Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

I am so not here for holidays skipping over each other. Like, Halloween is this Friday and my local drugstore already has their Christmas stuff up! It’s absolutely crazy! The wall of Christmas lights and a small assortment of ornaments are right next to the Halloween candy. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas but let the other holidays have their time in the spotlight!

With that said, let’s talk about Halloween. Even though I don’t celebrate it like I used to when I was a kid, I still get excited this time of year. Mostly because holiday season begins with Halloween, but also because CANDY! As evidenced by this blog, I have an enormous sweet tooth. No matter how hard I try, I can’t give up the stuff. Whether it’s candy or baked goods, I’m eating it. Can you believe I almost gave up candy and sweets for good? It was a very dark time in my life. I’m just glad I saw the light.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies1

Despite the fact I can’t eat candy or sweets like I used to, I still enjoy a variety of sweets. I love it when Halloween rolls around because there’s SO MANY options. Halloween’s one of the big candy holidays, up there with Easter. I love seeing all the seasonal offerings, and every year there’s always something new. The best part is the discounted candy on sale on November 1st. Half off a giant bag of candy is such a steal!

One of my favorite Halloween candies is actually candy corn. I swear, I can hear the groans of disgust from here. Yes, they’re insanely sweet and taste of pure sugar, but to me they’re Halloween. I love getting the bags of Autumn mix because it had a bit of everything; regular candy corn, cocoa flavored Indian corn, and candy corn on steroids in the form of mellowcreme pumpkins. Granted, I can’t eat as many as I used to but I still enjoy like, three when I have them.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies3

I knew I wanted to make something festive for this year.¬†I planned on taking whatever I made to class with me, but because I didn’t want to subject my classmates to candy corn, I had to get creative. Cookies are an absolute given, so I rolled (ha!) with that.

The best thing about sugar cookies is that they’re a blank canvas, both in taste and in appearance. I wanted to stay on topic, so making them bright orange was the best option. This was slightly tricky, as I didn’t have any orange food coloring. Instead, I had to use the liquid ones and make orange out of red and yellow. First of all, the directions on the back of the box are a lie. I used the same ratio of red to yellow to make orange and ended up with a pink dough instead. Appalled at the fact that I made pink, I kept adding drops of red and then yellow to get orange. Took me what felt like forever, and a lot of color drops but I got it.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies4

The second best thing about sugar cookies is that they can be made ahead. SUCH a good time saver, let me tell you. I have been insanely busy these past few weeks and barely have time to bake. I make it a point to bake as much as I can when I have the chance, but usually aim to do it on days I have class. I love treating my classmates to baked goods, especially when they’re really appreciative and genuinely love what I bring. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, to be honest. The problem is that I don’t have much time to bake on days I have class with the whole gang. My inner lightbulb went on (or off?) when I realized slice and bake cookies were the way to go. Let me just preface by saying slice and bakes never really worked for me. I’m a drop cookie kinda girl, and all this extra work for a cookie seemed overwhelming. That, and the cookie dough never worked for me; it was always too soft, despite it spending time in the fridge.

I went for it anyway and was very pleased with the result. I made the dough the night before and baked them off the next morning. They were absolutely adorable! I was so happy to see the swirl came out. I was even happier when I tasted the cookie. Sugar cookies to me always taste like butter covered in sugar. I guess they kind of are, but these cookies tasted like a real cookie and not like sugared butter. My classmates loved them, and so did my sister! The cookies didn’t last long in class, and all the cookies I had at home were gone within a day. They reminded me of the Pillsbury cookies that come out for the holiday seasons. You know, the ones with the pumpkins or Christmas trees on them? Either way, these were crumbly, sweet, and delicious.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies2

Even though everyone has basically moved on to the next holidays in the line up, I’m still about Halloween. At least for the next few days ūüėČ

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies – adapted from Just A Taste

Makes 22-24 cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 2 teaspoons rum (optional)
  • Orange¬†food coloring
  • about 1 cup of festive sprinkles


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In another large bowl, beat the butter until smooth with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 more minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla.
  3. Slowly add the flour and then beat just until combined. Remove the dough and separate it into two equal pieces. Shape one piece of the dough into an 8-inch square, wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. (This will be the white portion of the cookies.)
  4. Keep the remaining piece of dough in the bowl, and add in the food coloring, drop by drop. Mix the food coloring into the dough with a rubber spatula, until it reaches your desired color.
  5. Remove the colored dough, and shape it into an 8-inch square. Wrap it securely in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Refrigerate both doughs for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut each square in half to form two rectangles. Wrap half of each color of dough in plastic wrap and return it to the fridge. Place the white dough in between two pieces of wax paper and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.
  7. Roll out the colored half of dough between two separate pieces of wax paper until it is a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.
  8. Peel the top layer of wax paper off of the white dough and then peel the wax paper off one side of the colored dough. Use the other side to transfer the colored dough on top of the white dough. Very lightly roll the two layers together.
  9. Starting at the shorter end of the rectangle, roll the dough as tightly as possible into a log.
  10. Repeat the rolling and stacking process with the remaining dough in the fridge. Wrap the logs in wax paper and then plastic wrap and refrigerate them for 1 hour.
  11. Remove the dough logs and roll them on the counter several times so they don’t develop a flat side. Unwrap the dough logs and place the sprinkles in a large, shallow dish. Roll the dough logs in the sprinkles until they are completely coated. Re-wrap the dough logs in wax paper and plastic and refrigerate them for 4 more hours.
  12. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350¬ļF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the fridge and slice each log into 1/4-inch rounds. Place the rounds about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets, as the cookies will expand when baked.
  13. Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until pale golden, and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Lucy’s Tips:

  • An easy way to cut wait time in the fridge is to use the freezer. Try freezing your dough for half of the suggested time, to move the prep process along a bit quicker
  • These cookies really are a blank canvas and can go really well with many flavorings. Orange zest would’ve gone well with these orange cookies!
  • I threw a bit of rum (whiskey, actually) into my cookies just for kicks. Not sure if it was detectable but I knew it was in there!

