How to Make Rainbow Cookies

Rainbow Cookies

Kitchen tools, gourmet foods, baking mixes, and hard-to-find baking ingredients mentioned in this article are available at The Prepared Pantry.

by Dennis Weaver


Wendy, who published our e-books, told me that my instructions for these multi-colored cookies were not very clear. She was right. So we went to the kitchen and made new ones so that the method would be fresh in my mind. Fun exercise.

In the processes, Ally who works in our test kitchen became enamored in with these cookies. She made a batch and took them to her church supper. She said they were a big hit.

“That’s a recipe everyone should have,” she said.

But think of this as a method, not a recipe. By changing flavors and colors, you can make any combination of colors and flavors you desire. Use your imagination. In these pictures, you’ll see swirls, squares, and stripes. Ally made multi-color pinwheels with two and three colors.

These make great kid cookies, holiday cookies, and party cookies.

How to Create Your Own Rainbow Cookies

You can spend forever exploring shapes, colors, and flavors. You make these cookies by dividing your dough into three or four parts and coloring and flavoring each.

We carry over 30 different flavors—everything from root beer to wild berry to peach. We have over 40 colors.

Use food color gels, not the liquids from the grocery stores, if you can. They are much brighter and much more concentrated. You can make very bright, not faded, cookies.

Use the dough as clay and make flat strips for striped cookies or square or round ropes. Put the shapes together to make multi-colored logs, slice and bake.

We put four round ropes together and made shamrock cookies. We paired up striped cookies and made nifty sandwich cookies.

They’re pretty simple to make though making the logs seem to give folks pause. The trick is to make them uniform.

If you have a kitchen scale, use it to divide the dough portions equally. Make a rough rope out of each.

Roll each rope in wax paper. Roll the waxed paper covered logs on the counter to make smooth logs, stretching and compressing to get them uniform in length. Stroking the logs with your hands helps to make them smooth.

For square logs, press them flat on the counter, stroke with your fingers, and turn them and stroke some more. Similarly, make strips for striped cookies.

It’s easier to make the logs than it is to describe how to make them. After the logs are made, press them together and refrigerate them until the dough is firm. Cut 1/4 inch thick slices with serrated knife.

Colored Cookies



  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients in two parts, mixing after each. Mix just until combined.
  3. Divide the dough into two, three, or four parts depending on how many different doughs you choose to make.
  4. For one half of the dough, melt two ounces of chocolate. For one fourth of the dough, melt one ounce of chocolate. While still warm, work the chocolate into the dough until uniform.

For flavored and colored doughs

  1. Add two or three drops of food color gel in each one fourth or one third part. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint, 1/2 teaspoon cherry, 1/2 teaspoon strawberry, or other extracts to the dough and mix in.
  2. Form the dough into cylinders, squares, or layers—a separate color or flavor for each. Refrigerate until firm.
  3. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch thick slices. To form the shapes, cut each colored cylinder separately but gently press the different colored discs together on the cookie sheet. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets at 350 degrees for ten to twelve minutes or until the cookies are nearly firmed and very lightly browned. Do not over bake. Cool on wire racks.

Baker’s notes

Nuts or fruit can be added to these cookies. Maraschino cherry pieces could be added to the pink dough and almond bits to the almond dough.

When I’ve made mine, I cut the logs separately and then pressed the pieces together into the patterns. Ally pressed the logs together and then cut the multicolored logs into cookies. I think Ally was smarter.

Dennis Weaver is the founder of The Prepared Pantry, a full line kitchen store in Rigby, Idaho. The Prepared Pantry sells kitchen tools, gourmet foods, and baking ingredients including hundreds of hard-to-find ingredients.

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