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This Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting recipe is so creamy and yummy, with tiny colorful chips of white chocolate throughout a sweet, slightly tangy, cream cheese frosting base!

Looking for more homemade frosting ideas? Be sure to try our Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, Fresh Strawberry Frosting, and many other frosting recipes!

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting in a bowl with a spatula

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting

No need to fret over those marvelous tubs of rainbow chip deliciousness being pulled from store shelves ever again. With this easy recipe, you can make your own homemade rainbow chip frosting at home. And honestly, doesn’t homemade always taste better anyway?

Happy Birthday to me!! I’m the obnoxious sort that still celebrates my birthday with full gusto even though I’m now an adult (and, erm, have been for 19 years – I’ll let you do the math). So I wanted to share with you one of my favorite things EVER — Rainbow Chip Frosting!

Chocolate cupcake with homemade rainbow chip frosting in a purple cupcake liner with a lit yellow birthday candle.

My freshman year roommate at BYU also happened to be my childhood best friend, although we had moved away from each other just before sophomore year of high school. So she knew me enough to know that 1) I’m kind of a freak about my birthday, and 2) I didn’t even need cupcakes to eat it with.

Just give me a spoon or maybe some graham crackers. Ain’t no shame in that game.

So that’s what she gave me that day in October when we were both living in the dorms, far from home and family, and couldn’t bake a cake. I love you, Carrie!

So it was a sad, sad day when Betty Crocker discontinued rainbow chip frosting.

They have since brought it back because it turns out there are entire cult followings devoted to rainbow chip frosting and they went to war to bring it back. Or at least started a petition or something.

I know I signed it. You’re welcome world.

But you guys — we’re talking HOMEMADE rainbow chip frosting here.

I didn’t even know this was a possibility until I saw Sally’s Baking Addiction post about it last year. And this stuff is (dare I say it and be forever shunned by the other rainbow chip loving acolytes?!) even better than the kind that comes in those cute little tubs.

Hands holding a knife being used to frost chocolate cupcakes with homemade rainbow chip frosting.

So let’s talk about what goes into making this homemade rainbow chip frosting!

The frosting base doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation. The original version is ever so slightly tangy in addition to the sweet, and it is super, super creamy which makes me think of cream cheese frosting, but not full-strength cream cheese variety which wouldn’t be the right flavor profile. Just enough to balance out the sweetness of the powdered sugar and white chocolate.

Everything else is just butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt, which I always like to add to my frostings because it really brings out the flavor and takes any frosting from flat to fab!

The real star, though, are the actual rainbow chips themselves. And as far as I know, they aren’t just something you can source from a specialty baking store or online.

But no need to worry, those soft little rainbow chips are easy to make at home yourself with just some real white chocolate and food coloring (affiliate link)!

I don’t like to mess around with white chocolate chips when I am melting white chocolate. They have added stabilizers to help them keep their shape which also makes it so they don’t melt well. You will have better success with a bar of white chocolate, like Ghiradelli or Bakers, chopped up into pieces and then melted in a double boiler or glass bowl set over very hot, but not boiling, water.

You could also use the microwave method where you heat the white chocolate for 1 minute on 50% power, stir, then microwave in 20 second bursts until smooth, stirring in between each round of heat until completely melted and smooth.

But I honestly prefer the glass bowl approach as I feel like it gives me better control and I run less risk of my white chocolate seizing up – something it’s notorious for doing.

Colorful bowls with melted white chocolate and spoons for stirring food coloring into them.

As soon as the white chocolate is melted, divide it between four small bowls and add 2-3 drops of food coloring (affiliate link) per bowl. Any more color and your white chocolate may start to seize up, but since it’s such a small amount of white chocolate for each color, 2-3 drops really is enough.

Colored white chocolate spread out in thin rectangles onto a silicone baking mat with dirty bowls and tubes of food coloring in the background.

Then just spread each color of white chocolate into a small square on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and stick it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, until the white chocolate is solid again.

Chop it up into teeny, tiny chips and you are all ready to fold them into your frosting base!

Colorful pastel rainbow chips in piles to be stirred into a vanilla cream cheese frosting base to make rainbow chip frosting.

This homemade rainbow chip frosting recipe tastes just like the real thing, except better. Truly.

And it’s really, really fun to make!

Mixing bowl with cream cheese frosting and rainbow chips poured in ready to be mixed together with a spatula.

This is wonderful for cupcakes, birthday cakes, or just for dipping graham crackers into it.

I’m planning to try it in place of the cherry frosting in my Vintage Cherry Chip Layer Cake.

And I have the perfect, super moist chocolate cupcakes that go amazing with it! Enjoy!

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Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting in a bowl with a spatula
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting Recipe

This Homemade Rainbow Chip Frosting recipe is so creamy and yummy, with tiny colorful chips of white chocolate throughout a sweet, slightly tangy, cream cheese frosting base!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • food coloring: any four colors of your choice
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch of salt


  1. Before beginning to melt the white chocolate, prep everything you need by pulling out a silicone baking mat or lining a baking sheet with parchment and grabbing 4 small bowls, 4 spoons, and the food coloring you plan to use to color the white chocolate.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or a glass bowl set over a half-full pan of very hot, but not boiling, water.  Alternatively, you can microwave the white chocolate, stopping to stir every 20 seconds, until melted.
  3. As soon as the chocolate is melted, divide it between the 4 small bowls and stir 2-3 drops of food coloring into each bowl. More food coloring may cause the white chocolate to seize up, so be cautious adding more.  Spread the colored white chocolate into 4 small rectangles on the silicone baking mat or parchment paper, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting base by beating the butter and cream cheese together on high speed in a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with a whisk attachment until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and mixing at low speed until combined before adding the next cup.  Beat in the vanilla and a pinch of salt and beat the frosting base until creamy.
  5. Once set, remove the white chocolate from the refrigerator.  Transfer the colored rectangles to a cutting board and chop into tiny squares to make little chips.  Using a rubber spatula, fold the chips into the frosting base, adding just 1/3 of the chips at a time to ensure even distribution.
  6. Frost your favorite cake or cupcakes and store any leftover frosting in the refrigerator.  Just let it come to room temperature before using.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Saturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 24gSugar: 24gProtein: 1g