These puff pastry pinwheels are perfect for parties or when you feel like eating a crispy savory cheesy snack. They’re so simple to make, just mix 4 filling ingredients, spread over a puff pastry sheet, roll up, cut into slices, and bake. Quick and easy, yet packed with flavor – you won’t have enough of these tiny puff pastry appetizers!
- Puff pastry – it’s best to use all-butter puff pastry as it just tastes better. If using frozen puff pastry, thaw it first, preferably overnight in the fridge.
- Olives – I used black olives, but kalamata would also work well. Green olives would be my third choice.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – the best are sun-dried tomatoes in oil. Don’t discard the oil! It’s very aromatic, you can add it to salads or even cook savory pancakes with it!
- Cheese – I used half Parmesan and half Cheddar cheese. You can use any of your favorite cheese, other good choices would be Pecorino, Emmentaler, Gryuere.
How to make puff pastry pinwheels step by step:
STEP 1: Prepare the filling ingredients: finely chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes, grate the cheeses (cheddar on the large holes of a box grater, Parmesan on the small holes).
STEP 2: Mix those ingredients together.
TIP: Make sure you have your filling prepared before taking out the puff pastry from the freezer. Puff pastry needs to be cold, otherwise, it can be hard to work with!
STEP 3: Sprinkle the puff pastry sheet with flour on both sides.
STEP 4: Roll it out into a rectangle (more or less). I love my silicone mat (pictured) for rolling out puff pastry or any type of dough or cookies!
Are you supposed to roll out puff pastry? Yes. For this recipe it is necessary to roll out puff pastry. It may look like it’s thin enough but in the reality it has about 1000 layers of dough and butter and it will puff up in the oven. If it’s too thick if won’t be properly backed in the middle.
STEP 5: Spread the filling oven the puff pastry. Press it with your fingers into the dough.
STEP 6: Roll up the dough.
STEP 7: Roll up your dough into a log.
TIP: If your dough starts to get sticky and tear, put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. After it is cold again it will be easier to work with.
STEP 8: Cut the log into ½ inch / 1 cm slices, using a very sharp serrated knife, or better a thread (as on the photos) – the slices will be more even and look better. Slice a piece of thread under the roll, cross the ends over the top, pull tight, and repeat. Don’t worry if the slices are not perfectly round and even!
STEP 9: Place the pinwheels on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, arrange the rolls 3 cm / 1 inch apart (they will rise a little). Press the pinwheels lightly to flatten them and adjust their shape. They should be roughly of even thickness.
Beat the egg with a fork and mix it with milk. Brush the pinwheels with the egg wash.
STEP 10: Bake the pinwheels for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and bake for about 13 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to keep an eye on them in the last 5 minutes to ensure they won’t burn. The baking time can be longer or shorter in your oven!
They taste good warm and at room temperature, but unfortunately, like all puff pastry snacks, they will be less crispy after about 2 hours, so they are best eaten right after baking!
Can you freeze puff pastry pinwheels? Yes, they can be frozen, prepare them all the way up to baking, then freeze in a single layer (pinwheels shouldn’t touch each other), then transfer to a container. Bake straight from the freezer until golden.
I don’t recommend freezing baked pinwheels – they won’t be crispy.
Other flavor variations:
I love this simple 4-ingredient filling, but there are many other savory filling ideas that would be delicious:
- ham and cheese
- spinach, artichoke, cream cheese
- feta and spinach
- mushrooms, caramelized onions, and cheese
- pesto, mozzarella, parmesan
- brie and cranberry preserves
- pizza: salami, tomato sauce, and mozzarella
You could also fill them with a sweet filling, try:
- cinnamon sugar (like these puff pastry palmier cookies – the same recipe, just different shape)
- nutella / chocolate-hazelnut spread
- sweetened cream cheese
- peanut butter and jelly
General rules – how to work with puff pastry:
These rules apply more to an all-butter puff pastry as to more available shortening-based puff pastry.
- Puff pastry dough likes cold temperatures. If you leave it out of the fridge for too long it will become soft and sticky. Make sure to have everything ready before taking the pastry out of the fridge. Sprinkle the dough with flour on both sides while rolling it out to make sure it won’t stick.
- I recommend rolling out the pastry on a piece of baking paper, or even better – silicone rolling mat – they are great for rolling out dough.
- Rolling out the dough is important (dough that is too thick may not be baked through).
- Thinly rolled out puff pastry may look too thin prior to baking but remember it has thousand of pastry and butter layers and it will puff up! All of those layers should be cooked through – this will result in a crispy and not soggy pastry.
- If you’re using frozen puff pastry, you must first thaw it in the fridge overnight.
If you are looking for other savory puff pastry appetizers, try these:
- puff pastry cheese straws
- puff pastry strudel with vegetables and cheese
- asparagus in puff pastry with ham and cheese
- Puff pastry onion tart with pear and blue cheese
- puff pastry pizza bites
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!
Cheese sun-dried tomato and olive puff pastry pinwheels
- 1 sheet puff pastry 10oz/280g, preferably all-butter puff pastry
- 1 cup grated cheese (3.5oz/100g) I used 1/2 cup (50g/1.8oz) parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup (50g/1.8oz) cheddar, you can use any melting cheese you like
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed) 3.5oz/100g = 17 tomatoes
- 1/2 cup black olives 17 olives (70g/2.5oz)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6 (no fan).
- Grate the cheese (cheddar on large holes of a box grater, parmesan on small ones), drain the sun-dried tomatoes, finely chop the tomatoes (you should have 1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes) and olives. Mix all the ingredients together.
- On a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat, lightly roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of approx. 2 mm / 1/16 inch into a rectangle shape. If you’re using all-butter puff pastry (homemade or store-bought) you need to sprinkle it well with flour, on both sides, before rolling out. It sticks a little more than a regular store-bought puff pastry.
- Spread the filling in an even layer over the rolled out dough, press it lightly into the dough.
- Roll up the dough to create a long roll.
- Cut the log into ½ inch / 1 cm slices, using a very sharp serrated knife, or better a thread (as on the photos) – the slices will be more even and look better. Slice a piece of thread under the roll, cross the ends over the top, pull tight and repeat. Don't worry if the slices are not perfectly round and even!
- Place the pinwheels on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, arrange the rolls 3 cm / 1 inch apart (they will rise a little). Press the pinwheels lightly to flatten them and adjust their shape. They should be roughly of even thickness.
- Beat the egg with a fork and mix it with milk. Brush the pinwheels with the egg wash.
- Bake the pinwheels for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and bake for about 13 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to keep an eye on them in the last 5 minutes to ensure they won't burn. The baking time can be longer or shorter in your oven!
- Store in a tightly closed container. They are best served within 2 hours after baking – the will still be crispy, but after this time they will start to soften.
- Reserve the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar. You can keep it in the fridge and add to salad dressings or cook chicken with it, it’s very aromatic.
- Calories count = the whole recipe (this is only an estimate!).