Italian Rainbow Cookies

If you’re looking for a cute cookie recipe, these Italian rainbow cookies might just fit the bill perfectly. They’re also known as tri-color or tricolore cookies or Italian flag almond cookies since they reflect the red, white and green of Italy’s flag. Rainbow cookies are easy to make and they look really special, so consider making Italian rainbow cookies for the holidays whether or not you’re Italian.

Neapolitan Christmas cookie bars on a white plate.

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These Italian-American cookies are prepared by layering almond cake with raspberry jelly and adding a sweet chocolate glaze. They’re gorgeous to look at and even better to eat!

Italian Christmas cookies on a white plate with green, red, and blue decorations.

Why You’ll Love Them

Delicious:  The combination of cookie/cake layers with jelly and chocolate is just phenomenal. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, you’ll love how these sweet treats taste.
Straightforward to make: Don’t let the rainbow layering put you off! It’s really not hard to make Italian rainbow cookies and you can be proud of yourself for making such a pretty treat!
Authentic: If you’re looking for an authentic recipe reflecting Italian cuisine, you can’t go wrong with Italian rainbow cookies. It doesn’t matter if you have any Italian in your ancestry – absolutely everyone loves these!

A stack of Italian flag almond cookies on a plate with a cup of coffee.

Ingredients for Italian Flag Cookies

The ingredients are eggs, butter, granulated and powdered sugar, almond paste, milk, almond extract, flour, food coloring, raspberry jam, chocolate chips, and oil. If you want to be adventurous and make 4 or even 7 layer cookies, you might want to gather a collection of food coloring dyes!

The ingredients for a neapolitan recipe are laid out on a table.

How to Make this Recipe

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Make the cake batter:  Beat the egg whites until stiff in one bowl and the butter, sugar and almond paste in another bowl before adding in the powdered sugar, milk, egg yolks and almond extract.
Color the batter: Divide the batter between 3 bowls and add red food coloring to one, green food coloring to another and leave the third as it is.
Bake the batter: Spread each color of batter on to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then let them cool completely.
Make the layers: Spread jam over the green layer, then add the white layer on top and spread jam over that. Put the red layer on top.
Chill the cookies: Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and put a book, pot or something heavy on top of the cookies to press everything down. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Trim and decorate the cake: Trim the cake down to get a rectangle, melt the chocolate chips and oil together, and spread this over the cake. When the chocolate layer sets, flip it over and cover the rest with chocolate. Cut the cake into 1 1/2-inch squares to make the cookies.

A stack of tricolore cookies on a plate with a cup of coffee.

Substitutions and Variations

This Italian rainbow cookie can be made with different flavoring. If you aren’t an almond fan, you might like to swap the almond extract and almond paste for vanilla or something else.

Italian Christmas cookies with powdered sugar on them.

You can also use sweet, semisweet or dark chocolate for the melted chocolate, or use unsalted butter instead of salted.

A plate of Italian Christmas cookies.

You can also change the colors, using whichever you want for your Italian rainbow cookie recipe.

Cut Italian flag cookie squares on a plate.

How to Serve Italian Layer Cookies

Enjoy these Venetian cookies with your favorite beverage. Just make sure the chocolate layer has completely set before you cut and serve them.

A stack of Italian flag almond cookies on a plate with a cup of coffee.

They’re great with anything from a Dalgona pumpkin spice coffee or Irish cream coffee to something more festive like Santa’s hat cocktails!

A tray with homemade Italian christmas cookies.

How to Store this Neapolitan Recipe

Store:  Leftovers will stay fresh for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Freeze: Freeze the Italian rainbow cookies for up to 3 months.

A plate of chocolate bars with rainbow sprinkles and tricolore cookies on it.

Italian Rainbow Cookies FAQs

What can you do with any remaining chocolate?

Once the Italian rainbow cookies are covered with chocolate, you might find you have some left. Keep it and you can use it to decorate cupcakes or cookies, or to drizzle over your next sundae or caramel apple cheesecakes.

What’s the best way to compress the Italian rainbow cookies?

Once you’ve stacked them put a baking sheet and heavy book or pot on top to press them down.

A stack of 3 color Italian squares cookies.

Italian Rainbow Cookies Recipe

A tray of rainbow Italian Christmas cookies.

Italian Rainbow Cookies

5 from 46 votes
Course: Sweets
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Christmas, Cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
cool time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 42 minutes
Servings: 36 Cookies
Calories: 160kcal
Author: Bella Bucchiotti
Italian rainbow cookies have layers of almond cake sandwiched with raspberry jam and coated in chocolate. Perfect for Christmas or any day!
Print Save

Ingredients

  • 4 egg separated
  • 1 1/2 Cups butter room temp
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Cup whole milk room temp
  • 1 Tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon food coloring red gel
  • 1/4 Teaspoon food coloring green gel
  • 1/2 Cup raspberry jam seedless
  • 1 1/2 Cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 Teaspoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Beat the egg whites till stiff.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the butter, sugar and almond paste together until smooth, then add the powdered sugar, milk, egg yolks, and almond extract and beat until combined.
  • Stir in the flour with a spoon, then fold in the egg whites.
  • Divide evenly between 3 bowls. Add the red food coloring to one bowl and mix until well combined. Add the green to another bowl and stir until combined.
  • Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and spread out each color. This will take some work as the dough is thick and difficult to spread on parchment paper.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove and cool completely.
  • Spread half the jam over the green side, then gently lay the white batter over the jam and spread the remaining jam over the white cookie. Lay the red cookie over the jam.
  • Cover in saran wrap and place a pan over the cookies. Place a book on top and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Trim the cake to a 7½ by 10½ inch rectangle. Melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil together and spread over the top of the cookies. Let the chocolate harder, then carefully flip the cookie over and cover the other side with chocolate. Let the chocolate harden, then measure and cut 1 ½ inch squares.

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Italian rainbow cookies are truly delicious. They’re colorful and boast almond and chocolate flavors in every bite. They might look sophisticated but they’re not hard to make at all. In fact, they’re fun to make! So, if you’re looking for a festive cookie recipe, try Italian rainbow cookies – everyone is going to love them!

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.

Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.

Welcome to xoxoBella! I am Bella Bucchiotti and I am a recipe developer, content creator and writer. Here you will find delicious recipes, travel inspiration, crafts, pet tips and more.

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  1. Image cutout service wrote:

    5 stars
    Wow, these Italian rainbow cookies truly embody the festive spirit with their vibrant colors! The blend of flavors and textures, from the almond paste to the layers of jelly and chocolate, seems like a culinary masterpiece. Thanks for sharing.

    Posted 11.18.23 Reply