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Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies Made with Leftover Pie Crust

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Today I’m sharing my family’s favorite recipe for using up leftover pie crust: Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel Cookies. These cookies taste amazing! Just like a little cinnamon bun wrapped up in a flaky pie crust.

Everyone will love these cookies!

Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel cookies - The perfect recipe to use up leftover pie crust!

Why Make These Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

  • Four ingredients are all that is needed: butter, cinnamon, sugar, and any sort of pie crust.
  • Great way to use up leftover pie crusts.
  • These Cinnamon sugar pinwheel cookies taste amazing! Just like a little cinnamon bun wrapped up in a flaky pie crust.
  • Easy to make and a perfect recipe for cooking with little ones. (Rolling out the pie crust and sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture is a great task for little hands.)
cinnamon sugar pinwheel cookies from a pie crust

Making Memories in the Kitchen

Some of my best memories growing up were the times our Granny would visit, and would always let us help her make a big batch of her famous Homemade Banana Pudding. She made the best pies and puddings, but it wasn’t just the food we remember, it was the time she spent with us in the kitchen making us feel special, like a big kid- helping her do all the mixing, stirring, and other important cooking things.

I want to make sure my kids will have fond memories to look back on of us baking and having fun in the kitchen too.

These Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies are a perfect recipe to make with the kids. Rolling out the dough, mixing the cinnamon and sugar, and mixing the glaze ingredients is the perfect job for little hands.

Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies - made with pie crust

What to do With Leftover Pie Crusts

I’ve never been a from-scratch baker (although I will if the recipe or occasion calls for it.)  I definitely prefer to use store-bought pie crusts, biscuits, and cake mixes. To me, it’s all about choosing my battles and saving time saved on mundane tasks. I have several great shortcut dessert recipes, I think my fave is this shortcut tres leches poke cake. 

You know where I am going with this, right?

This cinnamon pinwheel cookie recipe is completely made with leftover premade pie crusts!

And yes, a homemade pie crust certainly works too!

Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel cookies - The perfect recipe to use up leftover pie crust!

Let me just say – these Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies taste even better than they look!! Just like a little cinnamon bun wrapped up in a flaky pie crust, plus the butter and sugar will crystalize a bit on the baking sheet, so you get these tiny little delicious crunchy bits of buttery cinnamon sugar that melt in your mouth.

Ingredients in Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel Cookies made with pie crust

Don’t the cinnamon pinwheel cookies look amazing?  And they are so easy to make! For this recipe, all you need are four basic ingredients. (Ingredients at a glance, get the full printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Pie crust | Homemade or pre-made (If using premade frozen, let the crust rest on the counter for 10 to 20 minutes to thaw.)
  • Butter | I like salted butter, but unsalted is ok too. Just sprinkle a pinch of salt over the buttered pie crust.
  • Cinnamon | Powdered, make sure it is fresh. (No 10-year old expired cinnamon, please.)
  • Brown Sugar | Light brown sugar. In a pinch, white sugar in an equal amount will work fine as a brown sugar replacement.
  • Optional | Ingredients for a glaze: confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, milk

How to Make Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Next, you will combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set it aside.

Sprinkle a bit of flour on the countertop and then roll out the pie crust into an oblong shape, flattening it just a bit. 

Coat pie crust with melted butter and generously sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the buttered pie crust.

what to do with leftover pie crust

Then, starting at one end, roll the leftover pie crust up into a log shape. For best results, place the cinnamon sugar pinwheel log into the freezer for about ten minutes. The log needs to be firmed up so when you slice it, it will maintain its round shape.

After it has chilled, slice the rolled cinnamon sugared pie crust into 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife.

how to make cinnamon pinwheel cookies

On a well-floured surface, with a rolling pin, gently roll each pinwheel flat.  If you find that the “tail ” of the crust is sticking out, just tuck it under while rolling.  Be sure to flour the rolling pin to keep the pinwheels from sticking. (chilling the dough will also help with this.)

Gently transfer the pinwheel to a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 12 minutes.  (Or until crust is golden brown and cooked through.) Let cookies cool on the pan for a minute or two then transfer to a cooling rack.

To make optional icing: Mix the powdered sugar with vanilla and the milk, starting with one tablespoon of milk and adding more as needed.  You want the drizzle to be thick, but still pourable.  (I recommend erring on the thick side – I thought mine turned out a bit thin.)  If you think yours is too thin, just add a bit more powdered sugar.

Once the cookies are cool, drizzle with the icing.

Yum!

Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel cookies - The perfect recipe to use up leftover pie crust!

