This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Christmas Cookie Pinwheels are a festive holiday treat that’ll be the star of your Christmas cookies plate!
We love the holidays around here but we REALLY love Pinwheel Christmas Cookies! Snowball Cookies, Red Velvet Cookies and Christmas Cheesecake Cookies are some of our other favorite cookies that we have to make every year!
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love These Pinwheel Christmas Cookies
Christmas baking is seriously my favorite time of the year. All the fun Christmas cookies call my name and I get twitterpated. Better yet, my boys love to bake with me. We love spending time in the kitchen together. They learn to follow a recipe, practice counting, and their favorite part…taste testing. It’s a holiday tradition in my house and my favorite part of Christmas.
How to Make Christmas Cookie Pinwheels
Get a detailed list of ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below.
I’m not going to lie, these Christmas Cookie Pinwheels take a little time and some love, but what good Christmas cookies don’t? While you don’t have to cut out shapes and frost these cookies, like traditional sugar cookies, you do have to do some rolling and practice your ninja baker skills while rolling up the dough.
But you’ve totally got this. If I can do it, so can you! (be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe for the full directions. I’ll share my best tips below).
- Make the cookie dough. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate mixing bowls. Combine them both together, mixing just until they are combined. You’ll be mixing again when you add the food coloring.
- Color the dough. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball. PRO TIP – use a kitchen scale to measure the pieces so they are as even as possible. Place one of the balls of dough back into the dough and use a hand mixer to beat in the food coloring until the color is completely incorporated. Start with a few drops, mix, and then add more color as needed. Repeat with a second ball of dough and another color, wiping the beater clean in between. The third ball of dough will remain the white color.
- Roll the dough. Press each ball of dough into a flat square and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. Once chilled, bring out the dough and use a rolling pin to toll the red dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper, then repeat with the other two colors and refrigerate again.
- Assemble the cookies. Layer the colors together on a flat surface, then roll into a log shape and refrigerate again.
- Bake your Christmas Cookies. Slice cookie dough into 1/4-inch pinwheel shapes using a sharp knife. Arrange cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 350℉ oven or until the cookies are set.
- Cool on the baking pan for several minutes then transfer ro a wire rack to cool completely.
Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or 4-5 days.
Pinwheel Christmas Cookies Pinwheels freeze so nicely. Make them up to 2 months ahead of Christmas and freeze them in a plastic bag. Thaw at room temperature.
Tips and Tricks
- I wanted very vibrant colors in my Christmas cookies so I used a lot of food coloring. You can start with ¼ teaspoon for each color and add ¼ teaspoon more at a time until your desired color is obtained. I highly recommend using gel food coloring, so you will not need nearly as much.
- Be careful not to roll the dough too thin and remember to flour everything and often so the dough doesn’t stick to anything but itself.
- I like to make these cookies in vanilla flavor since my husband isn’t big into peppermint cookies, but if you are, change things up! Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract along with the vanilla extract for a burst of fresh minty flavor. These cookies are so fun and colorful and will make you look like a genius in the kitchen for pulling off such a cool design.
More Christmas Cookies
- Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
- Cheesecake Christmas Cookies
- Sugar Cookie Dough Dip
- Butter Cookies
- Meltaway Eggnog Cookies
- Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Christmas Cookie Pinwheels
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ to 1 teaspoon liquid red food coloring to you color liking
- ½ to 1 teaspoon liquid green food coloring to your color liking
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two additions, mixing until just combined after each addition. Scrape the sides od the bowl as needed.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. (You can eyeball it or use a kitchen scale to measure the pieces.)
- Place one piece of dough back in the bowl and add the red food coloring. Beat with your mixer until the color is completely incorporated. (Be sure to use a bowl that won’t stain.) Clean you mixer paddle or hand mixer blades.
- Place one piece of dough back in the bowl and add the green food coloring. Beat with your mixer until the color is completely incorporated. Leave the third piece of dough as is.
- Press each piece of dough into a flat square and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour or until firm.
- Remove the dough squares from the fridge. Place the red dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper or waxed paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 10-inch square. Leave dough between parchment.
- Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough. Refrigerate cookie dough for 30 mins.
- Remove dough from fridge, and take the top layer of parchment off each sheet of cookie dough. Place the red dough down on a counter. Top with the white dough, non-parchment sides touching. Be sure to try and line up the edges of the dough as much as possible.
- Remove the parchment from the white dough. Top the white with the green, non-parchment sides touching, being sure to line up the edges. Remove parchment from green dough. Use a pizza cutter to trim the left and right edges of the cookie dough into straight lines.
- Very carefully, starting with one of the straightened sides, roll the dough into a long shape until you reach the other trimmed dough edge. Use the parchment paper to lift the dough to get it started. Once the dough log is complete, gently pinch the seam closed along with any breaks on the outer red layer.
- Wrap the dough log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the dough log into 1/4-inch thick slices. (Discard the ends since they don't make a nice pinwheel design.) Place the cookies 2 inches apart on your prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are set.
- Carefully remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.