Swirled Cookies

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These psychedelic Swirled Cookies look like they came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! Make them with premade cookie dough for a quick and easy Christmas or Valentine’s Day treat.

A white plate of the swirled cookies.


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Planning a Tea Party? Make Pinwheel Cookies!

The unique spiral pattern on these crunchy swirled sugar cookies makes them perfect for a Wonderland tea party! If you’re looking to host a tea party of your own, plan a semiformal gathering with cookies, sandwiches, and cakes, as well as different varieties of tea.

Make hand-decorated invitations to send out to your guests, and set out nice teacups and saucers- they don’t have to be expensive, but a simple, elegant tea set can add a touch of class to your tea party. Don’t forget cream, sugar, and lemons for your tea, just in case!

These cute and simple spiral cookies are a favorite for any occasion! Here are just a few reasons as to why we love them:

  • Easy Ingredients: All you need is a handful of ingredients, starting with pre-made cookie dough. No need to make and roll the dough. Just dye the sliced cookie dough and bake cookies.
  • Family Friendly: Your kids will love these adorable and tasty treats.
  • Adaptable: Use whatever color scheme you’d like. Make red and green cookies for Christmas, or black and orange swirls for Halloween!

If you’re looking for more cookie recipes, try these Shortbread Maraschino Cherry Cookies, Anginetti Cookies, and Pistachio Cookies.

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How Do I Make these Cookies Fluffy and not Flat?

A cooling rack and plate of the finished treat.

To make these swirl cookies light and fluffy, make sure to chill the dough prior to cooking. You’ll want to plan ahead to make the dough in advance. This will help the fats in the cookie dough solidify. You can also adjust your oven to a slightly higher temperature.

Ingredient Notes for Swirled Cookies

  • Ready-Made Cookie Dough: For quick and easy cookies, use ready-made cookie dough or cookie mix from your local grocery store. This has the butter and sugar and flour all in the etc.
  • Sprinkles: Use red, pink, and white nonpareils, or any cute ones you like.
  • Liquid Red Food Coloring: You can also use gel food dye as well.

See the recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.

Variations and Substitutions for Spiral Cookies

  • Dough: Use different flavors of premade slice-and-bake dough, such as chocolate or peppermint. You can also try making these pinwheel cookies completely from scratch.
  • Toppings: Top your cookies with crushed peppermint or Oreos, chocolate shavings, or other delicious add-ons.

These hypnotic cookie swirls don’t take long to make! Follow these simple steps to make the cookie recipe. A wonderful change for the chocolate chip cookie.


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These are the basic steps for making slice-and-bake cookies. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions.

Step 1: Dye One Tube of Slice-and-Bake

First, open a tube of room temperature premade cookie dough. Then divide the dough in half. Place one half of the cookie dough in a large bowl, along with red food dye. Use your hands or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to incorporate the food coloring. Continue to add coloring as needed until you reach your desired shade.

Step 2: Make Swirls

Next, lay both colors of cookie dough onto the parchment paper. Then use a rolling pin to roll them together into a rectangle shaped log to create the swirl pattern.

Step 3: Cover in Sprinkles and Chill the Dough

On the baking sheet, pour out the sprinkles. Roll or press them all around the outer edges of the cookie dough. Wrap the cookie dough in wax paper, plastic wrap or use the parchment paper, and keep the dough in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Step 4: Cut with a Sharp Knife to Slice and Bake the Cookies

After your cookie dough has chilled in the fridge, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into slices about 1/4″ thick. Add cookie slices to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 11-14 minutes until the edges are golden.

You can also line you baking sheets with parchment paper to make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the pan. Be sure to remove the parchment paper and replace with new between batches.

Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to allow the cookies to cool completely. Finally, store leftover cookies in an airtight container. These cookies freeze well too.

Recipe FAQs for Vanilla Pinwheel Cookies

If your sprinkles aren’t sticking too well, try adding a little bit of water to your cookie dough to get them to stick before slicing and baking.

To make pinwheel sugar cookies from scratch, you’ll need vanilla extract, eggs, unsalted butter, salt, flour, baking soda, and granulated sugar.
I would use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

To double, increase the ingredients proportionally. To half, simply use one tube of premade sugar cookie dough, divide it into two halves, and roll into a log.

A stack  of the swirled cookies.

Expert Tips for Making Swirled Pinwheel Cookies

  • Pre-slice if Freezing: You can freeze the raw dough to always have cookies on hand whenever a craving hits. Cut into slices and freeze. No feed to law thaw, bake directly from freezer.
  • Store with Bread Slice: To keep those cookies fully fresh for 5 days, store in an airtight container with a slice of bread as it will ensure the cookies stay moist.
  • Chocolate: Make vanilla and chocolate swirl cookies! Add cocoa powder to one tube to make chocolate dough, and coat the mixture with chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. You can also use one portion of vanilla dough to make delicious chocolate and vanilla cookies.
  • Green Food Coloring: For a fun twist, use green and red for a portion of dough for Christmas time.
  • Different Flavors: Make with peanut butter cookie dough for great peanut butter cookies, or try using chocolate cookie dough for these delicious cookies.

What to Serve with Swirl Sugar Cookies

A white plate of the swirled cookies.
5 from 1 vote

Swirled Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 11 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 21 minutes
These beautiful Swirled Cookies are so easy make they start with tubed cookie dough. Make them for Christmas time or Valentines Day.
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  • 60 ounces Sugar cookie dough, 2 rolls of ready-made dough
  • 1 cup Sprinkles , red, pink and white nonpareils used
  • Red liquid food dye
  • 2 tablespoons Flour


  • Allow the cookie dough rolls to come to room temperature. Place 1 roll of ready-made cookie dough in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add ½ teaspoon of food dye to the cookie dough. Blend by hand or with a hand mixer until the color is evenly mixed in. If a darker color is desired add several drops in and mix. Continue to do this until the cookie dough reaches the desired color.
  • Place a roll of cookie dough on a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour to make the parchment easier to remove, cover with another piece of parchment and roll until about ½ an inch thick.
  • Repeat this process with the colored cookie dough.
  • Peel back the top parchment on both rolled cookie doughs. Place the uncolored dough on top of the pink dough. Starting on one end, use the parchment paper to guide the dough as you begin to roll it.
  • Place the roll of dough into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to handle in the next step.
  • On a large baking sheet, one with an edge, evenly spread the sprinkles out.
  • Place the cookie dough on the baking sheet and roll/press sprinkles all over the cookie dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the roll of cookie dough into slices ¼ inches thick.
  • Place sliced cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 11-14 minutes or until the edges/cookies are light golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet.

Expert Tips

  • This Recipe Can be Doubled: Easy double this recipe by increasing the ingredients proportionally. Cook in batches.
  • Pre-slice if Freezing: You can freeze the raw dough to always have cookies on hand whenever a craving hits. Cut into slices and freeze. No feed to law thaw, bake directly from freezer.
  • Store with Bread Slice: To keep those cookies fully fresh for 5 days, store with a slice of bread as it will ensure the cookies stay moist. Trust me this hack is a serious game changer for almost all of your cookies recipes.
  • Chocolate: Make this recipe with chocolatey twist, add cocoa powder to one tube to make chocolate dough and coat the mixture with chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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