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Spiral Cookies are my absolute favorite cookie recipe – all year long. I love making them for the 4th of July with red and blue sanding sugar, but you can make these all year with ANY colors. They’re soft and crunchy, buttery and perfectly sweet!

spiral cookies with red and blue sugar

4th of July Spiral Cookies

Everyone will admire the patriotic swirl on these spiral cookies but they’ll love the flavor more: these 4th of July cookies are buttery, soft, and have just the right amount of sugar! They’re like butter cookies but rolled with sugar – absolutely delicious!

Although I’m baking these specifically for the Fourth of July, they can be made for any holiday or special occasion. All you need to do is follow this simple recipe and change out the color of the sanding sugar. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • The flavor of these is one of our absolute favorites – I add almond extract for a delicious twist!
  • They’re soft but also crunchy from the sugar inside.
  • You can make them ahead and even freeze the cookies!

Ingredients needed

  • Sugar: I’m using granulated sugar in the cookie dough mixture to sweeten these sugar cookies
  • Butter: I like to use unsalted butter since we don’t want the cookie dough to taste too salty. Make sure your butter is at room temperature so it will be easier to mix. 
  • Almond extract: this adds a wonderful flavor to any baked goods, but if you don’t like almonds or are allergic, you can use lemon or vanilla extract instead.
  • Sanding sugar: depending on your occasion, use any colors you like. Since this recipe is for the 4th of July, I’ll be using red and blue colored sugar. 

How to make spiral cookies

  1. Cream a cup granulated sugar and butter in the bowl. Using butter that’s at room temperature makes this creaming process so much easier. 
  2. Add almond extract, salt, and egg and mix all together until evenly combined.
  3. Slowly stir in your flour and mix until just combined. It’s going to make a nice thick dough. 
  4. Divide the cookie dough into two pieces.
  5. Cover the top of your dough with wax paper. The dough should be sandwiched in the wax paper.
  6. Press the dough flat with your hands. Then use a rolling pin to evenly press the dough into a rectangle shape. 
  7. Sprinkle the sanding sugars in lines across the dough. Alternate between red and blue stripes (or whatever colors you’re using). Repeat with the second half of the dough. 
  8. Roll up the dough carefully. It may be a bit tricky, especially if your home is hot but let the wax paper help you. 
  9. Chill your rolled doughs in the refrigerator until firm for about 1 hour up to overnight.
  10. Slice rolls of cookie dough into inch-thick slices. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Since these cookies don’t have any baking powder, they don’t spread at all so you can place them close together if you need to. 
  11. Bake at 350° for 6-9 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. 
spiral cookies on white plate

Expert tips

  • You may want to rotate the baking sheets halfway through baking depending on how your oven bakes, to ensure even baking.
  • You don’t have to be exact when rolling these out, that’s why I love this recipe.
  • Peel off wax paper in between pressing and rolling to avoid the dough from sticking to the paper.


Can you freeze spiral cookies?

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

How far ahead can you make cookie dough?

About a day before. You can make the cookie dough and allow to chill to bake for the next day. 

Are pinwheel cookies soft?

Yes, these pinwheel cookies are just like your regular, soft sugar cookies.

spiral cookies with red and blue sugar

4th of July Spiral Cookies

5 from 1 vote
These 4th of July Spiral Cookies are perfect for the holiday! An easy sugar cookie dough recipe is rolled with red and blue sugar to look like a firework! Everyone loves these cookies!
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


  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter softened
  • ½  teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ cups (273g) all-purpose flour
  • About ¼ cup red colored sugar
  • About ¼ cup blue colored sugar


  • 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). Alternating colors, sprinkle sugars in lines across the dough. 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 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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Last Updated on June 27, 2023

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.

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  1. Hi, I wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS TAYLOR! Enjoy high school!

    I will be making Spiral cookies for July 4th.

  2. How cute are those! Everything my kids ever learned they learned from Disney channel as well. But when people comment on their smarts of course I smile and pretend it’s because I’m such an amazing parent.

    1. LOL, I use it as an excuse to make myself feel better that she watches too much TV. 🙂

  3. Whoa! These look too easy to be true! I love that you can color-code them to fit any theme! I will have to try them! Thanks so much for linking up to my Red, White, Blue & You Link Party!

  4. I LOVE these cookies! I think I’ll make them for Halloween! Thanks!
    P.S. I just subscribed to your blog via email~love it!

  5. @Alice
    I always use regular, salted butter for these cookies. I’ve never tried margarine. If you try them with margarine, let me know how they turn out! Thanks for reading!

  6. The recipe for the cookies says to use 1 cup of butter. This this mean real unsalted butter or can I substitute margarine? Alice