Grandma’s Famous Pinwheel Cookies


This is my grandmother's famous pinwheel cookie recipe. they are so good!


This is one of those recipes that I feel like I’m going to have to convince you a little to try and then once you have the recipe will go bonkers because you all will be hooked. It’s a recipe that all of the grandkids wanted the moment we entered Grandma’s house, but these days we are mostly making them on our own. But never fear, you can get many of her famous recipes in our Heirloom recipe section. Pinwheel cookies are unsuspecting little stinkers too. They look like such a simple cookie and yet you cannot resist them after the first bite!


This is my grandmother's famous pinwheel cookie recipe. they are so good!


Grandma has so many fabulous recipes and in an effort to keep them alive we’ve been sharing them here on the site with little stories about her. I hate that we had to miss out on her birthday party in Idaho this year. It just wasn’t a good idea so close to delivery for me to travel, but boy did I miss out. And I happen to know that at over 90 years old she still made these cookies for the party. She is incredible.


mccormick vanilla


I remember standing in her kitchen watching her cook and she always let me pour in the vanilla. Now as a mom I’m aware that a little bottle of vanilla is just asking to be accidentally dumped into the dough but it perfectly is her that on the part that could easily be messed up she took the time to trust her little ones in the kitchen to learn and try it for themselves.


Grandma's famous pinwheel cookies


I can’t smell vanilla in my baking without thinking of her.


This is my grandmother's famous pinwheel cookie recipe. they are so good!


Oh please will you take the time to leave us a comment below and tell us your favorite family recipe and then go make it with one of your kiddos. I know it takes patience but pass that recipe down and make sure you tell them stories about you and your family while you do. McCormick Vanilla and I go way back and I hope it brings back wonderful memories for you too.


Can Raisins Lower Blood Pressure?

Eating raisins could help lower blood pressure.

Raisins are packed with potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure.


Can Raisins be Frozen?

Raisins can actually be frozen to extend their shelf life.

Because of their low moisture content, the texture of raisins does not actually change that much in the freezer.


How Long Will Cookies Keep at Room Temperature?

Most cookies, if kept in an airtight container, will keep 3-5 days at room temperature.


Grandma’s Famous Pinwheel Cookies

A holiday tradition, Grandma's famous pinwheel cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Grandma's Famous Pinwheel Cookies

Grandma's Famous Pinwheel Cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 Cup Shortening (or half butter half shortening)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

For the Filling

  • 3 Cups Raisins
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon McCormick Vanilla


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.In a blender, combine the raisins, water, sugar and vanilla, mix until smooth and pour into a small saucepan.Boil for 5 minutes and set aside.In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the shortening and sugars for 1 minute.
  1. Add the eggs and mix again.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and add into the wet ingredients until a thick dough forms.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough in a big rectangle.
  4. Spread the raisin mixture all over the dough and roll the dough like pinwheels or cinnamon rolls.
  5. Slice into cookies and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and allow to cool for 2-5 minutes on the pan then remove to a cooling rack.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 137 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 7.8mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 23.3g Fiber: 0.6g Sugar: 13.5g Protein: 1.6g

A bowl full of my grandmother’s famous pinwheel cookies

Heirloom Apple Rolls from over 200 years ago. Tender cinnamony rolls loaded with apples and baked in a sweet syrup. Serve with warm cream or milk and enjoy

Apple Rolls

white chocolate cookies

White Chocolate Craisin Cookies

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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12 comments on “Grandma’s Famous Pinwheel Cookies”

  1. this recipe doesn’t work. the dough is crumbly and useless

  2. I love recipes that are passed down through generations.

  3. That rich center inside those buttery cookies look amazing. Gotta love McCormick. It’s a staple in our kitchen. I live close to their factory in Maryland. The surrounding area smells like vanilla when it’s vanilla day at the factory. It’s magical.

  4. There is almost nothing better than a good family recipe for tradition – these cookies look so good!

  5. Oh, I wish we could get the recipes mentioned in the comments, too! Family heirloom recipes are the best! Merry Christmas, everyone!

  6. My husband is the baker in our family and we always make his mother’s famous hermit bars !! They smell like ginger and molasses and cloves and they are perfection.

  7. I love family recipes! They are so precious! These cookies look s festive and delicious!

  8. My mom’s recipe for sugar cookies is always a standout. Or her fudge. I can’t decide which is the more essential Christmas treat!

    • My mom always made Date Nut Pinwheel cookies but ONLY at Christmas…never any other time of the year. We loved them! Thanks for bringing back the memory! My mom just passed away last January at age 95!