Pinwheel Biscuits by Mary Berry

Apparently young children can bake with greater accuracy than I can. Mary Berry’s pinwheel biscuit recipe is prefaced by the statement that ‘Young children can easily make these – under supervision of course (from her Baking Bible)’. Perhaps I need more supervision when I bake! My biscuits were, of course delicious, but they weren’t the cleanly shaped pinwheel biscuitsin Mary Berry’s book.

Making a simple vanilla biscuit dough and a chocolate biscuit dough and layering them together, it sounds a fairly simple recipe. The part I had difficulty with, and always do, was rolling the doughs into matching shapes to roll them evenly. Nevertheless, the biscuits I made were very pretty and the doughs were, individually, delicious. These biscuits were tasty and pretty but far too fiddly for my liking. Luckily I already have plans to make some double choc-chip cookies with the chocolate dough in the future… without the pinwheel shape!


Vanilla biscuit dough

50g softened butter
25g caster sugar
25g cornflour
50g plain flour
½ large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate biscuit dough
50g softened butter
25g caster sugar
25g cornflour
40g plain flour
½ large egg
15g cocoa powder

Firstly, make each of the doughs by creaming the butter and sugar together, mixing in the egg, sifting the dry ingredients over the top and mixing until the dough comes together.

Wrap each dough separately in glad wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.

Flour your bench lightly and roll each dough out (separately) to a piece 25 x 18cm . Place the vanilla dough on top of the chocolate dough and roll up tightly. Re-wrap the roll in glad wrap and place back in the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.
(If you have the cardboard tube from some paper towel, place the roll of dough inside so that it maintains it’s shape. I did not have one, and hence my biscuits are a little misshaped.)

Pre-heat your oven now to 180° and remove the dough from the fridge, cutting 20 slices and placing them on a lined baking tray. Make sure the dough is very firm before you start cutting the biscuits or else, again, they may become misshaped.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the vanilla biscuit is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve, warm or cool, with a cup of tea for an attractive alternative to plain chocolate biscuits.


  1. I remember making these biscuits with my mum when I was a child! I don’t remember them being “easy” to make, and I’m pretty sure mum had to take a fairly active supervisory role so that the finished biscuit vaguely resembled the picture, but it was fun and good mother-daughter bonding over what is, to be fair, a pretty impressive looking biscuit. Mmmm… nostaliga bickies…

  2. I’m glad to hear someone else found these tricky also! I like the idea of involving children and creating that memory with them; sounds like you have a very talented mum 🙂

  3. I have been making pinwheels for decades. Takes me back to Sunday baking with my darling mother. I now add glacé ginger or choc chips, chopped glacé cherries,
    Almond flakes or even a layer of fresh ground cinnamon between the layers before rolling. Instant coffee can work well too but be light as a little does go a long way. The zest of an orange can add depth. Even after baking and cooling, drizzle white or dark chocolate over these biscuits, for a fancy afternoon tea or a gift for family or friends. Taking you to the next level,!!!! Enjoy.

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