Rainbow Cookie Cake with Crumbs

rainbow cake 1

A good friend of mine said it best, “This cake is everything“. I couldn’t agree with her more, it really is everything. EVERYTHING that I absolutely love in a good cake. Incredible flavor, moist cake, rich chocolate ganache, and chewy, sugary crumbs. It was pure heaven.

This cake came about because a picture started floating around Facebook of this amazing looking rainbow cookie cake covered in coffee cake crumbs. I searched for a recipe online but the only mention I found were of links leading me to the Donut Diva located in Astoria, Queens. Evidently, this is one of their specialties however, I couldn’t justify the drive out there or the cost. So instead, I decided to hack the recipe myself and make my own version.

A few years ago on Pinterest I came across an Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake from a blog called Always Order Dessert . It was moist, delicious, and tasted EXACTLY like a traditional rainbow cookie. I decided to use that recipe for the cake however, instead of baking the layers as cake rounds I baked three small rectangular cakes using Reynold’s Disposable Cake Pans. (I believe the size was roughly 11X9’ish – they were small, shallow rectangular bakers) I then covered the cake with a nice, rich layer of ganache and topped it with a crumb topping from Martha Stewart. This cake was decadent, delicious, and probably one of my most favorite recipes to date. This one is definitely a keeper!

For the cake

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 12 ounces of almond paste, grated with a box grater
  • 1 tbs pure almond extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pink, green, AND yellow food coloring (look for gel food coloring, it is more vibrant)
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • powdered sugar

For the ganache

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crumbs

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the cake pans, place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat for 3 more minutes. Add the grated almond paste, almond extract and milk and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add to the almond paste batter and mix until well combined. Batter will look slightly lumpy.

Divide the batter equally into 3 bowls and dye each one a different color. (pink, yellow, and green)

Pour the batter into the pans, smooth out the top and bake until done, about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the crumbs. Mix the flour, sugars, salt and cinnamon together. Add in the butter and work the mixture together with your fingers (or a pastry blender) until large clumps form. Spread out the clumps onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.**

While the crumbs are cooling, prepare the ganache. In a small saucepan combine the butter and heavy cream. Cook over low heat until the butter melts and bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat, place the chocolate into the pan and allow it to sit for about a minute. Stir the mixture together until well combined and smooth. Add in the vanilla and give it a final stir. Let the ganache cool for about 15 minutes.

To assemble the cake – Place the pink layer on a platter, spread the apricot preserves all over the cake. Add the yellow layer, spread the raspberry preserves all over the cake. Add the green layer, spread the ganache all over the top allowing some to run down the sides of the cake. Smooth out the ganache with an offset spatula and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Lastly, cover the top of the cake with the crumbs. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to just set the ganache. Serve cake at room temperature.

**NOTE REGARDING THE CRUMBS** – When the crumbs are baking they will spread and create a uniform “blob”. As they bake, move them around the pan with a spatula. When they come out of the oven place them on a dish lined with a paper towel, it will help to absorb the excess butter. Place the dish in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Remove, break up the crumbs and move them around then place in the freezer for another 3-5 minutes, repeat. Continue this until the crumbs are cooled down and fully clumped. About 15 minutes. Do not leave them in the freezer long enough to freeze, they just need to come together while cooling and form lumps. rainbow cake 2

14 thoughts on “Rainbow Cookie Cake with Crumbs

  1. Pingback: Coffee Cake Muffins | The Simply Delicious Kitchen

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