Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies - Grandma's Recipe

Date Pinwheels, Icebox

Date Pinwheels - they're crispy on the edges with a chewiness that's just incredible.

These Date Pinwheels were my Grandmother Irene’s recipe. My Mom’s Mom, and of all the cookies our family had at Christmas, these were my favorite. When Grandma thought I was old enough, she let me slice the cookie rolls into coins & I remember how hard I’d concentrate to try to get them perfect!

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies - Grandma's Recipe
Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies – Grandma’s Recipe

When my Grandmother passed away, I asked for her recipe box and these Date Pinwheels were one of the reasons why, When I finally got it, no Date Pinwheels! I asked my Mom; she denied all knowledge.

Turns out she had the little recipe card all along, and had nabbed it out of the box. For shame…but they are that good!

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies - Grandma's Recipe
Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies – Grandma’s Recipe

Now, this Christmas season, I’ve finally had a chance, 15 years later, to make them. They’re as good as I remember! Next time, I might increase the filling just a bit, though. There wasn’t a lot of direction on the recipe, and I meant to count to see how many they make. A lot – at least 4 dozen or so depending on how thick they’re sliced.

Though Date Pinwheels need to chill before they’re sliced and cooked, which means a bit of pre-planning, this recipe is a nice one to have: They can be made ahead and be refrigerated or frozen and sliced and baked at a moment’s notice.

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies - Grandma's Recipe
Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies – Grandma’s Recipe

Date Pinwheel Cookies

  • Servings: 4-6 doz?
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Date Filling:

  • 1 pound (2-1/2 cups chopped) dates
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Cookie Dough

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened (original recipe stated 1 cup shortening)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a heavy saucepan, cook dates, sugar & butter over low heat at a bare simmer until thick and smooth, about 10 minutes. Cool completely to room temperature. The filling is difficult to spread when cold.

In a large bowl, cream butter and add white sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in brown sugar, then eggs and vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, clove & nutmeg. Gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide into three portions. (I found it easier to roll if refrigerated until cool.)

Roll out each portion of dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. (I think mine came to about 12 x 9 inches) Gently spread with date mixture.

Tightly roll up each portion jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, several hours or preferably overnight. For a rounder cookie, after they have chilled for awhile but before they are completely hard, remove from fridge and while still wrapped, roll the dough back and forth to rehape so there is no “flat” side.

Unwrap and cut into 1/4″ slices. (This was according to the original recipe, we found we preferred them a bit thicker, as shown, at about 3/8″ thick) Place an inch apart on baking sheets. (Ideally, use parchment so the warm cookies can be removed from the sheet and don’t become misshapen.

Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned and edges are set. Cool for several minutes until they begin to firm up, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. These burn easily, so watch carefully.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Note: Unbaked cookies may be frozen as a roll. Thaw overnight in the fridge and proceed with recipe.

From the kitchen of http://www.frugalhausfrau.com,

Date Pinwheel Cookies
Date Pinwheel Cookies
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.


I’ll be taking these Cookies to the Fiesta Friday 100 anniversary extravaganza, and I’m also co-hosting this event, so a big shout out to Angie from the Novice Gardener and Fiesta Friday for putting the event on and Steffi from Ginger&Bread, Suzanne from APugintheKitchen and Judi from CookingwithAuntJuju for co-hosting, too. Stop by, say hi, visit and mingle and I hope to “see” you there!

Of course, I’ll also be posting to Throwback Thursday, a link party co-hosted by Moi!! Yes, that’s me, yours truly! And Alli, Quinn & Meaghan – you’ll see all their links on Throwback Thursday!

16 thoughts on “Date Pinwheels, Icebox”

  1. The date pinwheels looks great! And well worth waiting for. For some reason I have never had a cake with dates in before but it sounds so delicious! 🙂

  2. For some reason I have never made pinwheel cookies. Love the idea, the recipe and the fact you can slice and bake any time. Great cookie co-host to bring to the BIG 100 and I will have to put these on my list for “next year”. Happy Fiesta Friday 🙂

  3. How lovely and festive … the pinwheels, the holly, the gingerbread house. Your frozen dough looks like a Christmas cracker ready to pull at the table. 🙂

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks so much, they are divine, if I do say so, haha! 🙂 There is just something about dates – they look so “iffy” but taste so good! They seem to be falling out of fashion in many grocery stores, harder to find.

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