Grain Free Chocolate Orange Pinwheels

Amazing grain free chocolate orange pinwheels made with fresh orange juice and drizzled with a sweet orange icing. These fun, unique chocolate orange pinwheels are made with a grain free chocolate cookie dough and an almond orange cookie dough for a new holiday cookie everyone will love! Gluten, grain & dairy free and so delicious.

Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
55 mins

Happy AK Cookie Week day 2! This one was basically an experiment in the kitchen that went oh-so-right and just so happens to be my personal favorite cookie of the week. If you’ve been following AK for awhile, you know that I have a *slight* obsession with sneaking orange into everything.

Hello, brown butter pumpkin orange muffinsorange gingerbread swirl loaf, and Italian chocolate orange cookies and well, you get the picture.

For this years’ cookie week I was craving some of that chocolate orange goodness, which is where these melt-in-your-mouth, sweet & tart grain free chocolate orange pinwheels came to life! Rich dark chocolate cookie dough swirls with light citrus infused flavors for a unique cookie you’ll come back to again and again.

chocolate orange pinwheels on a plate with orange icing

Chocolate orange pinwheel magic

Let’s chat about these amazing, super unique chocolate orange pinwheels. The rich, dark chocolate cookie layer swirls with a sweet, tangy orange layer for a literal flavor explosion. They taste decadent but nice and light at the same time. Plus, these pinwheels are:

  • Both gluten free & grain free thanks to coconut flour and almond flour
  • Dairy free by using coconut oil instead of butter
  • Made with fresh orange juice and zest
  • Made with cacao for extra rich chocolate flavor (though regular unsweetened cocoa power will also work!)

grain free chocolate orange pinwheel cookies drizzled with orange icing

Everything you’ll need to make them

Both of the layers in these grain free chocolate orange pinwheels are slightly different, but you’ll just need a few staple baking ingredients to bake these babies up:

  • Coconut oil: instead of butter, we’re using coconut oil as moisture in both the orange and chocolate layers.
  • Orange juice & zest: you’ll use both of these in both of the layers and in the icing to maximize that sweet orange flavor.
  • Extracts: you’ll need both vanilla and almond extracts for the perfect flavor combo.
  • Sweeteners: we’re using regular, organic cane sugar in both layers, and pure maple syrup in the chocolate layer. You’ll also need powdered sugar for the icing! (Coconut sugar will work but your dough will turn brown and the flavor will slightly change, so I do not recommend.)
  • Eggs: you’ll need one egg in each of the layers.
  • Flours: each layer is made with a mix of almond flour and coconut flour to keep the cookies grain free and gluten free. I have only tested with these flours and do not recommend any others.
  • Cacao powder: the chocolate layer has a bit of cacao powder to give it that rich dark chocolate flavor. Unsweetened cocoa powder will also work, but cacao powder has a more rich flavor (plus it’s naturally packed with iron!)
  • Baking staples: you’ll also need baking soda and salt so that these cookies bake up properly.

slicing chocolate orange pinwheel cookie dough

Optional ingredient swaps

You might be stocked up on some ingredients and not others, and that’s okay! Here are some substitutions you can make:

  • For the coconut oil: feel free to use melted butter instead if that’s what you have on-hand.
  • For the cane sugar: you can also use coconut sugar if you prefer. Just note that the orange layer will be much darker in color and the flavor might change slightly. Coconut sugar will keep these cookies paleo, so feel free to also use my paleo powdered sugar in the icing.
  • Cacao powder: you can also use regular cocoa powder if you’d like. I recommend a high quality, unsweetened kind for best flavor results.

Can you use regular flour?

Unfortunately, no. I would not recommend subbing the almond or coconut flour for any other flours as the pinwheels will have a much different texture and will likely not be the same.

sliced chocolate orange pinwheel dough

How to make chocolate orange pinwheels

  1. Make the orange cookie dough. You’ll mix together the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients, and stir everything well. Let the dough rest for just a few minutes before rolling it out with wax paper or parchment paper and placing it in the fridge to chill.
  2. Make the chocolate cookie dough. Repeat the above with the chocolate cookie dough ingredients.
  3. Get your oven ready. While the two doughs are chilling in the fridge, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Layer the doughs. Once your doughs have chilled, you’ll carefully peel the wax or parchment paper off of one side of each dough and carefully flip them on top of each other. Roll the doughs together so that they seal.
  5. Roll ’em up. Next, you’ll roll the doughs up just like cinnamon rolls. See my tips below for doing it carefully!
  6. Slice into cookies. Once your cookie dough is rolled into a log, you’ll slice it into rounds so that you get your round pinwheel cookies.
  7. Get baking. Bake your cookies for 9-12 minutes. I usually find them perfect around 10 minutes.
  8. Finish with a glaze. After baking, let your chocolate orange pinwheels cool completely and make that yummy orange icing. Once the cookies are cool, drizzle a little icing on each cookie and enjoy!

grain free orange chocolate pinwheels on a wire rack

Tips for making pinwheels

Putting the two different doughs together, rolling and slicing can seem tricky, but with a few tips it’s easier than you think!

  • Carefully invert one of the layers on top of the other after chilling. You’ll want them to be even, so do your best to line them up.
  • Remember to gently roll the doughs together after inverting. This will make sure that the layers stick together when you roll them.
  • Start with the long end when rolling, and roll the dough pretty tightly. If cracks start to form when you’re rolling, don’t worry! It may be a bit too cold, so just mend it back together and wait a couple more minutes. Watch our recipe video below for our best tips!
  • Once you’ve rolled up the dough, roll the whole log back and forth a bit to compact the dough and seal the cracks.

orange chocolate pinwheel cookies on a plate

How to store chocolate orange pinwheels

Store these grain free chocolate orange pinwheels in an airtight container at room temp for up to 1 week.

