Delicious Rainbow Cookies Recipe – A Colorful Treat!

Welcome to my recipe for New York Rainbow Cookies, also known as Italian Rainbow cookies. These colorful cookies originated in New York City and have become a beloved treat around the world. The classic Italian recipe includes three distinctly-colored layers of almond cake jelly sandwiching a layer of apricot jam. The top is then coated with a layer of smooth, dark chocolate and left to harden for the perfect finish.

But why settle for ordinary when you can elevate your baking skills with this scrumptious homemade rainbow cookie recipe? Made with almond paste, all-purpose flour, sugar, butter, and a splash of almond extract, these cookies are moist and flavorful. You’ll be surprised by how easy they are to make at home!

Whether you’re an experienced baker or just looking for a fun recipe to try with friends or family, these cookies are sure to impress. Not only are they delicious, but their vibrant colors make them an eye-catching addition to any dessert table or gift basket.

So follow me through the steps of this recipe and let’s create beautiful layers of tri-colored cake that melt in your mouth with every bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

New York Rainbow Cookies
New York Rainbow Cookies

Dear reader,

If you’re looking for a cookie recipe that’s colorful, delicious, and sure to impress, then this New York Rainbow Cookies Recipe is the one for you! These Italian rainbow cookies are a classic favorite in the Big Apple, and for good reason. Featuring three layers of moist almond cake, filled with a sweet raspberry jelly and coated in rich dark chocolate, these cookies have an unmistakable charm that will leave your taste buds dancing.

But what truly sets this cookie recipe apart is its iconic tri-color appearance. With bright red, green, and yellow layers that will catch your eye from miles away, these rainbow cookies are the perfect treat for any festive occasion – think Christmas, Hanukkah, or even just a beautiful summer day!

As someone who has always been fond of beautifully crafted desserts, I can honestly say that these Italian Rainbow Cookies do not disappoint. In fact, they are so popular that they can be found in just about every bakery across New York City. And when you take your first bite, you’ll understand why.

So whether you’re simply looking to impress your friends and family with your baking prowess or desiring to explore new flavors in desserts, this New York Rainbow Cookies Recipe is the perfect pick. Just be prepared for everyone to ask you for the recipe!

Ingredient List

Sure! Here are some creative and fun photo captions for the New York Rainbow Cookies recipe:
Sure! Here are some creative and fun photo captions for the New York Rainbow Cookies recipe:

To achieve the New York Rainbow Cookies recipe, you will need butter, sugar, almond paste, all-purpose flour, eggs and food coloring. Pay attention to these ingredients for perfect outcomes.

Here are the ingredients list:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 8 ounces almond paste, broken into small pieces
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Red and green food coloring

This list might seem simple at first glance; however, it’s important to note that there is a specific brand of almond paste recommended for this recipe. Use “odense” almond paste or any other brand. When selecting food coloring it is suggested to use liquid over gel to allow smooth blending of colors.

Ensure ingredients like eggs and butter are at room temperature before getting started with your recipe. At a local bakery in New York, Ferrara bakery creates rainbow cookies with seven layers of sponge brushed with raspberry jelly coated in dark chocolate. Although not quite traditional these variations can be experienced by utilizing alternate ingredients such as raspberry jam instead of food dye or adding chocolate chips to have a modern twist on Italian rainbow cookies!

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to taste the rainbow!
Get ready to taste the rainbow!

To get things started, let’s gather all the necessary ingredients for this New York Rainbow Cookies recipe. Once we have everything on hand, we can start preparing and baking these delicious treats.

Preparing the Batter

First, let’s begin by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C). Using a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour together with ½ teaspoon of salt. In another mixing bowl, cream 1 cup of softened unsalted butter along with 1 cup of sugar until smooth and fluffy. Then, add in 1 8-ounce can of almond paste, regularly mixing the batter. Keep the mixer on a low setting to avoid lumps.

Now it is time to add in the eggs. Separate 4 large eggs into yolks and whites. Slowly fold in the yolks first, then the whites into the mixture while still beating it at a low speed. Make sure to allow each egg component to incorporate fully before adding more. Lastly, add in 1 teaspoon of almond extract before beating once again until everything is fully mixed.

Creating the Colorful Layers

For that unique rainbow effect, divide your batter into three separate bowls. To create a different color per layer, mix food coloring into each one of them using red (6-8 drops) for one bowl and green (6-8 drops) for another. The third one should remain uncolored for that nice almond cake base layer.

Prepare three sheets of baking paper slightly larger than the pan you’ll use for baking after stacking them up with colors starting from green as the bottom layer up to pink as the top layer. Brush cooking spray onto each sheet in thin layers as you stack them together inside your cake pan so they stick together.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until you see it turn golden brown. Once done, cool off before serving or slicing individual pieces.

Time to serve!

Best served fresh out of the oven while still warm and without any melting chocolate bits in between layers! Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t come out perfect on your first try. Like any other baked item worth making, practice makes perfect! Feel free to experiment with different food coloring combinations or even bake a seven-layer Italian rainbow cookie cake recipe instead of these ones made in batches; both versions can be enjoyed either way so long as they’re tasty and appease those cravings!

Substitutions and Variations

 Colorful layers of almond cake and raspberry jam make these cookies a true NYC classic.
Colorful layers of almond cake and raspberry jam make these cookies a true NYC classic.

From swapping ingredients to adding imaginative twists, there are many ways to customize this classic New York Rainbow Cookies Recipe. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

– Gluten-Free Option: substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.

– Chocolate Lovers: swap the dark chocolate topping for milk or white chocolate, or even add mini chocolate chips to the cookie dough.

– Nutella Swirl: mix some Nutella or other hazelnut spread into one of the almond paste layers for a decadent addition.

– Tri-Color Layers: instead of making three identical layers, tint one layer green and another one blue or purple. This will create a fun tri-color pattern when the cake is sliced.

– Orange or Lemon Zest: add some fresh zest of orange or lemon to the cookie dough for a refreshing citrus flavor.

– Almond Cherry: swap some of the almond extract with cherry extract and top each cookie with a maraschino cherry for a festive twist.

Remember that substitutions and variations may change the texture and taste of your cookies, so don’t hesitate to experiment and adjust as needed. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 Who needs a pot of gold when you have a plate of New York Rainbow Cookies in front of you?
Who needs a pot of gold when you have a plate of New York Rainbow Cookies in front of you?

These New York Rainbow Cookies are delicious on their own, but they also pair well with a variety of other sweet treats. These cookies are perfect accompaniments to afternoon coffee or tea, or as a sweet treat for dessert.

One great way to serve these cookies is with a tall glass of milk. The sweetness of the cookies pairs perfectly with the cool and creamy milk, creating a delightful contrast in textures and flavors that you won’t be able to resist.

For an extra indulgent experience, try serving these cookies alongside some vanilla ice cream. Spoon some of your favorite flavor onto the side of the plate and enjoy the combination of the chilly ice cream with the soft and tender rainbow cookie.

For those looking for a more adventurous pairing, try serving these cookies with a glass of dry white wine. The crispness and acidity of the wine goes perfectly with the sweetness and richness of the almond paste in the cookies.

In terms of presentation, you can cut them into bite-size pieces or serve them whole. They look stunning when presented on a festive platter, showcasing their bold and vibrant colors.

No matter how you choose to serve them or what you choose to pair them with, these New York Rainbow Cookies are sure to impress your guests and leave everyone coming back for more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Have patience while layering these beauties – trust us, they're worth the effort.
Have patience while layering these beauties – trust us, they’re worth the effort.

Congratulations, you have successfully made a batch of mouth-watering New York Rainbow Cookies. The next step is to enjoy and share them with your loved ones or guests. But, what if you have some cookies left over or want to prepare them in advance? No need to worry, here are some tips for making ahead, storing and reheating these colorful treats.


If you would like to make-ahead these cookies, we recommend making and assembling the cookies up to two days before serving. Once assembled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This will give the flavors a chance to meld together, making for an even tastier treat!


Need to store a batch of already-made Rainbow Cookies? No problem! Store these beautiful Italian treats in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Be sure to place parchment paper between the layers of cookies to prevent sticking.


To get that fresh-out-of-the-oven taste, preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C then pop your cookies on a baking sheet and warm them up for 3-4 minutes. The chocolate coating should be slightly melted and the cookie texture soft and chewy – it’s a beautiful thing.

In conclusion, these vibrant cookies are a crowd pleaser and perfect for entertaining occasions such as birthdays or showers. Their unique sweetness and tri-color look are sure to make a great impression on any table. By following these aforementioned tips for preparing Rainbow Cookies in advance or storing left-over remains, you’ll be able keep that deliciousness lingering longer.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Almond paste adds a deliciously nutty flavor to the cake layers.
Almond paste adds a deliciously nutty flavor to the cake layers.

If you’re looking to make the perfect New York Rainbow Cookies recipe, here are some tips to help you succeed. These tips will ensure that your rainbow cookies come out moist, delicious, and perfect every time.

First of all, it’s important to measure your ingredients accurately. Make sure you have enough flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and almond paste before you start baking. Use measuring cups and spoons instead of estimating the amounts. This way, you’ll have the right balance of ingredients in your recipe.

Secondly, use high-quality ingredients. Using top-quality butter and almond paste will make a considerable difference in the texture and flavor of your cookies. Almond paste is one of the main ingredients in New York Rainbow Cookies, so it’s crucial to ensure that it’s fresh and flavorful.

Thirdly, let the almond paste warm up to room temperature before using it in the dough for better consistency. You may want to consider buying high-quality almond paste from a reputable bakery to ensure it’s fresh and rich in flavor.

