Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy

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This recipe for Peanut Butter Pinwheels has been passed down in my family for generations! Don’t let the secret ingredient fool you, these are a classic favorite candy that I’m sure you’re going to love!

Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy stacked on top of each other.

Hi everyone! Sam here again from Sugar Spun Run and today I am so excited to share one of my family’s favorite recipes. These peanut butter pinwheels have been in my family for generations, we make them every year around Easter and Christmas time.

I love that this is an no-bake recipe, and that’s part of what makes them a holiday favorite that I grew up making. While my mom would be using the oven to prep holiday dinner essentials, I would stay out of her way making classic no-bake treats like my favorite no-bake cookies and these peanut butter pinwheels.

Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy cut into pieces

There is a somewhat unexpected ingredient in these peanut butter pinwheels: potatoes.

Please, don’t be alarmed by the fact that this recipe uses potatoes!

I won’t lie, I was definitely alarmed the first time my mom ever shared this recipe with me, I actually thought she’d lost her mind. I love potatoes in savory recipes like mashed potatoes and potato soup, but potatoes in candy!?

Trust me, it works. The potatoes serve as the binding base for your sweet pinwheel dough, and by tasting them you’d never be able to tell that they’re the secret ingredient in this recipe. There are a few things to take note of when making this candy, though…

Peanut butter pinwheel rolled together. Cut off the end To show the roll.

How do you make Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy

As I mentioned, you’re going to start with potatoes. Specifically, mashed potatoes.

I definitely do not recommend using leftover mashed potatoes that have been seasoned with salt, pepper, or anything else. Instead, use one or two russet potatoes, peel them, dice them, boil until tender, drain, and then mash really well. Allow these potatoes to cool completely at room temperature before moving forward.

Make sure the potatoes are completely cooled, otherwise they will melt the powdered sugar that you add and you’ll end up with a runny mess. Don’t try to speed up the cooling process by putting your hot potatoes in the fridge, as I’ve found this often causes condensation that will also make your dough too runny.

Then, add your mashed potatoes into a bowl with butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar and continue to add sugar until the dough is firm. Chill in the refrigerator for up to an hour, and then roll it out into a rectangle, spread peanut butter evenly over the center, roll it up and slice!

Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy stacked on top of each other on a plate.

The dough is extremely versatile and can also be rolled into egg shapes and dipped in unsweetened or dark chocolate (another Easter favorite in my house), or rolled into cigar shapes and rolled through cinnamon (use straight cinnamon, not a cinnamon/sugar mixture, as the dough is sweet enough that a mix is not needed).



Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candy

5 from 10 votes
Peanut Butter Pinwheel Candies are made with an unexpected but essential ingredient. This is a family favorite recipe that's been passed down for generations!
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Author Samantha Merritt
Servings: 40 pinwheels


  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes*
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 6-7 cups powdered sugar plus additional for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Creamy peanut butter for filling


  • With electric mixer, combine mashed potatoes, butter, and 1 cup sugar.
  • Add in remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time. Start by adding 6 cups of powdered sugar, if the dough is not moldable in your hands and can't be rolled into a ball, continue to add sugar until it is firm.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Refrigerate filling for 1 hour.
  • Once chilled, divide dough into two pieces and place one piece on a clean surface that you've generously dusted with powdered sugar. Dust the surface of the dough with additional sugar, and use a rolling pin to roll dough out into a rectangle about 1/4" thick. Make sure that your dough can be rolled at this point, if it's too sticky or falling apart, you may need to add more sugar, re-shape it into a ball, and start over.
  • Once dough has been rolled into a 1/4" rectangle, spread evenly with peanut butter, leaving a small amount of space peanut butter-free around the perimeter of the dough.
  • Starting with the longer side of your rectangle, gently but tightly roll into a lot.
  • Use a knife to slice into pieces about 1/2" thick.
  • Repeat steps 5-8 with remaining half of dough.
  • Serve and enjoy.


Use russet potatoes, peel, dice, and boil until tender. Drain potatoes and then mash well. Allow potatoes to sit at room temperature until completely cooled before making your filling.


Serves: 40

Calories71kcal (4%)Carbohydrates18g (6%)Sodium1mgSugar18g (20%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Samantha Merritt

Sam is the baker behind the website Sugar Spun Run, where she shares sweet, simple, and from-scratch dessert recipes (usually of the chocolate variety!). She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their two dogs, Penny and Leia.

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  1. I just made these for a Royal Rumble party. We were really looking forward to them, but unfortunately they are so sweet they are almost inedible. This recipe is almost entirely powdered sugar, and that is all it tastes like. It is also soooo messy to make! This is my first and last time making these, but to each their own.

  2. 5 stars
    The potato seems to help the candy keep its shape much better.
    I have made them several times without using potato, but this is
    the best recipe I have tried for peanut butter pinwheels.

  3. I grew up eating this awesome Candy and I’ve never tried to make it but it’s by chance I’ve got to cook up some potatoes before they go bad and this is perfect use to prevent wasting what can make a smile on someone’s face and have a wonderful time making it..
    I’m glad I found this recipe.

  4. Hi. I’m making these for Christmas. Oh, the memories of childhood. I remember how these tasted when my grandma would make them. How far in advance can these be made and stored? Thanks!

  5. I just made this and used mashed potato flakes omitting the salt and butter from the instant potato recipe from the box and it turned out great!!

  6. 5 stars
    My family has always made this. My mother learned from her grandmother and I learned from my Mom and last year I forced my youngest daughter how to make this. Until now I thought my great grandma invented this candy. What a hoot to find it’s not such a secret.

  7. My grandmother made these for us when I was a child. We never knew there was potato in it. She kept them in a tin in a cupboard on an unheated porch so they were always cool when we ate them. Years later when I was first married, we got a box of candies from a small store in town and there were ovals dipped in chocolate (called Teddy Bears) and the minute I tasted one, I remembered my grandmother’s candy. I asked my mother and she said they were made with potatoes. I tried to replicate the recipe (no internet then) and just kept adding icing sugar to the potatoes till the consistency was firm enough to be able to spread the peanut butter. I haven’t made them in years, but may make some to share with neighbours who are unable to have Christmas with family (us too). Thanks for the recipe so I don’t have to guess.

  8. My mom made something similar to this every xmas for my brother.She didn’t use potatoes tho. She took 3 egg whites and beat them with a mixer until very stiff. She then added 3/4 to a whole box of powdered sugar a little at a time.She then powdered her board with powdered sugar, rolled it out to a rectangle, then spread creamy peanut butter all over, then rolled it up and sliced it into about 1/2 inch slices. Rich but soooo good !

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