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Learn how to Make Pinwheel Cookies

Take pleasure in basic chocolate and vanilla pinwheel cookies utilizing this tried-and-tested selfmade recipe. These mesmerizingly stunning and delightfully smooth pinwheel cookies come collectively by layering and rolling chocolate and vanilla cookie dough collectively. The perfect half about these slice-and-bake cookies? You solely must make 1 dough! Comply with my in-depth tutorial and video for recipe success.

pinwheel cookies on white plate with peppermint swirls sitting on red linen.

Look into the pinwheel cookies… you’re getting hungry… very hungry…

Have you ever ever made pinwheel cookies earlier than? I’ve a recipe for these slice-and-bake model cookies in Sally’s Cookie Habit, however this one could be very barely completely different. (Although the tip outcome is identical!) The primary distinction is that I take advantage of cocoa powder + milk for the chocolate dough as we speak, as a substitute of melted chocolate. I discover the chocolate dough extra pliable this manner, and it’s simpler to roll up with the vanilla dough to make that attribute swirl. Each recipes work.

Immediately’s recipe really makes use of the identical base dough as mint chocolate checkerboard cookies and these neapolitan cookies, however since pinwheels have the tendency to overspread, I add a *contact* extra flour. This provides you further insurance coverage, simply in case the dough begins to get a bit sticky.

stack of chocolate and vanilla pinwheel cookies on red linen.

It’s All Made From the Similar Dough

What I really like most about this recipe is that, like my cookbook model, these neapolitan cookies, and these mint chocolate checkerboard cookies, it’s all made out of one base dough. We’ll add some cocoa powder and milk to half the dough to make the chocolate portion. I additionally love including slightly espresso powder as a result of it actually deepens the cocoa taste—I all the time use it in chocolate cake.

Some pinwheel cookie recipes have you ever make two fully separate doughs. So I admire the comfort of this model! You may spend extra time perfecting your swirl. 😉

Love an excellent swirly slice-and-bake cookie? Attempt these cinnamon roll cookies!

What’s the Texture Like?

They might seem like crunchy cookies, however they’re surprisingly smooth within the facilities, due to the smooth chocolate dough and the additional egg yolk. In case you can deal with a sticky chocolate dough, you’ll be rewarded with a smooth cookie! Let’s get began.

Let Me Stroll You By This Course of

The total printable recipe is beneath, however there are some key factors I wish to stroll you thru earlier than you start. The method will be tough in the event you aren’t absolutely ready, so let me set you up for achievement!

The bottom dough is similar to my sugar cookies, butter cookies, and spritz cookies. You want these substances:

ingredients on marble counter including flour, eggs, sugar, butter, milk, cocoa powder, and vanilla.

Not many notes on the substances as these are all pretty frequent in a baker’s kitchen! Two issues, although: (1) Be sure you use correct room temperature butter for creaming. (2) We’re including an additional yolk to the dough for softness. Belief me on this—1 egg shouldn’t be sufficient and a pair of eggs is an excessive amount of. So, identical to a batch of additional moist and smooth chocolate chip cookies, use 1 complete egg + 1 further egg yolk.

(Observe the photograph above exhibits 2 eggs, however you don’t want that second egg white.)

Make the Dough & Chill It Briefly

The dough comes along with a mixer pretty shortly. After it’s all blended collectively, divide it in half. Don’t get frightened if it’s not completely even—if one portion of the dough is rather less than half, use that one for making the chocolate dough, because you’re going so as to add extra substances to it:

vanilla dough in big glass bowl and shown again divided in half on counter.

Place half of the dough again into the blending bowl and add cocoa powder, milk, and the optionally available espresso powder:

bowl of vanilla dough with espresso powder, milk, and cocoa powder in front of it and another photo of chocolate dough in glass bowl.

