Rainbow Butter Cookies Recipe
Rainbow Butter Cookies Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Rainbow Butter Cookies Recipe

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Our family can't get through the holidays without these fun, colorful cookies. They come out of my oven by the dozens! —Lanette Tate, Sandy, Utah
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
MAKES:36 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
MAKES: 36 servings


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Green, red and yellow food coloring
  • Milk

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (2 each) equals 109 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 22 mg cholesterol, 117 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Divide dough into three portions; tint each a different color. Roll each portion of dough on waxed paper into a 9-in. x 5-in. rectangle. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut each rectangle in half lengthwise. Lightly brush top of one rectangle with milk. Top with another colored dough. Remove waxed paper; brush top with milk. Repeat with remaining dough, alternating colors to make six layers. Press together lightly. Wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. Unwrap dough; cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Cool for 1-2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 3 dozen.
Originally published as Rainbow Butter Cookies in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p30

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Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"I made these using just red and green food coloring. Super easy to make, my only tip is to make sure you refrigerate them for at least 3-4 hours. The longer, the better. However, I didn't care for the flavor. It was too bland. Maybe next time I will add some almond flavoring instead of the vanilla."

Reviewed Aug. 7, 2011

"Made these with my 4 year old. She thought the stripes were cool and we Used the scraps to make marbled round cookies which she enjoyed doubly."

Reviewed Dec. 9, 2010

"I didn't bother with the ribbon effect or the food colouring, but because they are a sliced cookie, I tried something alot easier. I used maple flavouring instead of the vanilla and rolled the dough into two logs. I froze one for later use and sliced up and baked the other one. YUMMY! This is an easy and basic butter cookie recipe that comes out tender, with almost a shortbread texture. I want to try with different flavourings as well."

Reviewed Aug. 28, 2009

" These taste GREAT, however, for the summer I chose purple, yellow and green colored stripes.  YUCKO !  With the slight yellow of the dough from the vanilla the purple looked crummy.  Judge accordingly on color choices but don't pass this one up when you have a little spare time....they're fun to do, taste super,  and look impressive. "

Reviewed Aug. 28, 2009

"I do NOT make cookies..BUT would like to make the above. I do NOT understand this receipe at all. Please email me with a little more details so that I can make these. OR if there is another receipe that is easier, please let me know. I like the red/green effect and would use Splenda instead of sugar.


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