How to Make Rainbow Cookies for St. Patrick’s Day – Recipe

March is the start of spring, the start of craft fairs and farmer’s markets, and it is the time of rainbows and wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. I am usually very safe on March 17 since I have a bright green shirt, green hair ties, green earrings, and even green socks. One can’t be too careful when it comes to the national day of making pinching others okay. My ensemble will be bright, noticeable, and most of all, keep me safe.



With me safe and sound and not having to worry about the secret police flying from behind me to exact punishment for my lack of the yellow and blue combo, I can actually spend time making March 17 a day to remember. This year my family will enjoy a wonderful corn beef dinner, fun chocolate coins scattered throughout the home, and a very unique rainbow cookie recipe.

In my infinite wisdom, I have decided to make these cookies in advance so that I am not rushing around the kitchen all day on St. Patrick’s Day. This will also give my family a few extra days of fun and delicious desserts before we go on a pinching spree.

To start making these cookies, I took my room temperature butter and creamed it with the sugar, and vanilla extract. Once the butter and sugar was creamed, I added the egg. This is what it looked like at this point.

In another bowl I mixed together the flour, salt, and baking soda. I then slowly add the dry to the wet and beat it until it formed a soft crumble. I gradually added milk to the mixture until it formed a dough. Sometimes I need more milk and sometimes I use less depending on the size of the “large egg” i had on hand.

Now for the fun part, adding the colors! I divided the dough into 6 balls. I then began my color coding process. With the three primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, technically one can create every color under the sun. I, on the other hand, will be lucky to get anything in the general color spectrum of the rainbow.

The rainbow colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. For these cookies, I cut indigo out of the equation. This means I had to make 6 colors and half of them were already done! I mean, I just needed to add enough drops of red, yellow, and blue to create the rich color I desired. Even then, however, the colors went wacky and dark. I used 7 drops of each color just to get a rich enough color scheme. NOTE: Use gloves to fold in the colors…unless you want to look like you stole a bag of Lucky Charms.

Orange, green, and violet are a little more difficult. I know from 4th grade art class that orange is made from red and yellow, green is made from yellow and blue, and violet is made from red and blue, What I didn’t know was how much of each color I needed to make the desired effect. Before adding anything to my dough, I made a mixture in a separate cup and tested the result on a paper towel.. SIDE NOTE: the paper towel trick didn’t help…at all. My purple constantly looked black. So I ended up winging it.

Once my six colored balls had been made, I rolled each ball into a 12 inch cylinder. This step is probably the easiest to complete. The years of rolling playdough and enhancing my skills of the perfect roll finally became useful. Oh yeah! Expert dough roller coming through!

After I used my expert skills of rolling dough, I then layered the cylinders on top of each other and twisted them together to make a large tube. It sort of looked like something I would find from Pillsbury or some other cookie in a tube company. Only this one didn’t pop and scare the cookie dough out of me.

My dark tube of colors had to endure one more step before it could become a tray of cookies. It had to be sliced at 1-inch intervals to form 16 disks. I know this may seem rather thick for a cookie but these cookies hardly rise or spread when baked. I am sure they will bake just fine smaller, however, I suggest a shorter baking time for trial and error purposes. I cut my tube into 1-inch thick disks and placed them on a cookie sheet about an inch apart.

I placed the cookies in a 350 degree preheated oven and set the timer for 10 min. At this point I was really hoping these would not turn into a gooey rainbow mess and look like melted troll dolls. I am pretty sure, no one is gonna want to eat a melted Poppy. Making a cookie recipe is so scary sometimes. Will I have a huge mess to clean or a beautiful creation to show off? Only time will tell. In 10 minutes I would know how my creation turned out.

And…Success!! I am absolutely shocked to see how vibrant the cookies look. The colors lightened enough to actually make these cookies appear like a rainbow!

To make these cookies use the recipe below and follow the directions. They are a quick treat that is different than the classic chocolate chip cookie. More like a cake, these fluffy morsels are the perfect surprise for St. Patrick’s Day.

Rainbow Cookie Recipe

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A rainbow-tastic cookie.


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, soft
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food coloring (red, orange yellow, green, blue, and purple)
  • One large egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoons of milk


  1. Preheat Oven to 350
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add vanilla and egg and beat until well mixed.
  4. In a large bowl combine 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt.
  5. Gradually combine the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix well. Add milk as needed to form a dough.
  6. Divide dough into six equal size balls
  7. Add food coloring to each ball and fold together until well blended. You should have 1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 blue, and 1 purple, ball.
  8. Roll each ball onto a counter until you have a roll about 12 inches long
  9. layer and twist the rolls together to form a fat tube,
  10. Carefully slice the fat tube into 1-inch disks for each cookie. About 16
  11. 11 Lay the disks of dough on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart
  12. Bake the cookies for 10 to 11 minutes or until done