The Best Hidden Rainbow Cookies

Imagine a soft, buttery delicious cookie – but let’s make it rainbow. Hidden inside is a beautiful rainbow with an exterior of rainbow sprinkles covering it all over. Truly so fun to look at and eat! This blog post shares HOW to create the hidden rainbow cookie. Recipe is linked to follow from a separate page.

A few years ago my talented friend Sam from Buttermilk By Sam created a gorgeous hidden rainbow bundt cake. It was so stunning, and it brought an instant smile to my face. I was at the time working on a butter cookie recipe and I thought – why not try to make a hidden rainbow cookie? The idea created one of my favorite cookies to date – the hidden rainbow cookie. There is just something so wonderful about biting into a soft, buttery cookie but then elevates your mood when you see the gorgeous rainbow inside. Guaranteed to make you smile with every bite!

This blog post is solely for the purpose of sharing HOW to create the hidden rainbow butter cookie. The recipe is linked HERE if you chose to use my own recipe. Caution: creating this cookie can be a bit time consuming and will result in a smile on your face.

What Do You Need

Food Coloring: I used the standard rainbow colors for this cookie, but you can use any colors you’d like. I prefer to use Americolor or Chef Master when using food gel coloring, but Wilton’s is also a good option and readily available at the grocery store or local crafts store. 2 – 3 drops per color works and a little goes a long way.

Sprinkles: You will want to stick with jimmies on this one. Those are the little rod looking sprinkles. They will not color bleed onto your cookie the way non pareils (the little round sprinkles) will. Jimmie sprinkles are readily available on Amazon, or your local grocery or craft store.

Food Safe Gloves: I recommend using food safe gloves when coloring your dough. You’ll hold the dough in your hand and mix the food coloring, and it makes the process much faster. If you do not use food safe gloves then I do not recommend using your hands because the food coloring will stain. Instead use a bowl and spoon/spatula to mix the dough. It might take a bit longer but it saves your hands from being multiple colors.

Let’s Get Started

To begin, you will need the following:

  1. Have your dough ready
  2. food safe gloves (to keep your hands from being stained from the food coloring)
  3. Food gels handy
  4. Sprinkles handy – jimmies only! (need about ¾ – 1 cup)
  5. Baking sheet and baking mat/parchment ready
  6. Large plate or wide bowl handy

At the bottom of this tutorial I have added in a video from Instagram where I am creating these cookies. Take a minute to watch so you can fully understand the steps involved the process.

The Best Hidden Rainbow Cookies

Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter cookie, rainbow cookies, sprinkle cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 cookies
Author: Sharon Alvarenga



Coloring Dough

  • Place sprinkles into a shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Take a 3 tbsp ice cream scoop and scoop out 6 scoops of dough (for each rainbow color), and place on a separate plate/wide bowl. Leave the remaining dough in the bowl – this will be used for the outside of the cookie.
  • With the food safe gloves on, take one scoop of dough and spread just a bit with your fingers to make it flat and wide.
  • Drop 1 color of red food gel on the dough, and then wrap the dough over onto the food gel. Knead until all food coloring has been evenly disbursed. Set aside and repeat for all colors.
  • Use the 3 tbsp ice cream scoop to scoop out the remaining dough and place on the baking sheet until you've consumed the remaining dough.
  • Take one of those uncolored pieces of dough, and flatted between the palms of your hand. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Just flat enough where the dough covers your palm.
  • Pinch off a small amount (about ½ tsp) starting with the red, and place it towards the end of the dough within your palm. Then pinch off a small portion of orange, and place it right next to the red dough. Repeat with all the colors. 
  • Once all the colors are laid within the uncolored piece of dough, you will carefully wrap the uncolored dough OVER the colored dough. Secure the uncolored dough over the colored dough and then roll about ¾ of it in sprinkles.
  • Place the unsprinkled portion of the cookie face down on the baking sheet. Repeat steps until you are out of uncolored dough or colored dough.
  • Place the cookies about 1” apart from each other on the baking sheet. 
  • Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or up to 12 hours.
  • After chill time, preheat oven to 375 F. Bake cookies for about 15 minutes or until you see browning along edges.
  • Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Allow to cool completely before decorating or enjoying.


  • As you are adding each small colored piece of dough alongside each other, they should reach just the edge of your palm, but not extend past the uncolored dough. The trick is to lay the colors right up against each other but not on top of each other. 
  • Tip! If you are left with colored dough but no uncolored dough, you can stack the colored dough on top of each other, and place it within the piping bag to pip out some marbled rainbow swirls of drops.

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