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Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

Review Recipe
a close up shot of Christmas Pinwheels stacked on top of each other on a cake stand
These fun, festive Christmas pinwheel cookies are perfect for the holidays with layers of swirled sugar cookie dough for the ultimate sweet treat!
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Table of Contents
  1. Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
  7. Even More Easy Recipes

Cookies are practically a compulsory part of the Christmas holiday tradition, and there are so many delicious ones to try, especially these Christmas pinwheel cookies. The soft and colorful dough is sliced to reveal a spiral of pretty red and white that is almost too perfect to eat!

christmas pinwheels cookies stacked on top of each other on a plate

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Ingredients

christmas pinwheels raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon red liquid food coloring
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

FOOD COLORING: You can easily switch the food coloring to a different color to mix up the look of these Christmas swirl cookies. Green works, as well as red, or you could even make a snowy theme and go with blue.

SPRINKLES: A great way to add a little something else to these easy pinwheel cookies is to add sprinkles. Before baking, you can add the sprinkles around the outside of the log.

How To Make This Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

STEP ONE: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. Beat the ingredients on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Use a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and continue mixing until combined.

butter, powdered sugar, egg and vanilla creamed together in a measuring cup

STEP TWO: Add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and mix together on the low setting until no streaks of the flour mixture are visible.

flour, salt, and baking soda added to a measuring cup

STEP THREE: Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Divide dough in half and remove half of it to a piece of parchment paper. Add the red food coloring and almond extract to the remaining dough in the stand mixer bowl and mix together on low speed until the color is uniform.

food coloring added to the dough in a measuring cup

STEP FOUR: Divide each portion of dough in half so that you have 2 red and 2 dough-colored pieces. Form each piece into its own separate rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough into rectangular sharpe

STEP FIVE: After the dough is finished chilling, remove one piece of dough, and roll dough out on a piece of parchment paper with a rolling pin until it is roughly an 11×7 rectangle. Repeat with all pieces of dough. Trim the edges with a knife so you have straight lines.

STEP SIX: Once all 4 pieces of dough are rolled out, carefully place one red dough piece on top of the dough-colored piece. On the other two pieces, place the red piece on the bottom.

STEP SEVEN: Carefully roll each rectangle into a long log. Wrap in plastic wrap and place back in the refrigerator for an additional 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Don’t skip the chilling time. This will help them keep their rolled shape.

logs wrapped in wax paper on a wooden board

STEP EIGHT: When ready to bake these cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

PRO TIP:

While completely optional, we love how these cookies look with sprinkles on the outside. Roll the log in colorful sprinkles before slicing.

STEP NINE: Remove 1 log from the refrigerator, and with a sharp knife, carefully slice ¼ to ½-inch thick cookies, depending on how thick you want them. Space cookies about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes.

PRO TIP:

These cookies taste best if they are not overcooked, so watch them carefully.

STEP TEN: Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

STEP ELEVEN: Repeat the steps to finish cooking the remaining log of cookies.

How To Serve

The spiral of classic Christmas colors will make these cookies a welcome addition to your holiday season. Share them at a festive cookie swap or save them for Christmas Eve along with a warm mug of homemade hot chocolate or mint hot chocolate.

While you are in a baking mood, how about trying some Christmas fudge? Our snowman truffles are adorable as well and would make those little ones’ eyes light up.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Store any cookies in an airtight container at room temperature on the counter. You can keep them there for up to 1 week.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the unbaked log for up to a month. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and pop it into a freezer bag. This means you can make bigger batches, freeze some and finish the process whenever you need them.

a close up shot of Christmas Pinwheels on a platter

Making delicious festive pinwheel cookies is a fun part of the Christmas lead-up and creates tasty cookies everyone can enjoy. With their distinctive swirl style and bright red color, these cookies look gorgeous and taste just as good.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I store these pinwheel Christmas cookies?

This festive recipe will be fine stored in an airtight container on the counter for up to a week.

Can I freeze the cookie dough log?

Yes! For this Christmas pinwheel cookie recipe, you can freeze and bake it later. Just wrap the dough in plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw frozen dough, slice, and bake.

Can I change the color of these festive cookies?

The sky’s the limit, and you can make these fun Christmas cookies any color you’d like! You could even use this recipe at another time of year for a different holiday, just by changing the dough color.

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a close up shot of Christmas Pinwheels stacked on top of each other on a cake stand

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

5 from 5 votes
These fun, festive Christmas pinwheel cookies are perfect for the holidays with layers of swirled sugar cookie dough for the ultimate sweet treat!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 36

Ingredients
  

  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon red liquid food coloring
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. Beat the ingredients on medium until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
  • Use a rubber spatula and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and continue mixing until combined.
  • Add the flour and baking powder and mix together on the low setting until no streaks of flour are visible.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Divide the dough in half and remove half of it to a piece of parchment paper. Add the food coloring and almond extract to the remaining dough in the stand mixer bowl and mix together on low speed until the color is uniform.
  • Divide each half of the dough in half so that you have 2 red and 2 dough-colored pieces. Form each piece into its own separate rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • After the dough is finished chilling, remove one piece of dough and roll it out on a piece of parchment paper until it is roughly an 11×7-inch rectangle. Repeat with all pieces of dough. Trim the edges with a knife, so you have straight lines.
  • Once all 4 pieces of dough are rolled out, carefully place one red piece on top of the dough-colored piece. On the other two pieces, place the red on the bottom.
  • Carefully roll each rectangle into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and place back in the refrigerator for an additional 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to bake these cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Remove 1 log from the refrigerator and carefully slice ¼ to ½-inch-thick cookies, depending on how thick you want them.
  • Space cookies about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are barely starting to brown on the edges. These cookies taste best if they are not overcooked, so watch them carefully.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat the steps to finish cooking the remaining log of cookies.

Video

Notes

  • Don’t skip the chilling time. This will help them keep their rolled shape.
  • While completely optional, we love how these cookies look with sprinkles on the outside. Roll the log in colorful sprinkles before slicing.
  • These cookies taste best if they are not overcooked, so watch them carefully.

Nutrition

Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 21mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Betty says

    5 stars
    How fun and festive! Looking forward to making them. I noticed sprinkles are used, but I didn’t see it in the ingredients or the instructions. It is in the video though. Thank you! Happy Holidays!

  2. Liz says

    5 stars
    Just made these this weekend, as s beautiful as they are, they taste even better!! Adding these to the yearly Christmas cookies!

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