Sign up for a pro-level Savory Baking course!
Cookies

Simple & Festive Pinwheel Cookies

5 from 8 votes
A festive spiral cookie that's sliced and baked after rolling, my Simple & Festive Pinwheel Cookies recipe is one that you'll always remember.
A pan of perfect pinwheel cookies

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for details.

Hi Bold Bakers!

IN THIS RECIPE: My homemade pinwheel cookie recipe is for a classic vanilla and chocolate-flavored cookie. They’re simple, not too sweet, and nice and soft. These cookies taste the way a good nap feels. 

It makes you dizzy just looking at them, so you might as well eat them fast! They look difficult to make but don’t let the fancy design trick you; these tasty cookies aren’t only a snap to make. They’re also just plain fun to make. 

They’re also beautiful! They really stand out on a tray of cookies. I know myself, if I saw these dizzying cookies on a tray, they would likely be the first I’d grab. 

A log of pinwheel cookies being sliced.

What Are Pinwheel Cookies?

Pinwheel cookies are two different colors of dough, rolled up together, sliced, then baked! It sounds like many steps, but it’s a quick (and fun) process! They taste like a sugar cookie, except I also flavor mine with cocoa powder and vanilla extract! 

What You Need To Make Pinwheel Cookies

How To Make Pinwheel Cookies

The trick for perfect pinwheel cookies is to be patient. You have to wait for the dough to chill before baking! Here is how you make them — don’t forget to grab the full printable recipe with measurements further down the page:

  1. In a mixer or medium bowl, beat the sugar and butter together. Then, stir in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
  2. In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until combined.
  3. Remove half of the dough from your bowl and set it aside.
  4. Add the cocoa powder into the remaining dough and beat until evenly mixed.
  5. Roll the plain dough into a 9×14-inch (23x36cm) rectangle on parchment paper.
  6. Roll the chocolate dough into the same size rectangle on another piece of parchment paper.
  7. This dough is soft, so use the parchment paper to help you lift the chocolate dough and place it on top of the plain dough. The dough should now be touching with parchment paper below the plain dough and parchment paper above the chocolate dough. A dough sandwich with parchment paper bread, if you will.
  8. Gently roll the doughs together about ¼-inch (6mm) thickness.
  9.  Peel away the top sheet of parchment paper and discard.
  10. Starting on the long side of your rectangle, carefully roll the dough into a tight roll. Use the bottom parchment paper to wrap the dough and refrigerate until it is very firm. This will take at least 1 hour, but you can go so long as overnight. 
  11. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line your two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Unwrap your dough log and, using a sharp knife, slice ¼-inch (6mm) rounds and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch (2½cm) apart.
  13. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes until they are just cooked through. They should be pale, don’t let them take on any color.
  14. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack after baking.

A closer look at a uniform pinwheel cookie's serial.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Pinwheel Cookies

  • This dough is very soft, and the parchment will help you handle the dough. If you don’t have parchment, chill both halves of dough before rolling and roll out on a floured surface.
  • When making your roll, start slowly and make sure you make a tight roll. Otherwise, there may be a hole in the middle when you slice the cookies!
  • Take care not to overbake the cookies – if they get golden, they will be a little too tough once cooled. They have to stay pale to be nice and soft.
  • Once you have made your cookie log, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to three months. Let the dough soften for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Instead of cocoa powder, you can mix a few drops of red gel food coloring into one half of the dough and proceed as directed for a red and white holiday cookie!

How Do I Store Pinwheel Cookies?

Once the cookies are cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for up to 3 days. 

A stack of pinwheel cookies.

‘Tis The Season (For More Cookies!)

Have you seen my two new cookie lists? Check out The Top 10 Classic Christmas Cookies and the Top Holiday Cookies of 2021!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook — it makes the perfect gift!

Simple & Festive Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

5 from 8 votes
A festive spiral cookie that's sliced and baked after rolling, my Simple & Festive Pinwheel Cookies recipe is one that you'll always remember.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 36 cookies
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Chill for 1 hr
A festive spiral cookie that's sliced and baked after rolling, my Simple & Festive Pinwheel Cookies recipe is one that you'll always remember.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 36 cookies

Ingredients

  • cups (12oz/340g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) butter (softened)
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (15oz/426g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (1oz/28g) cocoa powder

Instructions

  • In a mixer or medium bowl, beat the sugar and butter together, and then add the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until combined.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt and then gradually beat into the butter mixture until incorporated.
  • Remove half of the dough from the mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Add the cocoa powder to the remaining dough and beat until evenly mixed.
  • On a large piece of parchment paper, roll the plain dough into a 9x14-inch (23x36cm) rectangle.
  • On a separate piece of parchment, roll the chocolate dough into a 9x14-inch (23x36cm) rectangle.
  • The doughs are very soft, so use the parchment paper to help you lift the chocolate dough and place it on top of the plain dough – so now you should have both doughs together with a piece of parchment below the plain dough and on top of the chocolate dough.
  • Gently roll the doughs together to a thickness of about ¼-inch (6mm).
  • Peel away the top sheet of parchment paper and discard.
  • Starting on a long side, carefully roll the dough into a tight roll and then use the bottom parchment paper to wrap the dough and refrigerate until very firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap the cookie log and with a sharp knife, slice ¼-inch (6mm) rounds and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch (2½cm) apart.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just cooked through. They should pale and not take on any color.
  • Let cool on wire racks and then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
guest
12 Comments
most useful
newest oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rosaline
Rosaline
6 months ago

Hi Gemma,thanks for your recipe. I enjoyed baking these cookies.Happy holidays and merry Christmas.

egglady
egglady
6 months ago

My second attempt I made all vanilla and colored half the dough blue. Got the swirl to look more even this time.

egglady
egglady
6 months ago

I’ve been waiting for this recipe. Came out great. Just posted a picture. Gotta work a bit on my swirl design. 5 star

Priti Rijo
Priti Rijo
6 months ago

Hi Gemma,
Happy Holidays! I’m so glad to be first one to submit photo for these wonderful cookies. I’m your great fan 🙂
These cookies came out really good on my first try. My first batch of cookies was baked a little more coz of higher oven temperature. They turned out very crisp. 2nd one were correct and are softer even after cooling. I’m unable to decide which ones are better, I liked both the texture.
Thanks for such wonderful recipes and so easy to follow steps. Merry Christmas to your family.

Poojani Weerakkody
Poojani Weerakkody
6 months ago

Would definitely try this recipe. I was waiting until you post this recipe. Happy holidays ma’am Gemma!😊🎉🎊🎈

Karen Newsome
Karen Newsome
6 months ago

Super! Which egg replacer would you recommend for this pinwheel cookie?

This Recipe Made By Bold Bakers

4 Images

Priti Rijo

egglady

egglady

Pandora1

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Bigger Bolder Baking Pre Order Now Ad