New This Month

Cinnamon-Swirl Cookies


Inspired by classic cinnamon rolls, these dainty spirals swap sticky yeast bread for more manageable trappings but retain the intoxicating, iconic stripes of sugar and spice.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2009


For the Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 large eggs

For the Filling

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Make the dough: Sift flour, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Beat butter, sugar, and orange zest with a mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture gradually, and beat until just combined. Divide dough in half, wrap each half in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Turn half the dough onto floured parchment. Roll into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle, then trim edges straight. Repeat with remaining half of dough. Transfer rectangles on parchment to a baking sheet, and refrigerate until firm but pliable, about 10 minutes.

  3. Make the filling: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Crumble mixture evenly over rectangles. Starting on a long side, roll 1 rectangle into a log, and wrap it in the parchment. Repeat with remaining rectangle. Refrigerate logs for 1 hour (or overnight).

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each log crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake until edges are golden brown, about 19 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Reviews Add a comment

  • samantha_bartos
    17 NOV, 2016
    These were horrible. Obviously Martha used a different cookie recipe for the pictures, because mine turned out sloppy and without any obvious swirl. When the recipe says "chill for an hour", you better believe she means in the freezer, not the fridge. Even after a few hours the dough was drop-cookie-ish, meaning it was super soft and wouldn't hold its shape. After I cut the roll, each slice would fall and break into crumbs. So frustrating. And to think I trusted Martha Stewart's cookie recipes.
  • MS12171593
    23 AUG, 2011
    They are delicious, but too putsy; in my opinion. I don't have a very large frig, so refrigerating the cookie sheet was tricky, therefore, this is my one and only time. They are very crunchy, so they are perfect with cold milk!
  • Bookstacker
    5 JUN, 2011
    My cookies did not fall apart. I'm wondering if you refrigerated them long enough? The cookies were good, but the next time I make them, I am going to double the filling recipe. My cookies did not have as much filling as in the photo.
  • saraeb4051
    11 DEC, 2010
    According to the original recipe it makes 5 1/2 dozen. Without nuts it will not be the same cookie. I made them and they were delicious but a disaster. The dough is too soft and they fell apart. I may try them again with one or two egg yolks, not whole eggs and that should fix it. Cooking time was 14 minutes. I believe that MS should correct the recipe.
  • fuzzypeaches106
    10 DEC, 2010
    does anyone know?
  • fuzzypeaches106
    10 DEC, 2010
    i wonder if i dont need to put in the orange zest cuz i dont really like that
  • JMalin
    24 MAR, 2009
    I wish I had read these comments before I made the recipe from the mag. Also, agreed- cooking time for me was good at 12-13 min. I would add more flour next time. I had a hard time making the roll tight as it kept sticking to the parchment. Did anyone try rolling it out on a plastic pie mat?
  • tourtes
    14 MAR, 2009
    I just made these cookies today. Chilling for 1 hour was way to long for me, Dough would not roll well so I had to kneed the dough a bit more before rolling to get warmer....then it rolled well. Chilling the rectangle once more for 10 minutes was not good....dough kept breaking as I rolled it up. Next time will do differently. The baking time was way too long......14 minutes is adequate. At 19 min. they are too crispy.....will also cut the pieces to a bit thicker. Tasty!
  • mykele
    21 FEB, 2009
    CFmom Bethy, I live in Fort Collins so you are higher than I am but we priobably need to make similar adjustments. I went to Colorado Woman's College quite a few years ago and learned about recipe adjustments then in a Home Ec class. After many years in other places, we retired and moved here. Thus old lessons were a big help. Additional flour always helps. I also add a package of vanilla or french vanilla instant pudding mix to many cookie recipes to add more body ....really helps.
  • alysonwonderlan
    21 FEB, 2009
    Just made these delicious cookies. Munching on one as we speak. I made them without walnuts, mainly because I didn't have any and I didn't really feel like running to the store. They went a little "oblong", but were otherwise fine. Also, I agree 19 minutes is WAY too long. I cooked my for 12 and found that to be sufficient.