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Apple Cheddar Pinwheels

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The classic flavor combination of cheddar cheese and apples come together in these delicious puff pastry pinwheel appetizers. You assemble them ahead of time and they are great warm or at room temperature, so they are perfect for parties.

Plate of golden brown puff pastry pinwheels with cheddar, apple and onion filling.

Flaky puff pastry wrapped around a savory filling of apples, thyme and cheddar cheese.  These fun appetizers are perfect for fall. 

Plus you can assemble them ahead of time and slice and bake them when you are ready.  They were a big hit with our crowd and I am sure they will be with yours as well.

Ingredients: puff pastry, apples, onion, cheddar cheese, butter and thyme ready to be made into pinwheels.

If you are looking for a tasty and flaky apple appetizer idea, you are in the right place. These yummy pinwheels are loaded with onion, apples, herbs and cheese.

Because you use store bought puff pastry, they are easy to put together. And the resulting appetizers are really flavorful.

Making the Apple Filling

You will want to dice your apples and onion relatively thin. That way it is easy to slice the puff pastry pinwheels when the time comes.

You can peel your apples if you want. I tend to leave the peel on.

Because they are diced fine, the texture isn’t a problem. Plus a lot of the nutrients are in the peel.

So to save time and add a little bit more color, I wash, core and dice the apple not worrying about the skins.

To remove some of the moisture, you will want to cook the apples and onion down a little bit. Do this in a large skillet with a little bit of butter, or use bacon grease if you have it.

Add salt, pepper and thyme to flavor the filling. Once the onions are translucent and everything is softened, remove the skillet from the heat and allow the filling to cool.

Assembling the Pinwheels

If you are using frozen puff pastry dough, make sure it is defrosted. Then lay the pastry out flat and roll it out just a bit.

Spread the cooled apple mixture over the puff pastry. Make sure the filling is completely cooled so you don’t met the butter in the pastry dough.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the filling. We usually use sharp cheddar, but gruyere or gouda would be delicious as well.

Roll the dough around the fillings like you would a cinnamon roll. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least a half hour to get everything nice and chilled.

Now all you have to do is cut the logs of dough into slices and arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until the puff pastry is golden and the cheese is just starting to brown.

Serving Your Apple Cheddar Appetizers

These pinwheels are fabulous served warm. However, they are also wonderful at room temperature.

So you don’t have to worry if they won’t all be eaten at once. Plus they travel well if you are taking them with you to a potluck or carry-in.

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container and warm them for a few seconds in the microwave before eating them. They are best fresh, but they are pretty good rewarmed as well.

Hand holding apple cheddar puff pastry pinwheel appetizer with golden brown bits of cheese.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of apples should I use?

Any apple that is good for cooking will work in this pinwheel recipe. I used Jonagold this time, but most varieties will do.

Is cheese and apples a thing?

Yes! Apples and cheese, especially cheddar, have been paired together for centuries. Some people like to serve cheese with their apple pie. Others just like cheese and apple slices as a sweet and salty nosh. This appetizer is a great way to celebrate the pairing in a savory snack.

More Great Appetizer Recipes

Cheesy beef pinwheel appetizers are the perfect two bite snack. They are creamy, cheesy, zesty, salty and can be made ahead of time so you can enjoy your guests.

Sausage stuffed jalapenos are the perfect appetizer. They only take 4 simple ingredients to make and they are always a hit for parties or game day.

Toasted baguette slices topped with a mustard spread, ham and melted cheese are a perfect appetizer. Ham and cheese crostini are quick to put together and are a great addition to a party spread.

Plate of golden brown puff pastry pinwheels with cheddar, apple and onion filling.

Apple Cheddar Pinwheels

Servings: 30 Pinwheels
Author: Carlee
Flaky puff pastry wrapped around a savory filling of apples and cheddar cheese. These fun appetizers are perfect for fall. Plus you can assemble them ahead of time and slice and bake them when you are ready. They were a big hit with our crowd and I am sure they will be with yours as well.
4.70 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 large apples use ones that are good for baking
  • ½ cup mild onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar grated
  • 17 oz container puff pastry


  • If using frozen puff pastry, defrost it.
    17 oz container puff pastry
  • Wash and core the apples, then finely dice them. Peeling it is not necessary but you can if you prefer.
    2 large apples
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and apples until the onions are translucent. Stir in the salt, pepper and thyme. Then cool the apple mixture completely.
    2 Tablespoons butter, ½ cup mild onion, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Unroll the puff pastry. Spread with apple mixture and sprinkle with grated cheddar.
    2 cups sharp cheddar
  • With a long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough around the apple mixture. (You want the roll to be long.) Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least a half hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
  • Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices and arranged pieces on the lined baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


Serving: 1PinwheelCalories: 127kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 94mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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4.70 from 13 votes (13 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Sunday 4th of December 2022

I just made these and they are awesome. I love that they can be made ahead and baked when it works. Not sure why others didn’t have them turn out, maybe they used too much cheese or the oven wasn’t hot enough. I baked them for 10 minutes and it was a perfect amount of time (my oven is hot). Thanks for sharing.


Sunday 4th of December 2022

I am so glad you liked them! I just bought ingredients so I can make another batch during the holidays.


Thursday 22nd of November 2018

I made these ***exactly*** by the recipe. They were HORRIBLE! Even after baking on parchment for 30 minutes in a new high end convection oven, these were soggy and very greasy on the bottom and barely cooked on top. To experiment, I left four in the oven for a total of 45 minutes to no avail. There was no browning on top and the cheddar cheese leaked out of the bottoms of all of the pinwheels and burned on the ones I baked longest. My taste testers were “meh” on the flavor, but that’s personal preference. Sorry, back to the drawing board on this recipe.


Friday 23rd of November 2018

I'm sorry that was your experience, I am not sure what could have gone wrong. They've worked out well for me and I've seen pictures from others who have made them as well. It's always disappointing when things don't work out like we'd like, especially on Thanksgiving!


Friday 12th of October 2018

These look so good.


Tuesday 16th of October 2018

thank you


Sunday 23rd of September 2018

Yay!!! Apple Week is here! Your pinwheels are a fun start. Off to view what the others have shared.


Tuesday 16th of October 2018

Hooray for appleweek!


Friday 22nd of December 2017

Mine fell apart :( I would maybe change your recipe to say to chop the apples super fine. Mine were so chuncky that everything fell apart in transit to baking sheet


Tuesday 26th of December 2017

Oh no! Chopping them very definitely helps. I'm sorry you had problems!