A Jam Cookie Recipe: Cream Cheese and Jam Pinwheels

Here’s an alternative to your favorite jam thumbprints. This jam cookie recipe uses a rich cream cheese-based dough and swirls it through with some raspberry jam. A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar over the top gives these jam cookies an extra special flavor. These adorable soft cookies are a great addition to a holiday cookie tray. They are very easy, and require limited special equipment (no cookie cutters!).

These pinwheels are a kind of icebox cookie. Icebox cookies are named after the icebox. The icebox preceded the modern refrigerator. An icebox is literally a box, lined with insulation material, in which perishable materials were kept cool by ice. Ice boxes required regular draining, as the ice melted, and refilling with fresh ice.

As iceboxes became a common kitchen appliance, recipes evolved along side them. For example, icebox cakes benefit from a stay in the refrigerator, during which the cookies soften and the flavors meld. For icebox cookies, the resting period in the cool air allows the butter to re-solidify. This ensures that the cookies don’t spread too much. Pinwheel cookies are a variation on an icebox cookie. Typically two flavors of dough, or a dough flavor and a topping are layered and rolled, producing a pretty pinwheel design.

Jam Cookie Recipe

Jam Pinwheels

Tired of jam thumbprints? Check out this alternative jam cookie recipe. These adorable cookies will be the star of your holiday cookie tray.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Chill Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies


  • silicone baking mat
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • Rolling Pin
  • pastry brush


For the cookie dough

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup jam (raspberry or strawberry jam is very festive looking; apricot jam is also tasty!)

For the topping:

  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 1 tbsp milk

To serve:

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar


For the cookie dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or using an electric mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well combined.
  • Sift the flour and the salt into the butter mixture and mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Press the dough into a ball, then flatten the dough ball into a roughly 1 inch thick circle. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at leats 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Turn the chilled ball of dough out onto a generously floured surface. Sprinkle some four over the dough.
  • Roll out to a roughly 10 x 30 inch rectangle with a rolling pin. If there is too much flour on the surface, brush it off gently with a pastry brush.
  • Spread the jam filling all over, leaving a half inch border on one of the longer sides.
  • Roll the dough up, ending at the side with the half inch with no jam.
  • Divide dough log in two, then wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • While the cookie dough chills, stir together the egg yolk with the milk in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Use a sewing thread or a sharp knife to cut into half inch slices.
  • Turn the unbaked cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush with the egg yolk mixture, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake cookies 17 to 20 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool cookies on a wire rack.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.


These cookies are best the day they are made but will keep for 24 hours in an airtight container. It’s better to store the unbaked cookie log in the refrigerator and bake as needed.
Keyword cookie, jam, pinwheel
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Looking for some other cookie ideas? Check these out!

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