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Pinwheel cookies are great for any time of year! You can make them in so many ways – colored sugar or make them cinnamon or lemon or chocolate chip. They are an easy slice-and-bake sugar cookie with a delicious filling – and they’re perfect for the holidays.

all types of swirl cookies mixed together


Easy Spiral Pinwheel Cookies – 4 Ways

I love these cookies – they’re a cousin to my spiral cookies that I absolutely love, except I’m showing you FOUR different ways to make them:

  • Cinnamon Sugar
  • Lemon
  • Christmas Colors
  • Chocolate Chip

I’ve been making these cookies for years and everyone LOVES them. The dough tastes great and they’re so pretty too!

swirl cookies stacked with red and green sprinkles in the middle

Easy Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Pinwheel Cookies, also called Spiral cookies, are a slice and bake cookie like my butter cookie recipe, but they’re rolled out and filled with your favorite things. I’ve been making them with colored sugar forever but recently I’ve loved making them as cinnamon roll cookies or lemon cookies with lemon curd! They’re so versatile, easy to make, and they freeze great too.

Ingredients Needed

  • Sugar- These use Granulated Sugar
  • Butter – Make sure it’s softened for easy use. You can use unsalted or salted (I used Challenge Unsalted Butter).
  • Almond extract- You can also use vanilla extract if you prefer that flavor.
  • Egg- I always like to use large eggs. 
  • Salt – omit if using salted butter
  • All-purpose flour – Be sure to measure it correctly!

Challenge Dairy is a California company, based in the Bay Area, where I grew up. My dad grew up eating Challenge and it’s the only butter he buys. In fact, whenever we talk about cooking or baking and butter comes up, he talks about how much he loves the flavor and how it really is the BEST butter.

swirl cookies stacked with chocolate chips in the middle

Filling Ingredients

  • Colored sugar – Such as red and green for Christmas.
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Cinnamon sugar – made from cinnamon and granulated or brown sugar
  • Lemon curd or jam

How to Make Pinwheel Cookies

  1. Make the dough: Cream sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer. Add almond extract, salt, and egg. Mix everything together until it’s completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Slowly stir in flour and mix until it’s just combined.
  2. Fill and roll the dough: Divide the dough into two separate pieces. Place one-half on wax paper or plastic wrap. Use your hands or a rolling pin to press the dough into an 8-inch rectangle. Fill the dough with a filling of your desire, there are some great filling suggestions below. Use the bottom sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap to help you roll the dough properly. Repeat this process with the second half of the dough. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator until they are firm. This should take about 1 hour, but you can leave them in overnight if you’d like. 
  3. Slice cookie dough: Heat the oven to 350°F. Slice rolls of cookie dough into ¼-inch slices. Place them on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat. 
  4. Bake: Bake the cookie rolls for 6-9 minutes until the bottom edges begin to brown. You may want to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the baking process. Let them cool for one minute on a cookie sheet, and then remove them to a cooling rack. Store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to one month. 
swirl cookies stacked with cinnamon in the middle

Expert Tips

Colorful: Pick two colors of colored sugar (for example: red and green for Christmas). Work on one rectangle of dough at a time, sprinkling alternate lines of colored sugar before rolling up. 

Chocolate chip: Working on one rectangle of dough at a time, sprinkle around ½ cup of mini chocolate chips on each rectangle. Then, press them in the dough to adhere them before rolling them up. 

Cinnamon sugar: Mix ¼ cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Work on one rectangle of dough at a time, sprinkling half the cinnamon sugar on each before you roll them up.

FAQs

How do you roll pinwheel cookies?

Roll your pinwheel cookies using a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. This process is similar to rolling up a cake roll, just a lot less tricky!

Do you need to refrigerate pinwheel cookies?

No, you don’t need to refrigerate the baked pinwheel cookies, just be sure to store them in an air-tight container.

Why aren’t my spiral cookies tightly rolled?

If your pinwheel cookies aren’t rolled very tight, your dough may be too thick or not malleable enough to be rolled tightly. Make sure you follow the recipe and use a piece of wax paper or clingwrap to support the dough as you roll it up. This really helps!

Can you freeze these cookies?

Yes, you can! These cookies will stay good in the freezer for up to one month.

all types of swirl cookies mixed together

Pinwheel Cookies

4.72 from 7 votes
Pinwheel Cookies are the perfect easy sugar cookie recipe for any holiday. You can fill these cookies with anything you want! Here are four different pinwheel cookie variations that we love to make: cinnamon sugar, chocolate chip, colorful sugar for any holiday, and lemon curd or jam! You're going to love this easy cookie recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 40 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie

Ingredients
 

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted Challenge butter softened
  • ½  teaspoon almond extract , optional (use vanilla extract if you prefer)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups (273g) all-purpose flour

Filling suggestions:

  • ¼ cup each of two colored sugars (red and green for Christmas)
  • 1 cup (170g) mini chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup lemon curd or jam
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Instructions

  • Cream sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also use a hand mixer.) Add almond extract, salt, and egg and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly stir in your flour and mix until just combined.
  • Divide dough into two pieces. Place one half on wax or plastic wrap spread out on your counter. Cover the top with another sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. Use your hands or a rolling pin to press the dough into a 8-inch rectangle (oblong is fine). Fill the dough as desired using one of the filling suggestions below. Use the bottom sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap to help you roll the dough. Repeat with the second half of dough. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour (overnight is fine).
  • Heat oven to 350°. Slice rolls of cookie dough into 1/4-inch slices. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat baking mat.
  • Bake 6-9 minutes until the bottom edges begin to brown. You may want to rotate the cookie sheets halfway through baking. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet and then remove to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

Colorful:

  • Pick two colors of colored sugar (i.e. red and green for Christmas). Working on one rectangle of dough at a time, sprinkle alternating lines of colored sugar before rolling up.

Chocolate Chip:

  • Working on one rectangle of dough at a time, sprinkle about 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips on each rectangle, then press to adhere them, before rolling up.

Cinnamon Sugar

  • Mix 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Working on one rectangle of dough at a time, sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar on each before rolling up.

Lemon or Jam

  • Working on one rectangle of dough at a time, spread each with a thin layer of lemon curd or jam before rolling up.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Other Favorite Cookie Recipes

Pinwheel Cookies are an easy sugar cookie rolled with a filling! These spiral cookies are made 4 ways: Sugar Pinwheel Cookies for any holiday, Chocolate Chip Pinwheels, Cinnamon Sugar Spiral Cookies or make them with jam or lemon curd! These are an EASY cookie recipe – perfect for Christmas.



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

4.72 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

  1. I have looked at your video countless times and followed the directions exactly, but my cookies turn out very small. Like you pop 1 whole cookie in your mouth and it is like a baby bite!

  2. I love cooking but have always struggled with baking. I have been trying to find recipes to help me learn and this one was great. It was not too hard and simple ingredients I already had. I was able to make three different wheels with this recipe.