Project Description

I’m sure you have already noticed that I’m a fan of fun cookies without icing (like this and this). When I saw LilaLoa’s tutorial for her Father’s Day bowtie cookies, I was excited to try it. So, I made patriotic pinwheels!


  • Sugar cookie dough (your favorite recipe)
  • Small, round cookie cutter (the top of a glue stick was perfect for me)
  • Blue food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • White food coloring
  • An exacto knife (or a pizza cutter!)
  • Aluminum foil
  • A little bit of royal icing (I know – I kind of lied earlier – but you only need a little!)
  • Cookie pop sticks (or bamboo skewers, if you like)

1. Find and print a pinwheel template online (just google “homemade pinwheel template”). It will probably look kind of like this:

1. Divide your dough into three parts. One part should be a little less than a handful. Divide the rest of the dough evenly into two parts. So you will end up with one small mound of dough and then two larger mounds of equal size.

2. Dye the small amount of dough white. It won’t get bright white, but you can get a pretty off-white color. For the larger parts, dye one royal blue and the other red.

3. Flour your surface and get the rolling pin ready! Take two equally sized hunks of blue and red dough and arrange them like this, one on top of the other:

Now, roll out the dough like your normally would. It should look kind of like this:

Yes, I was a bit overzealous with the flour…no judging!

4. Take your handy, dandy pinwheel template and cut out a square.

You may not need a template, but I don’t have a perfectly square cutter, so this worked for me. I know – how can a cookie baker not have such a simple cutter. I’ve got a squirrel cutter…but not a square cutter. It’s how I roll.

5. Once you have your square of dough, cut notches from each corner almost to the center.

This is where Lilaloa’s tutorial comes into play! I wanted the curves of the pinwheel to keep their shape, so before I brought the corners of the square into the center, I placed a small piece of aluminum foil (that I had wrapped around a pencil several times to help it keep its shape) onto the cookie. When you’re done, it will look like this:

The two-sided dough creates a pretty pop of color – and is looking very pinwheel-ish!

Almost done! Roll out the little bit of white dough and cut out a couple of small circles. Place a circle in the middle of each cookie (see picture above). You don’t need to attach it, it will adhere to the rest of the cookie while baking.

6. Bake the cookies according to your sugar cookie recipe, but add 1-3 minutes. During those last couple minutes, watch your cookies carefully! You don’t want them to burn, but they need to be firm enough to hold their shape. Let them cool completely before removing the pieces of foil.

7. If you want them to be true pinwheels, place a little blob of stiff royal icing on the back of each cookie and insert a cookie pop stick or bamboo skewer. Voila! They don’t spin, but they’re still super fun.

Find more Fourth of July treats here