Enjoy a big batch of these easy and festive Christmas pinwheel cookies. These bright and colourful peppermint sugar cookies are guaranteed to make the Grinch's heart grow three sizes, and are great for cookie exchanges or Christmas Eve treats. Switch the colours for different occasions and enjoy!
I'm so excited to share these peppermint Christmas pinwheel cookies with you!
Just look at those colours; red, green and white!
There really is no other colour combo that screams Christmas to me. I love them all swirled together. They look so pretty!
So pretty in fact that I can assure you that leaving these out on Christmas Eve will certainly stop the Grinch from stealing the Christmas cheer!
They are also a great hit with little ones; the colours and sprinkles delight even the biggest kids, which makes them perfect for festive cookie exchanges or gift boxes.
Take me to the cookies already!
Table of Contents
If you want to skip the essential info and handy tips for making these show-stopping Christmas pinwheel cookies, then head on down to the printable recipe card!
The best Christmas cookie dough
The best thing about these cookies, as well as how amazing they look, is how versatile the cookie dough is - it's my most favourite sugar cookie dough recipe.
You're also going to love...
- Beautiful even, soft bake that holds its shape when baked
- Fun to work with so you can make any festive shaped cookie you want
- Irresistible buttery flavour that makes you go back for more
- Leave them plain or flavour with peppermint, vanilla and more
- Slice and bake from frozen for cookies on demand
What you'll need to make these cookies
View my Amazon shopping list with equipment and ingredients.
When you're ready to get stuck and made these very festive cookies, go and grab these...
- Butter - You can use either salted or unsalted butter with a pinch of fine sea salt. Unsalted gives you more control of how much salt you have in your recipe. Remember to bring this up to room temperature before using.
- Plain Flour or All-Purpose Flour
- Caster Sugar or Superfine Sugar
- Peppermint Extract - This will give the cookies a delicate minty flavour or you could use vanilla extract instead
- Baking Powder - Just a little bit to help the cookies stay light and soft
- Eggs - Remember to take them out of the fridge before you want to use them; 15 minutes should be plenty of time.
- Red Food Colouring Gel
- Green Food Colouring Gel
- Red, Green and White Sprinkles
You could try a little lemon zest and poppyseeds for a fresh spring taste. Or maybe orange extract and zest for an alternative festive flavour.
There is absolutely no fancy equipment needed here!
All you really need to grab is a large mixing bowl and a rolling pin. I prefer to mix my cookie dough using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment; but you could use a hand held mixer or a spoon to bring everything together.
You'll also need plastic wrap or cling film to wrap the cookie dough in, before chilling.
How to make the pinwheel cookie swirl
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Isn't that pinwheel pretty and beautiful? Perfectly swirly it's one Dr Seuss and the Whos of Whoville would be proud of!
And believe me, they are quite simple to make. Just take your time, have a little patience, and follow these steps...
Rolling out the dough
After you've chilled the cookie dough, it's time to roll it out. You'll want to work with each piece individually to get them to roughly the same size and thickness. First up - the plain cookie dough.
- Place the chilled dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap or cling film , and lay another piece over the top.
- Gently roll out the dough between the cling film into a large rectangle about 4-5mm thick. And after every 5 rolls, peel back the top layer of cling film to release the dough. Replace, then continue roll out.
- Repeat the rolling out for the green and red cookies doughs, so you end up with three different coloured dough rectangles, all about the same size.
Assembling the cookie dough layers
Next up - layering! This will be the order your colours swirl together when rolled up. I'm going for green, plain then red; but you can layer in whatever order you prefer.
- Start by removing the top pieces of cling film from the plain and red cookie doughs. Then place the uncovered side of the red dough on top of the uncovered side of the plain dough. Flip over the dough and remove the remaining cling film from the plain dough.
- Take the cling film off the top of the green dough, then place the green dough on top of the uncovered plain dough.
- Finally, to seal the cookie dough layers together, gently roll over the green cookie dough still covered in cling film.
Rolling up the cookie log
Now you've got all the dough layers sealed together, it's time to roll it up. Start by removing the wrap from the green dough, then from the narrow end of the dough, begin to roll the dough into a log.
TOP TIP: Use the bottom layer of the cling film still on the bottom cookie dough layer , to help pull the dough into a tight roll.
Decorating the cookie log
If you want to leave you cookies there, go ahead and chill the dough, before and slicing up and baking. But if you want to add a little extra festive touch, then get the sprinkles ready!
- The best way to get your sprinkles onto the dough is to pour them into a shallow baking tray. This stops them from escaping all out the worksurface.
- Pop your cookie dough log on top of the sprinkles and roll! You might need to add a little gentle pressure to get the sprinkles to stick. Keep going until you have a good, even coverage all over the outside of the dough.
- Last but not least, re-wrap the dough and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before slicing them up and popping in the oven.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe make approximately 24 cookies, and is easily scaled down to a small batch recipe.
The cookies are best stored at room temperature in an air-tight container.
The cookies will keep fresh for up to 5 days.
