This recipe requires some major patience and a while to chill, but damn, these cookies are delicious and totally worth it.

They’re obviously perfect for the 4th of July, but hey, why not make them for the 14th of July (France’s Bastille Day) as well? Heck, why not make these in various colors for every holiday there is, because they are that good. For real. Somebody needs to help me stop eating these.

4th of July Pinwheel Cookies

  • Prep Time:1 hour 30 minutes, plus at least 5 hours to chill
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:6 hours 40 minutes (including chill time)
  • Servings:About 24 cookies
  • Advanced


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Food dyes in red and blue (or colors of your choosing)
Photo by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 1

    Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, whip butter and sugar until fluffy. Continuing to mix, add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 2

    Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Turn off the mixer and add the dry ingredients, then mix until a sticky dough forms.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 3

    Divide the dough into 3 parts – they will be red, white, and blue. Since the white dough doesn’t need to be dyed, wrap one part in plastic wrap, ideally forming a square-ish shape.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 4

    Return the second part (1/3 of the total cookie dough) back into the mixer. Liberally add red dye and mix until the color is vibrant throughout the dough. Wrap the colored dough in plastic wrap as you did with the white dough.

    #SpoonTip: Liquid food dye will work ok, but if you have gel dyes (found at the craft store and commonly used for frosting) those are even better.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 5

    Thoroughly clean your mixing bowl and paddle attachment! If you skip this step, your cookies will be red, white, and kinda purple. Then, repeat step 4 with the last third of dough and blue dye.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 6

    Chill the cookie dough for at least 30 minutes.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 7

    Take out the three squares of cookie dough. Slice each in half so that you have 2 rectangular bricks of each of the red, white, and blue doughs. Roll each brick between sheets of wax paper until you have layers of dough around 1/8 inch thick, approximately rectangular, and similar in size and shape.

    #SpoonTip: Work with one brick of dough at a time while the rest stay in the fridge. If they get too warm, they’ll become a melty mess and it’ll be hard to roll them together.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 8

    Take 3 rolled sheets of dough in red, white, and blue. Peel off the wax paper from one side of the red dough and one side of the white dough, then gently press the dough sides together.

    Then take off the remaining wax paper from the white layer and from one side of the blue layer, and press the dough sides together. Roll gently with the rolling pin, so that the three layers stick together.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 9

    You should now have a sandwich of wax paper, 3 layers of dough, and more wax paper. If your dough has gotten very soft, put it back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Otherwise, continue:

    Remove the wax paper from the blue side. Carefully roll up the dough, removing the wax paper from the red side as you go.

    Wrap your log of cookie dough in plastic wrap and gently put it in the fridge.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 10

    Repeat steps 8-10 to make a second log of cookie dough. Chill these logs of cookie dough for at least 5 hours (ideally, overnight). If you can, take them out after the first hour of chilling and gently roll them on the counter, so that they don’t form a flat side in the fridge.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 11

    After the logs of dough have thoroughly chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. One at a time, slice the logs to form circles of dough. You should now clearly see the beautiful swirly design. place the slices of dough on the baking sheets, leaving the cookies plenty of room to spread in the oven, and keep any sliced dough cold until you’re ready to bake it. Then, bake for 10 minutes.

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter
  • Step 12

    Let the cookies cool – they’ll be soft and fragile coming out of the oven. Then, plate ’em up.

    Are those fireworks for America, or for your baking achievement? Who’s to say?

    GIF by Caitlyn Heter