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Espresso Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheels are a stunning cookie that are easier to make than you’d think. Make two flavors of a similar dough and roll them together. Freeze this slice and bake cookie dough and bake when you are ready to enjoy!

group of espresso pinwheel cookies on a green plate

Today I’m sharing a festive cookie recipe as well as the technique of making this cookie– pinwheel cookies or swirls cookies. Espresso pinwheel cookies are an easy way to combine two colors and flavors into one happy cookie. These pinwheel cookies are great for a cookie exchange.

Call these espresso pinwheel cookies what you like, choose two flavors then roll the dough together into a log. Freeze the dough until you are ready to use it then slice and bake– EASY! I started with Williams-Sonoma’s recipe for Black and White Cookies, adapted the ingredients slightly, and added espresso to the mix to create these little beauties.

Pinwheels are such an artistic cookie that are made with ease. Add food coloring if you wish to color the dough. Red and green for Christmas. Pink and white for Mother’s Day. School colors for a graduation pinwheel cookie.

What kitchen items do I need to bake cookies?

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Espresso Pinwheel cookies before baking on parchment paper and baking tray

Our baking group is thinking ahead to holiday baking this month and we’d love for you to join us!

What’s your go-to recipe for make-ahead dough? Shortbread, chocolate chip, oatmeal-raisin? If you haven’t tried this method before you’ll be happy to start. Making dough when you have time– even a spare 20 minutes will do– then freezing it until you are ready to bake it is an easy way to take the stress out of holiday cookie baking.

Use your prepared, frozen dough for last minute guests, cookie exchanges, and as gifts for neighbors. Start now before time really gets short in the coming weeks. Happy Baking!

Pin these espresso pinwheel cookies for later!

Spiral wheels cookies piled on a green plate with title text overlay for Pinterest image
Yield: 4 dozen

Espresso Pinwheel Cookies

espresso pinwheel cookies on a green plate

Making pinwheels is straightforward but it does take a bit of planning ahead. Refrigerate the dough as directed for best results.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 44 minutes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 16 TB cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs, divided (use one at a time)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 TB water (optional)
  • flour, for dusting work surface


  1. In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times then add the butter pieces, pulsing until the mixture has pea-sized pieces. Add one egg and vanilla; pulse until the dough comes together.If your dough looks dry this is where you add an additional TB of water. Pulse until combined. Separate the dough in half. Wrap one half tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Separately melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl on half power in 30 second increments or until melted. Stir in the cocoa powder and espresso powder. Let the chocolate mixture cook slightly then knead into the remaining half of dough until well combined. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. On a flour work surface, roll the two doughs into 8 x 12 rectangles. In a small bowl beat the remaining egg. Brush the beaten egg onto the top surface of each of the rectangles. Layer the vanilla dough on top of the espresso dough. Press gently but firmly. Now begin with the long side and roll the two doughs together into the pinwheel pattern. Wrap the dough log in plastic wrap and store in freezer paper or a freezer zip loc bag. Refrigerate for at least an hour before moving on or freeze (my preferred method).
  4. Remove the dough from the freezer and slice 1/4 pieces off the log. You may need to trim the edges if your doughs were not exactly the same size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line pans with parchment paper. Place 12 cookies on each sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Refrigerating the dough yields best results.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

Did you make this recipe?

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At Home with Rebecka

Sunday 8th of December 2013

I love your pinwheel cookies Holly! Such a beautiful cookie and so easy to make! Thanks for sharing your cookie with us this month!!

Sophia Remer

Wednesday 27th of November 2013

These are beautiful! They look like they'd go perfectly with a nice hot cup of tea (or more coffee!) :)


Thursday 21st of November 2013

Beautifully done! Pinwheel cookies are another one of those things that intimidate me! Yours look awesome!


Thursday 21st of November 2013

These cookies look so yummy! We love adding espresso to some desserts also!


Thursday 21st of November 2013

These cookies look for yummy! We love adding espresso to our desserts also! Thank you!

Holly @

Thursday 21st of November 2013

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Yes, I agree, espresso is the magic ingredient in lots of desserts and I am going to look for ways to use it more often. Happy baking!

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