Learn how to make gorgeous Rainbow Sugar Cookies that are easy enough for the kids to help with. Each cookie is bursting with color and equally tasty. 

close up image of rainbow cookies
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If you are looking for a fun cookie recipe to make this summer, this one is my go-to. The bright candy colors and fun shape make this a fun and festive cookie. It looks great and taste delicious.

This rainbow cookie recipe is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or a rainbow themed party. I also love to make Rainbow Cake and Rainbow Popcorn Recipe.

Why we love this recipe

Rainbow treats are always such a fun idea. Whether you just want to make someone’s day or maybe you are doing a rainbow theme party. This recipe does not disappoint. They are so delicious and look amazing.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed - sugar cookie mix, butter, egg, flour, water, vanilla frosting, m&ms, sprinkles
  • Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix (or use our homemade sugar cookie recipe)
  • Butter – softened
  • Egg
  • Vanilla Frosting 
  • Miniature M&M’s
  • White Nonpareil Sprinkles
  • Wilton Rainbow Cookie Cutter

The complete ingredient list and recipe is at the bottom of the page.

Variation Ideas

  • Melted Chocolate – These cookies can be decorated in many different ways. You can melt chocolate or candy melts to create different designs.
  • Food Coloring – Feel free to change the color of the frosting and create a green layer. Dye the frosting with green gel food coloring or blue food coloring to change the color.
  • Homemade FrostingWe used store bought frosting but you can make homemade frosting. Combine the ingredients with vanilla extract and mix until stiff peaks form.
  • Rainbow Cake – Instead of cookies make a rainbow cake. Add the cake layer and decorate the top of the cake with rainbows.
  • Change the Candy – We used M&M’s to decorate the top of the candy. But you can use any type of candy.
  • Cookie Cutter – If you are unable to find a rainbow cookie cutter, just use a bottom of a glass. You can still create a beautiful rainbow on top of a round cookie.
  • Extract. Try adding almond extract to the recipe.

How to make rainbow cookies

  • Step 1 – Heat Oven – First, preheat your oven. Now that you have that out of the way, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mixing bowl with ingredients.

Step 2. You need a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Combine the cookie mix and cream the unsalted butter and large egg. Mix everything together really well. Sometimes the dough might be a little too dry. You can add a teaspoon of water until it is no longer dry. If your dough is too sticky, add flour to the mixture a few tablespoons a time. 

Dough in a ball on floured surface.

Step 3. Next, sprinkle the portion of dough with flour on the counter and make sure your rolling pin is floured. You do not need chill the dough in plastic wrap.

Rainbow cookies being cut out of dough.

Step 4. Use the rainbow cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. You can use a sharp knife if needed. Carefully transfer them to the baking pans or cookie sheets.

Cookies on cooling rack.

Step 5. Bake until golden brown for about 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely before decorating and moving to a cooling rack or wire racks.

Cookies with icing.

Step 6. Finally, it is time to decorate. We love to use Wilton throw away bags. Fill the bag with frosting and start frosting your cookies. You only want to do the rainbow part of the cookie and not the clouds.

Cookies with candy and icing.

Step 7. Use the mini M&M’s candy to make the rainbow on top of the icing. Now, it is time to work on the clouds.  Put just enough frosting on the cloud portion to make them look fluffy. Top each cloud with the white sprinkles.  

Recipe Tips

  • Sugar Cookie Dough – We used a sugar cookie mix because of how easy it is to make. If the dough is to sticky, add more flour. If it is to dry add a teaspoon of water.
  • Rolling out Dough – When preparing the dough to cut out the rainbow shapes, make sure to flour the surface. Flour the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
  • Cutting the Cookies – Cut the cookies with a cookie cutter cutting board. Gently move to baking sheet.
  • Mixing Ingredients – We recommend combining the sugar cookie with a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. You can also mix with a hand mixer in a large bowl.
  • Baking Sheet – Make sure to line the baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  • Cool Cookies – Before decorating the cookies, make sure they at room temperature.

FAQs

How to store?

Store the leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Make sure the frosting has completely set before placing the cooking inside the container.

Separate the layers of cookies with parchment paper so they do not stick.

How to freeze?

Yes, you can freeze the cookies decorated or just the sugar cookie dough.

If freezing the cookies decorated, they should be completely set before freezing. They will last up to 3 months if stored properly inside a freezer container.

If you want to freeze the cookie dough, we recommend cutting the cookies before storing.
When ready to use, allow to thaw in the fridge the night before. Then decorate and bake according to the recipe card.

More Rainbow Recipes

You will have so much fun making this sugar cookie rainbow recipe. Please leave a comment once you do.

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Rainbow sugar cookies

5 from 4 votes
Learn how to make gorgeous Rainbow sugar cookies that are easy enough for the kids to help with. Each cookie is bursting with color and tasty.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 322

Ingredients

  • 21 oz Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix or use our homemade sugar cookie recipe
  • 1/2 Cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • Flour (see instructions)
  • Water (see instructions)
  • 2-16 oz cans vanilla frosting
  • Miniature M&M’s
  • White nonpareil sprinkles
  • Wilton rainbow cookie cutter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar cookie mix, butter, and egg, and mix well.
  • If dough is dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time until no longer dry. If dough is too sticky, add a few tablespoons of flour until no longer sticky.
  • Roll the dough out onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin.
  • Cut out the rainbow shapes with the rainbow cookie cutter and transfer them to the baking pan.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until Golden brown in color.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Fill a decorating bag with frosting and cut a 1/3” tip off the end.
  • Frost the rainbow part of the cookie, leaving the clouds for now.
  • Start placing the miniature M&M’s onto the rainbow along the edges like pictured, and then place the M&M’s in a rainbow shape, following the color pattern.
  • Dab frosting onto the clouds to make them look fluffy.
  • Top the clouds off with the white sprinkles and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 322kcal, Carbohydrates 50g, Protein 1g, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 181mg, Potassium 17mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 39g, Vitamin A 141IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 10mg, Iron 1mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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