These Halloween Pinwheel Cookies are the perfect spooky treat, and the black and orange swirls make them so fun! Make these for a simple Halloween treat or a fun surprise for the kids. They’re excellent for Halloween parties, too!
If you need some non-candy treats for the Halloween season, these slice and bake sugar cookies are it. A Halloween party is the perfect setting for serving up these soft and addictive Halloween-themed cookies. Spiral cookies like this are so much fun to bake! They’re buttery, rich, sweet, and delicious!
Even though the swirls look difficult to make, I promise you they’re not (but if everyone wants to rave over all the hard work that you did, let them!). The vibrant colors of the swirls are what makes the cookies Halloween-themed, but the flavor is what sets them apart.
The best part about making these cookies is that you don’t need any crazy ingredients. Simple, delicious, and festive. What more could you ask for?
Be sure to check out my other Halloween recipes! Halloween Sugar Cookies, Monster Cookies, and Dracula Cookies are a few of my favorites. I also love these Patriotic Pinwheel Cookies too for another pinwheel cookie option.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple to prep. Halloween is always such a busy day and night, so you can easily prep these black and orange cookies ahead of time so that they’re ready when you are.
- Not overly sweet. There’s no frosting or any type of topping to these cookies – and I love that about them. (that doesn’t mean that you can’t add some, but it’s not a requirement)
- Easy to freeze. If you want to make a big batch and freeze some for later, you can! Just let them cool down all the way once they’re baked, and add them to a freezer-safe bag.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt: These are the main ingredients in most cookies, and are the dry ingredients. Mix them up in a bowl before you start creaming the butter with the sugar.
- Softened Butter: Make sure to let the butter soften to room temperature before using.
- Sugar: White granulated sugar is the best to use here as it dissolves well and doesn’t leave a grainy texture.
- Eggs: Large eggs at room temperature are always best for baking.
- Pure vanilla extract: I recommend adding pure vanilla extract to most cookie recipes (I don’t love the imitation stuff!).
- Orange Gel Food Coloring & Black Gel Food Coloring: Needed to make the Halloween look and add bright, vibrant colors to the cookies. Gel food colorings are great because they don’t dilute the cookie dough or alter the flavor of the cookie, and their colors are always bright and look great.
How to Make Orange and Black Halloween Cookies
- Combine. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and mix.
- Cream. Add the butter and sugar to a different bowl, and cream together with a mixer. If you’re not sure how to do that, I have a quick guide on how to properly cream butter and sugar for the perfect cookies!
- Add the eggs. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and mix again with a mixer until well combined (about 1 minute).
- Combine. Pour the dry ingredient mixture into the same bowl as the egg and butter mixture slowly, a little at a time. Mix well after each addition but do not overmix.
- Divide. Once the dough is made, take the dough out of the bowl and divide it in half.
- Add the food coloring. Add orange food coloring to half of the dough and black color to the other half. Knead until the dough is colored all the way.
- Roll. Lay the black dough on parchment paper and use a rolling pin to roll it into a 9×15 rectangle. Place it on a baking sheet and set it aside. Repeat with the orange dough and put it on parchment paper. Move the parchment paper and the orange dough on top of the black dough. Put the baking sheet in the fridge for up to 20 minutes.
- Layer. Take the dough out of the fridge and take the orange dough off of the parchment paper. Lay it on top of the black top and do your best to line up the edges. Use a sharp knife and trim the edges to make a clean rectangle.
- Roll. Start with the shorter end of the rectangle and roll up the dough. Put a little bit of pressure on it as you roll it up so that the colors stick together. Wrap the rolled dough in wax paper and put it in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 48 hours.
When ready to bake:
- Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the dough. Unwrap the dough and then place it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife and cut the dough into a fourth of inch slices. Place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes, and then take out of the oven to cool for 1-2 minutes. After that time, move to a wire rack to cool all the way.
- Chilling the dough is a MUST. If you don’t, the dough won’t stick together properly, and the cookies won’t turn out.
- If you want to add a topping, a little bit of powdered sugar or a light glaze is never a bad idea. Just make sure that whatever topping you add is light so that it doesn’t overpower those orange and black colors.
- I highly recommend using gel food coloring. Gel food colorings add really bright colors and do a great job of coloring the dough evenly and easily. They also don’t alter the flavor or the texture of the cookies. We used orange and black gel food coloring, but you could also use other Halloween colors like purple and green or even candy corn colors. Whatever the party decor is, match it to the colors of these pinwheel cookies.
- Make sure to make an even amount of black and orange dough. It can be hard to eyeball it and get an accurate measurement, so if you want to use a scale to weigh the two balls of dough so that they’re an even weight before adding the gel food coloring to them, this would be the best way to do so.
- Roll the dough in sprinkles and sugar. You can add some extra sweetness to these Halloween party cookies by rolling the cookie dough log before you slice it and bake it. Halloween sprinkles are so much fun!
Storing & Freezing
These pinwheel sugar cookies are great for leftovers. Just store them in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature (they can be stored in the fridge as well). Consume within one week for the best texture and taste.
To freeze baked or unbaked pinwheel cookies, add them to a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Halloween Treats To Try
- Halloween Sugar Cookies
- Candy Corn Rice Krispie Treats
- Candy Corn Marshmallow Squares
- Air Fryer Monster Cookies
- Halloween Cookie Cake
Since these cookies are colored, it’s not as easy as looking for that golden-brown topping. You can test them by pushing down slightly in the center of one cookie carefully. It should have a little give but not be “wet” or soggy.
Be sure to let them cool down all the way as they will continue to firm up as they’re cooling.
Absolutely. Pinwheel cookies are as easy as changing the gel food coloring. The recipe stays the same, but you can make them into Christmas cookies easily by using red and green gel food coloring instead.
Yes, you can! They’re really versatile and easy to prep. You can make them a few days ahead of time or even up to 3 months ahead and have them in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them. When you’re ready to serve, just move them to the fridge to thaw.
These are great for tasty treats for trick or treaters or fun gift bags to hand out to your neighbors. If you do the “You’ve been booed” game in your neighborhood, these would be perfect to add!
If you’re a candy or a cookie fan during Halloween, be sure to add these Halloween Pinwheel Cookies to your radar. Pin the recipe, so you have it every single year.