Now you’ve gotten 2 doughs: vanilla and chocolate. Utilizing flippantly floured arms, form every into small rectangles, about 1 inch thick, and about 4×5 inches. (The precise measurement doesn’t matter a lot right here, however it should whenever you go to roll the doughs out after chilling.) You should utilize flour on the counter and your arms whenever you’re shaping the vanilla dough, however you should utilize cocoa powder as a substitute whenever you’re working with the chocolate dough. (Or simply persist with flour.)

Wrap doughs up and chill for simply 60–90 minutes. The purpose is to sit back the doughs simply lengthy sufficient so that they’re simpler to roll out and deal with, but in addition nonetheless pliable and flexible. If the doughs chill too lengthy, they’ll be too stiff. 60–90 minutes is your candy spot!

two blocks of dough, one vanilla and one chocolate.

Tip: The chocolate dough is stickier than the vanilla dough. It’s not fairly as sticky as these double chocolate chip cookies, however cocoa powder normally produces a sticky dough. That’s why, once we roll the doughs collectively to make the pinwheel design, we’ve the vanilla dough on the underside. Vanilla can be on the skin of the cookie. If we swapped them and had the chocolate dough on the skin, the cookies would unfold much more.

Learn how to Roll Pinwheel Cookies

Are you able to roll? Let me stroll you thru this. I promise you are able to do it.

After the blocks of dough chill within the fridge, it’s time to form the pinwheel cookies. Place a chunk of parchment paper in your work floor, and sprinkle it with flour to maintain the dough from sticking.

Rolling Tip: I layer the parchment paper sheet on high of a silicone baking mat, to maintain it from sliding everywhere in the counter. You would additionally tape the sides of the parchment to the counter earlier than you start rolling. I discover these doughs stick much less to parchment vs. silicone baking mats, in order that’s why I roll out on parchment. Don’t roll the doughs out in your counter since you’ll have a troublesome time lifting/transferring them.

Take away the vanilla dough from the fridge. (Preserve the chocolate dough within the fridge for now.)

block of vanilla dough on parchment paper with rolling pin next to it.

Roll the vanilla dough into an 8×14-inch rectangle, between 1/8–1/4 inch thick.

One other Rolling Tip: Flip the dough from time to time in between rolls, to ensure it’s not sticking. Add slightly extra flour if wanted to stop sticking. Use your arms to straighten out the edges. You may see me do that within the video beneath.

rolled out vanilla dough on parchment paper.

Return the rolled-out vanilla dough to the fridge (merely raise up the parchment and place the entire thing within the fridge), after which work on the chocolate dough. Mud your rolling pin and work floor with cocoa powder and roll out the chocolate dough to about the identical dimension because the vanilla, or barely smaller.

Fastidiously decide up the chocolate dough and layer it excessive of the vanilla dough. Pat it down gently to rid any air bubbles from between the layers.

fitting chocolate dough on top of vanilla dough on top of parchment paper.

Tip: In case you’re having bother getting the doughs to line up properly, see the Troubleshooting part beneath. You may straighten up the sides together with your arms.

Working from one of many lengthy edges, start rolling. Go slowly, and attempt to roll it as tightly as potential. You may sort of meld the doughs collectively together with your fingers originally to get the roll began. (You may see me do that within the video tutorial beneath.) In case you discover naked or cracked spots of vanilla dough, simply patch it up together with your fingers as you go. Doesn’t need to look excellent.

shaping chocolate dough on top of vanilla dough and another photo rolling them together.

Chill the Dough Logs for two Hours

You’ll find yourself with a log of dough that’s about 14 inches lengthy. Slice it in half. Wrap up each logs of dough, and chill them within the fridge for not less than 2 hours, and as much as 4 days. This chilling time will be for much longer than the primary, as a result of we’re performed rolling/shaping the dough and it now not needs to be pliable.

two dough logs on marble counter.

Let’s Slice & Bake the Cookies

If you’re able to bake, use a pointy knife to slice every dough log into 14 cookies, about 1/2 inch thick. If any of your cookies look slightly misshapen, you may reshape right into a circle earlier than you set it on the baking sheet. (Once more, you may see me doing this within the video beneath.)

log of swirled vanilla and chocolate cookie dough and close-up of slice.

