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Orange Jam Swirl Cookies

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These swirl cookies are some of our favorite holiday cookies. Buttery dough swirled with flavorful orange jam, these Christmas treats are sure to please anyone!

close up many swirl biscuits with orange jam on a plate.

These orange swirl cookies are so delicious! I baked them last Friday in the afternoon, and they were all gone by Saturday. My son must have eaten at least half of them; I couldn’t stop him anymore.

Swirl cookies are something that many people avoid making; the swirling factor makes them seem more difficult to make than they actually are.

But making these swirl biscuits is almost easier than making cut-out cookies. There are no dough scraps that you must roll and repeatedly cut until the dough is gone. Just roll a rectangle (in this case, two), spread some jam on it, roll it and cut it into slices. That’s it!

For more orange-flavored cookies, try our Carrot Cookies with Orange Icing.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for making cookies with orange jam on the table.
  • Unsalted butter: Use real butter, preferably European-style, with 82% fat content. Lower-fat butter never works well for any cookies or biscuits.
    • The butter has to be soft; ensure you remove it from the fridge a few hours before making the dough.
  • Oranges: Preferably organic, unwaxed oranges, as you will use the zest as well.
  • Jam: I used orange jam, not marmalade, which is slightly bitterer. Orange jam also has a slightly bitter note, but not quite as much as the marmalade.
  • Other ingredients: Granulated sugar, one large egg, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

How to make swirl cookies filled with jam?

Cookie dough:

  • Wash, dry, and zest the oranges. Juice only one of them.
  • Beat the soft butter and the sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy (1).
  • Add the egg, orange zest, and juice of 1 orange (2). Mix well.
collage of two pictures of creaming butter with sugar and adding orange juice and zest.
  • Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl. Fold the flour mixture into the butter-egg mixture.
  • Combine quickly to form a dough, don’t overmix it. Form a ball (3), wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for about 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
dough shape in a ball.

Fill and cut the swirls:

  • Flour the working surface and the rolling pin.
  • Roll half of the dough into a rectangle (4).
  • Spread about three tablespoons of the jam evenly on the dough (5) and roll it into a sausage. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Freeze partially: Wrap the rolls in plastic and place them in the freezer until about half frozen, my rolls needed about an hour and a half to reach a good cutting consistency.
collage of two pictures of rolled dough smeared with orange jam.

Bake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Take the rolls out of the freezer and press them back into a nice shape in case they have flattened a bit at the bottom side.
  • Unwrap (6) and cut them into slices using a sharp knife (7). You will have about 30 cookies.
collage of two pictures of a roll of cookie dough, then sliced into swirls.
  • Bake: Place on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  • Rest: Remove from the oven but leave on the tray for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Expert Tips

  • Always use a digital kitchen scale when measuring the ingredients, a kitchen scale is cheap, and it makes life easier and baking more accurate and cleaner (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Chilling: Let the swirl cookie dough rest long enough in the refrigerator, about 2 hours or until firm enough to roll. Roll it on a well-floured working surface.
    • After filling the dough and rolling it into sausages, place the rolls in the freezer for about an hour and a half or until firm enough for you to be able to slice them properly. Just check; the dough should feel firm, but it should not be completely frozen.
    • If wholly frozen (you could make all this in advance and freeze the rolls), let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before cutting. It depends on how warm the kitchen is; feel the dough to decide when it is the right time to cut it.
  • Shaping and slicing: Shape the rolls again before unwrapping them, in case they flatten on the bottom side while in the freezer.
    • Slice the dough rolls into slices; you can cut more or less 15 swirl cookies from each roll, so a total of 30 cookies.

Resting: Don’t try to move the swirl biscuits immediately after baking; leave them on the baking sheets for another 10 minutes or so; they are still tender and might break. They will firm up as they cool.

Recipe FAQ

Can I use salted butter?

I prefer to use unsalted for baking; it helps control the amount of salt you have in the baked goods. However, you can use salted if that’s all you have. In this case, leave out the pinch of salt required by the recipe.

Can I use another jam?

Sure, the orange flavor will be less pronounced, though. I often make these jam swirl cookies with clementine jam or Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Simple Apricot Jam or Elderflower Jelly are both great.

How to store?

Store the jam swirl cookies in an airtight container at room temperature; they will keep for about 5 days.
Freeze them in a freezer container. Place waxed paper between the layers to prevent the biscuits from freezing in a block. Defrost on the counter.

Can I prepare them in advance?

Sure, at least partially. You can make the dough 2-3 days in advance and keep it refrigerated (wrapped in plastic).
You can also fill the dough, roll it into sausages, wrap them in plastic, and freeze them. Once you are ready to slice and bake the cookies, remove the rolls from the freezer and let them stand on the counter until they have the right consistency for cutting (about 15-20 minutes, depending on the temperature in your kitchen).

swirl cookies filled with orange jam and two orange wedges on a plate.

Do you like this recipe?

Please leave a good rating in the recipe card below. Stay in touch through social media: Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me #whereismyspoon when you try a recipe!
plate with orange jam pinwheel cookies on a vintage white cloth.

Orange Jam Swirl Cookies

These swirl cookies are some of our favorite holiday cookies. Buttery dough swirled with flavorful orange jam; these treats are sure to please anyone!
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Cookies
Cuisine: English
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 30
Calories: 109kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 200 g unsalted butter softened, 7 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon
  • 100 g granulated sugar 3.5 oz/ ½ cup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oranges zest of both, and juice of one (55 ml/ 1.8 fl.oz/ ¼ cup), Note 2
  • 250 g all-purpose flour 9 oz/ 2 cups
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons orange jam Note 3

Instructions

Cookie dough:

  • Oranges: Wash, dry, and zest the oranges, but juice only one of them.
  • Beat the soft butter and the sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, orange zest, and juice of 1 orange. Mix well.
  • Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in another bowl. Fold them into the butter mixture.
  • Combine quickly to form a dough, don’t overmix it.
  • Refrigerate dough: Form a ball, flatten it a bit, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate it for about 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.

Fill and cut:

  • Flour the working surface and the rolling pin.
  • Roll half of the dough into a rectangle. Spread ½ of the jam evenly on the dough and roll it into a sausage. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  • Freeze cookie rolls: Wrap the rolls in plastic and place them in the freezer until about half frozen, my rolls needed about 1 ½ hour to reach a good cutting consistency.

Bake:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Remove the rolls from the freezer. Press them back into a nice shape if they have flattened at the bottom side.
  • Cut cookies: Unwrap and cut them into slices using a sharp knife. You will have about 30 cookies.
  • Bake: Place the swirl cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  • Rest: Remove the trays from the oven but leave the cookies on the tray for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  1. Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. Preferably organic, unwaxed oranges, as you will need their zest.
  3. You can also use marmalade, which is slightly bitterer than orange jam. Or you can substitute the orange jam with another jam. However, in this case, the orange flavor will be less pronounced.
  4. Store: The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days. Freeze them in an airtight container between layers of wax paper for up to 3 months. Defrost on the counter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @adinabeck or tag #WhereIsMySpoon!

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Recipe Rating




Jean

Wednesday 16th of March 2016

Now I want to have a tea party.

Adina

Wednesday 16th of March 2016

I hope you do, Kate. :)

Brie

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

These cookie are just gorgeous Adina! Especially with the colorful and I'm sure very flavorful jams.

We fell hard for the Great British Bake Off over the summer. Watched both seasons with the hubby and now whenever I bake something he takes a bite, looks at it and says "this has a good bake" like he's Paul Hollywood :)

Adina

Thursday 18th of February 2016

My husband watches the show with me as well sometimes, although he has no interest in baking or cooking, but he still finds it good.

Helen at Casa Costello

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Hiya, so pleased you enjoyed the cookies - thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I feel quite envious that you have all the rest of the Great British Bake Offs still to enjoy! Looking forward to getting to know you better through the SRC x

Adina

Thursday 18th of February 2016

Thank you, Helen, I was glad to have been assigned your blog, I found so many recipes I want to make.

sarah k @ the pajama chef

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

these cookies are so gorgeous! love the orange flavor too :)

Adina

Thursday 18th of February 2016

Thank you, Sarah. :)

Lauren @ Sew You Think You Can Cook

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

These cookies are beautiful.

Adina

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Thank you, Lauren.