I saw these on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try them. They were not as easy as I had hoped, but I think these Rainbow Sugar Cookies are sure fun!

These pretty rainbows are such a fun treat!

So, I have to admit. This is my 3rd attempt to make the cookies that I saw on pinterest. I don’t know if I was having an off week or just couldn’t get my brain around how they did it, but I could NOT master that frosting rotation. I tried everything that I could think of. Ultimately I think these turned out cute… but I would LOVE to know if there is a better way!

To make these cookies you will need:

1 easy sugar cookie recipe (below)

crusting buttercream recipe

food coloring in rainbow colors (I use McCormick)

round cookie cutter (mine is 2 1/2 inches across)

#1E and #12 decorating tips

disposable pastry bags

plastic wrap

small offset spatula


Rainbow Buttercream Sugar Cookies

Begin by making the sugar cookie dough. Roll it out and use a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter to make round cut-out cookies. Bake and then repeat until all dough is gone. Allow cookies to cool. (This can be done well in advance.)

Prepare buttercream. Divide into 7 bowls… leave one white then tint one pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Place frosting in pastry bags and seal with a rubber band.

Grab one more small bowl and add a tiny bit of blue frosting (about a tablespoon) and about 1 cup of white. Stir to create a light blue. Using a small offset spatula spread the light blue frosting out over the entire round cookie.

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap at least 18 inches long. Cut off the tip of the bags of frosting. Pipe out a line of pink then right next to it a line of orange. Repeat with yellow, green, blue, and purple.

Gently start rolling the purple towards the pink and make sure all of the frosting is touching and in a nice smooth roll. You don’t want air in between the frosting. Press softly and evenly along the roll if necessary.

Cut off one end of the plastic wrap all the way up to the frosting. Drop into a pastry bag fitted with a 1E tip.

Fun Rainbow Frosting Cookies!

Now is the tough part. (I recommend practicing this technique with plain white buttercream on a paper plate until you are comfortable with it. Then scrape the frosting back into a bowl and start over.) VIDEO BELOW!

I turned the cookie in my hand so that my hand was to the point of being uncomfortable. Imagine you are holding a cookie in your left hand. Then slowly turn your wrist to the right, towards your body, a full 90 degrees.

Now take your frosting in the other hand and start piping SLOWLY at the lower edge of the cookie. (Just envision a rainbow and start at the bottom of one side) Slowly turn the cookie AND slowly turn the bag of frosting at the same time as you pipe around the edge of the cookie. The key is to go slow and steady. I tried to start with the pink frosting facing UP and then ending with it facing down.

Now you can add the white “clouds”. This was just 3-4 dollops of buttercream at the bottom of the rainbow.

Super fun and there is a step-by-step video!

My best advice with this cookie is to practice with your plain buttercream. That way you can reuse it and truly master the technique and you won’t waste any frosting. 🙂

You can make the cookies well in advance. You can frosting the cookies with the pale blue buttercream 1-2 days before adding the rainbow, the buttercream will lock in moisture.

This buttercream will crust over but I would not stack these cookies.

Super fun and perfect for so many occasions!

And don’t let anyone give you any heck over the frosting:cookie ratio. It’s a special occasion! 🙂

These pretty rainbows are such a fun treat!

Easy Sugar Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
I saw these on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try them. They were not as easy as I had hoped, but I think these Rainbow Sugar Cookies are sure fun!


  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Add butter to the bowl of your stand mixer and cream on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, or until butter is smooth and lighter in color.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the sugar and then egg.
  • Scrape the bowl with the mixer off.
  • Turn mixer back on low and add in extracts.
  • Allow all ingredients to combine fully.
  • Add in the baking powder and then the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated.
  • Remove bowl from mixer and drop dough onto a floured counter top. Roll out into a flat disc, about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Cut out cookies in desired shape and bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes.
  • Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Gasp! Really? So sweet. I had no idea that cookie dough can be extruded from a regular pastry bag! Thank you.-Hanne

  2. That seems a complicated way to do rainbow icing.

    Couldn’t you simply stripe the inside of a pastry bag with gel colors?

  3. Do you think this technique of filling the bag would work for one of Unicorn cakes that are decorat d with rosettes?

  4. Could u twist the frosting as u are rolling it? Just a thought that came to mind as I was reading how u rolled it to put in the piping bag.

  5. Hi amanda if you make the frosting it looks so easy. But when I make my butter crème at home ill alwas and up wit a runny en to lillte crème to fill my cakes . Hoe can I make sure there is enough frosting and the right consisity to pipe it. Sorry for the spelling foult im from the netherlands but love youre blog and recepies please keep maKing them.

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