Italian Rainbow Cookies

Italian Rainbow cookies delicious and festive! Dense almond sponge cakes are layered with apricot or raspberry jam and topped with bittersweet chocolate. The cake is colored red, white and green-to represent the colors of the Italian flag. Worth all the effort to make your own at home and they freeze well!

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60 cookies



prep Time

30 min



Ingredients – 4 large eggs separated – 1 cup sugar – 1 8-oz can almond paste – 2½ sticks 1 1/4 cups margarine (or butter), softened (10 oz or 285 grams total of butter) – 1 teaspoon almond extract – 2 cups all-purpose flour – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 25 drops red food coloring – 25 drops green food coloring – 1 12-oz jar apricot or raspberry preserves, heated and strained – 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate not unsweetened, chopped

Italian Rainbow cookies are sometimes also called Neopolitans, Venetians and even Tri-color cookies. Many of you probably know them as Seven Layer Cookies (3 cake, 2 chocolate and 2 jam). I grew up enjoying these festive and beautiful cookies during the holidays. I also remember eating them at many Italian and Italian-American Christmas parties as a kid. Either the Italian hostess made it or they were from a bakery.

This particular recipes uses a combination of almond paste and almond extract. You will come across recipes that use almond extract only. My sister-in-law’s mother’s recipe was from the 1970’s and it had a large amount of ONLY almond extract. It truly is a perfectly flavored rainbow cookie using the combination of almond paste and almond extract. I do not recommend using only almond extract. Almond extract is very strong and be sure to measure out just one teaspoon (nothing more is needed).


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