Cranberry and Walnut Pinwheels

More Ways to Search: Recipe Index

These Festive Cranberry Walnut Pinwheels Cookies are my most loved and asked-for Christmas cookie recipe! Buttery pie dough wrapped around a rich, sugared cranberry and walnut filling, drizzled in honey; these easy cookies are fun to make, and even more fun to eat!

Top view of festive cranberry walnut pinwheel christmas cookies.

Easy Christmas Pinwheel Cookies

Friends, this is one very impressive, and also very easy-to-make holiday dessert. An ah-mazing take on dessert pinwheels filled with cranberries and nuts! These festive, flavorful cookies are the perfect welcome treat for guests, plus they look great on a cookie tray. It’s probably my most requested recipe come Christmastime!

When it comes to blogging, I don’t have many occasions to repeat recipes. And yet, by popular demand, I find myself making these special Christmas cookies every year. They’re THAT good. Full of sweet and tangy cranberries and crunchy walnuts, drizzled with honey for good measure. Basically, the definition of a holiday flavor explosion – and our family can’t get enough!

Ingredients for Christmas pinwheel cookies: cranberries, walnuts, butter, refrigerated pie crusts, sugar and honey.

What You’ll Need

Here’s everything you’ll need to make these awesome, perfect pinwheel cookies:

  • Dried cranberries: Chopped.
  • Walnuts: Chopped.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar, or brown sugar for a more caramelized flavor.
  • Orange Zest: For a burst of fruity citrus that pairs perfectly with walnuts and cranberries.
  • Refrigerated Pie Crusts: Pillsbury Pie Crust or your brand of choice. This pinwheel recipe is possibly the only time that I opt for store bought pie crust – in my experience, homemade pie dough results in cookies that are far too crumbly! 
  • Butter: Melted.
  • Egg: For the egg wash to coat the crusts.
  • Honey: To drizzle over the pinwheels after baking.
Freshly rolled pinwheel cookies made with a filling of cranberries and walnuts rolled in pie crusts.

How to Make Cranberry Walnut Pinwheel Cookies

My Cranberry Walnut Pinwheels are incredibly easy to make. They come together in minutes, and they’re kid-friendly. If you have little hands that want to help, by all means, this is the recipe for them! Here’s how to make these easy holiday pinwheel cookies:

Mix the Filling: Combine the cranberries, walnuts, sugar, and zest for the filling.

Prepare the Pie Crusts: Lightly flour your work surface and then roll out the pie crusts into two squares. Afterwards, give each pie crust a generous brushing with the melted butter.

Fill & Roll: Sprinkle the filling evenly over the first pie crust, leaving a bit of a gap at one edge. Next, carefully roll the crust into a log, pinching the clean edge tightly against the roll to seal. You can dip your finger in water and brush the edge a bit to help it stick if needed. Repeat the filling and rolling with the second pie crust.

Brush with Egg: Mix the egg wash and then lightly brush each log with the egg mixture.

Baked Cranberry Walnut Pinwheel cookies drizzled with honey.

Cut: Use a sharp knife and cut each log into ½ inch slices, or roughly 10 pinwheels.

Bake: Bake the pinwheels cut-side-up on a lined baking sheet, until golden brown. Arrange the pinwheels on a wire rack and then top each cookie with a drizzle of honey. Let them continue to cool completely, then serve!

Tips for Success

Thanks to feedback from some marvelous readers, along with some gained experience, here are extra tips for flawless pinwheel cookies:

  • When Cutting the Pinwheel Dough: If you notice that the dough is becoming too soft, pop the logs in the freezer for about 10 minutes or so before slicing.
  • Don’t Overfill: Make sure to use just enough filling to achieve an even layer, and then roll the dough tightly to close all the gaps. 
  • Cut to the Correct Size: If the pinwheel slices are too wide when placed on the baking sheet, there is a higher risk of the pie crusts coming apart while baking. Aim for ½ inch slices!
Top view of festive cranberry walnut pinwheel christmas cookies.

