clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Overhead close up view of a rainbow sugar cookie.

Rainbow Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
  • Yield: 36 to 40 cookies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Easy rainbow cookies made from swirls of buttery sugar cookie dough rolled up into brightly colored pinwheels. These are so fun to make with just 30 minutes of chill time!


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons (60m) milk
  • 12 teaspoon (5-10ml) almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups (600 g) all-purpose flour
  • Gel colors for dying (see notes)


  1. Beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the sugar is dissolved and creamy.
  2. Add the eggs and flavored extract to the butter and beat until all ingredients are well incorporated. Then, in a small glass dish, dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add to the mixture, beating until combined.
  3. Finally, add the salt and the flour 1 cup at a time and mix until a stiff dough forms.
  4. Divide the dough into 6 or 7 equal sized balls. Dye each one the individual color using either your mixer or your hands (see notes for additional tips).
  5. Starting with the red, roll each individual color into a rectangular shape, about 12 inches long. Roll between two pieces of parchment paper and lightly dust with powdered sugar if needed to prevent sticking. Dough will be relatively thin when rolled, place the first one on piece of parchment paper and stack each color on top of the other.
  6. Once all the color are stacked, cover with a second piece of parchment paper and proceed with roll out the cookie dough again until it’s about ¼ – ½ inch thick, it should expand quite a bit.
  7. Trim off the excess sides and then cut the dough into two halves. Roll each one tightly into a log, about 9-10 inches long and about 2-inch in diameter at the thickest point. Wrap each log with plastic wrap and place seam side down and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
  9. Remove the dough from the fridge. Using a sharp knife, cut them into ½ inch wide slices. If they are misshaped, gently roll between your hands to shape into a circle. Place about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
  10. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes just until the bottoms turn slightly brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • See blog post for complete step-by-step photos.
  • If you have a food scale, weighing the dough into equal sizes is best. My dough weighed 1250g, so about 178g per color (7 colors), bigger than a baseball but smaller than a softball. It’s a little bit more than 1/2 cup of dough. 
  • I used 7 colors, but you could easily do it with 6 colors. Use color from Americolor or Wilton for best results.


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 135
  • Sugar: 5.7 g
  • Sodium: 73 mg
  • Fat: 5.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.9 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 2.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 23.9 mg