156 Comments

    1. Author

      Hi Shai,
      Vanilla extract is a liquid flavoring derived from vanilla beans. You can find it in the baking aisle of any supermarket.

  1. Hi thanks for the recipe, i love thses cookies .
    Yours look perfect i hope mine turn out like this.
    I have a question though before i make them why egg yolk, what will happen if i added the whole egg, because i don’t want to throw away anything nor do i want to make something with them. Please reply, thanks again for the clear instructions.

    1. Author

      Hi Rania,
      It helps with the texture of the cookie.

  2. Just seen these on pinterest, can’t believe how easy they are to make! Can’t wait to try!

  3. Hi
    I am making these right now, but used coconut flavor instead of vanilla, I rolled the plain dough out on coconut flakes then put the chocolate on top and rolled it up, baking them as I am typing this = )

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe. They were super easy to make and baked up beautifully. My mom had a similar recipe for this cookie, and baking yours brought back many wonderful memories. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Kate,
      Really appreciate the feedback. Thank you!

  5. I made these and they were a hit with friends and family. Thank you for the pictures and the easy instructions : )

    1. Author

      Hi Lyana,
      Glad to hear. Thanks for the feedback!

  6. I love pinwheel/spiral cookies, and these sound amazing. I can’t wait to try making them.

    A thought/note to add: if you have round glasses, you can put the rolled-up dough in the glasses while you chill/freeze it. This keeps the bottom from getting flat. Obviously once it gets pretty frozen, you can take the glasses out and just leave the dough.

    1. Author

      Hi Tris,
      Thanks. Or you could also use the inner cardboard tube of an empty roll of paper towels and cut it vertically in half just like I did in my heart pinwheel cookies.

  7. Hi,
    Do I use 1 cup of butter in total for this recipe? If so, do I take out 2 tablespoons for the chocolate mixture? Please let me know ASAP as I need to make this weekend! Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Sandra,
      The 2 tablespoons melted butter mixed with the unsweetened cocoa is separate from the 1 cup of butter.

      1. Hello again,

        Your recipe says to divide the white dough by 3/4, though this did not seem right according to your picture. I divided the dough equally and this seemed to work out better. Can I cut the dough and freeze each piece on a tray and then transfer in a ziploc bag until I’m ready to bake?

      2. Author

        Hi Sandra,
        Yes, I divide the dough by about 3/4 because it works for me. But if you prefer to divide it equally then do what works for you. As far as freezing the dough, I freeze it when it’s already rolled up in a log. You can also freeze the chocolate and vanilla dough separately, if that is what you are referring to, but you will have to bring them to about room temperature so you can roll them later. Hope that helps.

    2. Hi,
      Thanks for the reply! I will make them this weekend and share your link on my next post!

  8. Hi,
    I was wondering if you need 1 cup total of butter, which means I would take 2 tablespoons out for the chocolate mixture. Please clarify this ASAP! Thanks

    1. Author

      Hi Sandra,
      In addition to the 1 cup of butter, you will need 2 tablespoons of melted butter to mix with the unsweetened cocoa.

  9. hi, I loved the idea of these cookies and I really want to make them for my dads birthday but I don’t have a stand mixer, could I do it by whisk or hand?

    1. Author

      Hi Tia,
      Well, you might try creaming the butter and sugar with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. I haven’t tried it myself but I imagine it could be tough. If you decide to take a swing at it, when it’s time to add the dry ingredients, you might just have to knead and mix with your hands; as if you’re kneading bread dough. I would think that would be the easiest way to go.

  10. All my baking is done with gluten free four mixtures. I have made these cookies a number of times and they come out perfect with the vanilla and chocolate dough texture just right. They taste unbelievably great for gluten-free cookies and come out exactly like yours.
    Thank you for this excellent cookie recipe.

    1. Author

      Hi Ann,
      Thanks for the feedback. I must try making something that’s gluten free one of these days.

  11. Hi, do you have the quantities available in grammes, for us in the UK? I don’t know how much a cup is meant to be as I have cups of all different sizes! We usually measure butter, sugar and flour in grammes…. thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Antonia,
      If I get a chance, I will weigh the ingredients and update the recipe box.

  12. Wow – These are gorgeous – Would really like to see this submitted to FoodFotoGallery.com so I can share with all my foodie friends = )

  13. Made these over the past couple of days. Made and shaped the dough on Thursday, meant to bake them yesterday (Friday) but forgot them in the fridge. Oops! Needed them for a party this afternoon so just winged it and baked them from the fridge. They turned out great! Ate one warm and it was heaven. My daughter (who these are for) will be thrilled.

    1. Author

      Hi Brianna,
      Thanks for the feedback!

  14. WOW Thanks a ton for this recipe! all the pictures and the way you explain how to make the cookies are really fun and nice!

