Christmas pinwheel cookies celebrate the season with red and green

Christmas cookies are kind of a big deal around my house. My mom and her best friend make over 2,000 sweet little cookies, ranging from the traditional varieties like sugar and gingerbread to unique treats like pistachio shortbread and rum raisin. This year, I’m suggesting we add this festive green and red one to the mix because it’s just too pretty not to.

The best thing about this cookie isn’t how it looks — it’s how fun and easy it is to make. In no time at all, you can have a cookie everyone will be gushing over. Just be prepared for the bombardment of questions you get for the recipe!

Red and green pinwheel Christmas cookie recipe

These cookies will be the biggest hit of your holiday cookie plate — trust me! To make them even more fun and festive, add sprinkles to the tops, or layer them in sandwich cookie fashion.

Yields 32

Prep time: 15 minutes | Inactive time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Bake time: 10-12 minutes (per batch) | Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • Colored sprinkles


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until mixed. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture, and beat until a soft dough forms. Remove 1/2 the dough, and place it in another bowl. Add a few drops of red food coloring to 1/2 the dough and a few drops of green food coloring into the bowl with the other 1/2 of the dough. Stir each until the color is fully absorbed.
  3. Move each colored dough portion to a floured hard surface, and press them into discs. Wrap the discs separately in plastic wrap, and chill them for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the red cookie dough from the fridge. On a surface covered with parchment paper, unwrap the dough, and place it over the parchment paper. Cut another piece of parchment paper, and place it over the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Remove the green cookie dough from the fridge, and place it over another piece of parchment paper. Top with another piece of paper, and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness.
  5. Peel the top layer of parchment paper off the red dough and the bottom layer of parchment paper off the green dough. Carefully layer the red cookie rectangle on top of the green one, and then carefully roll the 2 together.
  6. Cover with more parchment paper, and chill for another 30 to 45 minutes. Remove it from the fridge, and roll it into a log (like a Yule log).
  7. Mix the sprinkles in a shallow bowl, and roll the outside of the dough log in the sprinkles. Chill the log for another 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove the dough log from the fridge, and slice it into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the cookies on the parchment paper about 1 inch apart from one another.
  9. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.

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