Variation Ideas

I used cranberries and walnuts for this recipe, but you can use whatever filling your heart desires! Not a fan of craisins? Sub in raisins! Feeling extra festive? Add in a pinch of cinnamon or mixed spice! And so forth. 

Here are some other pinwheel cookie filling variations I’ve been dreaming of:

  • Blueberry, lemon, and pecan
  • Hazelnut, chocolate chips, and apricot
  • Macadamia, coconut, and dried pineapple
  • Crushed candy cane and white chocolate chips

You can also add in jams or preserves, or mix up any of these variations with different nuts of your choice.

Baked Cranberry Walnut Pinwheel cookies drizzled with honey.

How to Store Homemade Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel cookies can be stored up to 1 week in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature.

Can I Freeze These?

You can freeze these cookies before baking. Wrap the logs of rolled cookie dough tightly in plastic wrap (with an extra layer of aluminum foil to protect from freezer burn!). Store the rolls in the freezer for up to 2 months, and leave them to thaw overnight in the fridge before slicing and baking. 

More Holiday Cookies to Try

4 from 9 votes
Top view of festive cranberry walnut pinwheel christmas cookies.
Print

Cranberry and Walnut Pinwheels

7 7 7
WW Freestyle: 8
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
These Festive Cranberry Walnut Pinwheels Cookies are my most loved and asked-for Christmas cookie recipe! Buttery pie dough wrapped around a rich, sugared cranberry and walnut filling, drizzled in honey; these easy cookies are fun to make, and even more fun to eat!
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20
Calories: 167

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts, (I use Pillsbury Pie Crust)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • honey

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the cranberries, walnuts, sugar, and zest in a mixing bowl; mix until thoroughly combined.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the pie crusts into two squares.
  • Generously brush the pie crusts with the melted butter.
  • Spread the cranberry filling on top of the pie crusts. DO NOT overfill – that will make it harder to roll and cut.
  • Roll each pie crust into a log.
  • Pinch the edges to seal.
  • Combine the egg and water in a small bowl and beat until well blended.
  • Brush each log with the egg mixture.
  • Carefully cut each log into 10 slices. NOTE: If you're having issues with slicing the log because the dough is too soft, put it in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.
  • Place the slices, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Place pinwheels on a cooling rack.
  • Spread a teaspoon, or more, of the honey on each pinwheel.
  • Let cool before serving.

Notes

If you’re having issues with slicing the log because the dough is too soft, put it in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Adapted from Pillsbury.
 
Nutrition Facts
Cranberry and Walnut Pinwheels
Amount Per Serving
Calories 167 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 83mg3%
Potassium 47mg1%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 45IU1%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Keywords: easy christmas cookies, holiday cookie recipe, pinwheel cookies

Want To Save This Recipe?

74 Responses
  1. Connie Kittrell

    I couldn’t find any puff pastry. Would phyllo dough work? Would cooking time be different? How many layers do you think if I use the phyllo dough? I’m not good at conversions.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      I have not tested these with phyllo, but I can tell you that they will be very flaky if you do make them with phyllo. Make sure to brush every layer with butter before adding it on top of the next… I think about 5 sheets should be okay.

  2. Abby

    After reading comments about the rolls coming apart while cooking, I may have a couple of hints.

    Resist an urge to be too generous with the filling and roll up tightly enough to close gaps as a loose roll will fall apart.

    Do Not Overlook STEP #8. When filling leave a clear 1/2″ border of dough at the final edge. You’ll pinch this clean edge to the roll to create a seam that will hold the roll together from end to end (you can brush the edge with a little bit of wet finger first to help it stick together).

    Try to make slices 1/2″ apart. If sections are too wide when laid on their side, a pie crust dough may come apart in the oven since it isn’t a ‘rising’ type of dough.

    Happy baking! Kids love cooking these and there are never any left!

  3. Brenda Stern

    I made these at Christmas but most came out of shape but everyone still loved them and so easy to make. Today made them again after reading everyone’s reviews. I refrigerated them for about 10 minutes before cutting & cut straight down with a straight blade knife, they turn out perfect. Will diffently make again evdn for entertaining.

