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Cinnamon Bun Pinwheels

Author: Charlotte Bothe

This cookie is sure to remind you of your favorite morning treat. The balance of sweet, spice, and everything nice in this recipe makes for a fanciful addition to any holiday cookie swap. For a true "cinnamon bun" experience add a drizzle of royal icing to the top of the cookie.

At a glance

4 dozen cookies


Choose your measure:

Vanilla dough

Cinnamon dough


  1. To make the vanilla dough: In a medium-sized mixing bowl beat together the sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.
  3. To make the cinnamon dough: In a saucepan combine the sugar, honey, salt, cinnamon oil, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly.
  5. Transfer the cinnamon mixture and toasted pecans to a food processor, and process until smooth.
  6. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the pecan mixture and flour to make a cohesive dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use — at least 1 hour.
  7. To shape the cookies: Place parchment or waxed paper on your work surface and dust it lightly with flour. Lay the vanilla dough on the parchment and roll it into an 18" x 12" rectangle. Set it aside.
  8. Using more parchment paper or waxed paper, roll the cinnamon dough slightly smaller than the first, into a 17 1/2" x 11 1/2" rectangle.
  9. Place the smaller piece of dough on top of the larger piece of dough, using the parchment to transport.
  10. Starting with a long edge, use the parchment to help you gently roll the stacked dough into a tight log, with no gaps. Press the edge to seal, then wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment, and freeze for 1 hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
  12. Remove the dough from the freezer, unwrap it, and place it on a clean work surface. Let it thaw for 15 minutes, or until it's soft enough to cut.
  13. Use a sharp knife to gently cut the log into 1/4" slices. If the dough becomes too soft to handle, place it back in the freezer briefly. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
  14. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they feel firm. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
  15. When cool, store airtight at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.