Cranberry Pinwheel Cookie Recipe

Cranberry Pinwheels are filled with fresh chopped cranberries mixed with chopped walnuts or pecans then rolled like a jelly roll, chilled, sliced into 1/4″ slices and baked to perfection.  So pretty for a Cookie Tray!  You will want to purchase extra bags of cranberries to freeze so you can have this cookie any time of the year. 

Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies

cranberry pinwheel cookies in wrapper


Cranberry Pinwheel Cookie Recipe



1/2 cup butter, softened, no substitutes
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries
1/2 cup ground walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon grated orange rind- optional


  1. Cream butter and sugar at medium speed with mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla.
  3. Gradually add flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour.
  5. Filling:
    Process cranberries in food processor to finely chop, remove to medium bowl.
    Process nuts to ground, add to cranberries and grated orange rind to medium bowl-set aside
  6. Roll:
    Turn dough on floured surface, roll into a 10″ square
    Spread cranberry-nut mixture leaving a 1/2 ” border on 2 opposite sides
    Roll up dough like a jelly roll, cover and freeze 8 hours or until needed
  7. Baking:
    Cut roll into 1/4″ thick slices. Place slices on parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet.
    Bake on top rack in oven at 375 for 14-15 minutes.


Freeze up to 2 months.  Be sure to wrap in parchment or wax paper, then foil when freezing.

Tip:  The finer the cranberries the easier it will be to slice the cookies especially if slightly frozen.

Tip:  Best results, allow cookies to thaw slightly before cutting and baking.

This recipe was inspired by Cranberry Walnut Swirls-Southern Living Patty Van
2004. I purchase several bags of cranberries during Thanksgiving season to freeze so I can bake these cookies anytime of the year. These make a pretty Cookie for the cookie tray or gift to give.

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While everyone goes shopping the day after Thanksgiving, I like to get in my kitchen and bake several batches of cookies that can be made ahead and frozen. A lot of my cookies are unbaked rolls of cookie dough that I will slice and bake right before I put together cookie trays.  I make several cookie trays for family, friends, and my husband Doug’s co-workers.  There are certain cookies that always get rave reviews and those are the cookies that I am sharing.  Ricotta Lemon Cookies, Poinsettia Cookies, and Cranberry Walnut Cookies.   Other Christmas Cookies for trays include, Santa Meringue Hats, Snowmen Oreo Pops, Maple Leaf Cookies,  Stained Glass Chocolates,  and Kit Kat Christmas Trees.  I freeze cookies without decoration then decorate a few at a time when putting together my cookie trays.  Be sure to check out how to Assemble a Show Stopping Cookie Tray.


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