Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

There’s been a whole lot of red, white and blue happening around these parts lately. And now that the Fourth of July is just two weeks away, I’m serving up one final festive dessert to add to your patriotic party, Pinwheel Icebox Cookies.

If soft and chewy cookies set off flavor fireworks in your world, then consider your taste buds dazzled. These buttery rounds are made with basic pantry ingredients (think butter, sugar, eggs and flour). And best of all, the dough can be prepared in advance and stashed in the fridge, so all that’s left to do is slice and bake them as your guests arrive.

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

This recipe fell under my “This Is An Experiment But Please Let It Work” category, so I was holding my breath as I made the first slice into the cookie dough log. But the second that perfect pinwheel emerged, I did a little dance. (See: Tip #5 in 10 Things I Learned About Writing a Book.) And by “little dance,” I mean I shook and I shuffled and I popped and I Dougie’d and I did whatever else the kids do these days.

Long story short: Pinwheel icebox cookie success is something to celebrate. So crank up that music, preheat your oven, and slice and bake your way to the ultimate Independence Day dessert. 

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Craving more? Sign up for the Just a Taste newsletter for a fresh serving of content delivered every week to your inbox! And stay in touch on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

Yield: About 4 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 6 hours (includes refrigeration)

Cook Time: 11 min


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring


In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla.

Turn the mixer off. Add the flour and then beat just until combined. Remove the dough and separate it into three equal pieces. Shape one piece of the dough into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the white portion of the cookies.)

Return one of the remaining pieces of dough to the stand mixer bowl, and with the mixer on "low," add in the red food coloring until it reaches your desired color. Remove the red dough, shape it into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the red portion of the cookies). Clean out the bowl to remove any red food coloring residue.

Add the final piece of dough to the stand mixer bowl, and with the mixer on "low," add in the blue food coloring until it reaches your desired color. Remove the blue dough, shape it into a 4- by 4-inch square, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the blue portion of the cookies.)

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each square in half to form two rectangles. Wrap half of each color of dough in plastic wrap and return it to the fridge. Place the red dough in between two pieces of wax paper and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll out the white dough between two separate pieces of wax paper until it is a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick. Roll out the blue dough between two separate pieces of wax paper until it is a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.

Peel the top layer of wax paper off of the red dough and then peel the wax paper off one side of the white dough and use the other side to transfer the white dough on top of the red dough. Peel off the wax paper from one side of the blue dough and use the other side to transfer it atop the white dough. Very lightly roll the three layers together.

Starting at the shorter end of the rectangle, roll the dough as tightly as possible into a log. Repeat the rolling and stacking process with the remaining dough in the fridge. Wrap the logs in wax paper and then plastic wrap and refrigerate them for 1 hour.

Remove the dough logs and roll them on the counter several times so they don't develop a flat side. Alternately, stand the rolls up in glasses in the fridge. Refrigerate the dough for 4 more hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and slice each log into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the rounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, as the cookies will expand when baked.

Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until pale golden, and then transfer them to a wrack to cool completely.

Cookie dough recipe adapted from Gale Gand.


65 Responses to “Red, White and Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies”

  1. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 19, 2013 at 6:52 am

    These are so fun!! Omg, they look awesome too!

  2. #
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — June 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Yay! Sweet Victory, Kelly! Oh, do I know that “happy dance” well…right after the proverbial, “This Is An Experiment But Please Let It Work” (and fingers crossed) category–especially with gluten and grain free baking. I’m celebrating right with you, girl! Your Patriotic Pinwheel Icebox Cookies ROCK! Also, your food photography is stunning and lets the beautiful red, white and blue shine. Love the side-by-sides, too. Perfect for the 4th of July! Pinning! xo

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 19th, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

      Thanks so much, Stacy!

  3. #
    Tieghan — June 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    So fun!! And wow do they look perfect!! No faded colors and perfect circles! Beautiful!! My little sister would LOVE these

  4. #
    The Bearfoot Baker — June 19, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Perfect color! Loving these!! Thanks for sharing:)

  5. #
    Maria — June 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    So fun! Pinned!

  6. #
    shelly (cookies and cups) — June 19, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Your swirls are PERFECT! Totally gorgeous!

  7. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 19, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Such a cute idea!

  8. #
    Debbie @TheHipHostess — June 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

    These are a work of art! And talk about festive! Nicely done.

  9. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — June 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Love the idea for the 4th of July!

  10. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 19, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I’ve been looking forward to these since you teased about them on Monday! ;) They are everything I imagined and more… such a incredible cookie for the 4th! Thanks for sharing.

  11. #
    Liren — June 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

    How fun! They came out perfectly, you make it look so easy, I think I might be able to pull it off :)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 19th, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

      Yes, you definitely can, Liren!

  12. #
    Happy Valley Chow — June 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Those are soooo cool! What an awesome 4th of July recipe. Make sure you stop by my link party and share your Facebook Page!

  13. #
    marcie@flavorthemoments — June 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    These are absolutely gorgeous and SO festive!

  14. #
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie — June 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    These are so crazy gorgeous! Pinning now!! :)

  15. #
    Julia @ hungryandconfused — June 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    These look almost too pretty to eat!

  16. #
    steph@stephsbitebybite — June 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    How FUN are these?!! I want a stack!

