4th of July Pinwheel Cookie Cupcake Toppers

As you know, I spent the last couple of weeks in Minnesota. I was visiting my sister and her family. We don’t get to see each other often because we’re both military families. When we do, though, we have such a fantastic time!

The best part about this particular trip was spending time with these three amazing boys. These are my nephews. The oldest, N., is at the bottom with S. in the middle and G. up top. This was the first time I got to see them in two and a half years, so you can imagine how excited I was. We had such a fantastic time! We spent a glorious day on Lake Superior and walking around the city of Duluth, shopping and sightseeing.

We went skating one day too. Well, the boys skated…and fell…I just watched and took pictures. They all love ice hockey, so skating is right up their alley.

We also baked together while I was there. We made cookies and cupcakes, decorated them, and ate way too many when we were all done! We decided to do Fourth of July themed treats, since it’s right around the corner, and they turned out great. Rather than starting from scratch, we used a boxed cupcakes mix and store bought refrigerated sugar cookie dough.

This is my oldest nephew, N., and me on our baking day. N.is the quiet, shy one. He’s so sweet and loving, and this boy gives the. best. hugs. Ever.

S., my middle nephew, is very outgoing. He’s also so loving and a fantastic hugger. In fact, I believe his well of hugs is bottomless…he’ll never run out!

Finally, there’s little G., my youngest nephew. He’s a complete ham for the camera, and still wants to be held every chance he gets, even though he’s getting so big now. And, of course, he’s always ready and waiting to give out hugs.

My sister and her husband have done a hell of a job raising a family of epic huggers.

When we started baking, G. thought it was hilarious to flour our faces (hence my flour tipped nose above).

He got his momma with a lot of flour! It’s so fun how simple it is for kids to be entertained. Just look at his smile…flouring his momma’s face completely cracked him up. 🙂

Once we finally got down to business, G. helped me roll out the cookie dough for the pinwheels.

I’ve seen pinwheel cookie cutters all over the internet, but I didn’t see the point in wasting money on one when they were pretty basic. Instead, I cut out a square of thick paper to act as a template. This one is three inches square. You can make them even smaller, but I wouldn’t recommend going any bigger, as they become to top heavy to stand in the cupcakes. You could also use a square cookie cutter if you have one.

G. needed a little help cutting his out.

And was completely fascinated by the raw dough.

We decided N. was old enough to try himself, and he did a great job.

S. also got to cut out the cookies himself, with a little extra supervision.

Once all of the cookies were cut, I sliced each corner in about three-quarters of an inch. Then we all took turns folding in every other corner until the points met int he center. Last, but not least, we gently pushed festive straws into the cookies to act as sticks.

Not too shabby, I say.

S. got the cookies carefully into the oven while we mixed up the cupcake batter.

These are the baked pinwheels. Admittedly, they turned out a little flatter and more spread out than I anticipated, but I believe it’s from using store bought, slice and bake cookie dough, rather than dough meant specifically for rolling out. I would recommend a homemade rolled sugar cookie recipe (linked below) for these, if you have the time for it.

For the decorating, we once again went with fast and easy by using some store bought icings and sprinkles.

Each of the boys decorated a couple of cookies. N. was very serious and neat with his.

It turned out great too, but he used a little too much icing, and it started to drip off before he could top a cupcake. That just meant he got to have it sooner, though!

S. went for more of an abstract look.

I think it works for him. It certainly makes me think of bursting fireworks!

Little G. went for something a little less decorative, and attempted to write our names (mine and his) on his cookie.

I think he did a great job…the top line definitely looks like it says Darla to me! Even if he hadn’t done such a great job, he melted my heart when he wanted us on a cookie together. 🙂

With practice, we all got some pretty cute cookies out of the day, and they looked fantastic in the cupcakes. I wouldn’t recommend the Wilton Sparkle Gels for this job in the future though. It’s very runny and all of the cookies started dripping on the cupcakes. Not that we cared…they tasted just as good in the end! But I would recommend a decorator frosting (linked below), or a royal icing or something similar (also linked below).

If you’re looking for a fun, fast, kid-friendly treat to make for the holiday weekend, these certainly fit the bill. They’re festive and easy, and they look perfect for Independence Day! Enjoy!

Pinwheel Cookie Cupcake Toppers

1 recipe Rolled Sugar Cookies

1 recipe Decorating Frosting OR

1 recipe Sugar Cookie Icing

1 recipe Cupcakes

Leave a comment


  1. Heather says

    OMG!!!!! I am one proud Mama, seeing my boys up on Bakingdom! And you should have SEEN their faces when they realized that you put them on there!!!! They are THRILLED!!!!!!


  2. Dori says

    Gorgeous, stunning pictures! Family is the Best!

    And now I know what we’re baking tomorrow…thanks…again! 🙂

  3. says

    Ahh these are so cute and what great photos! Looks like you all had a lot of fun! Hope you have a fabulous 4th of July weekend! 🙂

  4. linda says

    to all our military families…A HUGE THANK YOU!!!
    great post…adorable nephews & love the pinwheels….enjoy this weekend.