{recipe} Rainbow Tie-Dye Snickerdoodles

Do you believe in reincarnation? Based on how much I enjoy making and eating rainbow foods, I think I may have been a unicorn in a former life. I have been wanting to try rainbow cookies for some time now but all of the recipes I found looked pretty cool but seemed like they wouldn’t actually taste that great. So I felt compelled to invent the rainbow tie-dye snickerdoodle, which offers both good looks and great taste.

So how did I do it? It was a little laborious but not too difficult to pull off. I made snickerdoodles and divided the dough into 6 roughly equal parts. I colored each of these with one of the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. After some time in the fridge to chill the colored doughs, I set up an assembly line and tore off little wads of each color and made a dough caterpillar. I turned the caterpillars in on themselves and rolled them gently into balls. Then I rolled the balls in white sugar and set them on the cookie sheet.

It seemed to work best when I placed the balls with the nexus point of where the colors met facing directly up.

Of course, if you get sick of making the hella labor-intensive rainbows want a different aesthetic,you can also just make some or all of the cookies in individual colors, and stack them up like a rainbow afterwards. They’re still pretty dazzling.

I have had rainbows in mind because earlier this week, I got what is perhaps the BEST comment I have ever received on this blog. On my Super Tall Amazing Rainbow Cake recipe, a commenter wrote: “Wow. Loved this cake. I made it for a family reunion and it helped me come out to my entire family all at one time. 🙂 

Well holy crap. That is just fantastic, and incredible, and I am so grateful to this commenter for sharing that with me. It really made my day.

One more thing, (and I swear I am not sponsored by Target!) but I need to give a shout-out to this randomly purchased Market Pantry brand food coloring. The box was cheap, under 2 bucks, but the colors were super vivid. The red was amazing! No pallid pink from this red food coloring. And since it’s liquid it’s so much less messy than the gel. Highly recommend if you want vibrant colors from your food.

RECIPE: Rainbow Tie-Dye Snickerdoodles
makes about 3 dozen


  • 1 cup (8 oz.) butter, softened slightly
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • food coloring


  • Put butter, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Mix at a low speed just to combine fully.
  • Divided the dough into 6 roughly equal parts and place each in a bowl. Use food color to color dough with one of the colors of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. (You can just stir it in with a spoon so as not to overmix the dough.) Cover or wrap colored dough pieces and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Put about 1/2 cup of sugar in a small bowl and set next to cookie sheet.
  • Tear off little wads of each color of dough and make a dough “caterpillar” in rainbow order. (It’s easiest to make an assembly line and do a whole bunch at one time.) Turn the caterpillars in on themselves and roll gently into balls. Roll each ball in sugar. Place on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the edges but while still soft in the middle.
  • Cool slightly and remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • You can store these in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

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3 Responses

  1. Claire will love these. I have to make a few modifications to account for some dietary restrictions but the colors will be really cool. I’m going to try to make these this month.

  2. Iris says:

    I made these today! They were lovely, and very tasty.
    I will admit getting totally fed up with the caterpillar method, so my suggestion (and what I did after the first 4) is to make long logs of each color, make a big rainbow circle of them, then slice the cookie sizes you want and cost in sugar from there. Far less time consuming and annoying.