    1. Author

      Thanks, Allison. I hope the info was clear. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

  15. hi do you think i can halve the recipe?

    1. Author

      Hi Jeanno,
      I actually haven’t tried baking just half of the proportions, but I would think it would be possible.

      1. how many do these serve?

      2. Author

        Hi Allison,
        One recipe will make about 3 dozen to 40 cookies.

    2. hey, i tried with half and it worked just fine =)

  16. We learnt to make these in school about 20 years ago. Recently I was really craving them and stumbled across your recipe. The pictures are BEAUTIFUL and the cookies are delicious!!! I always feel like it’s more informative when people who comment have also tried the recipe. I wish I could post a picture – they’re not as pretty as yours but still not bad. I just had a few cracks but no major problem. However how on earth did you make such perfect rectangles?!!! Just loved the recipe and look forward to browsing through your blog. All the best!!!

    1. Author

      Hi Amina,
      Thanks for stopping by. About shaping the dough into rectangles, when you first roll the dough, it will naturally form a circle. Just manually push in the sides to form a rectangle. Then press your rolling pin on the edges to even them out.

  17. Pinwheel cookies | ayapblog
  18. Hi! I made these today. I’ve wanted to try making cookies like these for years. It was nice to finally do it. This is a great recipe. The directions are clear and easy to follow. The photos are helpful. The dough is surprisingly easy to work with. Best of all, the cookies taste great. Mine don’t look as good as yours. But they’re attractive. I will definitely make this recipe again. Thanks for an awesome blog post and recipe.

    1. Author

      Hi Mary,
      Glad to hear. Thanks for the feedback!

  19. my daughter is looking for a pinwheel recipe where she can color half the dough red and the other half plain. do you have one she could try? thanks for your help.

    1. Author

      Hi Sandy,
      You can omit the chocolate portion of the recipe, then tint about 1/4 or 1/3 of the dough with food color, leaving the rest of it plain.

  20. I followed the instructions exactly, and the dough was pretty crumbly and hard to work with. I even added milk to both types for the second roll, and it was better, but still wanted to fall apart somewhat. Is that typical?

    1. Author

      Hi Jennifer,
      Sounds like your dough was a bit too soft. Once you have all the ingredients incorporated, increase your mixer speed slightly and beat the dough for a few minutes until it’s cohesive and the texture is somewhat like play dough. If your mixer is not that strong, I’ve heard from other folks that they mixed their dough by hand, so you could knead the dough until you get the right texture.

  21. My son and I made these cookies tonight (actually he virtually made them on his own with my supervision – working his way through all of your steps and instructions) — we had so much fun! And, considering we do not have a rolling pin, I think these little pinwheel cookies turned out brilliantly! Thank you for the recipe =)

    1. Author

      That’s great, Kelly! Glad to hear.

  22. Hello there,
    I was just curious if you’ve tried making these babies with whole wheat flour? I’m afraid the dough will end-up too dry..

      1. Author

        Haven’t tried using raw cane sugar either. If I get a chance, I’ll give it a try with whole wheat flour as you mentioned earlier. Thanks.

    1. Author

      Hi Yana,
      No, I haven’t tried using whole wheat flour. I probably will if I get the time.

      1. Made these last night (with all-purpose flour and white sugar), and they turned out like pictured! Thanks for the recipe. =)
        One TIP that might help some, who say theirs fell apart: When you roll the logs, make sure you begin rolling together with the wax paper and pull the wax paper away as you keep rolling it. (I hope this makes sense). Otherwise, the “log” begins to fall apart and crack.

      2. Author

        Hi Yana,
        Thanks for the feedback. That would be a good tip once you’ve started rolling the log and find the dough starts to crack. If the dough starts to crack when you roll it, that means it’s on the soft side and to prevent that from happening in the first place, make sure to beat the dough very well using the flat beater of a sturdy stand mixer.

  23. Thank you for the recipe. I followed the instructions in the first part of your website. What a bear of a time I had trying to blend butter and flour. It ended up OK in the end – i mixed everything by hand (literally with my hands). But you might want to fix that for the next gal who is not using common sense while baking : ) Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks for the feedback. I always mix cookie dough with a sturdy stand mixer. Doing it manually would indeed be quite tough. Sorry to hear it was a bit of a challenge.

  24. I was wondering, I really want to make these, but do they stay soft after being baked? Or do I need to keep them in a container with a piece of bread?

    1. Author

      Hi Steffi,
      I would describe the cookies as being neither soft nor crunchy. They are just in the middle. As far as storage, just keep them in an airtight container or cookie jar. No need for a piece of bread, and I’ve actually never tried storing a piece of bread with cookies.

  25. Hello, just a quick question. I am planning on making theses in the morning. And I was wondering if I could use margrine instead of butter? My mom always said for most things you can substitute it. Will this recipe allow it?