  17. #
    Zainab @ Blahnik Baker — June 19, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    So beautiful and almost too pretty to eat!

  18. #
    Kate@Diethood — June 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Seriously, these are brilliant!!

  19. #
    cassie — June 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    These are just too fun, Kelly! Seriously gorgeous, too!

  20. #
    Laura — June 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Does anyone have a natural/clean alternative for the red & blue coloring? I love these cookies but I can’t use artificial dyes. They have made my son sick & irritable.
    Thank you!!!

  21. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — June 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    These are so much fun!!

  22. #
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry — June 20, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I would do a happy dance as well if my cookies came out with a perfect red, white and blue pinwheel! These will go great on my 4th of july table.

  23. #
    Nisha — June 20, 2013 at 3:48 am

    colorful, pretty, and neat! :)

  24. #
    Bee @ bakeandthecity — June 20, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I really like these! From the first time I spotted them! I’m not currently in the US, I’m in the UK, but thought maybe I can adapt the colours for one of our national days!

  25. #
    Jackie @ The Beeroness — June 20, 2013 at 10:53 am

    How beautiful are those?! They look perfect, I want to wear one as a necklace.

  26. #
    aimee @ like mother like daughter — June 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    what a great idea. i love the festivity. and these look beautiful and yummy!

  27. #
    Lisa — June 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

    How many drops of food coloring did you use for your dough? I never seem to be able to get the right colors, so I’m curious!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 21st, 2013 @ 8:05 am

      Hi Lisa! I used about 1 1/2 teaspoons of food coloring, but you can just eyeball it based on how vibrant you want the colors to be. Enjoy!

  28. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion — June 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

    So pretty. If I Make these, it will be a little more simple for me… being in Canada, I just need the red and white layer!!

  29. #
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — June 21, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I love the way you can just slice these into perfect 4th of July Cookies! Great “Experiment”

  30. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — June 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    These look so awesome Kelly!! So festive :)

  31. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — June 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    These are so fun! Swoon! My kids will love this idea!

  32. #
    Kathleen Richardson — June 22, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Kelly, your photos are so beautiful that I pinned this blog post to my 4th of July AND my Cookies boards before even reading what you had to say!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 22nd, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathleen!

  33. #
    Shaina — June 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    The pictures on your site are amazing, I am always so inspired by your posts! These cookies look great, I want to try them out for Fourth of July!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 22nd, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

      Thanks so much, Shaina! Hope you’re having a great start to summer! XOXO

  34. #
    Kiran @ — June 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    AMAZING!! Love it when kitchen experiments turns out successfully the very first time!

  35. #
    Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine — June 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Kelly! These are gorgeous! Congrats on a lovely recipe!

  36. #
    Jen — June 25, 2013 at 11:13 am

    What a fun 4th of July recipe! I’m going to give these a try.

  37. #
    Layla — June 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Your photography is awesome! What kind of camera do you use?

  38. #
    Beth — June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    what kind of food coloring did you use?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — June 29th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

      I use gel-based food coloring for the red and regular food coloring for the blue. Either works great!

  39. #
    dacia98 — July 1, 2013 at 12:12 am

    do you have to refrigerate it?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — July 1st, 2013 @ 12:15 am

      Yes, the dough must be refrigerated after it’s mixed in order for the butter to solidify. Otherwise the dough will be too soft to roll.

  40. #
    Jennifer — July 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    do u need to use unsalted butter?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — July 2nd, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

      Yes, the butter must be unsalted. Enjoy!

  41. #
    Vanessa — July 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I made the cookies and they turned out great. Didn’t have any more Red and Blue dye so used 3 other colours. It looks and taste amazing! Thanks for posting this cookie recipe!


  42. #
    FRAN — July 15, 2013 at 9:04 am

    My mom used to make chocolate and vanilla pinwheel cookies that were yummy. When my boys were small, I experimented making chocolate and peanut butter pinwheels but they never turned out very well. Couldn’t figure out how to make the pnut butter dough so it would roll out without falling apart. They all gotten eaten anyway.

  43. #
    Rashmi — July 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Can we omit the eggs ?:)

  44. #
    farta — July 18, 2013 at 12:10 am

    hi..i just want to ask for how long does this cookies can last if i keep it in an airtight container?

  45. #
    tricia Valentine — November 3, 2013 at 8:59 am

    how much in advance can make the dough and keep it stored in the refig before baking

  46. #
    Danielle Troop — November 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Can these cookies be put in the freezer until ready to bake??


  1. Pingback: Patriotic Foods for the Fourth of July » Inspiring Pretty

  2. Pingback: This and That | Week 48 | Two Peas & Their Pod

  3. Pingback: Red White and Blue Pinwheel Ice Box Cookie | Wives with Knives

  4. Pingback: Fun for the Fourth | Laura Dickey

  5. Pingback: happy 4th of july!! | SIMPLE EVERYDAY FOOD

  6. Pingback: More Food! | Musings Of A Southerner

  7. Pingback: Epic Recipe Roundup: 200+ Summer Sweet Treats

  8. Pingback: international slice-and-bake sugar cookies | bakeology by lisa

  9. Pingback: Video: Holiday Pinwheel Cookies | Just a Taste

  10. Pingback: 4th of July Pinwheel Sugar Cookies | Pasadena Culinary Photography

Leave a Comment