Updated August 30th, 2018 – You have a craving for cookies and feel like getting creative in the kitchen. There is only one problem—no rolling pin. It’s time to go shopping!
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As you start looking around, you might be surprised to learn that there’s an entire rolling pin industry out there. It was news to me as well. I remember the humble wooden pin from baking with my grandmother as a child, back in simpler times. Now, aspiring cooks can choose between marble, glass, stainless steel, and old-fashioned wooden rolling pins.
So, which one is best for cookie dough? Let’s find out!
Simple cut-out cookie recipe
Rolling pins are especially handy when you’re making simple butter cookies for decorating. To make them, you need the following ingredients:
- A cup of unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- A large egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- About 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like to add a little extra.)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
Cream the butter and sugar with a hand mixer (read my reviews of some good hand mixers here and the best stand mixer too). Then beat in your egg and vanilla. Add in your flour a cup at a time until you have a stiff dough.
Divide the dough into two balls and let them chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
Tip: Gather up any cookie cutters you have lying around. Don’t have any? You can use an upside-down cup in a pinch! It helps to dip the cutters in flour before each use.
Time to get out your rolling pin! Roll out the cookies on a sheet of parchment paper until they are a quarter inch thick. Cut out your shapes and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until browned.
Butter cookies taste best glazed or frosted. A simple glaze made with confectioner’s sugar, a little corn syrup, milk, and food coloring adds extra sweetness and interest to your cookies! Allow the cookies to cool before frosting them.
What makes a great rolling pin for cookies?
Feeling confused and overwhelmed with the huge amount of rolling pins out there? Thankfully, the Internet is just a click away to help solve the problem and prevent a cookie dough disaster. There are plenty of online resources available to help you find a rolling pin that’s perfect for your baking needs.
For example, the website BBC Good Food has rolling pin tips given by several contestants from the award-winning TV show: The Great British Bake Off. These guys are experts when it comes to baking, and describe the pin as a “fundamental” piece of kitchen equipment.
One of their recommendations is to use a long, thin, wooden pin—without handles—to roll out cookie dough. No handles mean the pin is easier to move around, and the length allows you to roll dough out over a wide surface area.
In essence, the wider the pin, the quicker the roll. This means more time indulging in freshly-baked cookies. Plus, pins without handles are easier to clean, making life in the kitchen just a little bit sweeter.
Okay, now we have a general idea of how to shop for a rolling pin. Next, let’s look at style.
A French-style rolling pin is made from wood and is tapered on each side for easy rolling. Joy the Baker says a French pin makes it easier to apply pressure when rolling, especially when working with soft bread and pie dough. The tapered look is also very chic, as with most things French. Unfortunately, the tapered style is not the ideal rolling pin for stiff cookie dough, no matter how fashionable it may look.
Ateco 20 Inch French Rolling Pin
This rolling pin made in the French style from Ateco is a classy, efficient option for any kitchen. It has classically tapered ends for easy handling and evenly applying pressure to make cookies as uniform as you’d like.
It’s made out of a premium solid, singular piece of maple wood measuring 20 inches long and 1.35 inches wide at the center. It also has a completely smooth surface that’s perfect for creating smooth, beautiful cookies. Since it’s made of such high quality, it’s recommended that you hand wash this rolling pin.
The Original Kitchen Cooperative French Rolling Pin
If you’re willing to invest a little more money into the purchase of your french rolling pin, The Original Kitchen Cooperative also has a high quality rolling pin, complete with the Eiffel Tower engraved into each side!
Crafted from a solid piece of beech wood and perfectly tapered at each end for easy handling, this rolling pin is incredibly smooth and perfectly suited for cookies. It’s even nonstick! At 18 inches, it’s the perfect size to roll out all your favorite types of baked treats.
For those with expensive tastes, a marble rolling pin will be the kitchen tool of choice. A marble pin is pretty, makes a statement, and is an investment piece for any kitchen. It’s also practical because the added weight from the marble makes rolling out dough even easier (though it can be heavy to carry around the kitchen). BBC Good Food recommends splurging on marble because it can be chilled before use, preventing dough from sticking to the pin. Joy the Baker likes to use marble because it looks good. Enough said.