    1. Author

      Hi Tracy,
      Yes, you can use margarine. When I was a teenager, I used to bake these cookies almost every week and I just used regular margarine at the time.

  26. Hi! I love your site and how you explain your recipes! I try to make pinwheels every Christmas and every year I have trouble with the dough ending up too dry and cracking when I roll it up! What am I doing wrong?

    1. Author

      Hi Diane,
      Thanks for the note. Dough is a bit finicky and can be affected by a lot of things. The moisture content of the air has an effect, so for example, in the winter when the air is cold, it holds less moisture and you might have to compensate by adding more liquid, in this case a tiny bit more milk. Altitude has the same effect so if you’re baking in a place like Denver where the air is also dry you might have to add a bit more milk. I would say add more milk a teaspoon at a time and stop when the dough binds without crumbs, without being sticky.

  27. Congratulations! We wanted to inform you that this post has been selected as a Featured Archive Post on our site for the month of December 2013!

    1. Author

      Hi there. Thank you and best regards!

  28. How many cookies (grams) does this recipe make?

    1. Author

      Hi, one recipe will yield about 40 cookies. As far as grams, if you mean the weight of each ingredient in the recipe, I’ll circle back on this as I usually measure by volume. If you mean the weight of each cookie, that will depend on how thick your cookies are.

  29. I love these cookies! Probably runs number 2 after snicker doodle.:o) I made these cookies before & it actually turned out good but the shape didn’t hold up. It was flat in the bottom…tried rolling it again to keep the shape but it was still deformed. And is there anything that you can suggest to keep it a little chewy?

    1. Author

      Hi, thanks for the note. To make it as round as possible, when rolling the cookie dough layers into a log, roll it up as tightly as possible and chill it in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Then take it out of the fridge and, while still wrapped in plastic wrap, roll the flat part of the log to make it round again. Then place it right away in the freezer to keep the bottom from flattening out. Now as far as changing the texture to make it chewy, I haven’t really tried that out yet. The nature of this cookie is that it shouldn’t be hard nor soft. It just has to be in the middle. You can try experimenting with the thickness of the cookies and maybe take them out of the oven just after about 15 minutes to see if it makes a difference.

      1. Thanks for the tip…i just got my ingredients and making a big batch…getting ready for the holiday.:0)

      2. Author

        Have fun!

  30. Tried it and I’m eating nonstop! My kids love it too! Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Author

      Hi Pinky,
      That’s great. Thanks for the feedback!

  31. hello ^^
    hi, i tried this one ♥
    but it felt that it needed more butter , i wasn’t sure how much is 1Cup , so can you please tell me how much Grams butter it’ll need, thank you ♥

    1. Author

      Hi Shahi,
      1 cup of butter (2 sticks) weighs a total of 228 grams or 8 ounces. Hope that helps.

      1. oh thank you so much ^^
        that helped me a lot <3
        it was my first time making something by my self , my sister is the one who always make food ^^ haha
        and your cookies were very easy for me to make and they taste so good (OvO) thank you for sharing it <3

      2. Author

        Hi Shahi,
        I’m glad it worked out.

  32. Hi!

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    Thanks

    1. Author

      Hi Dawn, either one will work with this recipe, but in general I use unsalted butter.

  33. Hi! I just came across this recipe and will be attempting it this weekend. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Dawn, either one will work with this recipe.

  34. Hi
    I just came across this recipe and i tried making it but when i was ready to roll it, it all broke, it wouldn’t roll up. Can you think why that would happen?
    Thanks

    1. Author

      Hi Hana,
      Do you live in a warm climate? If so, my guess is your dough might have been on the soft side and could have used a little more flour, maybe 1/4 cup more. It would also help if you beat the dough a bit longer to make it more firm. You can also try chilling the dough first before rolling it out. Hope that helps.

  35. Hi,

    I tried your cookie recepie, but they did not turn out properly,please could you let me know for how long the oven has to be preheated beofre the actual baking time. for some reason the cookies did not bake properly.

    1. Author

      Hi Pavitra,
      Your oven will beep once it reaches the desired temperature to indicate that it is ready, which in this case is 325 F. Ovens will vary, so if your oven doesn’t have that feature, just turn on your oven just about the time when you take out the cookie logs from the freezer, before slicing. By the time you let the cookie dough thaw very slightly so it’s easy to slice, and get all the cookies lined up on your pans, the oven should be just about ready. How exactly did the cookies come out? Were they underdone? Overdone?

  36. Hi, these look delicious. I have been comparing this recipe to others and notice the biggest difference is the baking powder. One tablespoon seems like a lot? Do they turn out good and not bitter tasting? All the other recipes call for a teaspoon. Making these for a dessert potluck for my first time. Just want to make the best

    1. Author

      Hi Nikki, thanks for asking. No the cookies will not be bitter. They will have just the flavor of chocolate and vanilla.

