Classic holiday pinwheel cookies bring back all the feelings from your childhood Christmas gatherings

A recipe inspired by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

5D4B6730 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies

Looking for a stunning Christmas cookie recipe for the holiday cookie swap? Bake these holiday pinwheel cookies, inspired by That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and your friends will be begging you to be their holiday baker.

These scrumptious holiday cookies come to the dessert table flaunting impressive red and white spirals and brightly colored sprinkles. Irresistibly delicious, these gorgeous pinwheel cookies unleash a perfect balance of cool peppermint and luscious vanilla flavors. We guarantee your eye-catching, palate-pleasing batch of cookies will be the talk of the cookie swap and any other Christmas cookie occasion.

ALSO TRY: These adorable Christmas mouse cookies are simple and sweet

Intimidated by pinwheel cookies? Be daunted no more. Certainly, making pinwheel cookies takes more time and effort than other holiday cookies, but the result is so worth it! If you’ve never tried your hand at creating these layered and rolled cookies, give our straightforward recipe a try. We’ve done all the hard work perfecting the ingredients and determining the measurements for you. All you have to do is follow the directions and bake with confidence. You can do this! And your family and friends will thank you.

These tasty holiday treats make great Christmas gifts! After all, no one can resist a cookie that looks this good! Delight your friends and neighbors with a Christmas-themed plate of fresh-baked cookies. Wrap up an entire log of dough and give it to your cookie-loving friends as a hostess or holiday housewarming gift — just be sure to include a crafty tag with slicing and baking instructions.

Once you master these beautiful holiday pinwheel cookies, you’ll want to make extra batches of dough and keep the logs in the freezer just so you can slice and bake them at a moment’s notice whenever you’re craving a Merry Christmas cookie!


Combine the dry ingredients

This holiday cookie recipe has a streamlined list of ingredients, many of which are already in your kitchen. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

5D4B6220 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Combine the dry ingredients


Cream the butter and sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat this mixture until it is light and fluffy. Also called “creaming,” beating the butter and sugar together incorporates air into the dough, resulting in cookies with a lighter texture.

5D4B6237 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Cream the butter and sugar


Add eggs and extracts

To the creamed butter mixture, add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint extracts.

5D4B6240 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


Slowly add the dry ingredients

Instead of dumping all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the flour mixture in three separate additions, beating on low until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

5D4B6253 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Slowly add the dry ingredients


Divide the dough in half

Place dough on a cutting board and divide in half. Use a kitchen scale to ensure that the portions are equal in weight. Form one of the portions into a 4×4-inch square and wrap in plastic wrap.

5D4B6288 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Divide the dough in half


Color the dough

Place the remaining portion of dough into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add four drops of food coloring and mix until the dough turns an even color of red. Add more food coloring, if necessary, to reach your desired color. Form this portion of dough into a 4×4-inch square and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

5D4B6298 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Color the dough


Cut the dough

Using a ruler to measure, cut each square of dough into four equal-sized strips. Place three strips of red dough and four strips of the cream-colored dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the dough until ready to use.

5D4B6515 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Cut the dough


Roll out the strips of dough

On a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper, use a rolling pin to roll the strip of red dough into a 6×7-inch rectangle. To keep the parchment paper from slipping, use tape to secure it to the counter or a cutting board. Repeat this process with a strip of cream-colored dough on a separate sheet of parchment paper.

5D4B6537 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Roll out the strips of dough


Layer the sheets of dough

Using parchment paper, flip the cream-colored sheet of dough on top of the red sheet, aligning the edges. Run a rolling pin lightly over the dough. Repeat this process with another strip of red dough and cream-colored dough. You will have a four-layer sheet of dough, alternating the red and cream-colored sheets.

5D4B6574 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Layer the sheets of dough


Roll the dough into logs

Roll the layered dough into a log and trim the edges. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat the layering process with the remaining two strips of red dough and two strips of cream-colored dough. You will have a total of two logs.

5D4B6586 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Roll the dough into logs


Roll the logs in sprinkles

Remove the dough logs from the refrigerator and roll on a flat surface to make sure the logs are perfectly round and not flattened on any side. Unwrap the logs and roll them in colored sprinkles until they are generously covered. Rewrap the logs and refrigerate for 3 hours or until the dough is very firm.

5D4B6612 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Roll the logs in sprinkle


Bake the cookies

Using a sharp knife or dough cutter, slice the logs crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies at 350F for 10 to 13 minutes or until they are slightly golden on the bottom. Let them cool on a wire rack. Serve.

5D4B6661 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies - Bake the cookies


How fun are these holiday cookies!

5D4B6682 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


So colorful and happy!

5D4B6713 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


Liven up your cookie platter this year!

5D4B6780 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


Absolutely delicious

5D4B6678 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


Dig in!

5D4B6672 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


Holiday pinwheel cookies

Yield 34 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 drops “super red” food coloring
  • Red, white, and green sprinkles

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, add butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, another 2 minutes or so.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Beat in vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  6. In three separate additions, slowly add the flour mixture. Beat on low until combined and you can no longer see any of the white flour.
  7. Divide dough in half, using a scale to measure both portions evenly.
  8. Form one-half of the dough into a 4x4-inch square. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside.
  9. Place other half of dough into the mixer and add four drops of super red food coloring, mixing to color the dough. Add more coloring, if needed, until you reach your preferred color.
  10. Form the red-colored dough into another 4x4-inch square and wrap it in plastic wrap.
  11. Refrigerate both squares of dough for at least 30 minutes.
  12. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets.  
  13. Cut each dough square into four equal-sized strips. Place three strips of the red dough and four strips of cream-colored dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
  14. On a lightly-floured piece of parchment paper, roll out a strip of red dough into a 6x7-inch rectangle, using a ruler to check the dimensions.
  15. Place 1 strip of cream-colored dough on a separate lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll it out into a 6x7-inch rectangle.
  16. Place 1 dough sheet (using parchment to flip) on top of the other piece, aligning all the edges. Run a rolling pin lightly over both doughs to adhere.
  17. Repeat with this process with another strip of red dough and cream-colored dough. Layer them on top creating four layers of alternating red and cream-colored doughs. Roll layered dough into a log.
  18. Repeat process with remaining four strips of dough. You will have a total of 2 logs. Trim edges and wrap each log in plastic wrap.
  19. Refrigerate logs for at least 1 hour.
  20. Remove logs from refrigerator and roll each log on the counter several times to prevent the bottom from flattening. Roll in sprinkles of red, white, and green sprinkles. Rewrap the dough.  Refrigerate for another 3 hours or until logs are very firm.
  21. Preheat oven to 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  22. Slice each dough log crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place the cookies 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  23. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden on the bottom.
  24. Remove baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  25. Serve.

Courses Dessert


5D4B6825 - Holiday Pinwheel Cookies