Italian Rainbow Cookies

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling


about 11 dozen

Updated: Jul. 27, 2023
My family has made these classic Italian rainbow cookies for generations, and this homemade version is so much better than the bakery version. They are always a special treat during the holidays or any time of year! —Cindy Casazza, Hopewell, New Jersey


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3-1/2 ounces almond paste, cut into small pieces
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 to 8 drops red food coloring
  • 6 to 8 drops green food coloring
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place sugar and almond paste in a food processor; process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar mixture 2-3 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add flour, butter, salt and extract.
  2. Divide batter into thirds. Tint one portion red and one portion green; leave remaining portion plain. Spread one portion into each of 3 well-greased 11x7-in. baking dishes.
  3. Bake 7-11 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges begins to brown. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Place red layer on waxed paper; spread with 2 tablespoons jam. Top with plain layer and remaining jam. Add green layer; press down gently.
  5. For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread half over green layer. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set. Turn over; spread remaining glaze over red layer. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until set.
  6. With a sharp knife, trim edges. Cut rectangle lengthwise into fourths. Cut each portion into 1/4-in. slices.
Italian Rainbow Cookies Tips

Can you make Italian rainbow cookies without almond paste?

The flavor that almond paste and almond extract work together to create is what Italian rainbow cookies are known for. We don’t recommend skipping the almond paste—not only would you be missing out on flavor, but the texture of each layer would be different as well. If you bought almond paste specifically for this recipe and have some leftover, put it to use in one of our other almond recipes.

How can you make Italian rainbow cookies your own?

Raspberry jam is typically spread between the layers in Italian rainbow cookies, but another popular option is apricot. However, you could experiment with your favorite jams to see what you like best!

How should you store Italian rainbow cookies?

Store Italian rainbow cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can also make them ahead of time and freeze them for up to 3 months. After you’ve polished off these Italian rainbow cookies, keep more of our Italian dessert recipes in mind. Otherwise, if you want more colorful desserts to go along with your Italian rainbow cookies, look through more of our rainbow recipes.

Lauren Pahmeier, Taste of Home Associate Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 cookie: 35 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 21mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.