly sweet and I couldn’t enjoy cake when it was slathered all over it. But this! Homemade frosting AND homemade chips? Never have I ever seen anything more beautiful. You can bet that this frosting will be gracing all of the upcoming birthday cakes I’ll be making. Just wondering – do you use liquid or gel food coloring?

  4. Oh my gosh Sally! This is amazing! I’ve tried to remind people over the years about how rainbow chip was the best frosting ever and most had no idea what I’m talking about! I use to require it on my birthday cakes every year and was so upset when they discontinued it. I am so excited to make this!

  5. Betty Crocker’s Rainbow Chip cake and icing has been my (store bought) fave since I was a kid. (Funfetti is NOT the same thing!) I’m so happy to find someone who appreciates it as much as I do!

    1. I agree, it’s not the same as funfetti. No offense to funfetti or anything but the rainbow chips are soft and sweet… not sprinkles at all!

  6. Hey, there’s still the possibility that unicorns and leprechauns MADE it and sell it to the bakery stores! Keeping our hopes up, am I right? 😉

    I had NO IDEA how you made the melty rainbow chips, and I wanted to find out, because the store bought version was always a bit too sweet for me. But homemade is always 1,000,000x better! 

  7. I am making this tomorrow! I cannot wait! I am a sprinkle girl and love the idea of homemade chocolate ones. Great idea Sally. Keep it up.

  8. I definitely remember rainbow chip frosting! It was always, always my frosting of choice on top of my (box-mix) chocolate birthday cake. I haven’t had it since I started baking from scratch – I had no idea they discontinued it. Glad to know it’s back though. I’ve made homemade pumpkin spice chips (!!!) the same way you make the rainbow chips in this recipe, so I know it’s not difficult and I’m willing to try it. The other great way I remember rainbow chip frosting? As a frosting dipper in the best child’s snack ever, dunkaroos 🙂

  9. Sally,

    I just made your cream cheese sugar cookies yesterday which are to die for!!! I have a feeling this frosting would be soooo good on them! Do you think a little almond extract in the frosting would taste good?

    1. UMMMM YES!!! Maybe start with 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Then taste and beat in more if you’d like. That stuff is strong!

  10. My husband used to tell me, “Just mix in sprinkles. It’ll be the same as rainbow chip.” No. Just…no. I cannot wait to make this!

  11. I used to buy “the tub of miracles” and graham crackers for finals weeks in high school and college. There’s nothing quite as soothing as a tub of amazing frosting to make frosting sandwiches when you’re stressed out about exams! I started making my own frostings (since it’s true, there is really no other store bought frosting that’s worth it) after they discontinued it, but it was never the same! Thank you for posting this – it’ll be worth it for my graduate school exams this year!

  12. You ALWAYS make Monday better. I’m just saying. I don’t know why by now I’m not prepared to expect unicorn-level fun at SBA every time I stop by. 😉 Btw, those rainbow hearts are EVERYTHING. It’s almost like you were able to type up how awesome this recipe is, simply via color emoji. Lol. Homemade chips are the BEST. Of course now I’m looking forward to an orange and black version of this for, wait for it… HALLOWEEN! Always a pleasure to stop by your sweet corner of the internet. Happy Monday, Sally. Have a great week! xo

  13. You have no idea how much I love this, enough to post a comment I guess! You’re a genius, rainbow chip frosting is a genius, and my head is going to explode. I really never thought it could be recreated at home- I feel the same was as you do about store bought icing- none but rainbow chip. Well done, Sally!!

  14. I am such a brat when it comes to baked goods and especially frostings since my mom always made everything homemade growing up.  My husband always rolls his eyes when I refuse to eat a boxed cake mix cupcake at a party.  And I remember as a kid thinking boxed desserts and canned frostings I made with friends always tasted funny.  Now I understand, and am obsessed with making everything myself.  =)

    1. That’s a good quality to have! Being stuck on homemade desserts. I don’t mind the taste of box cake mix, I just don’t really like the canned frostings all that much.

  15. “Tub of miracles” – YES! This article caught my eye because I have sworn by that frosting for years! Can’t wait to try this homemade recipe for it!! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I LOVE rainbow chip frosting – it was always my birthday cake request growing up! My birthday is only a few months away, I might have to make my own cake…

  17. I love that you tackled this because I HATE canned frosting. Back in the day, I enjoyed it. But over the years, I feel like it tastes more and more artificial and chemical-y and is, simply put, rubbish. When I started making my homemade frosting, it made SUCH a positive difference. In a good way. (I am still willing to take a shortcut and use a boxed cake mix when I’m pressed for time, but I almost always make my own frosting now.) But I’ll admit, I, too, have a soft spot for this childhood fave and I always sort of figured it was one of those that would only be available for purchase. I’m excited to try it. I bet my girls would love it. Even better? Since we’re tinting the chips ourselves, we can customize the colors for seasonal or theme purposes. Yay!

    1. I just realized I wrote that it was a positive difference in a good way. As if there’s any other way it could be if it’s positive. hahaha. Ah well. It’s late and my brain is focused on rainbow chips and dunkaroos (since I just read through some other comments.) Ah the sweet taste of childhood.

    2. Very true! I can already see a red and green version of this rainbow chip frosting for Christmas! Or purple/orange/black-ish for Halloween. Pastels for Easter! Such a fun recipe to make with your girls. 🙂

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