Place the cookies about 2 inches aside on the baking sheet and bake.

sliced pinwheel cookies on lined baking sheet before baking.
up-close photo of pinwheel cookies.

Learn how to Stop Pinwheel Cookies From Over-Spreading

These pinwheel cookies generally tend to spin… I imply, unfold… uncontrolled, so we wish to hold this dough chilly. Be sure you chill the dough for not less than the minimal period of time at any time when the recipe instructs. 2 suggestions:

  1. Any time you aren’t working with a dough, place it again within the fridge. If you’re working with both the vanilla or the chocolate dough, hold the opposite one within the fridge.
  2. You can even place the baking sheets with the sliced cookies on them within the fridge for about 10 minutes earlier than baking, to assist set their form. (Or put the entire sliced cookies on a plate to refrigerate in case your fridge doesn’t have sufficient room for a baking sheet.)

Troubleshooting Pinwheel Cookies

  1. Vanilla dough is sticking to parchment: Place the entire thing again within the fridge for 10 minutes, then use flour-dusted fingers to patch it again collectively as finest you may.
  2. Chocolate dough is tearing when I attempt to transfer it: Place the entire thing again within the fridge in the event you can for 10 minutes. Use cocoa powder- or flour-dusted arms to patch something again collectively.
  3. Chocolate & vanilla doughs aren’t lined up evenly: That’s superb, tear off any overhanging items of chocolate dough, and use it to patch any areas that want some.
  4. I can’t get it to be a good rectangle: Use a pizza cutter to slice off any uneven edges.
  5. Chocolate and vanilla swirls are separating in baked cookies: Just remember to pat down any air bubbles between the chocolate and vanilla doughs earlier than you roll them collectively. Additionally, it could possibly be that you simply’re including slightly an excessive amount of flour whenever you’re rolling out the doughs. That is nice for holding the dough from sticking, however can even make it troublesome for the two doughs to stay collectively. Subsequent time, strive utilizing an egg wash with the additional egg white and 1 Tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash on the vanilla dough earlier than layering on the chocolate dough. (This can be a step in my cookbook, however I omit it right here. I discover ridding air bubbles between the doughs normally solves the problem.)


  1. Tinting the Dough: Be happy to tint the vanilla dough. After dividing the dough in half, beat in slightly gel meals coloring. In case you’re skipping the chocolate dough (see subsequent), you may tint each doughs OR you may go away 1 dough white and tint the opposite half.
  2. Skipping the Chocolate/Including Taste Extracts: Sure, you may skip the chocolate and tint one or each of the doughs a colour so the pinwheel design exhibits. Be happy to maintain the flavour of each dough halves vanilla, or add one other extract, resembling peppermint or coconut. See recipe Observe beneath.
  3. Roll Dough Logs in Sprinkles or Coarse Sugar: After chilling the logs of dough, you may roll in sprinkles or coarse sugar earlier than slicing and baking.
  4. Chocolate Dip: Like these chocolate ginger cookies, pinwheels are further scrumptious with a dip in melted chocolate. I sprinkled the chocolate with some shimmery gold sprinkles.

Or strive a mint chocolate model, like these checkerboard cookies. Taste/tint the vanilla dough simply as you do in that recipe.

pinwheel cookies with some dipped in chocolate and topped with gold sprinkles on dark metal baking sheet.


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These buttery slice-and-bake pinwheel cookies are a scrumptious (and delightful!) swirl of chocolate and vanilla, which begin with 1 fundamental cookie dough. For finest success, watch the video tutorial and browse by means of the recipe and Notes earlier than beginning. I even have a troubleshooting part above.

