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Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies

These Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies loaded with walnuts are a big hit every Christmas, consistently topping the list of most requested recipes! They’re made with a buttery pie dough that’s filled with a sweet and tangy mix of cranberries and walnuts, then finished with a drizzle of honey. Easy and fun to make, they’re even better to eat!

Honey is drizzled over freshly baked cranberry pinwheel cookies.

Christmas Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Hey cookie lovers! We’re taking a slight and sweet detour today, straight to the land of cranberries and crunchy walnuts. Welcome to the world of Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies – your new favorite treat that’s as easy to make as it is delicious! This is one very impressive, and also very easy-to-make holiday dessert. An amazing 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! I don’t have many occasions to repeat recipes and yet, by popular demand, I find myself making these Christmasy pinwheel cookies every year. Full of sweet and tangy cranberries and crunchy walnuts, drizzled with honey for good measure, they are basically the definition of holiday flavors – and our family can’t get enough!

Why We Love These Pinwheel Cookies

  • Easy to Prep: They are as simple to make as they are delicious – no need for intricate steps or complicated ingredients.
  • Tasty: The contrast of crunchy nuts and soft, chewy dough is one amazing combo of textures and flavors!
  • Kid-Friendly: My kids love making these with them, and of course, eating them.
  • Festive: The mix of cranberries and walnuts captures the holiday spirit.
  • Pretty: The cookies’ beautiful spiral and vibrant colors make them a visual feast.
Image of cranberry pinwheel cookies arranged on a white backdrop and drizzled with honey.

Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies Ingredients

  • 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.

How to Make Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies

My Cranberry 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:

  1. Mix the Filling: Combine the cranberries, walnuts, sugar, and zest for the filling.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Brush with Egg: Mix the egg wash and then lightly brush each log with the egg mixture.
  5. Cut: Use a sharp knife and cut each log into ½ inch slices, or roughly 10 pinwheels.
  6. 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!
Top view of several very festive cranberry pinwheel Christmas cookies.

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!
Close-up shot of cranberry pinwheel cookie topped with a drizzle of honey.

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! 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 nuts of your choice.
Close-up shot of cranberry pinwheel cookie topped with a drizzle of honey.

How to Store Homemade Cookies

  • Pinwheel cookies can be stored up to 1 week in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature.
  • 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 in the fridge before slicing and baking. 

More Holiday Cookies to Try

Honey is drizzled over freshly baked cranberry pinwheel cookies.

Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies

Katerina | Diethood
Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies are made with a buttery pie dough that’s filled with a sweet and tangy mix of cranberries and walnuts, then finished with a drizzle of honey.
4.57 from 16 votes
Servings : 20
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts, I use Pillsbury Pie Crust
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • honey


  • Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the cranberries, walnuts, sugar, and orange zest in a mixing bowl; mix until thoroughly combined.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough into two squares. Generously brush the pie dough with the melted butter.
  • Spread the cranberry filling over the top of the pie dough. Do not overfill – that will make it harder to roll and cut.
  • Roll each pie dough into a log and pinch the edges to seal.
  • Combine the egg and water in a small bowl and beat until well blended. Brush the logs with the egg mixture.
  • Carefully cut each log into 10 slices. 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.
  • Remove from the oven; place the pinwheel cookies on a cooling rack and drizzle a teaspoon or more of the honey over each pinwheel.
  • Let cool before serving.


  • Cutting the Dough: If the dough gets too soft, chill the logs in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Filling: Use just enough filling to cover the dough evenly; roll tightly to eliminate gaps.
  • Slicing Size: Keep slices at about ½ inch or slightly bigger to prevent the crusts from unraveling during baking.
  • Mix It Up with other fillings, jams, preserves, or a mix of different nuts.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury.


Calories: 167 kcal | Carbohydrates: 19 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Cholesterol: 11 mg | Sodium: 83 mg | Potassium: 47 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 9 g | Vitamin A: 45 IU | Vitamin C: 0.1 mg | Calcium: 11 mg | Iron: 0.7 mg

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.

Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cranberries, easy christmas cookies, holiday cookie recipe, pinwheel cookies
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97 comments on “Cranberry Pinwheel Cookies”

  1. Avatar photo
    Beverly Henderson

    I make cookies trays out every Christmas. I made these last year and they were soooooo yummy!!!! They looked so beautiful on the tray also! I did bake them out and freeze without any issues at all!!! I am making them again this year. I also used the filling for some other recipes, it’s that good!!! Good luck everyone!!!

  2. Imake several cookies for the holidays, so I have to start in like end of October. I freeze most of my cookies, so I can make cookie boxes for family n friends. Can you freeze these, before or after they are cooked n for how long???

    1. Hi!
      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 them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

  3. Can I make these pinwheels the night before? I am taking them to a Thanksgiving dinner at work tomorrow

    1. I have not tested this recipe with phyllo dough. I am sure it can be done, but the process will be a bit different because phyllo sheets have to be brushed with butter before stacking them together.

  4. I’m going to try the freezer trick before slicing, but was wondering if that means I should put the egg wash on after I take them out of the freezer?

  5. Do you use dried cranberries (like craisins) or fresh? Your recipe says dried, but all of your pictures show fresh. TIA

  6. Bonjour,
    qu’est ce que les croûtes à tarte réfrigérées?
    Peut on les remplace par la pâte à pizza ?
    Merci de votre réponse.

    1. Claire, je parle française très mal mais je pense que vous dit on Pate Brisee. Je acheter pre fait a le supermarché. J’espère que vous comprenez. Joyeux Noel!

  7. Avatar photo
    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 - Diethood
      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.

  8. 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!

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

        1. Katerina - Diethood
          Katerina Petrovska

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

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

      1. 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. 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. Liz,

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

    2. Avatar photo
      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. 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 - Diethood
          Katerina Petrovska

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

          1. Avatar photo
            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?

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

    1. 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!

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

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

  14. 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 - Diethood
      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 - Diethood
      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. 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. Avatar photo
          Joan R Coppola

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

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

  16. 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 - Diethood
      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.

  17. 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 - Diethood
      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 - Diethood
          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!

  18. 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. 🙂

  19. Avatar photo
    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!

  20. Avatar photo
    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. Katerina - 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.

  21. Avatar photo
    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!

  22. 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. 😛

  23. Avatar photo
    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

  24. Avatar photo
    Nikki @ The Tolerant Vegan

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

  25. Avatar photo

    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. Katerina - Diethood

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

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

  27. 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! 🙂

  28. Avatar photo
    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!

  29. Avatar photo
    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


    1. Katerina - 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! 🙂

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