Fourthly, be gentle when folding the egg whites into your batter. Overworking the mixture can lead to deflating or dense cookies.

Fifthly, don’t skip on sifting flour; this technique ensures that there are no lumps or chunks that could ruin your cookies’ texture.

Sixthly, pay attention as you add food coloring to get tri-color batter that has even colors throughout. Make sure to add one color at a time and use separate bowls for each color to avoid mixing them.

Lastly, use a toothpick or cake tester to check whether the cookies are baked properly. When they’re ready, there should be a slight give when gently pressed; otherwise, they might be overbaked and dry.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently make your New York Rainbow cookies at home without worrying about any mishaps while baking. Remember to follow the instructions carefully for a perfectly moist cookie that everyone can agog over during dessert!


Answering frequently asked questions (FAQ) is essential when it comes to making a recipe successful. Every home cook has different levels of expertise and may have some doubts, especially when making Italian Rainbow Cookies for the first time. In this section, I will be addressing some common questions that arise during the preparation process, providing practical tips to troubleshoot issues and offering suggestions for customizing according to particular preferences. So let’s dive in!

Are rainbow cookies a New York thing?

The scrumptious Italian Rainbow Cookies, also referred to as tri-color or Venezia Cookies, first appeared in the Italian-American community of New York City. These delightful almond bakes are traditionally offered during celebratory events such as Christmas and Easter.

Are rainbow cookies really Italian?

These cookies, known as rainbow cookies have their origins in Italy and are a favorite in the bustling city of New York. They boast three layers of delectable almond sponge cake with delicious raspberry jam sandwiched in between.

What are rainbow cookies made of?

This indulgent dessert is often referred to as the seven-layer cookie due to its seven layers of irresistible flavors. These layers consist of dark chocolate, green almond cake, jelly, white almond cake, jelly, red almond cake, and topped with another layer of decadent dark chocolate. The result is a dessert that is both visually stunning and delicious.

What are Italian rainbow cookies made of?

To create the delightful Italian rainbow cookies, you’ll require eggs, sugar, almond paste, almond extract, butter, salt, food coloring, and raspberry preserves. Don’t forget to finish it off with drizzled semi-sweet chocolate! Just remember to separate the whites from the egg yolks before starting.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, there’s no doubt that the New York Rainbow Cookies Recipe is a must-try dessert for everyone who loves a classic Italian treat. With its three colorful layers filled with almond paste and chocolate, this cookie recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth.

So, gather all the ingredients you need and follow the steps in our recipe how-to section to make your very own Italian Rainbow Cookies. Whether you’re making them for yourself or for your loved ones, these cookies are sure to impress.

Don’t hesitate to try out different variations by substituting ingredients or adding your favorite toppings, such as sprinkles or chocolate chips. Remember to pair them with a cup of coffee or tea to complete the experience.

Lastly, don’t forget to store any leftovers properly or make them ahead of time for easy access whenever you want a delicious snack. Follow our storing and reheating tips to keep your cookies fresh and tasty.

So, what are you waiting for? Head to the kitchen and start baking some New York Rainbow Cookies – they’ll bring you all the sweetness and joy of the city that never sleeps, right in your own home.

New York Rainbow Cookies

New York Rainbow Cookies Recipe

I grew up eating these from a little Italian bakery in the neighborhood. When I came across a recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook, I just knew I needed to make these to give a taste of my childhood to my kids and husband. Terrific! I make them 2 weeks ahead to allow them enough time to "mellow" and become moist and full of almond flavor! Prep time does not include chilling overnight
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Bars, Christmas, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, European
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 96 cookies
Calories: 61.7kcal


  • 1 (8 ounce) can almond paste
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 -8 drops red food coloring
  • 6 -8 drops green food coloring
  • 1/4 cup seedless red raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Grease the bottoms of three matching 13x9x2-inch baking pans (or reuse one pan). Line the pans with waxed paper; grease the paper.
  • Place almond paste in a large mixing bowl; break up with a fork. Cream with butter, sugar and egg yolks until light, fluffy, and smooth. Stir in flour. In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into dough, mixing until thoroughly blended.
  • Divide dough into three portions (about 1 1/3 cups each). Color one portion with red food coloring and one with green; leave the remaining portion uncolored. Spread each portion into the prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.
  • Invert onto wire racks; remove waxed paper. Place another wire rack on top and turn over. Cool completely.
  • Place green layer on a a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread evenly with raspberry jam. Top with uncolored layer and spread with apricot jam. Top with pink layer. Bring plastic wrap over layers. Slide onto a baking sheet and set a cutting board or heavy, flat pan on top to compress layers. Refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day, melt chocolate in a double boiler. Spread over top layer; allow to harden. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut into 1/2-inch strips across the width; then cut each strip into 4-5 pieces. Store in airtight containers.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1458g | Calories: 61.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.5g | Protein: 0.9g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Cholesterol: 13.9mg | Sodium: 17.6mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 4.7g

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