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Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies are a Christmastime classic — sweet, buttery, and melt in your mouth delicious. Plus, an easy to make slice-and-bake cookie. |

Pinwheel Cookies

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24-28 cookies
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies are a Christmastime classic — sweet, buttery, and melt in your mouth delicious. Plus, an easy to make slice-and-bake cookie.


  • 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Melt chocolate:

  1. Melt the chocolate either on the stove or in the microwave:
    • On the stove: Bring 2 inches of water to a low simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Then turn the heat to low and place a large heatproof bowl of chocolate chips on the mouth of the pot. Make sure that there is a gap of a few inches in between the bottom of the bowl and the water (You can also place a bowl on a steamer attachment on top of your pot). Stir the chocolate constantly as it melts. Stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted. This should take a few minutes.
    • In the microwave: The second way to melt chocolate (and an easier way) is in the microwave. Place the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals. Remove the bowl at each interval and stir well. Repeat until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir until completely smooth
  2. Set the chocolate aside and allow it to cool slightly.

Make cookie dough:

  1. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla and egg and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  5. Divide the dough in half. In one half, pour in the cooled melted chocolate. Use the mixer to beat it until just incorporated. You will have one white dough and one chocolate dough.

Roll dough:

  1. Take the white dough and place on a large sheet of parchment paper. Use your hands to shape it into a square rectangle about 4 inches long. Place another large sheet of parchment paper on top, and use a rolling pin to roll it out into a large rectangle that is 1/2-inch thick. It should measure roughly 9x7-inches.
  2. Transfer parchment paper with the rolled out dough inside into the fridge and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Repeat with the chocolate dough.

Make log:

  1. Once chilled, place the white dough and the chocolate dough on the counter. Carefully peel off the top layer of parchment paper on each. Take the chocolate dough and careful flip it over on top of the white dough.
  2. Use a rolling pin and give it a couple gentle rolls to get the 2 pieces of dough to stick together. Remove the parchment paper off of the chocolate layer.
  3. Use a knife to cut along the edges to create a smooth rectangle.
  4. Carefully pinch one side of the dough (on the longer side) and roll it in to form a log. Place the log on a piece of plastic cling wrap and wrap it tightly. Twist the ends to secure it tightly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it on the counter (still in the plastic cling wrap) to smooth out the flattened area on the bottom. Transfer the dough to the freezer for 2 hours.

Slice and bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Remove the plastic cling wrap and use a knife to slice the dough into 1/4-inch slices. Transfer the slices to a parchment lined half sheet baking pan.
  3. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until golden brown on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool in the baking pan for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.


Add food coloring: You can add red food coloring to the chocolate and green food coloring to the vanilla dough to make it more festive.

How to store: Once the cookies have cooled completely, transfer them to a sealed plastic bag or tupperware lined with parchment paper and store at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Freezing baked cookies: Freeze the baked cookies between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

Freezing cookie dough: Freeze the entire uncooked entire log wrapped tightly in plastic cling wrap and then placed in a freezer bag. When ready to slice, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight to make it easier to slice. You can also freeze sliced cookie dough between layers of parchment for up to 3 months. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pinwheel cookies, chocolate pinwheel cookies, chocolate swirl cookies