Autumn Mix Cupcakes

Happy Halloween! Although I don’t really celebrate and get dressed up, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays because I love watching others display their creative side. Another reason is obviously the candy.

When I was a kid, we went trick or treating only a handful of times because it was difficult for us to trick or treat in our neighborhood. Whatever candy I did get,¬†I would categorize my candies by type; chocolate, fruit candies, and the cheap stuff. My favorite chocolates were Milky Ways, Snickers, and plain Hershey bars. In the fruit pile, I’d have my Skittles, Starbursts, Smarties, and lollipops. Finally, the cheap pile was a compilation of no name candies; like caramels, those strawberry candies that no one seems to like (except for me), caramel cremes, and peppermints. We got lucky because we never got raisins or apples, except one time, I do remember getting a few pennies in my pumpkin.


Then of course, I had my favorites that I never got through trick or treating; Peeps and candy corn. These two faves are a common unpopular opinion. I have heard many people say they hate Peeps and candy corn, mostly because of the taste. I love marshmallows, so Peeps are a given; and candy corn is the quintessential Halloween candy, so no hate there. But my favorite type of candy corn to get is Autumn Mix.

To me, Autumn Mix is the best of all three worlds; candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins, and Indian corn. Most say they hate candy corn because it’s too sweet. It’s pretty much concentrated sugar with a slight vanilla taste. Candy corn’s distinct taste is actually thanks to honey, which makes this sugary treat even sweeter.


As we got older, My sister and I would buy our own candy. We’d share a bag of Autumn Mix, where she’d take most of the candy corn and pumpkins, and leave me with all of the Indian corn. I honestly don’t get the Indian corn hate. It was a welcome taste change when gobbling up pieces of monotonous candy corn. It’s the only one that is chocolate flavored, although the signature candy corn taste is still there. Indian corn quickly became one of my favorites, and is one of the reasons I decided to make these cupcakes. I wanted to highlight one of my favorites, and Indian corn is the underdog of all Halloween candy. These cupcakes are an ode to Autumn Mix, and my love for super sugary treats.

I used The Kitchn’s recipe for Quick Yellow Cake for these cupcakes. I tinted the batter according to the candy corn; a small amount of untinted batter on the bottom of the cup (for the candy and Indian corn), and orange for the corn’s bodies and for the mellowcreme pumpkins. To finish the color schemes off, I frosted them with seven minute frosting, one of my favorites, tinted accordingly; yellow for candy corn, green to top off the mellowcreme pumpkins, and a chocolate flavored one for the Indian corn. The chocolate frosting was important for me to get right for two reasons; I wanted to get the Indian corn correct with it’s chocolate flavor, and because I had yet to see a chocolate seven minute frosting anywhere online.

The cakes came out really moist and yummy! Although I wanted a layered effect with the candy/Indian corn ones, it sort of tie-dyed instead; which was a pleasant surprise. Another surprise was adding some cocoa powder to a portion of the frosting. It tasted really good with the cupcakes, something I was initially worried about. I think that melted chocolate would probably work best for a chocolate seven minute frosting.

Please enjoy yourselves this Halloween! Just remember to stay safe!


Quick Yellow Cake – adapted from The Kitchn

Makes 18 cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Soften your butter, and preheat the oven to 350¬įF. Line your cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the softened butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated and light.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and gently beat it in, alternating withthe milk and vanilla. Beat everything together on low for 30 seconds, then high for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour some of the batter, about a tablespoon, into 12 of the cupcake liners. Tint the batter orange, using food coloring, and fill all the liners about 3/4 of the way up.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the tops spring back slightly when pressed.
  6. Let cool in the pans, on wire racks for at least 10 minutes, then remove from the cupcake pans onto racks to cool completely before frosting.

Seven Minute Frosting – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Makes about 3 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a large heatproof bowl, combine the sugar, water, egg whites, cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer set at low speed for 30 seconds, then place bowl over your double boiler.
  2. Beating at high speed, cook the frosting for about 7 minutes, or until it’s stiff and glossy. Remove it from the heat, add the vanilla, and beat an additional 2 minutes.

Lucy’s Tips:

  • Do not over fill the cupcake liners! I kind of did (heh), and they overflowed. 3/4 of the way works perfectly.¬†
  • To make a double boiler, place about 1-2 inches of water in a pot and set to a simmer. Do not boil the water and make sure your bowl does not touch the water! The steam coming off the simmering water gently cooks the frosting.
  • For the chocolate frosting, I folded two tablespoons of cocoa powder, sifted, into about a third of the frosting. Melted bittersweet chocolate can possibly work as well.