These Unicorn Swirl Cookies Are the Ultimate Kid Treat

published Feb 27, 2022
Berry Blast Marbled Sugar Cookies Recipe

Freeze-dried berries give these futuristic cookies their vibrant swirly color.

Makes14 large cookies

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

This recipe is from our Cookie Time Machine — a trip through the most iconic cookies of the past 10 decades, paired with 10 fresh twists for right now. Click here to see the most important cookies of the 1920s through today — and gaze forward with our Cookie of the Future!

When I think of the future, I conjure up two very different scenes. On one hand, I picture the realities of the world we live in: unchecked global warming, increasing political divide, and endless uncertainty. But on the other hand, I picture a more child-like scene — a technicolor world filled with sparkling chrome, flying cars, and glistening technology with no limitations in sight. In this more colorful version of the future, I imagine new hybrid crops in swirling colors, food systems that would end global hunger, and freeze-dried foods that can be packed up for a quick daytime trip to the moon. So when thinking of what a “future cookie” would look like, I turned to this fantasy version of the future.

Baking is an escape from reality, and the cookie of the future fully embraces my fantasies. These cookies, which I created for my cookbook, are swirling with bright colors created with freeze-dried berries and have a flavor almost identical to the cereal I ate as a child. I dubbed them “berry blast cookies” because I see them as a culinary launching pad to my shimmering Jetsonian dreams of the future.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

The Trick to Making These Colorful, Swirling Sugar Cookies? Freeze-Dried Berries.

At first glance you might think these cookies use food coloring to give them such a vivid color — but they don’t! It’s all thanks to freeze-dried berries, the crispy berries that are sold in the snack section usually near the nuts and trail mixes. In this recipe, the berries are ground up and mixed into the cookie dough to create three different hues, each with a different berry flavor. The three doughs get swirled together to create a striking pattern that bakes into a bold, mixed berry flavor. If you’ve never baked with freeze-dried berries before, this is the perfect place to start!

Our Three Most-Loved Cookie-Baking Tools

Before you preheat the oven, gear up with these cookie-making essentials.

  • The Sheet Pan Every Kitchn Editor Owns: This sturdy, won’t-ever-warp pan is great for cranking out a ton of picture-perfect sweets. Bonus: It comes in great colors, which makes baking even more fun.
  • Our Tried-and-Tested Favorite Cooling Rack: We love these racks for their criss-cross design, which adds stability, makes sure your precious treats won’t slip though, and prevents the rack from wobbling or warping.
  • The Little Spatula That Every Baker Needs: This thin-but-sturdy spatula is great for gently loosening your cookies from the pan and transferring them to the cooling rack. It’s particularly handy for moving small or delicate treats.

Berry Blast Marbled Sugar Cookies Recipe

Freeze-dried berries give these futuristic cookies their vibrant swirly color.

Makes 14 large cookies

Nutritional Info


  • 2 sticks

    unsalted butter (8 ounces/226 grams)

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1

    (1.3-ounce) package freeze-dried strawberries (about 1 1/2 cups/37 grams)

  • 1

    (1.3-ounce) package freeze-dried raspberries (about 1 1/2 cups/37 grams)

  • 1

    (1.3-ounce) package freeze-dried blueberries (about 1 1/2 cups/37 grams)

  • 1 1/2 cups

    granulated sugar (300 grams), divided

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar (67 grams)

  • 1 tablespoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups

    spooned and leveled all-purpose flour (224 grams)

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking soda


  1. Place 2 sticks unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Place 1 large egg on the counter. Let both sit at room temperature until the butter is softened.

  2. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  3. Place 1 package freeze-dried strawberries in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment (or in a blender) and process until the texture of fine flour, with no visible chunks of berries. Transfer to a medium bowl.

  4. Repeat the process with the 1 package freeze-dried raspberries and 1 package freeze-dried blueberries, placing them into separate bowls. (If your food processor or blender is unable to break the berries down completely, pass the powders through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any large pieces.)

  5. Add 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar to the butter. Mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through, until smooth and fully combined, 2 to 3 minutes total.

  6. Turn the mixer off and add the egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the mixer off and add 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix on low speed until a soft dough forms.

  7. Divide the dough into thirds (about 1 cup/240 grams per third) and add each portion to one of the bowls of freeze-dried berry powder. Mix the berry powders into the dough using a rubber spatula until completely combined. (Feel free to use clean hands to knead the berry powder into the dough if it’s giving you trouble.)

  8. Take 1 tablespoon of each dough and roll each into a rough 4-inch rope. Press the ropes together lengthwise so all three flavors are combined, twirl them into a rough spiral shape, then roll into a ball using the palm of your hands to create the marble pattern. (It’s okay to be a bit messy and imprecise.) Repeat with the remaining dough.

  9. Place the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a shallow, wide bowl and roll the dough balls in the sugar. Place 6 to 8 balls on each baking sheet, spacing them 3 inches apart.

  10. Bake both baking sheets at the same time, swapping the top sheet to the bottom rack and bottom sheet to the top midway through baking, until the tops of the cookies crack and the bottoms are just starting to brown, 13 to 15 minutes total. Immediately bang the baking sheets on the countertop to deflate the cookies slightly and then let them cool completely on the baking sheets.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Reprinted with permission from Cookies. Copyright© 2021 by Jesse Szewczyk. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Chelsea Kyle. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: Berry Blast Marbled Sugar Cookies