Go Back
+ servings
Red and Green Pinwheel Cookies square cropped image
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

Soft, chewy red and green pinwheel cookies that are perfect for Christmas treats!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Chill Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 33 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Julie Evink


  • 3 ⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • cup brown sugar
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk room temperature
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon butter extract
  • Red and green food coloring gel food coloring recommended


  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar and sugar on high speed for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy.
  • Next add in the eggs, milk, vanilla and butter extract. Beat together for 30 seconds.
  • Then add in the flour mixture and bring together until fully incorporated being careful to not overmix.
  • Divide the dough in half and place each half in a separate bowl. Then add red food coloring to one bowl and green food coloring to the other bowl. Mix well until all of the dough is evenly colored.
  • Transfer each section of dough to two separate, large pieces of plastic wrap. Shape each section of dough into a 5x5” square. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place both squares into the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove the plastic wrap, stack the dough squares on top of each other so that they are perfectly aligned.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently flour the top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the square out into a rectangle about 9” wide and 18-20” long. Tightly roll the dough up into a log starting on the long end.
  • Tightly wrap the log with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Once the dough log has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap the plastic wrap from around the dough log. Place the log onto a cutting board and slice ½” wide cookies. You should have 18-20 cookies.
  • Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet leaving at least 3” of space between each cookie for spreading. For a full baking sheet, you can fit 9 cookies and for a half baking sheet you can fit 5 cookies max.
  • Place the baking sheet into the oven to bake for 18-20 minutes. The cookies should not be browned around the edges. The edges will feel set and the rest of the cookie will feel soft.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Bake the remaining cookies in the same manner.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving as this allows the cookies to set up.


Food Coloring Tip: I highly recommend using green and red gel food coloring. Gel coloring is so much easier to work with – you get the best colors that aren’t faded. Oh, and keep in mind you can use any colors to create fun cookies for any holiday or event!
Flavoring Tip: Feel free to use all vanilla extract if you don’t want to use butter extract. You could also use vanilla extract with almond extract or even peppermint extract if you want a different flavored cookie.
Rolling Tip: Don’t roll these cookies out longer than the measurements given in the directions. If you roll a bigger rectangle the colors will stretch and break, leaving “holes” that will mess up the pinwheel pattern. So, be as precise as you can so you get beautiful cookies.
Baking Tip: For the best soft cookies, don’t overbake them. You should bake them until the edges are set. At this point, the rest of the cookie will still be soft. They will set as they cool.
Make-Ahead Tip: The dough can be made ahead, rolled into a log, and then you can freeze it. When you are ready to slice and bake the cookies, allow the frozen dough to thaw at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes or until you can easily slice it.
Storage Tip: Wait until the cookies are completely cooled before storing them in an airtight container. I like to layer the cookies with wax paper – this keeps them from sticking to each other. They will keep well for up to five days at room temperature.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg