How to Make Date Pinwheel Cookies

I loved learning how to make date pinwheel cookies but I also love any cookies, cakes or pastries with dates in them. Dates just add so much flavor and moistness. Dates have been grown to eat and to make wine all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Dates can be eaten and are very good plain; right from the hand either dried or soft. They can be stuffed with all kinds of great fillings like cream cheese and nuts or candied fruit.

How to Make Date Pinwheel CookiesHow to Make Date Pinwheel Cookies

As you know dates are used to make many different recipes especially baked goods. My favorite bar cookies are the ones made with dates and I really love my sister taught me how to make her date pinwheel cookies. These date pinwheel cookies were one of my sister’s (Gloria) favorite cookies to make. Every year it was among her Christmas cookie recipes. When she was baking them, her kitchen was filled with a delightful fragrance. The cinnamon in the dough not only added to the aroma but added a “kick” to the flavor which many similar recipes do not have.

Of course, when I learned how to make these date pinwheel cookies, they had to go on my list of holiday recipes. I still ahve never been able to conquer that perfect pinwheel design with these. Maybe they are not supposed to look perfect! These date filled cookies turn out soft, moist and delicious. This refrigerated cookie recipe can be made ahead of time, rolled up in wax paper and sliced whenever you are ready to bake.

cutting date pinwheel cookiesCutting Date Pinwheel Cookies


Date filling:

  • 1 Pound chopped dates
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup chopped nuts

Cook the dates in the water until soft. Add the nuts and cool. NOTE: May need a little more water to make spreading consistency.

Cookie dough:
  • 2 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 Cup soft butter
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 3 Beaten eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Divide the dough into two balls. Roll each ball into a rectangular shape on a floured board. Spread with the date filling. Roll up beginning at the wide side like a jelly roll. Wrap tightly in wax paper and refrigerate at least overnight. Slice, place on cookie sheets and bake for 11 minutes at 350F degrees.

baking date pinwheel cookiesBaking Date Pinwheel Cookie Recipe


Learn how to make date pinwheel cookies with red and green candied cherries.

  • ½ Cup solid shortening
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¼ Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ Cup candied red cherries (Chopped)
  • ¼ Cup green candied cherries (Chopped)
  • ¼ Cup chopped dates

Beat the shortening on medium speed of mixer until creamy.
Gradually add the sugar beating until mixture is fluffy.
Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla until well blended.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the shortening mixture.
Mix until well blended; cover dough and chill for 8 hours.
Combine walnuts, cherries and dates in food processor.
Pulse mixture 6 to 8 times until finely chopped.
On a floured surface roll dough into a square (10 Inches).
Sprinkle squares with the fruit nut mixture; roll up like a jelly roll.
Wrap roll in wax paper and chill or freeze until firm enough to slice.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees; grease baking sheets.
Slice cookies ¼ inch thick and place on prepared baking sheets.
Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes until set; cool on rack.
Makes about 36.



  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¾ Cup whole cranberry sauce
  • ¼ Cup minced dates
  • ¼ Cup orange marmalade


  • ¾ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup softened butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon grated orange peel
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon allspice

FOR FILLING combine all filling ingredients in small saucepan.
Over medium heat bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and cool; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
FOR COOKIES combine sugar, butter and egg in large mixing bowl.
Beat until light and fluffy; add remaining cookie ingredients; mix well.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour for easy handling.
On floured surface roll dough into a rectangle (16X8 inches).
Spoon and spread chilled filling evenly over the rectangle.
NOTE: Leave a ½ inch edge around rectangle without filling.
Starting at 16 inch side roll up like a jelly roll; cut in half.
NOTE: You will have 2 rolls each 8 inches long.
Wrap each half roll in plastic wrap; freeze rolls until firm enough to slice.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees; generously grease cookie sheets.
With sharp knife cut roll in ½ inch slices; place on baking sheets 2 inches apart.
Bake 9 to 13 minutes until light golden brown; move immediately from pan.
Cool completely on rack; makes about 36.



  • 2 Cups sifted flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 Cup softened butter
  • 1 ¼ Cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar


  • ¾ Cup pitted dates
  • 6 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup finely chopped nuts
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice

FOR COOKIE sift together the flour, soda and salt; set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar until well mixed; add orange peel.
Beat in egg and vinegar until well mixed; blend in dry ingredients.
Chill dough for several hours or overnight for easy handling.
FOR FILLING combine dates, white sugar and water in a saucepan.
Cook and stir until thickened about 5 minutes; remove from heat.
Stir in the nuts and lemon juice; set aside to cool.
Roll cookie dough into a rectangle 10X15 inches.
Spread rectangle with date filling; roll up like jelly roll (At 15 inch side).
Chill roll 1 hour.
Cut roll in ¼ inch slices and place on baking sheets; bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Cool completely; makes about 5 dozens.



  • ¾ Pound moist pitted dates (Diced)
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • ½ Cup finely chopped nuts


  • ¼ Cup solid shortening
  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt

FOR FILLING combine dates, sugar and water in heavy saucepan.
Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in nuts; cool.
FOR COOKIES cream butter and shortening until creamy.
Beat in sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy; set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; blend into creamed mixture.
Divide dough in half; roll each on wax paper to 11X7 inches.
Spread date nut filling on top; roll up like jelly roll starting at wide side.
Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400F degrees; grease baking sheets.
Cut rolls in ¼ inch slices; place on baking sheets.
Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned; makes about 5 dozens.



  • 4 ½ Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Cup solid shortening
  • 2 Cups brown sugar
  • ½ Cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Eggs


  • 1 ½ Cups dates
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup pecans

FOR COOKIES sift dry ingredients together; set aside.
Cream shortening and sugars until fluffy; beat in eggs.
Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined; chill overnight.
FOR FILLING combine dates, sugar and water; cook and stir until thickened.
Stir in nuts and set off to cool completely.
Divide dough in half; roll each to ¼ inch thickness on floured surface.
Spread cooled filling over rolled dough; roll up like jelly roll.
Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate overnight.
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees; grease baking sheets.
Slice and bake about 12 minutes until done.


Although I love the date pinwheel cookies, they are on my special Christmas cookies list. This date bar recipe is my favorite of all date recipes and I make these any time of the year. They are always delicious!


  • 3 Cups chopped dates
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 ½ Cups water

Combine and cook over low heat until thickened; set aside to cool.

Crumb mixture

  • ¾ Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 ¾ Cups flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ Cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Combine all crumb ingredients and mix well.

Press half of mixture in a greased 9 X 13 inch baking pan.

Spread cooled filling over top. (You may need to add a little more water to make it spreading consistency).

Top date filling with remaining crumb mixture; press lightly with hands.

Bake 30 minutes; cool and cut into bars.


The date pinwheel cookies are not as rich as the date bars so you decide which you like best. This date bar recipe was given to me as from the Waioli Tea Room in Hawaii. It is a little different from the previous recipe; very rich and delicious.


  • 1 ½ Cups sifted flour
  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 Cup raw rolled oats
  • ¾ Cup melted butter
  • 1 ½ Cups brown sugar
  • Pinch salt

Date Filling Recipe

  • 2 Cups pitted dates
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Combine crust ingredients and blend together; divide into 2 equal parts.

For the date filling recipe, cook together dates, sugar, water and flour stirring over low heat until mushy.

Put half crust mixture into a paper and greased lined 9 X 13 inch baking pan.

Pour the date filling over the crust spreading evenly.

Cover date filling with other half of crust mixture.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until set; cut into squares to serve.


Like the date pinwheel cookies, many of the date cookie recipes are not as rich as a date bar recipe. They are equally as delicious just not as rich tasting.


  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • ½ Cup shortening
  • 1 Beaten egg
  • 3 ½ Cups sifted flour
  • 1 Teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Cup milk

Date Filling Recipe

  • 1 Cup diced dates
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Cup water

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Combine filling ingredients and cook until thick; set aside to cool.

Combine and blend together the dough ingredients; shape into ball.

Roll dough out about 1/8 inch thick; cut with heart or round cookie cutters.

Place cookie on lightly greased cookie sheet; spoon a little date filling in center.

Top date filling with another cut cookie; press around edges to seal.

Bake about 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Easy Date Cookies

If you do not have time to assemble the date pinwheel cookies, here is an easy cookie recipe with dates.

  • 1 Package Pillsbury Date Quick Bread Mix
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ½ Pounds white chocolate or vanilla flavored candy coating

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease and flour bottom of loaf pan.
Combine bread mix, egg and water; stir just until mix is moistened and pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes in pan; remove from pan and cool completely on rack.
Trim crusts to make even edges; slice loaf horizontally into 2 layers.
Cut each layer into 9 equal log shaped pieces (about 1 X 4 X 1 inches.
Place logs on wax paper lined cookie sheet; freeze 30 minutes.
Heat candy coating in saucepan over low heat until melted stirring constantly.
Spread coating on top sides and ends of logs; return to freezer for 5 minutes to set up.
Decorate tops with green and red designs for Christmas.


This is another easy cookie recipe as an alternative to making the date pinwheel cookies.

  • 17 Ounce roll Pillsbury Slice and Bake Refrigerated Sugar Cookies
  • 1 ½ Cups chopped dates
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice

Allow cookie dough to soften at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Combine dates, sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat stirring until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Roll out cookie dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to form a 10 X 12 inch rectangle.
Remove top sheet of wax paper.
Spread dough with date filling in a 4 inch wide strip down center of dough to 1 inch of ends.
Fold shorter sides of dough1 inch over filling.
Bring long sides of dough rectangle over filling overlapping edges; pinch edges to seal.
Invert on cookie sheet placing seal side down; remove wax paper.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until light golden brown; cut into slices.