Base Cookie Dough

For the Chocolate Dough

Elective for Dipping

  1. Make the dough: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt collectively in a medium bowl. Put aside.
  2. In a big bowl utilizing a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and granulated sugar collectively on medium-high velocity till creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the edges and up the underside of the bowl as wanted. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and beat on excessive velocity till mixed, about 1 minute. Scrape down the edges and up the underside of the bowl and beat once more as wanted to mix.
  3. Add the flour combination to the moist substances and blend on low velocity till mixed. Dough can be thick and sticky. Take away from the blending bowl—no must rinse out the blending bowl.
  4. Divide the dough in half: It’s best to have rather less than 2 lbs. of dough, or someplace between 800–900g. Divide the dough in half. Observe: It’s okay if the parts aren’t precisely half. If one half is barely smaller, use that one for the chocolate dough.
  5. Make the chocolate dough: Place half of the dough again into the blending bowl. Add the cocoa powder, milk, and espresso powder (if utilizing). Beat on low velocity till dough is mixed.
  6. Form & chill for 60–90 minutes: The doughs are sticky, so simply do your finest on this step. Place each doughs on a flippantly floured work floor. (Tip: I like to make use of cocoa powder as my “flour” for dealing with/rolling the chocolate dough.) With flippantly floured arms, fastidiously kind every dough right into a 1-inch-thick rectangle block, about 4×5 inches in dimension. Wrap each dough blocks up in plastic wrap, parchment paper, or aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 60–90 minutes. The *key* is to solely refrigerate till the dough is much less sticky, however nonetheless pliable sufficient to bend and form. Chilling any longer will make it troublesome to roll collectively. If it is advisable chill it for longer than 90 minutes, be sure you let it sit at room temperature for 15–half-hour earlier than persevering with with the subsequent step.
  7. Roll out the doughs: Take away vanilla dough from the fridge and unwrap. Preserve chocolate dough within the fridge. Flippantly flour a chunk of parchment paper. Observe that I like to put the parchment paper on high of a silicone baking mat to stop it from sliding everywhere in the counter, or you may tape it down. (Don’t roll the doughs instantly on the counter as a result of you could have a tough time lifting/transferring them.) Utilizing a flippantly floured rolling pin, start rolling out the vanilla dough. Flip the dough from time to time between rolls to make sure it’s not sticking to the parchment. Roll out to an 8×14-inch rectangle, and use your arms to make sure the edges are straight and clean. The thickness can be between 1/8–1/4 inch. Set the dough apart, and it’s most useful in the event you refrigerate the vanilla dough at the moment. Choose up the vanilla dough utilizing the parchment paper and place the entire thing within the fridge as you roll out the chocolate dough. Flippantly mud one other piece of parchment paper with flour or cocoa powder. Utilizing a flippantly floured (or cocoa powder-ed) rolling pin, roll the chocolate dough out to an 8×14-inch rectangle, or very barely smaller. Take away vanilla dough from the fridge. Fastidiously peel the chocolate dough off the parchment and do your finest to line it up on high of the vanilla dough. Flatten the chocolate dough on high as finest you may, gently patting it all the way down to take away any air bubbles between the layers of doughs. Patch any torn chocolate dough items again collectively. And be happy to make use of a pizza cutter or sharp knife to straighten up any uneven edges.
  8. Roll right into a log: Beginning with a protracted facet, tightly roll the two doughs collectively, ensuring there are not any gaps between them. You should utilize the parchment paper underneath the vanilla dough to help in rolling. Go slowly, and attempt to roll it as tightly as potential. You may sort of meld the doughs collectively together with your fingers originally to get the roll began. (You may see me do that within the video tutorial beneath.) In case you discover naked or cracked spots of vanilla dough, which normally occurs (don’t fear!), simply patch it up together with your fingers as you go. Doesn’t need to look excellent. After you have your log of dough, minimize it in half, so you’ve gotten two 7-inch-long dough logs.
  9. Chill for two extra hours: Wrap every dough log in plastic wrap, parchment paper, or aluminum foil and refrigerate for two extra hours and as much as 4 days.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Put aside.
  11. Slice and bake: Slice every log into 14 1/2-inch-thick cookies.  
  12. Prepare cookies about 2 inches aside on the ready baking sheets—count on these cookies to broaden fairly a bit within the oven. If the dough received slightly smooth from working with it, chill the cookies on the baking sheet within the fridge for 10 minutes earlier than baking. Bake for 14–quarter-hour or till very flippantly browned across the edges.
  13. Take away from the oven and permit cookies to chill on the baking sheet for five minutes earlier than transferring to a wire rack to chill fully.
  14. Elective chocolate dipping: Coarsely chop the chocolate. Soften in a double boiler or the microwave. If utilizing the microwave, stir each 20 seconds till it’s clean. Dip half of every cooled cookie into the chocolate. Add sprinkles on high of chocolate, if desired. Permit chocolate to fully set at room temperature or within the fridge.
  15. Cookies keep contemporary coated at room temperature for 1 week. Refrigerate cookies dipped in chocolate after a couple of days.


