Spiral, Swirl or Pinwheel Cookies

Spiral, Swirl or Pinwheel Cookies

Spiral, swirl or pinwheel cookies (use whichever name you prefer) are an easy treat to make at home for family or friends, which are both attractive and very tasty. They come in an endless variety of colours and flavourings and can be simple and unadorned or decorated with the addition of sugars, sprinkles, glazes or even icings to suit any occasion.

LHF Spiral Jam Cookies

The technique described in my recipe is primarily for making jam filled spiral cookies but the technique can be adapted easily to create the solid form of spiral cookie one often sees in bakery shops, which generally use two or more coloured/flavoured doughs to create the spiral effect in the cookie. Some of the common fillings for these cookies are jams, nuts, chocolate and even dried fruit, either alone or in combination with each other … So DO NOT be afraid to try different flavour combinations.

Makes 36 cookies (approximately)


½ cup butter (softened and cubed) (approximately 113 grams)
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
zest and juice of 1 orange (depending of filling – you could use the zest and juice of a lemon if more appropriate)

  • I use a 50/50 mix of brown and caster sugar in this recipe as it gives a caramel flavour to the cooked dough but you can use all brown sugar or all caster sugar, if you prefer.

Ingredients – filling

½ cup jam of choice – in this instance I use LHF Apricot and Caramel
½ cup toasted nuts (medium to coarsely chopped) – I used almonds from the farm

  • If you want thicker spirals in the dough then you will need to increase the filling quantities used.


1. Place butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined and creamy (approximately 5 minutes).
2. Add egg and vanilla to the butter/sugar mix and combine.
3. In a second bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt to combine and gradually add to the wet ingredients to create a dough. Then finish off by add the orange zest and juice and mix through the dough to disperse it evenly.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic film and place into a refrigerator for 45 minutes so it firms.
5. Once firmed, remove dough and cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Dust a board or bench with some extra flour and roll a cut section into a rough rectangular (say 10-15 cm wide x 20-25 cm long and approximately 1 cm thick).
Depending on whether you desire thick or thin spirals of dough in the final cookie, you should roll the rectangle of dough between 1 and ½ a centimetre in thickness.
Also be aware, the longer the initial rectangle of dough, the greater the length of the spirals in the finished cookie.
6. When dough is rolled, spread approximately 3 tablespoons of jam onto the flat surface using the back of a spoon or a spatula to create an even layer, then sprinkle with half or a third of the toasted nuts (it depends on whether you cut the initial ball of dough in half or thirds).
7. Starting at one end of the rectangle (width not length) gently commence to roll the dough upon itself, again and again until you have a cigar shaped cylinder.
8. Roll and apply a little pressure to the cylinder of dough so all the layers become a bit compacted and then wrap in plastic film.
9. Repeat with remaining dough and then place plastic wrapped cylinders into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm fully.
10. Once firmed, pre-heat oven to 180° C and line a number of baking trays with baking paper. Slice each log/cylinder into 1 centimetre discs and lay the discs on to the baking paper.
11. Place the trays in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
12. Once cooked, allow discs to sit on baking trays for 5 minutes to cool.

To make the coloured dough spiral form of these cookies, simple cut the base dough in half, add different flavourings and colourings to each half and once firmed roll them out individually. Rather than spreading jam, nuts, chocolate etc onto the surface of the dough sheets, simply place one coloured layer upon the other (press together slightly) and then roll into a cylinder, then follow steps 9-12.

The Spiral Cookies were an ideal method of incorporating the eggs supplied by our recent visitor’s from Little Creek Farm with some of our scrumptious Little Hill Farm jam.