This Italian Rainbow Cookie Loaf Cake is a festive take on the classic Italian rainbow cookie has each layer representing a stripe on the Italian flag and the yuletide season. In addition to keeping the sweet almond paste in the cake layers, we added a citrusy twist with orange marmalade sandwiched between each layer. Half the fun will be cutting through the chocolate shell at parties to reveal a festive holiday surprise for guests.
Italian Rainbow Cookie Loaf Cake
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1⅓ cups (267 grams) granulated sugar*
- 4 large eggs (200 grams), room temperature
- ½ cup (130 grams) almond paste, grated
- ½ teaspoon (2 grams) almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (95 grams) whole buttermilk, room temperature
- Red gel food coloring
- Green gel food coloring
- ¾ cup (240 grams) strained orange marmalade
- 4 ounces (113 grams) 60% cacao dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup (120 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups (285 grams) chocolate sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 325°F (170°C). Spray 3 (9×5-inch) loaf pans (see Note) with baking spray with flour. Line pans with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond paste and extracts until well combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, place one-third of batter (about 325 grams). In a second medium bowl, place one-third of batter (about 325 grams). Add red food coloring to first bowl, folding until well combined. Add green food coloring to second bowl, folding until well combined. Leave remaining batter as is. Spread each batter in a separate prepared pan. (See Note.)
- Bake until tops are dry and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Place a large piece of plastic wrap on a clean work surface. Place green layer in center of plastic wrap; spread half of marmalade on top. Top with uncolored layer; spread remaining preserves on top. Top with red layer, and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in a 9×5-inch loaf pan; place an empty 9×5-inch loaf pan on top, and weigh down with cans. Refrigerate for 4 hours or up to overnight.
- In a medium heatproof bowl, place chocolate.
- In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium heat, stirring frequently, just until steaming. (Do not boil.) Pour hot cream over chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Starting in center of bowl, slowly stir in small circles until chocolate is melted and mixture is shiny, smooth, and well combined. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top.
- Unwrap cake, and place on prepared rack. Pour chocolate mixture over cake, and using a small of set spatula, spread in a thin layer on top and sides of cake. Gently press sprinkles on top and sides of cake, letting excess fall off. Refrigerate until chocolate layer is firm, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Recipe can be made using 1 (9×5-inch) loaf pan. Spread first prepared batter into pan, and bake as directed, keeping remaining batters at room temperature until ready to bake. Let layer cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Wash pan, spray, line with parchment paper, and fill with second batter. Repeat procedure with remaining batter.