      1. Boyo J

        Did you use sweetened cranberries, like craisins or unsweetened cranberries because can’t seem to find unsweeten cranberries

        1. Katerina Petrovska

          I have used both, dried unsweetened, and dried sweetened. My sweet tooth’s vote was for the sweetened (craisins). 😁

  4. Tina

    Yes, they look so delicious, but the dough didn’t hold it’s shape like in the picture. Look more like a flower instead of a pinwheel! I even put the log in the freezer for 15 minutes for easy slicing. Can you tell me what went wrong?

  5. Val LaBore

    I made these yesterday and they were sooo good! I didn’t use all of the butter (bad me) so as I was cutting them, they were unrolling a bit.
    Also, I cut mine straight down, not sawing it, and that worked much better.
    I’ll be making this recipe again.
    Val

      1. Deborah

        Can’t wait to make these. I’ve read some of the comments about freezing for a while for easy cutting. Also to add cheeses, I think chocolate would be nice also. Maybe tomorrow I’ll make them.

    1. Liz

      I wish I could attach a picture of how bad these turned out. They completely fell apart while baking and were not salvageable. I 100% followed the directions and was incredibly disappointed. I was so excited to make these, but it was a disaster.

      1. Linda

        Liz,

        So dis mine. Glad I tried them ahead of my party!
        😔
        Linda🦋
        Maybe I will chill them Before cooking next time.

    2. Hara N Maderich

      I spread softened cream cheese instead of butter, sprinkled some sugar on the tops and used dental floss to cut them. Perfection!

      1. Elaine

        Totally making this! If you use the hazelnut, choc chip and apricot combo – would you skip sugar and honey? Would it be too sweet?

        1. Katerina Petrovska

          Hi!
          I’d still use the honey 😃but not as much – use just enough to have it all stick together.

          1. Elaine Clemmons

            I gently press the mixture into the dough before rolling up. I helps the rolling go easier and helps keep them from falling apart. I have a question though. If you only get tan half inch slices from each square, are you making a 5″ square?

  6. Sherri T

    Since I have a pecan farm, I can’t bring myself to buy walnuts. 🙂 Do you think pecans will work with this recipe?

    1. Mary J

      Absolutely! I am a true southerner and pecans are what we eat😋. I have only used pecans in this recipe and they are delicious! Dare I say, they are even better than walnuts in my opinion. I use pure maple syrup to drizzle lightly instead of honey.

      Have fun and enjoy!

  7. Janet pomon

    How would a teaspoon of cinnamon be with the filling? Cranberries, walnuts and cinnamon smell like Christmas!!

    1. Stanan

      I tried the recipe. I followed everything however some of the pinwheels did not hold up. How do you make yours stay in shape?

  8. Hana

    Oh,these wheels look so cute.Thank you for sharing the recipe.I have a question regarding the cranberries. Do you think it would work with fresh cranberries as well? I have some fresh ones left from other recipe. Thank you.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi! Fresh cranberries might be too tart, but I think they would work if you macerate them, or sweeten them with a sprinkle of sugar and let them stand for about 15 minutes before using. This will also help to soften them. I hope that helps.

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Jane!! I am not completely sure. Sometimes I like to freeze the log before baking – I don’t cut it into pinwheels until afterwards – but I have never frozen the pinwheels after they were baked. I hope that helps, somewhat. 🙂

      1. Kayla

        Hi! These look amazing!! I’m making them for a Christmas dinner; I was wondering, do they still taste okay if it’s been a few hours and less warm?

        1. Joan R Coppola

          In my experience with these delicious rolls, letting them get cool does not affect the wonderful taste.

  9. Melanie

    So what did I do wrong? When I pulled them out they had fallen down. Still great flavors but didn’t look pretty.

  10. Jenna

    I know you’re having trouble with the recipe showing, but any chance you remember the quantity of walnuts and if there was anything else besides piecrusts and dried cranberries that was out of the ordinary pantry ingredients? Sending hubby to the store but won’t be making them till tomorrow!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Amy! I’ve been having issues all day with my site’s recipes going up and down and I am unable to access the recipe, either. However, I am working on fixing this issue as we speak and will hopefully have it up real soon.

