Rainbow Swirl Cookies

Okay, if you don’t have kids, you may not be super interested in this recipe.  It’s okay, you can leave now without wasting your time and come back in a couple days when I have something not involving crazy bright colours for you.  I won’t be offended!

But if you DO have kids, stick around, because I guarantee they will love love love these cookies.  Bright swirls of colour in a soft and tasty sugar cookie.  For a kid, what’s not to love?!  And you get to feel a bit like a kid again while you make them cause it’s sort of like playing with play-doh!
Rainbow Swirl Cookies - Bake.Eat.Repeat.


These rainbow swirl cookies are basically a soft sugar cookie but coloured brightly and rolled up instead of rolled out and cut with cookie cutters.  They take a little time, but kids love them.  I’ve made them a number of times, generally for something like a birthday snack to send to school or something, and every time I ask my kids what kind of cookies they want to bring somewhere, these are what gets requested.

Which is why we made them this weekend.  We needed to send something for a party at school, and this was the immediate response when I asked what we should make.  So we did, and there were some happy kiddos here!  Kids like bright colours, right?

Rainbow Swirl Cookies - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

Rainbow Swirl Cookies

Yield: 30 cookies

This dough needs to be chilled before shaping into the cookies for at least two hours, or overnight. Also, if you find it's getting too soft while you're forming the cookies, you can stick it back in the fridge to firm up a bit, and then continue shaping them.

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3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
assorted gel paste food colouring


  1. In a large bowl, or in a food processor or stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and cream until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until well combined.
  2. Divide the dough into 4 pieces (or however many colours you would like your cookies to be) and tint each a different colour. I use the food processor for this as I find it the fastest way to mix in the colour. Just place the piece of dough in the food processor and mix in a few drops of gel paste food colouring until it’s well combined, adding more food colouring if the colour isn’t as bright as you would like. Repeat for the other pieces of cookie dough. Wrap each piece of coloured dough tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours, or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Divide each colour into 30 small pieces. Then take one piece of each colour and roll them together into a ball. Roll the multi-coloured ball out into a snake, about 14 inches (35cm) long and about half an inch (1.5cm) thick. Then roll up the snake into a swirl and place it on a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for 5-7 days at room temperature.


Source: Slightly adapted from Allrecipes .


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    • stacey says

      Nope, sorry! They all went to the school, except for a couple that I kept for the boys, and those were gobbled up quickly!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Gayle, but I can’t take the credit for the creativity on these ones – it’s very slightly adapted from a recipe I found years ago on Allrecipes. It is kind of a fun twist on sugar cookies!

  1. says

    I love these cookies! So colorful, and you’re right my kids would totally love them, I’m going to have to make these! Plus I’m sure they are Mommy approved too :-)

    • stacey says

      Totally mommmy approved! If you like sugar cookies – I’m actually not really a fan myself, but the kids love ’em so I make them! Thanks Katie! :)

    • stacey says

      Thanks! My daughter and I actually made these for a tea party birthday party last year, we just did white and a couple shades of pink for pink and white swirly cookies. All the girls loved them!

    • stacey says

      Thanks Ashley! I’m sure she would, I haven’t found a kid yet that doesn’t like bright and colourful cookies!

  2. says

    Kids totally like bright colors and so do some grown ups!!! –>I love these, Stacey! Cutest cookies ever! Totally trying these some time. I have a bunch of those gel paste food colors too, and I love to play with the colors. Thanks for sharing them!


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