Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

Learn how to make homemade rainbow chip frosting. This from scratch frosting tastes even better than the real deal, without additives or preservatives. It’s not as cloyingly sweet and you can have fun customizing the colors of the rainbow chips! Use it to frost cupcakes, cakes, and more. 

rainbow chip frosting in a glass bowl

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, so let’s make our own at home!

sheet cake in a glass pan with rainbow chip frosting spread on top

This Rainbow Chip Frosting Is

  • Fun to make
  • Infinitely better than the canned version
  • Silky smooth with festive rainbow chips
  • Sweet and a little tangy
  • Completely homemade– rainbow chips and all
  • Perfect for birthdays
  • A party in frosting form!

chopped white chocolate in a glass measuring cup

Overview: How to Make Rainbow Chip Frosting

For the full recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post.

  1. Melt the white chocolate. Use a double boiler or microwave. I recommend Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands of white chocolate. They’re sold in bars in the baking aisle, typically right next to the chocolate chips.
  2. Add color. Pour the melted white chocolate into 4 bowls. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring to each. I like to use Americolor gel food coloring (affiliate link). Don’t use too much food coloring– this can cause your white chocolate to seize up.
  3. Spread the chocolate onto baking sheets. Line each baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Make the frosting base. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until completely smooth and creamy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, then vanilla extract and salt. Set aside.
  5. Chop the white chocolate into “chips.” Remove the white chocolate from the refrigerator, place white chocolate rectangles on a cutting board, and chop it up into tiny squares or pieces. Fold a big handful of chips into the frosting using a rubber spatula. You’ll have a few chips leftover– great for decorating the cake/cupcakes/whatever you’re making!

melted white chocolate in bowls tinted blue, yellow, red, and green

You can use any color you like, but stick with just 4 because you won’t have enough white chocolate for more.

2 images of colored white chocolate on a silpat baking mat and colored chocolate chopped into chunks

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.

rainbow chip frosting before rainbow chips are added

rainbow chips added to frosting in a glass bowl

What Tastes Best with Rainbow Chip Frosting?

Pictured in these photos 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.

sheet cake in a glass pan with rainbow chip frosting spread on top

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rainbow chip frosting in a glass bowl

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 and 1/2 cups
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Homemade sweet and creamy rainbow chip frosting tastes even better than the real deal!


  • 6 ounces (170g) pure white chocolate, coarsely chopped*
  • 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


  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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: You can make this frosting 1 day before you need it. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. White Chocolate: I recommend Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands. They’re sold in bars in the baking aisle, typically right next to the chocolate chips.
  3. Adapted from Not Without Salt.

Keywords: rainbow chip frosting


  1. Heather @Boston Girl Bakes says:

    Oh boy my boyfriend is going to be doing backflips when I make this! And ok maybe I will be doing my own happy dance because I am totally Team Rainbow Chip! Can’t wait to try!

  2. 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!

  3. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    Oh, this is just so fun! Love all the colours of the chips! Homemade is WAAAAAY better than store bought. This would be perfect on just about anything 🙂 Love it!

  4. 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?

    1. I totally get it. Nostalgia consumes me every year, especially in the summertime!

  5. Peppermint Dolly says:

    I could definitely get on board with making this rather than the store bought one – not that I’ve ever tried it (shock I know, but I live in London!) but I always prefer to make my own stuff where possible, shall give this a go during my next baking spree!!



    1. You won’t ever need to try the store-brought kind anyway. I love this stuff even more!

  6. Tori//Gringalicious says:

    This is just downright fun, Sally! I love that I can always count on you to share a recipe that makes me feel like a little kid! This has to happen!

  7. Alison Matalanis says:

    This frosting would be awesome to make with my girls. Thanks for the idea, Sally!

  8. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says:

    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?

    1. I used liquid, but either would work here 🙂

  9. Sally this idea is absolutely genius! I used to love that icing. I can not wait to make your homemade version. Thanks

  10. 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!

    1. It will take you back to childhood, I swear!

  11. 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!

  12. 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! 

    1. I like your hopeful thinking 🙂 I hope you try this stuff!

  13. 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.

    1. Let me know what you think!

  14. 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 🙂

    1. So intrigued to try DIY pumpkin spice chips! You’re so creative.

      And oh my gosh yes dunkaroos. 🙂 🙂

  15. Del's cooking twist says:

    A great Monday morning already, starting with so many beautiful colors in this rainbow chip frosting. Thank you for putting some sunshine in our Mondays, Sally! 🙂

    1. Thanks, as always, Del!

  16. Stephanie | Worth Whisking says:

    I laughed out loud because I actually was nodding my head in agreement when you described “the tub of miracles.” Hilarious! Rainbow chip frosting rocks, and your recreation looks amazing! Love the homemade rainbow chips!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

    1. I get you. Rainbow chips are not sprinkles!

  19. I love rainbow chip!!

  20. 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!

    1. That graham cracker/rainbow chip combination reminds me of Dunkaroos. Do you remember those?

  21. OH MY GOD SALLY THIS IS MY CHILDHOOD CONDENSED INTO TEXT ON YOUR BLOG!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!! ♡♡♡

  22. Demeter | Beaming Baker says:

    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

    1. This would be really fun for halloween with orange, black, maybe even a deep dark purple thrown in too!

  23. Cluck Cluck McCluck says:

    This looks absolutely WONDER-FUL! :):) It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

  24. 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!!

    1. I hope you try it soon!

  25. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    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.

  26. Natalee Johnson says:

    “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!

  27. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    heaven. just heaven. my fave canned frosting from when I ate canned frostings lol

  28. 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…

  29. Natalie Munroe says:

    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. Natalie Munroe says:

      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. 🙂

  30. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says:

    This is what dreams are made of

1 2

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