Rainbow cookie

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Rainbow cookie
Rainbow cookies .jpg
Alternative namesRainbow cake, Neapolitan cookies, seven layer cookies, Venetian cookies, seven layer cake, Italian flag cookies, tricolor cookies
Place of originItalian Americans, Jewish Americans
Region or stateNew York City
Main ingredientsSponge cake (flour, almond paste, butter, sugar, almond extract, egg yolks, egg whites), apricot or raspberry jam, chocolate
Rainbow cookies

Rainbow cookies or rainbow cake can refer to any of a number of rainbow-colored confections.[1][2]


Rainbow cookies are a common Jewish deli dessert, as they are pareve. As Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe settled in New York en masse at the turn of the 20th century, they often settled in areas that also had an Italian population. It was at this point that Jewish Americans were introduced to the rainbow cookie. The original rainbow cookie was made with butter and featured an Italian flag-like design in white, red and green. Jewish Americans adapted this cookie to suit their own Kosher dietary needs, substituting margarine for the butter originally used (making them pareve). Jewish Americans have been credited as being the first to change the original Italian flag design to the more commonly found rainbow design seen today, starting with the changing of the white layer of the cookie to yellow.[3][4].

Popularity in the Jewish community[edit]

Rainbow cookies are popular in the American Jewish community, and are commonly associated with American Jewish cuisine and can be found at Jewish delis and kosher and other Jewish bakeries[5] throughout the United States, especially in the Northeastern United States. They are a common kiddush cookie served at Shabbat morning served at synagogues across the country.[6] There are also versions of rainbow cookies make for Passover, which are made with matzo meal or almond flour (due to the prohibition of leavening during this holiday).[7]

Italian flag variation[edit]

A particular variety of this confection, known primarily by various regional names listed below, is with layers of brightly colored, almond-based sponge cake, apricot and/or raspberry jam, and a chocolate coating. Many bakeries sell them by the pound, and because of the many layers, these cookies tend to be somewhat heavy estimating in about fifteen to a pound.[8][9][10][11][12].

Hanukkah variation[edit]

Rainbow cookies are also a popular cooking during the holiday season, and are available in blue and white, instead of the traditional rainbow, to celebrate Hanukkah.[13]

Other names[edit]

Although often called simply rainbow cookies in much of the continental United States, some local names for this specific variety are:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pretty Rainbow Cookie Favors – The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle". Sweetsugarbelle.com. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Oreo shows gay pride with a rainbow cookie". Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  3. ^ Ginsburg, Stanley. Inside The Jewish Bakery.
  4. ^ "Just Deli Desserts". Moment Magazine. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Rainbow Cookies". The Jewish Kitchen. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  6. ^ "How to make Rainbow Cookies". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Passover Rainbow Cookie Recipe". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  8. ^ Guarino, Anne M. Growing Up Italian: A Book of Recipes and Memories : Annie's Cookbook. New York: iUniverse, Inc, 2005. pg. 44
  9. ^ Yard, Sherry, and Martha Rose Shulman. Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills : Recipes from the Sweetest Life Ever. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. pg.15
  10. ^ Gooseberry Patch (Firm). Old-Fashioned Country Cookies: Yummy Recipes, Tips, Traditions, How-To's & Sweet Memories--Everything Cookies! Delaware, OH: Gooseberry Patch, 1994. pg. 26.
  11. ^ "Rainbow Cookies An Italian Fave"Miami Herald, May 10, 2007
  12. ^ "ABC News "Good Morning America Recipes: Rainbow Cookies"". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Just deli desserts". Moment Mag. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Cooking Forum New Message: Message 227: Re: napoleon italian cookies-I HAVE IT!!!". Web.archive.org. 19 October 2004. Archived from the original on 19 October 2004. Retrieved 23 January 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  15. ^ a b Chowhound (21 February 2007). "Multi-colored cookies: Do they have a name? - General Discussion - Cookies". Chowhound.chow.com. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  16. ^ a b [1]
  17. ^ "Seven-Layer Cookies". Epicurious.com. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-04-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Venetian Cookies". Goodhousekeeping.com. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2018.