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Easy Pinwheel Cookies 

Pinwheel cookies are pretty and taste great!

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Why Make Pinwheel Cookies?

There are several reasons for making pinwheel cookies, but I’ll give you only a few right now. (1.) Pinwheel cookies are delicious and yummy to eat! (2.) Pinwheel cookies add pizazz and interest to a cookie plate filled with decorated cookies, but when you’re exhausted making the decorated ones, pinwheels fill in much better than plain ones! (3.)  These cookies are also a favorite of many, because they have two favorites flavors in one cookie, chocolate and vanilla dough. You could also make them peanut butter and chocolate or mint, or any other flavor you like. Think out of the box, cake mix box that is! (4.) This recipe is easy because it uses a cake mix so most of the work is already done for you. You could ignore the first three reasons if you want, but that 4th reason alone,  during a busy holiday season, is all the justification you need for making these pinwheel cookies.

Easy Pinwheel Cookie Recipe


  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon softened butter, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package fudge marble cake mix


  1. Combine shortening, 1/3 cup butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl.
  2. Mix with electric mixer at low speed until blended. Set aside cocoa packet.
  3. Gradually add cake mix into shortening/butter/egg/vanilla mixture and blend well.
  4. Divide dough in half and add cocoa packet and remaining Tablespoon of butter to half of dough. Knead by hand until well blended and chocolate color is richly visible throughout the dough.
  5. Roll out plain yellow dough between two pieces of waxed paper into 18x12x1/8-inch rectangle.
  6. Repeat same roll out for chocolate dough.
  7. Remove top pieces of waxed paper from both kinds of dough.
  8. Lay yellow dough directly on top of chocolate dough.
  9. Remove remaining layers of waxed paper from top and bottom, and roll dough jelly-roll style, beginning with the wide side, so that you have a long roll.
  10. Refrigerate at least  two hours.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets.
  12. Cut rolled dough into 1/8-inch slices. If you’re unsure of the width you’re cutting, get something to measure it before continuing. The cookies should be uniformly cut as closely as possible so they all bake the same.
  13. Place on cookie sheets and bake 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned.
  14. Cool 5 minutes on the cookie sheets, and then remove to cooling racks.

Variations for these cookies include crushed mint candy canes in the yellow dough, or mint flavoring in the chocolate dough. You can also use chopped nuts in one dough or the other. I’m sure you’ll be able to make this recipe your very own, and I’ll be interested in hearing about what you created.


Pinwheel cookies do make quite a showy display alongside other cookies.

Pinwheels add interest to a cookie display

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If you’d like more cookie recipes made with cake mix, here’s a few to start with!