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Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Christmas pinwheel cookies are a quintessential holiday treat, epitomizing the festive spirit with their vibrant red, green, and white swirls.

These visually striking cookies, often sought after for their aesthetic appeal, are made by layering and rolling multiple colored dough.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

Red and green pinwheel cookies on a white plate. There is a coffee cup in the background.

Known for their buttery texture and subtle vanilla flavor, pinwheel cookies are a go-to recipe for many during the Christmas season.

They are perfect for holiday parties, gift-giving, and cookie exchanges; they are not only a delight to the taste buds but also a visual feast that stands out on any dessert table.

The cookies may look fancy, but they are good old-fashioned sugar cookies with food coloring.

You probably know this about me already, but I love to bake cookies, especially for the holiday season. I will come up with any excuse to bake my best Christmas cookie recipes, like these Christmas pinwheel cookies.

Cookie exchange? Sign me up! Church potluck? I’ll be there! Are friends or family dropping by? It’s cookie time! 

You get the idea.

Red and green pinwheel cookies on a white plate. There is a coffee cup in the background.

A Very Easy Recipe

These pinwheel Christmas cookies are one of my favorites simply because they are so easy, even though they look totally complicated.

And once you see my steps further below, you’ll be able to breeze right through the whole thing like a walk in the park.

Then, everyone will be amazed by your baking skills. Smile, nod, grab a cookie, and giggle to yourself over these super-simple Christmas cookies!

You might think that the easiest way to get fun Christmas cookies is by grabbing store-bought dough from the grocery store.

Trust me, this simple sugar cookie dough tastes much better than what you’ll find in that refrigerated cookie dough section.

Red and green pinwheel cookies on a Christmas towel. They are next to a coffee cup.

Ingredients For Pinwheel Cookies

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Softened butter
  • Sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Red and green food coloring
  • Sprinkles

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Butter in a large stand mixer.

Add the butter to the stand mixer and mix until creamy.

I used the paddle attachment for this recipe with my stand mixer.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer.

Pouring sugar into a mixing bowl with butter.

Pour the sugar into the mixing bowl and combine.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix.

Flour mixture in a mixing bowl with butter and sugar

In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.

Cut the dough in half.

Cookie dough with red food coloring.

Add one-half of the dough back to the mixing bowl and add the red food dye. Mix well until combined.

Keep adding the red food coloring until you get the desired color.

Red cookie dough wrapped up in plastic wrap.

Flatten out into a square shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.

Cookie dough with green food coloring

Do the same with the other half of the dough. Mix until you get the green color you desire.

Press the cookie dough into a similar square shape, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Green and red cookie dough on parchment paper.

After the dough is refrigerated, roll each one out separately between two sheets of parchment paper.

After both are rolled out to 1/4-inch thick, place the red dough on top of the green. Trim the edges with a sharp knife (don’t cut your countertop) so it will be a nice, clean rectangle.

Roll up the two pieces together into a log.

Rolling cookie dough in sprinkles.

Add sprinkles to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or plastic wrap and gently roll the dough around until it is covered with sprinkles.

A cookie log rolled up in plastic wrap.

Roll your cookie dough log into a tight log in the plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for another 1-2 hours.

Sliced pinwheel cookies on a cutting board.

After you’ve refrigerated the cookies, slice them about 1-inch thick, place them about two inches apart on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Red and green pinwheel cookies on a white plate. There is a coffee cup in the background.

Instead of making ordinary sugar cookies or buying that pre-made dough, make your own and make the holidays more colorful.

Adding Some Variety

You can easily change the colors of the cookies or leave one of them plain. There are endless possibilities.

  • Chocolate dough
  • Vanilla dough
  • Add some sanding sugar to the tops of the cookies.
  • Nonpareil sprinkles for different occasions.

More Delicious Holiday Treats

pinwheel cookies on a white plate.

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

These Christmas pinwheel cookies only require a few simple ingredients, and you may even have everything you need in your kitchen to make them right now.

Festive pinwheel cookies are the tastiest way to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Check the recipe card below for all the details, and get ready to bake up plenty of Christmas joy for your favorite people!

Red and green pinwheel cookies on a white plate. There is a coffee cup in the background.

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Festive Christmas pinwheel cookies with vibrant swirls. Perfect for holiday parties, gift-giving, and cookie exchanges. Buttery, vanilla-flavored treat.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red and green food coloring
  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add the butter and beat until creamy.
  5. Next, add the sugar and mix.
  6. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix well.
  7. Next, add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
  8. Cut the dough in half. Take half and place it back in the mixer.
  9. Add the red food coloring and mix. Keep adding red until you reach the desired color.
  10. Once combined, press the cookie dough into a square and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
  11. Clean out the bowl and repeat with the green color and the other half of the cookie dough.
  12. Wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  13. After one hour, roll out each cookie dough separately to about 1/4-inch thick with a rolling pin. Roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper.
  14. Lay the red cookie dough on top of the green and gently roll it into a log.
  15. Pour the sprinkles onto plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll the cookie dough log through the sprinkles until covered.
  16. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
  17. After refrigerating, slice the cookie dough about one inch thick and place it on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  18. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool.


  • If the dough seems sticky after adding the food coloring, add a tablespoon of flour (or more if needed) and mix again. You should be able to press against the dough without it sticking to your fingers.
  • If the cookie dough log isn't as round as you'd like, you can gently roll it around on the counter before refrigerating to make it more round.
  • If the cookies are still uncooked after 10-12 minutes, you can bake them a little longer.
  • Store your cookies in an airtight container or zip-close bag.
  • If you don't have parchment paper, you can use wax paper to roll out the cookie dough. DO NOT use wax paper in the oven.
  • I used a kitchen scale to weigh the dough so both pieces would be even.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

Nutrition is approximate.

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