Italian rainbow cookies are delicious, colorful, fluffy, and gorgeous, made with three cake layers sandwiched in between jam and covered in chocolate.
- 8 ounces almond paste
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 and ¼ cups unsalted butter, softened (2 and ½ sticks)
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- red food coloring (about ¼ teaspoon)
- green food coloring (about ¼ teaspoon)
- 10 ounces raspberry preserves or apricot jam, warmed
- 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Make the batter:
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray three rimmed quarter sheet baking pans (9×13 sheet pans) with cooking spray and then line with parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the almond paste with ¾ cup sugar on low speed until well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add butter and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in egg yolks, almond extract, and salt and continue to beat until incorporated.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour. Mix until just combined.
- In another mixing bowl, whip the egg whites at medium-high speed until they just hold stiff peaks. Then add the remaining ¼ cup sugar and beat on high speed until they form stiff, glossy peaks, about 2-3 minutes.
- Fold the egg whites into the batter. Divide the batter evenly into 3 mixing bowls. You can use a kitchen scale to accurately divide the batter into thirds.
- Stir in a few drops of red food coloring into one bowl and a few drops of green food coloring into another, leaving the last bowl plain. Note that the batter will bake up darker than it looks when raw.
- Pour the batter from each of the bowls into a separate prepared pan. Use a small icing spatula to spread the batter into an even thin layer.
- Bake each layer for 8-10 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. Allow the cakes to cook in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Assemble the layers:
- Line a large half sheet baking pan with parchment paper. Carefully invert the green layer onto the lined baking sheet and peel off the parchment paper. Spread half of the preserves or jam over the cake.
- Flip the white layer on top of the green layer and peel off the parchment paper. Spread with remaining preserves on top. Invert the red layer on top of white layer and peel off the parchment paper.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place a quarter sheet pan on top facing up, with heavy objects evenly distributed on top to weigh down the cake. Refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Coat with chocolate:
- Remove the weights and plastic wrap.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, until smooth.
- Use a small icing spatula to quickly spread half of the melted chocolate in a thin layer on top of the cake. Place the cake back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set, about 15 minutes.
- Once set, invert the cake to another parchment baking sheet. Quickly spread with the remaining melted chocolate (if the chocolate has set, just pop it back in the microwave to melt again before spreading). Allow the chocolate to set in the fridge, for about 30 minutes. You can also place it into the freezer to set it quicker.
- Once set, use a serrated knife to trim the edges to even them out. Then cut into 1.5-inch rectangles (cut 8 rows crosswise and 6 rows lengthwise) and serve.
How to store: Italian rainbow cookies do best when stored at room temperature as a whole block before cutting. Then, cut pieces as you need them. Whether cut or uncut, keep them in an airtight container. Italian rainbow cookies will last for 2-3 days at room temperature. You can extend their life to 5-7 days by storing them in the fridge, but you will lose some moisture and flavor by doing this.
How to prevent cracked chocolate: If you are not careful, the chocolate may crack when slicing the cookies. To make it easier to cut your Italian rainbow cookies without cracking the chocolate, you can mix a small amount of coconut or vegetable oil directly into the melted chocolate before coating the cookies.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Chill Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Italian rainbow cookies, italian cookies, rainbow cookies, cake cookies, stacked cookies, layered cookies