Yes it can be; for up to 3 months. Make sure that you wrap the cookie dough with cling film/ plastic wrap and a layer of kitchen foil. You can either freeze the plain cookie dough, coloured or as a log. If freezing as a log you can slice and bake the cookies straight from the freezer. If freezing as dough, remember to defrost in the fridge before rolling out.
Top tips for Christmas pinwheel cookies
Trust me, follow the recipe and take your time rolling the cookie dough and you're going to end up with some of the most awesomely festive sugar cookies. But to make sure you absolutely nail them, you'll want to check out these top tops...
- Keep your dough chilled - Sugar cookie dough can be sticky, so when you're not working with it pop it in the fridge to keep it cool. It will be so much easier to handle and roll out.
- Don't roll your dough too thin - If you get a bit too eager when rolling out your dough and take it too thin, when you roll it up it's more likely to crack or tear. The easiest way to make sure your dough is the correct thickness is to use an adjustable rolling pin and set it to 5mm. These rolling pins are amazing, for getting the perfect dough thickness every time.
- Use food colouring gels - When you bake the cookies, the colours will fade a little, so make sure your raw cookie dough is a really strong colour. I prefer ProGel food colouring gels, but Americolor gels create fantastic colours too! Avoid liquid food colouring as it will make your dough wet and sticky.
- Chill the cookie dough before cutting - Once rolled up, chill your cookie dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight. The chilled dough will be easier to cut and the cookies will hold their shape better when baked.
- Make one smooth cut - Use a large sharp kitchen knife to cut your cookie dough into round, and do it one smooth action. Do not saw through the cookie dough or use a serrated knife as this will cause the dough to tear.
- If all else fails... cheat - If you don't want to make your own cookie dough, you can make these with store-bought cookie dough. Split it into three and colour each portion before assembling for the pinwheel swirl. Bake according to the packet instructions. You can find ready made cookie dough in the chiller section at the supermarket.
Recommended Food Colour Gels
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Jump to the Recipe
Christmas Pinwheel Cookies
- To make the cookie dough: Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened. Alternatively, you can make the cookie dough, in a large mixing bowl, by hand or with an electric hand whisk.
- Add the sugar to the softened butter and cream until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the peppermint and mix until well combined.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together. Gently fold into the mixture until the dough comes together and is smooth.
- Turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and split into 3 equal portions.
- To make the white cookie dough: Shape one piece of cookie dough into a rectangle, about 2cm thick, and wrap in cling film. This will be the white part of your cookie.
- To make the green cookie dough: Place a portion of cookie dough into the stand mixer bowl and add green food colouring gel. Mix well until all the cookie dough is green in colour. Turn the green cookie dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a rectangle. Wrap in cling film and chill.
- To make the red cookie dough: Place the last portion of cookie dough into the stand mixer bowl and add red food colouring gel. Mix well until all the cookie dough is green in colour. Turn the green cookie dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a rectangle. Wrap in cling film and chill.
- Chill all 3 portions of cookie dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- To assemble the cookies: Remove the chilled cookie doughs from the fridge, and unwrap.
- Place the white cookie dough onto a large piece of cling film, and place another piece of cling film on top. Gently roll the dough out into a large rectangle, until about 4mm thickness. Every 5 rolls, peel back the top layer of cling film to release the dough, replace and continue to roll out the dough. Repeat for the green and red cookie dough, so you have 3 pieces of cookie dough of similar size.
- Remove the top sheet of cling film from the white and red cookie doughs. Place the uncovered side of the red dough on top of the uncovered side of the white dough. Flip over the dough so the white dough is on top, and remove the cling film.
- Remove the top sheet of cling film from the green cookie dough and place on top of the white dough. Gently roll over the cookie dough to seal the three layers together.
- Remove the cling film from the top of the green dough layer, and from the narrow end begin to roll the cookie dough into a sausage. Use the bottom layer of cling film to pull the dough into a tight roll.
- Pour the sprinkles into a baking tray, it stops them rolling everywhere, and place the cookie dough sausage on top. Roll the sausage in the sprinkles so that they coat the dough. Wrap the sprinkle dough in a clean piece of cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- To bake the cookies: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and unwrap. Using a sharp knife, slice the cookie dough into equal rounds, approximately 1cm in width. Place the rounds onto the baking parchment, leaving space between them to allow them to spread when baking.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Slide the baked cookies and parchment off the baking tray and onto a wire rack to cool.
- Keep your dough chilled - sugar cookie dough can be sticky, so when you're not working with it pop it in the fridge to keep it cool and it will be easier to handle and roll out.
- Don't roll too thin - if your dough is too thin when you roll it up it may crack or tear. The easiest way to make sure your dough is the correct thickness is to use an and set to 5-10mm. You'll get the perfect dough thickness every time.
- Use food colouring gels - when your cookies bake the colours will fade, so make sure your raw cookie dough is a really strong colour. The best way I find is to use and green food colour gel. Liquid food colouring should be avoided as it will make your dough wet and sticky.
- Chill before cutting - once your cookie dough is rolled up into a log, chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight. The chilled dough will be easier to cut and the cookies will hold their shape better when baked.
- One smooth cut - use a large sharp knife to cut your cookie rounds, and do it one smooth action. Do not saw through the cookie dough as this will cause the dough to tear.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.