  11. meg

    The recipe isn’t showing up for me >.< I can only see your post talking about the recipe, but where do I find how to make it? haha thanks!

    1. Katerina Petrovska

      Hi Michelle!

      You can definitely freeze these in an airtight container. If you are going to stack them up, make sure to put wax paper in between each layer. Also, do not defrost in the microwave… just let them stand at room temperature for an hour or two. I hope this helps!

        1. Katerina Petrovska

          Hi Annie! Yes, you can definitely freeze these, but make sure to thaw them completely before baking. Thank YOU! Have a great weekend!

  12. Kristy

    I would absolutely LOVE these! I can’t get enough of cranberries and walnuts – especially together. I’m happy you got a craving for these and pulled the recipe from the desktop. I need these in my life. 🙂

  13. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Sorry it’s so cold there! Come move to LA with me – it’s like 70 right now and people are wearing sundresses.

    Oh and these pinwheels? I need at least a doze of these stat!

  14. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)

    So cold here too and it won’t stop snowing. It’s so depressing. Yes, the days are getting longer, but I haven’t seen the sun in so many days I can’t even tell. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit I don’t leave the house that much, especially when It’s nasty out.

    1. Kate@Diethood

      HI! 🙂
      Yes, I think it would be one messy experience. How about using dried blueberries? I have used unsweetened cranberries and unsweetened blueberries in this and it tastes great.

  15. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    I always have leftover homemade pieces of dough, and this is the best idea to use them! And about that summer, it´s so hot here right now, 95+ and 1000000% humidity, that it might as well be freezing since it´s impossible to be outside!

  16. Valerie

    I’m an entire degree warmer than you, but I would happily exchange that temp. for about six of these pinwheels…please! 😉

    Also, please don’t hate on the desktop computer- some of us still use them. 😛

  17. Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

    Oh, Kate… These Cranberry and Walnut Pinwheels look divine! I don’t do the store bought pie crust thing (I know, slap me!), but I am really thinking of making these with my cream cheese pastry because it is moist and holds together while still being delightfully flaky. Thanks for sharing your recipe! xoxo

  18. Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan

    These look so good! And since there is fruit involved, I can tell myself that it’s health food. Totally.

  19. kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    Personally, I don’t think that stay at home moms (or anyone else, for that matter) should be shoveling when the thermometer’s broken and the 2 or 3 that ought to be in front of the 5 is missing. Merely walking my daughter to school and then walking the dog made my face so chapped I needed to pop in and warm up before tackling the driveway and sidewalks. I’m glad I could warm up looking at these pinwheels–I have dried cherries that would go great in them (though probably not enough honey). Never apologize for buying pie crust. You make delicious-looking meals with it, and that’s the whole point, right? (Well, probably the actual deliciousness is the point, but I cannot eat my computer screen). Thanks, Kate!

    1. Kate@Diethood

      I was just out there… again… it’s 2 degrees… I wanted to cry. We really need to move to a warmer place!

  20. Meagan

    I love the photos of these pinwheels! I agree with you on term stay at home moms being just that they stay at home!!!

  21. Ramona

    We had a two day spring “tease” and now it’s back to freezing temperatures again where I live. I am waiting for 70 degree days to be around again… why can’t it always be like that. 🙂

    I love your philosophy on Stay at home Mothers… I never got my husband to go with that either… I still have to cart the kids about and do all the shopping etc.. They forget we don’t get paid to do all that do we. 🙂

    Okay… I saved the best comment for last… I want me some of those pinwheels!! YUM! 🙂

  22. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I know what you mean about never making the same thing twice! 🙂 These pinwheels look delish, I love the cranberry and walnut filling!

  23. Averie @Averie Cooks

    Love that you used pie crust. I use crescent rolls for these. And great filling, & the sparkling sugar on them is awesome.

    “I noticed that my menu was missing a couple of desserts! ” – that never happens to me! lol

    pinned!

    1. Kate@Diethood

      It never happens to me, either, but it did this time because my husband is on my case about coming up with a variety of appetizers… slipped my mind that we would need some sweets, too! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

Amazon Affiliate Program

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.