  37. these look SO delicious. i look forward to trying them once i go shopping and pick up some cocoa. now, is this unsweetened cocoa powder? also, as i typically do all my cookies by hand and havent thus far had a problem, i’m a little worried about attempting this batch after reading that someone else had a hard time.. but i guess i just have to try and see how it goes! also, i bet these would make wonderful tasting and adorable valentine’s cookies if you added cherry or strawberry flavoring (and maybe a drop or 2 of red food color) to the vanilla portion. just a thought.

    1. Author

      Hi Francine,
      Yes, it is unsweetened cocoa powder. It would be a challenge mixing cookie dough by hand, and I’ve never done it myself. I always use my stand mixer for that. Some things I make by hand are pie pastry and scones. I hope you don’t have too tough a time if you do decide to make the cookie dough by hand. I think that would be a great idea flavoring the light colored dough with cherry or strawberry extract and tinting it. I ought to try that sometime. Thanks!

  38. Hi there, Can I please ask why the cookie dough is divided in 3/4 and 1/4 instead of in half, won’t the chocolate and vanilla layers be uneven?

    1. Author

      Hi Christine,
      I find that if I divide the dough equally then add the chocolate to 1/2, the amount of chocolate dough will be thicker than the vanilla dough. But it’s all a matter of preference.

      1. Thank you for your quick reply. I tried them with your recipe and they look and taste great! My daughter was very pleased with them. She asked me to make chocolate pinwheel cookies and I googled and your website was the first one that came up.

      2. Author

        That’s great, Christine! Thanks for the feedback.

  39. Made these on the week-end & they turned out a treat. Only two left two days later! Will be making a double batch next time!

    1. Author

      That’s great, Sarah. Thanks for the feedback!

  40. Making now! Only I used matcha green tea powder in place of cocoa, as they have a similar consistency. A more subtly flavoured cookie, but naturally green 🙂 Great for tea time!

    1. Author

      That sounds like a great idea! If you get a chance please let me know the proportions so I can give it a try. Thanks!

      1. I substituted the chocolate with 6tsps of the green tea powder, mine is just a Booster Juice brand, nothing too fancy. The green spiral is very olive green. The flavour is again, subtle, but my fear was that they might be too dry, or too bitter if more tea powder were added. Could’ve probably stood to used another two tsps, as the dough was still a touch sticky, but only if handled too much. Family gobbled them down quick though!

      2. Author

        Sounds yummy. I’ve never tried baking with green tea powder. I’ll see if I can find it in the supermarket. Thanks for the wonderful idea.

  41. I saw this recipe and I loved it and I’m currently in the process of waiting for an occasion to bake these cookies, but I just found it so strange that the recipe has no salt! Is it actually supposed to be like that or was there a mistake in the recipe? Would adding salt make them taste weird?

    1. Author

      Hi Rachel,
      For some reason, I just don’t use salt in this recipe. But if you prefer, you can add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt after you cream the sugar with the butter, but only if you’re using unsalted butter.

  42. I tried making this and the dough wouldn’t stick together. I think it was because I don’t have any
    kind of electric mixer, and after awhile my arm was killing me. I wouldn’t try this without a mixer. I was so dissapointed. Those cookies look amazing!

    1. Author

      Hi Melinda,
      I’m so sorry to hear that! Making cookie dough by hand would surely be a tough thing to do. I’ve never even tried that myself. I have a KitchenAid stand mixer that does all the work. Some recipes such as pie pastry or scones can be done by hand. But, in general, I always use my stand mixer for most everything.

  43. Wow, these cookies look so, so great! I’m going to make them this saturday, I promise!
    I’ve just discovered your web and I’ve fallen in love with your manequin cakes, I heart your web, everything you do looks so fabulous!!

    1. Author

      Thanks, Sara! 🙂

  44. This is one of the best pinwheel cookie recipe I have come across. The pics add a lot more clarity. Trying them right away = )

  45. I had some problems with making the dough stick together, it was a little too dry after i added the 3rd cup of flour… so i ended up having to add about 4 more tbs of milk… They came out fine though = )

    1. Author

      Hi! I’m so glad it worked out in the end. Not sure what happened there. Those are exactly the proportions I use each time. It would help if the butter is right at room temperature when you start creaming. Thanks for the feedback!

  46. I’ve seen many pinwheel cookies but these are absolutely beautiful
    Wonderful work
    Pinned

    1. Author

      Hi and thank you!

  47. thanks so much for the recipe! We are students learning how to bake = )

    1. Author

      Hi Jelice and Anny,

      I hope you have fun baking as much as I do.

  48. Thanks a lot! I’ll make these cookies this week!

    Greetings from Holland

  49. What kind of vanilla do you use?
    Vanilla Sugar? Extract? Or the middle of a vanilla stick?

    Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Esther,

      I use vanilla extract.

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