  1. Make Forward Directions: Baked cookies freeze properly as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge and produce to room temperature, if desired, earlier than serving. You may form the cookie doughs into the pinwheel logs and chill within the fridge for as much as 4 days (see step 9), or freeze for as much as 3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge, then proceed with step 10.
  2. Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Electrical Mixer (Stand Mixer or Handheld) | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats | Parchment Paper Sheets | Cooling Rack | Gold Shimmer Sprinkles
  3. Tinting the dough with meals coloring: If you wish to tint the vanilla dough a colour, you completely can. After dividing the dough in half, beat a pair drops (depends upon how vibrant you need the colour) of gel meals coloring into the vanilla dough. In case you’re skipping the chocolate dough (see Observe beneath), you may tint each doughs (resembling 1 dough purple and 1 dough inexperienced) OR you may go away 1 dough white and tint the opposite half (resembling white/vanilla and purple/peppermintsee Observe beneath about including taste extract).
  4. Can I make these with out the chocolate/add one other taste? Sure, however you’ll wish to tint half of the dough so the pinwheel design exhibits. (See Observe above.) You may hold the flavour of each dough halves vanilla, or add one other extract resembling peppermint or coconut. If you need your complete dough flavored, go forward and add 1 teaspoon of your favourite taste extract whenever you add the vanilla extract. In case you solely wish to taste half of the dough, beat 1/2 teaspoon extract into half of the dough earlier than the first chill (change step 5).
  5. Rolling in Sprinkles or Coarse Sugar: After chilling the logs of dough, roll in 1/2 cup (about 100g) sprinkles or coarse sugar earlier than slicing and baking. If the sprinkles/coarse sugar should not sticking to the dough, use a pastry brush to brush the dough very flippantly with slightly water, after which strive coating once more.
  6. Chocolate for Dipping: The perfect chocolate for melting and dipping is the “baking chocolate” bars discovered within the baking aisle of the grocery retailer. I sometimes use Bakers or Ghirardelli manufacturers. You should utilize white, semi-sweet, or darkish/bittersweet. Don’t use chocolate chips as a result of they comprise stabilizers, which stop them from melting into the proper consistency.

Key phrases: pinwheel cookies

Learn how to Be a part of the December Sally’s Baking Problem

Make the pinwheel cookies. Be happy to skip the chocolate dough, tint or taste the dough, dip in chocolate, roll in sprinkles, and so on. Any of the variations detailed above are nice! In case you aren’t into this recipe, right here is the alternate baking problem recipe:

  1. Any earlier problem recipe you haven’t made but OR
  2. Pecan Sugar Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

After you make the cookies or alternate recipe, electronic mail us your recipe photograph. For a bonus entry, go away a overview on the recipe beneath.

By emailing your recipe photograph to us, you’re mechanically entered within the baking problem. 1 winner receives a $250 Amazon Present Card. The problem is open to the entire world. Problem ends on December thirty first at 5pm Jap. The winner can be chosen at random, emailed the prize, and posted on the web site on the finish of the month.

Go to the Sally’s Baking Problem web page in case you have any questions on Sally’s Baking Problem.


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