Rainbow Rave Cookies


Rainbow Rave Cookies

Rainbow Rave Cookies

This recipe is a modified version found in "Start Here: Instructions for Becoming a Better Cook" by Sohla El-Waylly, originally named Lisa Frank Cookies. The name Lisa Frank Cookies captures the essence of these treats, which evoke a sweet wave of nostalgic memories. The secret to their reminiscent flavor is the combination of three extracts—pure vanilla, imitation vanilla, and almond—creating a reminiscent aura of the prepackaged baked goods you might have enjoyed in your lunchbox as a child.
The great thing about these cookies is that they're even better because you're making them fresh. Plus, they're incredibly easy to prepare, requiring just one bowl for mixing, and you can have them baked and ready to enjoy on the same day. You'll treat your taste buds to a vibrant burst of rainbow-inspired flavors in no time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 24 cookies


  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter or vegan butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ packed cup (107 grams) light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt such as Diamond Crystal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg straight from the refrigerator
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon clear imitation vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ⅔ cups (200 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (115 grams) mini M&M's, plus an additional ¼ cup (58 grams) for rolling
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) large rainbow sprinkles, plus an additional ½ cup (100 grams) for rolling


  • Make the dough: In a medium bowl, using a silicone spatula, stir together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until the mixture looks like wet sand.
  • Add egg and extracts, stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and thoroughly blended. If you have the time, consider allowing this mixture to rest for 30 minutes, stirring it twice. This step aids in dissolving some sugar and produces a chewier cookie.
  • Add the flour into the mixture, stirring until it forms a soft dough. Add the M&Ms and sprinkles, and continue stirring until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Prepare and bake the cookies:
    1. Using a #40 cookie scoop or two spoons, divide the dough into 35-gram portions, roughly equivalent to 2 tablespoons each.
    2. Roll each portion into a ball and gently flatten it into a 1-inch-thick disk.
    3. Combine some M&Ms and sprinkles, then roll the dough disks in this mixture.
    There's no need to refrigerate the disks before baking—these cookies are at their best when baked on the same day the dough is mixed.
  • Place the dough disks on the prepared sheet pans, leaving approximately 2 inches of space between each. Bake until the edges barely turn golden and the centers are just set, which typically takes 14 to 16 minutes. Immediately transfer the cookies to a wire rack using a fish spatula to allow them to cool.


Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature, and they will remain fresh for up to 3 days.