These pinwheel cookies are perfect for the Christmas season! Store-bought sugar cookie dough is transformed into a vibrant red, green, and white swirl cookie with a crunchy sprinkle edge – it doesn’t get any more festive than this!
Who doesn’t love pinwheel cookies? They are a festive, fun way to celebrate the holiday season.
These easy pinwheel cookies are made with premade, store-bought sugar cookie dough that has been transformed into a red, white, and green pinwheel cookie rolled in festive holiday sprinkles.
They only require 4 ingredients (plus sprinkles) and take no time to bake!
The secret to this recipe is the premade, store-bought dough. Simply add a little bit of extra flour, and you’ve got the perfect consistency sugar cookie dough that holds up beautifully while making these pinwheel cookies!
You are free to make your own sugar cookie dough of course, but by using this hack you save a lot of time and headache.
Adding these unique, fun, and cheery treats to a holiday dessert tray along with some Christmas Swirl Brownies, Christmas Oreo Bon Bons, Mocha Swirl Cookies, and Christmasdoodles will surely leave your family smiling.
Why you’ll love this Christmas Pinwheel Cookie recipe
- They’re fun! I’m not knocking the classics like peanut butter blossoms or ginger snaps, but these festive cookies are unique.
- They’re easy! Using premade dough cuts out almost all prep time. Perfect for cookie exchanges.
- Only 5 ingredients. Can’t beat that.
- They’re kid-friendly. Kids love whimsy and sprinkles…so do I.
- Perfect on a holiday cookie plate at a holiday party. You can’t escape the holiday spirit with these.
Equipment you’ll need to make Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- Large Mixing Bowl (Or Stand Mixer Bowl)
- Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer – as much as I love my electric mixer, a stand mixer works well for this job.
- Parchment Paper
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Sheet – I prefer baking sheets with a lip on them so sprinkles (or cookie dough balls) don’t escape.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Sugar Cookie Dough – You’ll need three 16 oz. packages of premade sugar cookie dough. The roll or break & bakes will work. Alternatively, you can make a triple batch from scratch, using my reindeer sugar cookie base.
- Flour – You’ll add all-purpose white flour to the dough.
- Food Coloring – Red and green food coloring for the swirls. I find gel to work well. I like this kit.
- Sprinkles! – Sprinkles or coarse sugar are optional, but highly encouraged. I use a Christmas mix here.
How to make the best Christmas pinwheel cookies with premade sugar cookie dough
- STEP ONE: First, to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together 1 package of prepared cookie dough with 1/4 cup of flour until fully combined. Place the ball of dough between two large pieces of parchment paper and roll out into a rectangle until a rolling pin to approximately 1/8″ thick. Set aside, leaving the bottom piece of parchment paper.
- STEP TWO: Next, repeat that same process but add red food coloring to the second batch, clean out the bowl, and add green food coloring to the third batch.
- STEP THREE: Then, gently stack the three dough colors onto each other on a baking sheet and place in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes.
- STEP FOUR: Once chilled, remove the dough from the fridge and start with the short end of the rectangle and gently roll the dough into a log. Wrap in parchment paper and chill for an additional hour.
- STEP FIVE: Once the cookie dough log has fully chilled, remove from the fridge and sprinkle sprinkles or coarse sugar in the unwrapped parchment and use the parchment as a tool to help roll the log in them so they stick to the sides.
- STEP SIX: Finally, use a sharp knife to slice the dough into approximately 1/4″ thick slices and lay them onto a parchment lined baking sheet, approximately 2″ apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes in a 350° preheated oven. They’ll be delicate in the center so allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
How to store these pinwheel cookies
I recommend eating these festive pinwheel cookies within 4 days of making them for maximum freshness. Store them in an airtight container.
Can I freeze them?
Sure can. If you choose to freeze them, they will last for up to two months in freezer bag.
Tips & Suggestions 🎄
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper (or even wax paper) so it’s easier to work with.
- Try different flavors by adding a couple drops of peppermint extract or even just vanilla extract.
- Keep the dough chilled so it’s easier to work with. Once it gets room temperature it gets trickier.
- I like to roll the log in nonpareil sprinkles but crushed candy canes would work as well!
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies FAQs
Can I make the sugar cookie dough ahead of time?
Yes! If you want to go ahead and prep your dough, you can make it up to a week in advance before baking. It will remain good in the fridge for that time. Just prep and wrap the log with parchment paper or plastic wrap and store in the fridge.
You can also make and freeze this dough! It will last 2-3 months in the freezer, just place the parchment wrapped log in a large plastic bag to preserve freshness.
What kind of sprinkles should I use on the outside of the cookies?
For this recipe, I used nonpareils, the Christmas mix. You can get some here.
They are my fave because not only do they look good, but they add additional texture to the cookies.
You can use any type of sprinkles you like, just make sure they are something that will add some crunch.
You can also use a coarse sugar (like a sanding sugar) – colored would be pretty!
Can I use a different color of dough for my pinwheel cookies?
Yes – you can!
Another idea is to do a winter-themed or frost/snowflake-themed swirl cookie. You’d just need to use blue dye. Use 2 drops for a lighter blue and 4 drops for a darker blue, and you’ll have a frosty pinwheel cookie for a different winter vibe.
Can I make these cookies smaller?
Yes! If you roll the dough from the long end, you will create smaller cookies. You’ll need to cut down on the baking time to about 10 to 13 minutes.
Can I make these pinwheel cookies with other types of sugar cookie dough?
Absolutely! You’ll just need to add a little bit more flour. If you’re using pre-made store-bought sugar cookie mix, use the recipe on the back of the box for reference.
If you are making your own recipe or have another type of premade sugar cookie dough you can use that too.
Need more fun Christmas cookies? Try these recipes:
White Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Sugar Cookies
Festive Millionaire Shortbread Bars
Sprinkled Fudge Cookie Bites
Cream Cheese Sprinkle Cookies
Full collection of classic christmas cookie recipes
Click here for my entire collection of cookie recipes.
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Jaclyn Shimmel says
My pinwheels came out great! They taste perfectly sweet and crunchy and are the perfect way to ass a pop of color to my Christmas cookie & candy platters. Thank you for the easy-to-follow recipe and helpful tips. Rolling the dough out between two sheets of parchment made the rolling step easy-peasy!
Melissa Williams says
Merry Christmas! 🎄