Pinwheel cookies are the perfect cookie to bake for the upcoming holiday season. I love to bake pinwheel cookies for Thanksgiving or Christmas (or both).
They feel special with the chocolate vanilla swirl look they display—almost like old-fashioned candy. And if you’re looking for more holiday treats to make check out 20 Easy Holiday Desserts.
Pinwheel cookies are made by shaping together two flavors of cookie dough: vanilla and chocolate. These slice and bake-style cookies are a little more labor intensive than your average chocolate chip cookie, but they are worth the extra effort for the beautiful spiral design.
While these pinwheel cookies do take a little extra effort, you don’t have to be a professional baker to get this look! The recipe below is very simple to make.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Butter (unsalted)
- Granulated white sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Dark chocolate (chips or a bars)
No tricky ingredients are needed for this cookie recipe. If you like baking, you probably already have everything you need to make pinwheel cookies.
Make the vanilla and chocolate cookie doughs, then shape each into a rectangle. Place one on top of the other and roll up. Slice into cookies, revealing the swirled insides.
Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Easy! Once they are cool, you can serve them at your next holiday get together or gift them to friends or neighbors.
Tips for Making Pinwheel Cookies:
- You don’t have to chill the dough before shaping.
- You can freeze the dough. It’s best to do this after you’ve already shaped the two flavors into a roll. Then, you can simply slice and bake the frozen dough when you’re ready.
- It’s OK if the dough gets some cracks or imperfections while shaping. Just press it back together as you work. No biggie!
- You can use parchment paper to help roll the doughs together once they are shaped into rectangles.
Other Holiday Cookie Recipes:
How long can I store these cookies?
If you store them in an airtight container, these can stay fresh tasting for up to a week.
Can I add different flavoring other than chocolate?
Yes. You could omit the melted chocolate from the recipe and flavor half the dough with an extract like peppermint or lemon. You could also use food coloring to make the swirl designs red, yellow, or whatever color you prefer.
Can I freeze pinwheel cookies?
Yes, you could freeze the cookies after they are baked. Another option is to freeze the dough once the two flavors have been rolled into a log. That way, you can slice and bake the dough from the freezer before baking for fresh cookies fast.
Can I melt chocolate in the microwave?
Yes. You can use a double boiler on the stove or melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments for this recipe.
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In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. You can also do this with a handheld mixer or by hand.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract and blend until combined.
Add the dry ingredients and blend until a dough ball forms.
Remove half of the dough from the bowl and set aside.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. You could also do this in a small bowl in the microwave in 30-second increments.
Add the melted chocolate to the mixer bowl with the remaining half of the dough. Blend until combined.
Roll each of the doughs into a large rectangle. You will need extra flour for dusting the surfaces as you work.
Place one rectangle over the other. Then roll them into a log. If needed, you can use parchment paper on the outside to help roll them up.
Slice the log into thin cookie slices. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Remove to cooling rack once baked.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.