Italian Rainbow Cookie Recipe

Saturday, December 8, 2012
Absolutely my favorite cookie of all time, easier than I thought to make myself and a perfect addition to the Christmas cookie tray!

A great blogging friend made these Italian Rainbow Cookies last year, Arlene from The Food of Love Blog. I have saved and bookmarked until I got the nerve up to make these thinking these were extremely hard to do. After reading her simplified recipe I got up the courage, as this was one she had on her bucket list and on mine bucket list too! Thank you so much Arlene for letting me relive some wonderful memories from my past as a kid in the bakeries of Upstate N.Y. These were fabulous and I love this recipe!

I have been wanting to make them since I was a little girl seeing these on many a Wedding Tray as an Italian speciality in Upstate N.Y. Utica New York, where I am originally from is known for Authentic Italian Cuisine, one I am very proud to have grown up with an Italian family backround and friends that kept those traditions going. This is one that brings back the joys of childhood as this Italian girl who loves to bake waited way too long to try these. Plan on taking up most of the day, Not hard but time consuming.


Adapted from Arlene  The Food Of Love Blog

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 can almond filling 12.5 oz can found in the baking isle of your local supermarket (Solo Brand)
4 eggs
12 drops each red and green food coloring
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/2 cup apricot jam
12 oz semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get three 12- 1/4  x  8-1/4  x  1-1/4 aluminum baking pans ready lined with parchment paper on the bottoms and lightly oil sprayed on anything exposed on the sides set aside.

Using a hand mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add almond pastry filling, beat until smooth around 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour beat just until combined.

Divide the batter evenly into 3 bowls.  Add the 12 drops of  green food coloring to one bowl, 12 drops of red food coloring to another bowl, and leave the third bowl plain white. Blend the food coloring into each batter to mix evenly.

Using a spatula, spread each colored batter into each separate prepared pan. Bake each pan until just beginning to brown on the edges, 10-15 minutes. Make sure the middle is set.   Cool completely.

Heat jams separately in glass bowls in  the microwave for every 30 seconds heating and stirring until smooth. Cool slightly.

Place green cake on a clean solid tray or cutting board using wax paper on the bottom. Spread using a spatula heated apricot jam over the green cake. Top with plain (white) cake for the middle. Spread heated raspberry jam over plain white cake and top with red cake. Press down lightly. Chill cakes to set jam, 1 hour.

Using a sharp knife, trim cake edges to form an even block. Slice the cake in long lengthwise into 1 1/2" wide logs (5-6 of them). Separate the bars/logs so your can spread the chocolate down the sides . Use a cake decorating spatula to spread melted chocolate over top, sides of each long bar, and smooth chocolate over the ends of each bar  until completely covered. Note: You can use a hot knife method to make the smooth on top by dipping your metal spatula in hot water and smoothing the chocolate in one direction.

Chill to set chocolate, then slice into 1/2" thick cookies.

Notes and Tips:

One of the hardest things I found was how hard these were to cut without cracking the chocolate off. Once the chocolate gets hard you will need a very sharp knife.
Two things worked better.  One freeze them first then cut or the second thing that worked was  leaving them out 10 minutes or room temperature, then placing the knife in hot boiling water, wiping it off and slicing through the hard chocolate made it easier and didn't crack so easy. Hope that helps.. Any other tips out there feel welcome to comment.

These will stay fresh for two weeks in the refrigerator and they also freeze well.
+claudia lamascolo  Author


  1. Hi Claudia, that's a beautiful rainbow cookies. It look so good and tempting. Thanks for the step by step photos and recipe.

    Have a nice weekend. Regards.

  2. Okay you talked me into it. I too have wanted to make these for the longest time but they seem so scary. This year I will do it!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  3. Claudia made the rainbow connection. These cookies seem to capture the Christmas spirit with the red, green and white colors.

  4. Your rocked this one, Claudia! Perfect for the holidays!!!

  5. Claudia, Gorgeous! I make these just about every Christmas…so delicious and impressive!

  6. Such beautiful cookies for Christmas! I love the chocolate on top! Brava!

  7. Una fantastica e originale idea!!! Bravissima!!!

  8. Claudia, your cookies came out perfectly! They are hard to cut. I like your idea of freezing them partially first. I have a second recipe for these--from Lidia Bastianich--and I'm conflicted as to whether to go with the tried and true, or try hers. So many cookies, so little time. Thanks for linking to The Food of Love. Merry Christmas to you and yours (and the cookies are delicious frozen, too, lol).


Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email