Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

The holiday baking season has begun, at least at our house. I am testing recipes for Cookie Exchanges and just to mix up my normal holiday dessert repertoire. Although growing up in an Italian household, we never made these at home.

I remember trying them once or twice with a bakery assortment.  I slightly adapted this recipe from my Sister In law’s Sister.

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

They do require a lot of steps but it is fairly easy. Just be sure your oven racks are even….mine were not incorrectly the first time I made them but this time was much better. I did not realize it until after the layers were almost finished baking. 

 

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

What are Rainbow Cookies?

These are not to be confused with our Sugar Rainbow Cookie.  This Italian Cookie recipe is called a Rainbow Cookie, often called Tricolore because of its resemblance to the Italian flag, and sometimes called Napoleon Cookies or Seven Layer Cookies (3 cake, 2 chocolate, and 2 jam).  

What you need to make Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Sticks of Butter, softened
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 Cup ALMOND FILLING (this is different from most recipes)
  • 2 Tsp Green Food Coloring 
  • 3 Tsp. Red Food Coloring
  • 3 Tsp Seedless Raspberry or Apricot Jam
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Morsels (We Prefer Bittersweet for a richer flavor)
  • 3 11 x 7 Pans
  • Parchment Paper (Optional but suggested)

Do I use Almond Paste or Almond Filling

While searching online for the recipe to link to I found several different recipes, most with almond paste. I accidentally bought Almond Filling and then found a review that this “mistake” actually makes the cookie/ cake moister.  Either way, they were awesome. 

How to Make Rainbow Cookie

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Separate the batter into 3 bowls, about 1 1/2 cups each.

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Bake 12-14 minutes making sure not to burn the edges.  Allow to cool in the pan or carefully transfer to a wire rack. (we only had 2 pans so we moved the cakes to a wire rack)

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Either heat or stir the preserves until you can easily spread them. Start with the green layer and add a thin layer of preserves, add the yellow one and repeat. Top with the Red cake layer. 

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Cover the pan with foil and place in the fridge with books or heavy cans for 4 hrs or until overnight.

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Melt Chocolate chips with a Tablespoon of butter or shortening in the microwave until smooth.  Spread over one side and if you want to allow it to harden and turn over and cover the other side with chocolate. 

 

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Allow the chocolate to harden completely and using a serrated knife cut them into the desired serving size.

 
Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe
 
Italian Rainbow cookie Recipe
 
We cut them into 36 pieces.  Depending on how big you want them.  Be careful, they will go fast. 
 
Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Traditional Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Yield: 36 Slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Cooling Time : 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 27 minutes

A traditional Italian Christmas Cookie. Rainbow Cookie Recipe is well worth the few extra steps.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Sticks of Butter, softened
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 Cup ALMOND FILLING (this is different from most recipes)
  • 2 Tsp Green Food Coloring 
  • 3 Tsp. Red Food Coloring
  • 3 Tsp Seedless Raspberry or Apricot Jam
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Morsels (We Prefer Bittersweet for a richer flavor)
  • 3 11x7 x 2 1/2 " pans
  • Parchment Paper (Optional but suggested)

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Grease and line the pans with parchment paper.  (I did not the first time and they came out without a problem
    3. Beat sugar and butter together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Let it get light and fluffy. 
    4. Add the Almond Filling and mix well. 
    5. Add the eggs 2 at a time, making sure they are well blended in between each addition. 
    6. Add flour and mix until blended. (do not overbeat)
    7. Separate batter into 3 bowls, about 1 1/2 cups each.
    8. Mix in food color to make a green, red and keeping one plain (yellow)
    9. Place batter in prepared pans and using an offset spatula flatten the mixture evenly into the pans.
    10. Bake 12-14 minutes making sure not to burn the edges.  Allow to cool in the pan or carefully transfer to a wire rack. (we only had 2 pans so we moved the cakes to a wire rack)
    11. Either heat or stir the preserves until you can easily spread them. Start with the green layer and add a thin layer of preserves, add the yellow one and repeat. Top with the Red cake layer. 
    12. Cover the pan with foil and place in the fridge with books or heavy cans for 4 hrs or until overnight. 
    13. Melt Chocolate chips with a Tablespoon of butter or shortening in the microwave until smooth.  Spread over one side and if you want to allow it to harden and turn over and cover the other side with chocolate. 


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Nutrition Information
Yield 36 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 149 Total Fat 9g Saturated Fat 4g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 35mg Sodium 71mg Carbohydrates 15g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 1g Sugar 8g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 3g
All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on stayingclosetohome.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Also, why can’t you make these Italian 7 Layer Cookies red white and blue for the Fourth of July???

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