Can I freeze these chocolate orange pinwheels?

Yes, absolutely! There are two options:

  1. Freeze the dough. I recommend freezing the dough after you’ve rolled up and sliced it into the pinwheel cookies. Then, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once the pinwheels firm up, transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, simply bake the chocolate orange pinwheels as directed. You’ll likely just need to add a few extra minutes of baking time!
  2. Freeze the baked pinwheels. You can also freeze your baked chocolate orange pinwheels for later. Wait for them to cool completely, then transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container lined with wax or parchment paper. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Cookies will keep well for up to 2 months. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy.

two chocolate orange pinwheels stacked on top of one another

See how to make the chocolate orange pinwheels

More holiday cookies to try

Soft Brown Butter Ginger Cookies with Lovely Lemon Icing

Grain Free Gingerdoodle Cookies

Soft Cut Out Sugar Cookies (gluten free, grain free, paleo friendly)

The Cutest Paleo Gingerbread Cookies

Italian Chocolate Orange Cookies with Orange Icing

Paleo Ginger Molasses Cookies

I hope you love these grain free chocolate orange pinwheels! If you make them, be sure to leave a comment & a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!

Grain Free Chocolate Orange Pinwheels

5 from 3 votes
grain free chocolate orange pinwheels on a plate
Course Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grain Free
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate orange pinwheels, grain free chocolate orange pinwheels, orange chocolate pinwheels
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Serves 20

Amazing grain free chocolate orange pinwheels made with fresh orange juice and drizzled with a light orange icing. These fun, unique chocolate orange pinwheels are filled with rich chocolate and bright citrus flavors for a new holiday cookie everyone will love! Gluten, grain & dairy free and so delicious.

Ingredients

  • For the orange cookie layer:
  • Wet
  • 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Dry
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fine blanched almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour (not packed)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the chocolate layer:
  • Wet
  • 1/4 cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dry
  • 1 cup packed fine blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup cacao powder (cacao creates a richer chocolate!)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour (do not pack)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the orange icing
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, plus more to thin if necessary
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. First make the orange cookie dough: In a large bowl, add in melted and cooled coconut oil, sugar, orange juice, egg, vanilla, almond extract and orange zest. Mix until smooth. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt to the bowl. Stir until the dough is well combined. Let dough sit for a few minutes.
  2. Roll out orange cookie dough dough into an approximate 10×10-inch square that’s 1/4th inch thick between two sheets of wax or parchment paper. Without removing the wax paper, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the chocolate cookie dough.
  3. Make the chocolate cookie dough: In a large bowl, mix together melted and cooled coconut oil, sugar, pure maple syrup, orange juice, egg and vanilla until well combined. Next add in almond flour, cacao powder, coconut flour, baking soda and salt; mix well to combine and form a dough. Let the dough rest for just a few minutes.
  4. Roll out the chocolate cookie dough into an approximate 10×10-inch square that’s 1/4th inch thick between two sheets of wax paper. Place in the fridge and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes while you clean up a bit and preheat the oven.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  6. Remove both doughs from the fridge, and peel off the top of the wax paper from each. Invert the chocolate cookie dough on top of the orange cookie dough (or it can be the opposite if you want to mix it up!). Use your rolling pin and gently roll over the dough over the top wax paper to seal the layers together. Peel off the top layer of the wax paper. The bottom layer will stay as you roll it up.
  7. Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you (or the longest end), carefully curl the edge of the dough up and roll with your fingertips, just like you would with a cinnamon roll. If it starts to break the dough may be too cold, or you’ll just need to mend it back together again a bit with your fingers. Don’t worry too much! You’ll want to roll these pretty tightly. After a log is formed, roll it back and forth on the counter to compact the dough and seal any cracks. The log should be approximately 10 inches long, and about 2 inches thick, give or take.
  8. Slice dough into about ¼-⅓ inch thick rounds. Set rounds 1 inch apart and bake for 9-12 minutes. I find that 10 minutes is usually perfect.
  9. Once cookies are done baking, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat with remaining dough.
  10. To make the glaze: In a medium bowl: add in powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest and almond extract. Mix until smooth. Drizzle a teaspoon or two over each cookie. Makes approximately 20 cookies.

Recipe Notes

Freeze the dough. I recommend freezing the dough after you've rolled up and sliced it into the pinwheel cookies. Then, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once the pinwheels firm up, transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, simply bake the chocolate orange pinwheels as directed. You’ll likely just need to add a few extra minutes of baking time!

Freeze the baked pinwheels. You can also freeze your baked chocolate orange pinwheels for later. Wait for them to cool completely, then transfer them to a reusable freezer-safe bag or container lined with wax or parchment paper. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Cookies will keep well for up to 2 months. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy.

Nutrition
Servings: 20 cookies
Serving size: 1 cookie
Calories: 187kcal
Fat: 13.2g
Saturated fat: 5.4g
Carbohydrates: 15.5g
Fiber: 2.8g
Sugar: 10.8g
Protein: 4.2g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

Shop This Post

5 Secrets to Healthy and Delicious Desserts

5 Secrets to Healthy and Delicious Desserts

Get my best easy tips for healthy baking in this free email series!

    Leave a comment & rating

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Rating:




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    6 comments

    Show Comments
    You might also like