Candy Pinwheels (Pinwheel candy with cream cheese) are cute and colourful and taste a bit like a caramel donut! Quick and easy to make and using only 4 ingredients they can be whipped up quick smart!
You will love this recipe for its simplicity and colour, but also because of the following points that I have summarized below:
- Minimal ingredients needed: we only need 4 ingredients to make the recipe and they are all easy to get your hands on.
- Fun and colourful: everyone loves sweet treats but sometimes you have to do something a little bit different and bright to really get people's attention. If you want to be the talk of the party, take these to the party, haha!
- Quick cook time: once you have rolled the pinwheels and placed them into the oven, they will be ready in about 20 minutes.
- Fuss free and effortless: there is not a lot that can go wrong with this recipe. So keep your cool and get your party started without busting out in a sweat!
- Kid Friendly: have you ever seen a kid stand at the party table and reach for a piece of fruit as their 1st choice, nope me either! Let them be kids and make something that will be right up their alley (they can help decorate!!).
Everything that you need to make these pinwheels is shown in the photo below. For exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll to the printable recipe card below.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
- Puff pastry: versatile and lending itself to being used in many sweet and savory recipes, this is an ingredient I always like to have in the freezer! We need to thaw it as otherwise it cracks when we try and roll it. So grab it out of the freezer as a starting point.
- Cream cheese: smooth and easily spreadable, we use this to create a sweet layer in the pastry.
- Caramel sauce: store bought is what I recommend. Grab it from the pantry or fridge. Commonly used on ice cream, it is fun to have another use for it with this recipe!
- Sprinkles: also known as hundreds and thousands, these are what we use to sprinkle over the caramel sauce for decoration.
- Icing sugar (powdered sugar): not shown in the photo above, as it is an optional ingredient. If you want to dust the pinwheels to serve, this works perfectly to create a pretty effect!
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. You will need a chopping board to start with.
- Spread cream cheese onto the puff pastry (Photo 1)
- Roll into a long log (Photo 2)
- Slice into individual portions (Photo 3)
- Place on baking mat (Photo 4)
How to Make Candy Pinwheels
Start by thawing the puff pastry.
Then use a butter knife to spread a layer of cream cheese onto the pastry. Tightly roll the pastry into a log. Then use a sharp knife to cut the log creating the individual pinwheels.
Lay each pinwheel flat on the baking tray and transfer to the oven so they can cook.
- Oven bake the pinwheels for 20 mins (Photo 5)
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack (Photo 6)
- Spoon caramel sauce onto each pinwheel (Photo 7)
- Decorate with sprinkles (Photo 8)
Pinwheel Candy with Cream Cheese
When it comes to decorating the pinwheels, grab a teaspoon, the caramel sauce and sprinkles.
We want to spoon a little bit of the caramel sauce on the top of each pinwheel and then sprinkle the jimmies on top.
You can think of them as a modern version of the much loved Australian Fairy Bread!
If you are working through this post and thinking to yourself that you would like to put some of the sprinkles into the pastry as they cook, check this photo. I had that idea and went with it when I was developing the recipe, however, soon learnt that the sprinkles don't come off looking as pretty when they are baked into the pinwheels. They look very dark in colour and not so bright anymore! So we leave them out and use them to decorate instead! Been there, done that, got your back so you don't do that!
How to Guide
How to Store
You can make the pinwheels ahead of time and decorate when ready to serve.
Due to the sticky loose sauce, I don't recommend making and decorating as you cannot stack them.
How to Freeze
You can make and bake the pinwheels, then freeze prior to decoration with the caramel sauce and sprinkles. I don't recommend decorating and trying to freeze as this would negatively affect the texture of the caramel sauce.
How to Reheat
It is not recommended to reheat the pinwheels as this can lead to mixed results.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are the few things that you can do to switch the recipe up a little to meet your personal preferences:
- Use chocolate sauce instead of the caramel sauce.
- Dust with cocoa powder instead of the icing sugar.
- Use your favourite sprinkles, be their colourful or neutral.
- Theme them for baby showers and use 'pink' or 'blue' sprinkles to decorate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular candy?
M and M's have the reputation for being the most popular and loved candy world wide.
What are small sprinkles called?
Jimmies are another name for small sprinkles as is hundreds and thousands.
How do you soften cream cheese?
If you grab the cream cheese out of the fridge at the start of making the recipe, it will come to room temperature and be more easily spread when you come to use it.
How far in advance should I make pinwheels?
You can make and bake the pinwheels the night before you want to serve them.
Due to the soft runny nature of the caramel sauce, it is best to decorate them just prior to serving.
More Party Food Recipes
If you love party food, you have come to the right place! You might like to try each or any of the following:
- Chicken Sausage Rolls
- Malteser Truffles
- Pork and Fennel Sausage Rolls
- Malteser Fudge
- Ham Cream Cheese Roll Ups
- Malteser Rocky Road
- Snickers Fudge
- Pinwheel Sandwiches
PIN and save the recipe for later!
- 1 Baking tray
- 1 Silicon Baking Mat
- 1 Butter Knife
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Cutting knife
- 1 Teaspoon
- 2 sheets puff pastry thawed
- 100 grams cream cheese
- 2 tablespoon sprinkles
- 2 tablespoon caramel sauce
- icing sugar optional, to dust
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Thaw the pastry: remove puff pastry from the freezer and set it on the bench to thaw.
- Line a tray: line a baking tray with a silicon mat. Set aside
- Make the pinwheels: working 1 at a time, lay the thawed puff pastry sheets onto a chopping board and use a butter knife to spread with a layer of cream cheese. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the pastry tightly into a long log.
- Cut into portions: use a knife and cut the pastry into individual portions.
- Bake the pinwheels: place each pinwheel flat on the baking mat and into the oven for 20 mins. They will be ready when pastry is golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool.
- Decorate the pinwheels: once the pinwheels have cooled, spoon a little bit of caramel sauce on the top of each one. Then sprinkle with hundreds and thousands. Dust with icing sugar (optional).