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featured christmas pinwheel cookies

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 15 people
Serve the prettiest cookies at the exchange this year when you bring these homemade Christmas Pinwheel Cookies! Red and white swirled cookies are gorgeous and surprisingly easy to make from scratch. With just a hint of peppermint, they're festively flavored and tasty as can be.
Print Recipe


  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Red food coloring


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and sugar on high speed for 1 minute.
    ingredients for pinwheel cookies
  • Add the flour, peppermint extract, and salt and beat together until smooth.
    cookie dough in a bowl
  • Divide the dough into two equal sections. Keep one section in the stand mixer bowl and place the other section in a separate bowl.
  • Add a drop or two of red food coloring to the dough that is still in the stand mixer bowl. Beat together until all of the dough is red.
    red and white cookie dough in bowls
  • Place a large piece of plastic wrap onto the counter. Place the white (no food coloring added) dough on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle (approximately 7x9 inches).
    white cookie dough on plastic wrap before rolling out
  • Remove the red dough from the bowl and carefully press or roll it out on top of the white dough. It should completely cover the white dough (and become the same shape as the white dough).
    white cookie dough rolled out onto plastic wrap with red cookie dough on top
  • Before rolling, cut about ¼ inch of dough off of the end closest to you so there’s a nice, net line of dough to start with. This ensures pretty pinwheel centers.
  • Use the plastic wrap the help you roll the dough into a log. Do not wrap the plastic wrap into the log. Once the dough is in a tight log, tightly wrap with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
    rolling red and white pinwheel cookie dough on plastic wrap
  • Once the dough log as chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place on a cutting board. Cut the log into cookies about ½ inch thick.
    white and red pinwheel cookies on parchment paper before baking
  • Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet leaving 2 inches of space between them.
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes - the cookies will still look soft at this point.
  • Remove them from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool before serving.


  • Prep Tip: Do not skip refrigerating the dough! Refrigerating the dough helps the pinwheels stay beautifully shaped while baking. If immediately baking the soft cookie dough, the cookies will spread and will not have the gorgeous swirl.
  • Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • Food Coloring: These cookies would be just as festive with green food coloring or even a combination of red, green, and white. For pinwheel cookies with 3 colors, simply split the dough into 3 sections (color 1 section red, 1 section green, and keep 1 section plain) and layer the dough in whichever order you desire.