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+ servings
Above image of rainbow sugar cookies mixed together on a blue background.
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5 from 1 vote

Rainbow Sugar Cookies

Colorful rainbow sugar cookies that are soft melt in your mouth, crispy crunch on the outside, dusted with the color of the rainbow sanding sugar, for a perfect cookie to brighten the day.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Snack/Dessert
Servings: 36
Calories: 111kcal


For the Sanding Sugar:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 to 4 drops food coloring (color of your choice)

For the Rainbow Sugar Cookies:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter (still cool but pilable)
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cold eggs
  • 2 TBS milk
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar in each color; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple


For the Sanding Sugar:

  • Preheat oven to 120 degrees or lowest temperature possible for your oven (mine was 170 degrees)
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Pour 1/2 cup of white sugar into a small airtight baggie
  • Add 3 to 4 drops of food coloring of your choice into the bag
  • Seal bag, removing as much air as possible
  • Squish sugar in the bag with your fingers until food coloring is evenly distributed and sugar is color desired
  • Spread colored sugar into 1 layer on baking sheet
  • Bake at low temperature for 10 minutes
  • Remove from oven and cool
  • Using the parchment paper like a funnel pour baking into the bag
  • Seal bag, removing air
  • Break sugar clumps apart with rolling pin
  • Store in airtight container
  • Repeat for each color desired (if mixing colors, premix in a small bowl before adding to sugar)

For the Rainbow Sugar Cookies:

  • LIne baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Slice cool but pilable butter into 1 TBS slices
  • Cream in mixer
  • Add sugar and cream additional 2 to 3 minutes
  • Beat in eggs, vanilla, and milk until creamy
  • In another bowl, add flour (measure using scoop and level method), salt, baking powder, and nutmeg
  • Shift dry ingredients into wet ingredients
  • Mix together until all is combined
  • Scoop 1 inch balls of cookie dough and place on baking sheet, continue until all dough is scooped into balls
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours at minimum
  • Remove dough for fridge
  • Roll each ball of dough into a smoother ball
  • Pour each bag of colored sanding sugar into its own bowl
  • Roll each ball in sanding sugar to cover completely
  • Divide number of cookie dough balls evenly between the colors using, so you have same amount of balls per color
  • Return to fridge for 30 minutes
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Line another baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Remove 12 cookie balls from fridge and place on baking sheet, keep remaining balls in fridge in between baking
  • Bake for 7 minutes
  • Remove from oven, bang pan down slightly on counter, to help flatten cookies
  • Cool for 5 minutes, remove to cooling rack to continue cooling
  • Store in airtight container
  • Repeat until all cookies are baked


Calories: 111kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg