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Italian Rainbow Cookies

This holiday treat is almost too good to eat!
This holiday treat is almost too good to eat!TODAY
Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins
4 dozen cookies

Chef notes

I’m not going to lie, these cookies are a project, but they are so worth it. There’s something really special when you combine the delicate almond sponge cake with raspberry jam, apricot jam and chocolate glaze. Plus, they look so gorgeous and festive, you'll have guests impressed for long after the party ends. While the recipe takes only 30 minutes active time, 10 of which is cooking, make sure to allot for 12 hours of inactive time to let them set properly. 

Technique tip: Bake the cakes until just set, otherwise you’ll wind up with a dry, crumbly cookie.

Swap option: Have fun with the food coloring; use any colors that tickle your fancy!


For the cake layers
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) almond paste
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Red gel food coloring
  • Green gel food coloring
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, stirred to soften
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam, stirred to soften
For the chocolate glaze
  • cups (12 ounces) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup



Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray three quarter-sheet pans with non-stick cooking spray, line with parchment and spray the paper with another coating of the spray.

Make the cookie-cake layers:


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour and salt until well combined. Set aside.


Using your fingers, gently massage and soften the almond paste, break it into small pieces and add it to a stand mixer bowl. Add the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar and cream until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides occasionally, about 5 minutes.


Add the egg yolks, one at a time, allowing each to fully combine before adding the next. Add the almond extract and mix to combine. Then add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Transfer the batter to a large bowl.


In a clean stand mixer bowl, whip the egg whites, on medium speed, until foamy. With the machine running, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and whip to medium peaks.


Add half of the egg white to the batter and mix to combine. Then, gently fold in the remaining egg whites.


Divide the batter into thirds (approximately 350 grams each) and place in different bowls. In one bowl, add two to three drops of red food coloring and gently fold to combine. To the other bowl, add two or three drops of green food coloring and gently fold to combine.


Using a small offset spatula, spread the batter from each bowl into the prepared sheet pans. Run your thumb around the rim of each sheet pan to create a well in between the pan and the batter. Make sure the batter is evenly spread.


Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until just set. The sponge cakes should not take on any color. After removing cakes from the oven, let sit for 10 minutes before carefully sliding the cakes onto cooling racks to let cool completely.


Turn a quarter sheet pan upside-down and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Place the green cake layer, bottom-side up, onto the parchment and spread 1/2 cup of apricot jam evenly over the green cake layer.


Carefully place the uncolored cake layer, bottom-side-up, evenly atop the green layer. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the second cake layer.


Place the red cake layer, bottom-side-up, evenly atop the uncolored layer. Place a sheet of parchment over the cake and then top with a few heavy books to press the cake layers. The jams will act as a glue to adhere the cake layers together. Refrigerate overnight.


After 12 hours, remove the weights from the cake layers and slide onto a cutting board. Trim 1/4 inch off the sides of the cake to create sharp edges, then quarter the cake, lengthwise, and refrigerate again while making the chocolate glaze. 

Make the chocolate glaze:


In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup and stir to combine. Microwave the chocolate in 30-second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval, to form a thick glaze.


Place a length of the cake onto a cooling rack. Spoon 1/4 of the glaze onto the cake strip. Using a small offset spatula, spread the glaze over the top, then smooth out the sides and top.


Transfer to a cutting board and cut the strip into 3/4-inch cookies. Clean your knife in between to ensure clean lines. Then, transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined sheet pan to set.


Repeat with the remaining strips and glaze. Refrigerate the cookies until the ganache sets. When you're ready to serve, bring the cookies to room temperature and enjoy!