Date Pinwheel Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A brown sugar dough surrounding a date nut filling make these cookies absolutely delicious. They are time-consuming to prepare, but well worth the effort. The date filling is cooked beforehand, spread on the rolled out dough, then the dough is rolled up. When chilled, sliced, and baked they become a rich date-filled pinwheel delight.
Recipe type: Dessert | Refrigerator Cookies
Serves: About 9 dozen cookies
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups finely chopped, pitted dates, preferably Medjool dates
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, very finely chopped Tip: Chop the nuts in a small food food grinder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add granulated sugar and beat until creamy. Add brown sugar and beat until well mixed, creamy, and any lumps in the brown sugar are dissolved. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour mixture; stir until mixed.
  3. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Tip: you want the pieces of dough as equal in size as possible. If you have a food scale weigh the pieces to ensure they are all the same size and weight.
  1. In a medium heavy saucepan over low heat, combine chopped dates, sugar, and water, stir constantly until mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove from heat, stir in nuts and vanilla. Let cool, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  1. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a 7 inch by 9 inch rectangle.
  2. Place one fourth of the date filling (about ½ cups) on the dough. Use a small offset spatula or kitchen knife that is lightly dampened to gently spread the filling over the dough right up to the dough edges.
  3. Roll-up dough jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Brush off any excess flour from the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Tip: the dough logs may also be frozen for longer storage until ready to use. Freezing the logs also makes them easier to slice when ready to bake.
  4. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets; lightly grease with shortening, or line with parchment paper, or line with a non-stick baking mat.
  2. Remove one dough log from the refrigerator or freezer and slice into ¼ inch slices and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Return remaining dough to refrigerator or freezer until ready to use. Tip: My favorite tool to cut refrigerator cookies is a stainless steel dough scraper; simply push the dough scraper straight down into the cookie for straight cuts. Or use a small kitchen knife to slice the cookies.
  3. Bake: Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until cookies are a medium golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet one minute. Remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two Large Baking Sheets Pan Prep: Parchment Lined or Lightly Greased Oven Temp: 350° Yield: 9 Dozen Storage: Airtight Container, Room Temperature

Help: Cookie Hints and Tips, Toasting Nuts and Seeds

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