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t Skip the Chilling of the dough. It helps the cookies keep their round shape when cutting.
  • Use lots of flour when slicing the cookies to help keep them from sticking to the counter.
  • Make sure your oven rack is in the middle height position. The cinnamon sugar can go from caramelized to burnt on the bottom of the cookies very quickly.
  • Rolling the pinwheels flat before cooking is not 100% necessary. I found that rolling the cookies made for a more crispy cookie and helped the pinwheel “stay together”.
  • I definitely recommended the icing- it puts the Cinnamon Pinwheels over the top! The icing makes the cookies taste like little cinnamon rolls in a cookie form.
  • This recipe is easily doubled or tripled.

It always seems like I have a leftover pie crust in the fridge after a marathon baking session and it’s a family tradition to make these Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheels with the leftover crust. This pinwheel cookie is for one pie crust, but it’s an easy one to double if you have two.

  • Add pecan pieces or other nuts.
  • A fun twist on these cookies would be to swap out the brown sugar for colored sanding sugar. How fun would these be in red or green at Christmas, pretty pastels at easter, or bright red and blue for the 4th of July!
  • Use white sugar and cocoa powder for a chocolate swirl pinwheel cookie.

FAQ’s

Can These Cinnamon Pinwheel Cookies Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes! If using homemade pie crusts, the crusts can be made a few days ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

You can also store the unbaked cinnamon pinwheel cookies in the log form. Wrap tightly and store in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

How To Store The Baked Cookies.

Store cinnamon pinwheel cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up a week.

cinnamon pinwheel cookies

Tried this recipe?

Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or a review in the comments section below. If you share an image on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to tag me and use #scatteredmomrecipes!

Easy Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel Cookies

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cinnamon pinwheel cookies

Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel Cookies

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes (includes chilling time)
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 to 18 cookies per pie crust 1x
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: oven

Description

Cinnamon Sugar Pinwheel Cookies: the best recipe for using up leftover pie crust & they taste like a delicious cinnamon bun wrapped up in a flaky pie crust.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Cookies

  • One refrigerated Pillsbury Pie Crust
  • 1/8 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • flour for dusting

Optional Icing Drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Roll out pie crust into an oblong shape, flattening it just a bit.
  4. Coat pie crust with butter.
  5. Generously sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over buttered crust.
  6. Starting at one end, roll up pie crust.
  7. Slice rolled cinnamon sugared pie crust into 1/2 inch slices with a serrated knife.
  8. On a well-floured surface, with a rolling pin, gently roll each pinwheel flat.  If you find that the “tail ” of the crust is sticking out, just tuck it under while rolling.  Be sure to flour the rolling pin to keep the pinwheels from sticking.
  9. Gently transfer the pinwheel to a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 12 minutes.  (Or until crust is golden brown and cooked through.)
  10. Let cookies cool on the pan for a minute or two then transfer to a cooling rack.
  11. To make optional icing (Cookies are great as is, but I definitely recommended the icing- it puts them over the top!) Mix the powdered sugar with vanilla and the milk, starting with one tablespoon of milk and adding more as needed.  You want the drizzle to be thick, but still pourable.  (I recommend erring on the thick side – I thought mine turned out a bit thin.)  If you think yours is too thin, just add a bit more powdered sugar.
  12. Once the cookies are cool, drizzle with the icing.

Notes

nutrition calculated without icing


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 72
  • Fat: 4
  • Carbohydrates: 10
  • Protein: 0

Keywords: cinnamon pinwheel cookies, leftover pie crust recipes

Now it’s your turn!  I would love to know your favorite way to use up leftover pie crust.  Let us know in the comment section below.

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29 Comments

  1. Perfect way to use up pie crust! My family loves them

  2. These came out so good. A nice easy way to use up leftover pie dough.

  3. My grandmother and I use to make a version of these with the left over pure crust. such good memories

  4. Them turned out great thank you so much for the recipe. One thing I did differently was used homemade pie crust I had.

  5. The recipe seemed too good to be true…easy prep and little ingredients. The reason I had leftover pie crust was because it wasn’t worthy enough for pie. The cookies were amazing! I iced them with a thick glaze. Will definitely make these again.

  6. I have to bring a treat to a get together and thought of these. I bought a pre-made pie crust box which contains two so I can take one and make one for home. Love the idea of adding nuts and also the brown sugar/cinnamon cream cheese topping. Side note: My husband thought I said squirrels instead of swirls many years ago so that’s what we call these now: Cinnamon Squirrels. Thanks for the recipe as I always guessed.

  7. I tried it! It came out great. Our Mom would make these for us growing up. She made her own pie dough. I’ve been making them for over45 years and we still can’t get them to taste like hers ! But they are yummy

  8. This recipe is so easy and delicious! I added toasted walnuts and used the remaining melted butter on top prior to baking. I also added chopped dates on top of some of them! I did also make the icing! This is a terrific way to use that second pie pastry we normally get! So happy!