Classic Gluten Free Pinwheel Cookies – with Video!

Classic Gluten Free Pinwheel Cookies – with Video!

These classic gluten free pinwheel cookies have a place on every holiday cookie plate. If you’ve wanted to give them a try but had trouble imagining how, now is the time!

Many pinwheel cookies on metal tray

It’s surprisingly easy to make a fancy-looking cookie like these gluten free pinwheel cookies. The basic cookie dough base is made much like any other cookie dough.

Then, divide the dough into two portions — one a bit larger than the other. To the smaller one, add some melted chocolate and cream, and two more tablespoons of flour.

Focused image of pinwheel cookie with other pinwheel cookies on metal tray

Next, roll out each portion of dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick, and roughly the same size as one another. Chill them both in the freezer for a few minutes or until firm but not rock solid.

Place the layers of chilled dough, one squarely one top of the other. Since the dough is chilled, it’s not hard to turn one over onto the other.

Direct angle of pinwheel cookies on metal tray

Using the remaining, bottom layer of parchment paper to roll the dough together as tightly as you can. The dough may crack a bit as you roll it. Just patch it together as you go. You won’t see any cracks in the cookies at all.

Slice the cylinder of dough into about 20 pieces, each about 1/4-inch thick. I have used a chef’s knife, metal bench scraper and even a simple steak knife. They all work just fine. Place the slices on a baking sheet, and bake away.

There’s something super satisfying about making such a classic holiday cookie at home. For gluten-eaters, they can pop into a bakery and buy a pinwheel cookie, along with maybe some rainbow cookies.

But when you’re gluten free, or someone you love is, it’s not that simple any more. The corner bakery most likely doesn’t have gluten free rainbow cookies (my favorite!) or gluten free pinwheel cookies.

If you’d given up on the idea of having bakery-style cookies for the holidays, take heart. We can make them ourselves! And they’re easier than you probably thought. Let me show you the way. ??

Birds eye angle of pinwheel cookies

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 20 cookies


2 ounces (56 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 ounce (1/8 cup) cream

2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour, plus 2 tablespoons (18 g) more (I like Better Batter here)

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

11 tablespoons (154 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a small microwave safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and cream. Microwave the mixture on high for 30 seconds. Stir. If the chocolate isn’t all melted, microwave for another 15 seconds and stir again. Repeat in 15 second intervals until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool slightly.

  • In a large bowl, place 2 cups (280 g) of the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, egg and vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Knead the dough until it comes together, then divide it into two portions, one a couple ounces (about the size of a small egg) less than the other. Set aside the larger portion of dough. Return the smaller portion of cookie dough to the mixing bowl, and add the melted chocolate mixture. Mix to combine. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, and knead it in until it has been absorbed by the dough.

  • Place the chocolate dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper on a flat surface, and roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat the same procedure, separately, with the vanilla cookie dough. Place both pieces of rolled out dough on a large baking sheet, still on the parchment paper. Place both pieces of dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until firm (but not rock solid, or it will begin to crack).

  • Once the dough has chilled, place one piece of chilled dough, parchment side-down, on a flat surface. Place the other piece of dough squarely on top of the first, parchment side-up. Remove the top sheet of parchment. Starting at a short end of the rectangle and using the bottom sheet of parchment paper to handle the dough, roll the dough away from you and into a cylinder that is as tight as you can manage. Remove the parchment paper, and wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap or parchment.

  • Chill the roll of dough in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until firm. Remove from the freezer, and slice into 1/4-inch pieces, by cross-section. Place less than 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cookies are just set in the center. They will not have browned visibly. Allow to cool until firm on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2011 (!). Recipe unchanged, photos, text and video all new.


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