Based on my grandma’s recipe, these classic Italian rainbow cookies (or Tricolor cookies) are vibrantly colored and full of almond and sweet jam flavor! They’re easy to make, and well worth the process for an elegant Christmas cookie that wows! Oh, and they’re secretly vegan!
- 1 1/2 cups vegan butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 ounces almond paste (not marzipan)
- 1/4 cup dairy free milk
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free 1:1 baking flour)
- 1/3 cup aquafaba
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- Red and green vegan food coloring
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam (or 1/4 cup raspberry and 1/4 cup apricot)
- 1/2 cup melted vegan chocolate chips
- Prepare three medium baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together the vegan butter and sugar until smooth and the sugar has dissolved into the vegan butter.
- Then add in the almond paste and continue to cream the butter mixture with the marzipan until smooth.
- Next, add in the dairy free milk, applesauce, almond extract, and vanilla extract, and use a hand mixer again to cream until smooth.
- Once smooth, add in the flour, and fold together until it becomes a consistent dough and there are no more dry streaks. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the aquafaba and cream of tartar until the aquafaba reaches stiff peaks.
- Fold the aquafaba into the dough mixture until it is completely incorporated into the dough.
- Divide the dough into 3 bowls. Add 5-7 drops of red food coloring to one bowl, and 5-7 drops of green food coloring to another. Leave the third as it is. Mix in the red food coloring in one bowl, and the green in the other. Set aside.
- Pour the red dough batter onto one baking sheet, and use an offset spatula or knife to spread the batter until it reaches the edges of the pan and completely covers it. Repeat for the green and the yellow/white batter with the remaining baking sheets.
- Bake each baking sheet for 8-12 minutes, or until the batter has set and the toothpick comes out clean. It won’t be super puffy and thick, but it should look set. Remove from the oven and allow the baking sheets to cool for 10 minutes.
- Once cool, take the green baking sheet and use a knife to cut the cookie cake in half crosswise (so cutting the length side in half). You should have two almost squares now. Carefully fold one square on top of the other by using the parchment paper to flip the square. Spread 1/4 cup raspberry jam on top. Repeat for the white/yellow cake, slicing it in half and flipping the half on top of itself. Then carefully transfer the white/yellow cake to be on top of the green layer. Spread 1/4 cup raspberry jam on top of the white cake layer. Then cut and fold the red layer in half, and carefully transfer the red layer to be on top of the white layer. You should now have the green layer on the bottom, the yellow layer in the middle, and the red layer on top.
- Cover the top of the red layer with a piece of parchment paper and place heavy books or dishes on top of the cookie layers. Place the cookie layers, covered and weighted down, in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours.
- Once chilled, remove from the fridge and remove all weights. Spread half of the melted chocolate on top of the red layer, spreading the chocolate just to the edges. Then chill the cookie in the fridge for 10 minutes to set the chocolate.
- Once the chocolate has set, remove from the fridge once more, carefully flip the cookie, and spread the remaining chocolate on the other side of the green layer until it reaches the edges. Place the cookie into the fridge again to set for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and slice into 36 cookies. Enjoy!
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Keywords: italian rainbow cookies, tricolor cookies, italian tricolor cookies, vegan rainbow cookies, italian christmas cookies, rainbow cookie cake