Spiral Cookies

Posted in Baking By Ingrid Luke

Something about these spiral cookies makes me smile every time I see them. These cookies are so fun with their bright color, distinctive spiral and generous coating of sprinkles.

They are also super fun to make- just pop the ingredients in your food processor or mixer, process, roll, slice and bake. And eat. These cute little cookies demand to be eaten.

In addition to being fun, these cookies are incredibly versatile. The base recipe is a buttery shortbread-like cookie, and virtually any flavor can be added to the dough.

I like to make peppermint cookies for Christmas with green or red spirals (pictured).

Try a fruity flavor like strawberry, paired with bright colored dough and fun sprinkles for a birthday party. Or coordinate with your favorite team’s colors for a Super Bowl Party. The options are endless!

Update- for my Broncos “Orange Crush” spiral cookies, I dyed the vanilla dough blue and used orange extract to flavor the second dough. The resulting flavor was like a Dreamsicle.

I found this recipe years ago (it was one of the first recipes I ever pinned on Pinterest), and it has been a favorite ever since.

Who can resist a buttery, colorful, sprinkle-encrusted spiral cookie? No one.

A quick note about the sprinkles:

After lots of experimenting, I discovered that I prefer using colored sugar for decoration instead of traditional sprinkles. If you do use traditional sprinkles, check the label and make sure they are meant for baking.

Some sprinkles are purely for decoration and will totally melt in the oven, ruining your beautiful cookies. Colored sugar can be purchased from any grocery store, or you can make your own with white sugar and some food coloring.

This recipe calls for a food processor, but I’ve also made it successfully with my stand mixer. The key is to keep the butter cold.

If you have access to a food processor, use it! The dough is easy and fast to make in a food processor, and you don’t have to worry about the butter melting.

Spiral Cookies


  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup unsifted powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon flavor extract (peppermint, almond, strawberry, or another flavor of your choice!)
  • Food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups sprinkles of your choice


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and process briefly to mix. You can also use a stand mixer.
  2. Add cold butter in small pieces, and process in quick bursts until mixture resembles cornmeal.
  3. Add vanilla extract and process until the dough forms a ball
  4. Divide dough in half and place one half in the food processor.
  5. Add the second extract and food coloring. Process until mixture forms a ball. Add food coloring until desired color is reached and additional flour and process until incorporated.
  6. Roll out each half of dough between two sheets of waxed paper, rolling each piece to an 8½ x 11 inch rectangle, about ⅛ inch thick
  7. Without removing wax paper, stack dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm (minimum 2 hours, or up to 3 days)
  8. When dough is firm, remove from refrigerator and peel off the top sheet of wax paper from each dough.
  9. Lay the uncovered side of the second dough on top of the vanilla dough. Press lightly to seal the two doughs together. (I accidentally made my second dough (green) much larger than the vanilla, so I put it on bottom. Either way works!)
  10. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and trim edges so both doughs are even.
  11. Once the dough is pliable (but still cold), roll the dough lengthwise like a jelly roll, gently curling the edge to prevent air pockets. If dough tears, pinch dough back together and continue rolling.
  12. When you reach the end of the dough, seal the seam with light pressure. Set dough log in the middle of waxed paper.
  13. Pour sprinkles or colored sugar adjacent to the dough log, rolling each side in sprinkles until the entire log is covered. If sprinkles do not stick, roll dough back and forth over sprinkles applying light pressure.
  14. Wrap completed log in plastic wrap (or re-roll in waxed paper), seal edges, and refrigerate until firm (minimum 4 hours, or up to one week)
  15. Preheat oven to 325°.
  16. Slice log into ¼-inch-thick cookies and place on lined baking sheets (parchment paper or a silicone baking mats).
  17. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until cookies are no longer shiny, and the white vanilla portions are golden on bottom.
  18. Enjoy!
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