Homemade Rainbow Sprinkle Frosting

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This frosting.  Oh, this frosting.  If you're below the age of 40, you know it well.  It adorned at least half the cupcakes you ate as a child, and I have also been known to eat it as a dip with graham crackers.  So creamy, so tasty.  So discontinued.  A generation mourns.  There are imitators out there, but it's just not the same.

Until now, when it gets better.  I found this recipe for a homemade version on Pinterest, and it really does have the taste and close to the texture of the original.  Unfortunately, no homemade frosting will ever perfectly mimic the texture of canned frosting because it's more of a science project than food, and all those hydrogenated oils, syrups, and shelf stabilizers give it the texture we know (and many of us, like me, prefer).  This recipe, though, with its cream cheese icing base, comes pretty close to being that creamy, sort of light, spreadable frosting texture.  The flavor of this frosting is amazing, and since you make it, you of course get to play with how it tastes.

I made it for my sister's birthday and frosted these cupcakes with it, and everyone enjoyed them.

Homemade Rainbow Sprinkle Frosting
slightly adapted from this blog

Frosts 1- 9x13 cake or 24 cupcakes

8 ounces cream cheese (light or regular - not nonfat), at room temperature
8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used clear imitation vanilla flavoring for color)
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles, jimmies, chips of your choice

Using a stand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until light and fluffy ,about 3 minutes.

Beat in half the confectioners' sugar until combined, add the remaining half and the vanilla extract.

Beat on medium 5 minutes until light and fluffy, stopping to check the consistency every few minutes. If it seems too thick you can add a teaspoon of heavy cream or half & half, too thin add a few more tablespoons confectioners' sugar.

Stir in the rainbow chips by hand. Use immediately.


  • This frosting freezes well.  Just thaw in fridge
  • Store any leftover frosting and anything you frost with it in the fridge.
  • Freshly made, it is that soft, canned-icing texture.  Once refrigerated, it has to warm a bit.

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