A soft pinwheel cookie with a burst of festive color from the cranberry and pecan filling.

Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

You might remember these from last year. They’re a tradition in this house. An absolute must. When I asked The Mr recently what his top 5 favorite cookies were, these were on the list. Of course he couldn’t even give me a list of 5 but that’s not the point. I’ve been making them for Christmas easily the last 6 years or more.

I like making these for the aromas. The orange zest and cranberries give off wonderful fragrances. How something smells is just as important as how it looks and tastes, to me anyway. And these smell incredible. They also have a nice light taste. You can eat cookie after cookie without having a heavy feeling in your stomach like certain other desserts can cause.

Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookie recipe from @bakedbyrachel

These require more work than the average cookie but the end result is worth it. Be sure to check out my tips below for an easier time making these.

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Cranberry-Orange Pinwheel Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 day
Yield: 48
Light and flavorful cranberry-orange pinwheel cookies with a festive cranberry-pecan filling. A fun cookie for the holidays!



  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 1 C pecans
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar

Cookie dough:

  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp orange zest, or roughly 1 orange
  • 3 C all purpose flour


  • In a food processor; add cranberries, pecans and brown sugar. Blend well until only small pieces remain. Set aside or cover and chill until needed.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add baking powder, salt, eggs and orange zest. Beat on low/medium for roughly 1 minute. Dough may be lumpy. Add flour by the spoonfuls, mixing on medium speed until ingredients have come together. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
  • Divide dough in half. Place one half between two sheets of wax paper. Roll into a large rectangle roughly 1/4-inch thick. Remove top layer of wax paper. Evenly spread out half of the cranberry filling over dough to 1/2-inch from all sides.
  • Begin rolling from one of the short ends. Dough may stick at first. Gently guide dough by pulling up on wax paper. Pinch to seal ends. Transfer rolled dough log to a clean sheet of waxed paper. Roll and tape shut. To prevent flat spots, place dough log in 2 large glasses or wrapped in cardboard paper towel insert.
  • Chill at least 24 hours. After several hours, gently roll log to check for any flat spots.
  • When ready to bake. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice 1/4-inch thick slices. Space 1-2-inch apart on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms are just turning golden. Let cookies rest on tray for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  • Store in a covered container for up to a week. Remaining dough may be frozen. Label well with any instructions such as type of dough, baking temp, time, etc.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel


Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 32mg, Potassium: 24mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 131IU, Vitamin C: 0.4mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cookie