Patriotic Recipes: Pinwheel Cookies

The 4th of July is just around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your outdoor picnics and parties, and of course, your patriotic recipes! These patriotic pinwheel cookies are delicious and easy to make, and they’ll put a sparkle of fun into your festivities!

 Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies Recipe from @itsyummi

The Creative Cooke Exchange theme this month is Red, White, and Blue. Independence Day is coming soon and we have to celebrate! If you’re a blogger and you want to join in the fun, contact Laura via email (thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com) and she will get you added to our Facebook group where we coordinate events.

The recipe I made last month for Firecracker Cupcakes received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, so I knew that it would be fun to share this recipe for Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies.
I remember sparklers being one of my very favorite things about the 4th of July, but the other favorite was the ground display fireworks that spin around on a fixed post. I don’t know whether or not they’re actually called pinwheels, but that’s what they reminded me of, so that’s what I used to call them. These cookies remind me very much of those sparkly pinwheels.

When I was planning out how I wanted these cookies to look, I tossed around the idea of putting them onto sticks.  Truthfully, I think they’d be adorable that way, but everyone and their mother must have had the idea for cookies on a stick this month, because the craft store was sold completely out of them the day I was there!

The one thing I wanted to stray from was the use of food coloring. I really don’t like the way I feel when I eat food dye, so I try to avoid it.  A few months ago, I went as far as to toss out my entire stash of liquid & gel food coloring.  I can tell you that I’ve felt a whole lot better without them in my body, but it sure doesn’t help to be without them when you’re trying to create bright red and bright blue food!  SO, I looked in the back of my baking cabinet and found a couple of bottles of colored sugar sprinkles.  In addition to color, I thought they’d bring a fun sparkle to my cookies, and I was right.  They also bring a little extra crunch to the texture.  Yummi goodness!

Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies Recipe from @itsyummi

Would you like to see more patriotic recipes?

How about these “Old Glory” patriotic cupcakes? This was before I had to stop using food coloring, but I think you’ll love the recipe!

Patriotic recipes don't get much more fun than these "Old Glory" patriotic cupcakes! They're a fun snack or dessert for the 4th of July or Memorial Day. Get the recipe from
I hope you have a great time making these patriotic cookies!

Patriotic Recipes: Pinwheel Cookies
Created By: 
Recipe Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These patriotic pinwheel cookies are a fun way to celebrate the 4th of July or Memorial Day. Made from a homemade shortbread dough & rolled in sprinkles.
  • 8.4 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lard, shortening, or coconut oil
  • 5 ounces (3⁄4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Red and blue colored sugar, for rolling
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy.
  3. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla extract in another bowl.
  5. Slowly blend into the butter mixture on low to medium speed and mix until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure even mixing.
  6. Turn the mixer to low speed and gradually add the reserved dry ingredients, mixing until just incorporated.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 3 equal portions. (I use a kitchen scale to weigh them). Flatten one piece into a disk between two sheets of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a rectangle about 1/4 inch in thickness, and approximately 8 inches x 11 inches. Set aside.
  8. Add about 1/4 cup of red colored sugar to the second piece of dough. Knead the dough until the sugar is evenly incorporated, then roll it in the same fashion that you rolled the first piece. Repeat steps above using blue sugar crystals to roll out the final piece of dough. Stack pieces of dough on top of one another, wrap between sheets of wax paper, and chill for about 15 minutes, or until firm.
  9. Remove waxed paper from dough. Beginning on one long edge, roll the dough to make a log so the three colors spiral inside each other. Wrap the log in waxed paper and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 4 days (rolled dough may also be wrapped well and frozen for up to 4 months).
  10. Position a rack in center of oven and heat to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats) and set aside.
  11. Slice the log into cookies approximately 1/8" thick.
  12. Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned around their edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 1 to 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


MORE Delicious Patriotic Recipes!

Firecracker Cupcakes Recipe from ~ These cupcakes are SO cute! They're loaded with Pop Rocks candy for an explosion of fun!

Patriotic Quinoa Salad from
Patriotic Quinoa Salad
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You can also use the Creative Cookie Exchange as a resource for delicious cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what my fellow CCE bloggers have made:

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    • says

      It’s rather sad, isn’t it, Gintare? I mean, I LOVE the vibrant colors, but the thought of my stomach lining turning 25 shades of purple doesn’t sound appealing 😉

    • says

      hehe… thanks, Dave! So really, they’d look better sitting in your stomach than on your desk 😉
      By the way, I wish I could drink alcohol and wasn’t allergic to coconut, because your latest beverage has me drooling!

    • says

      I love my Canadian readers, Taylor… especially those that can get into the spirit of American holidays! But let’s be real for a second: who CAN’T get behind cookies? :)

    • says

      Awe <3 Shows how unobservant I am and what an awful friend I am that I didn’t know you ever posted a recipe for pinwheel cookies! Now I have to check them out. Your most often far too critical of your own work :)


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