Fox Run Marble Rolling Pin with Wood Base
This 10-inch marble rolling in by Fox Run is constructed from of beautiful and durable marble. The marble is naturally cool and non-stick, which is great for cookie dough. The handles and resting base are constructed from smooth wood. At almost 5 lbs, the hefty weight helps to easily spread and flatten the dough.
You can choose from white, green, or black marble. To clean, hand-wash with a mild detergent.
Tip: Place marble rolling pins in the freezer for half an hour to cool it down before using!
NoPro Marble Rolling Pin
Another beautiful marble rolling pin that will look classy and professional in any kitchen comes from NoPro. This little kitchen tool comes in at 10 inches long and 2 and a half inches wide. Made from a solid piece of marble, this rolling pin also has 4-inch wooden handles on each side for ergonomic handling and control. Your purchase also comes with a wooden stand to store your rolling pin. Hand washing is the best way to keep this rolling pin in top shape.
According to Joy, the traditional wooden style (or American pin) with two handles for easy rolling is great for cookie dough. Why? It’s comfortable and classic. Using a maple wooden pin may require a bit of arm strength to roll it back and forth, but it works well for chilled dough. A traditional style pin is also great for pizza, pie, flatbreads, and biscuits—meaning it’s a versatile piece of equipment for any kitchen.
J.K. Adams Maple Wood Medium Gourmet Rolling Pin
The J.K Adams rolling pin comes in a number of sizes. For the cookie dough, I recommend the 12-inch x 2-3/4 inch x 3 inch medium size. This model is handcrafted in the USA from maple wood. It features waxed barrels, easy-grip handles, a full-length steel axel, and self-lubricating bearings for smooth rolling.
To clean your wooden rolling pin, wash with warm soapy water and dry promptly.
Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin
For a slightly cheaper traditional option, I’d go with Farberware’s classic wooden rolling pin. It’s moisture resistant, which makes it extremely durable and a great asset in your kitchen. It has easy grip handles for comfort, control, and even pressure application, as well as nylon bearings to ensure smooth rolling action. The rolling pin is about 17.7 inches in total length or just 10 inches for rolling portion. It’s moisture resistant, so it’s not completely waterproof, so it shouldn’t be put into the dishwasher. Hand washing with a damp cloth will do!
Modern Laser Cut
Looking to add a unique twist to the humble cookie? Then look no further than the laser cut rolling pin. Laser cutting allows phrases and images to be stamped into the wood, which is then transferred onto the dough when rolling. It’s a fun alternative and a cool way to show off at a bake sale with custom-designed cookies.
Cats Pattern Embossing Rolling Pin
Constructed from natural beech wood, this Kederastyle rolling pin is a fun choice. It measures 15.4 inches total, with a cylinder size of 7.8 inches x 2 inches. The size might be a little small if you’re making a lot of cookies, but it would make a great gift for anyone who loves baking.
This pin, like the others on this list, is hand-wash only.
This cute engraved rolling pin is something of a novelty item, but who doesn’t love cats?! (You can also find other patterns from their web store.)
JumboLiving Embossed Wood Rolling Pin
For the holidays, check out JumboLiving’s laser-cut rolling pin. It’s embossed with a pattern of tiny little gingerbread men to make your holiday baking projects that much easier. The pattern in engraved onto a solid wood cylinder, which is strong and durable.
The pin itself is very lightweight, making it awesome for baking with the kiddos in your life. It’s about 15 inches long in total, with an 8 inch engraved patterned area.
Using a metal rolling pin has a number of perks. Unlike wood, metal will not crack or warp over time. It isn’t porous, so a metal rolling pin is generally more sanitary than wood. And, as many models are dishwasher-safe, cleaning a metal rolling pin is super convenient. Metal can also be chilled in the refrigerator, making it the perfect tool for working with sticky dough.
RollerMaster Rolling Pin
Looking for an awesome choice in metal rolling pins? Try out the RollerMaster. Its nonstick properties make rolling super easy, and the weight of it ensures an even cookie surface every time. It’s made out of non-porous stainless steel, which is extremely sanitary and prevents and harboring of bacteria or other contaminants. It is 17.5 in total length or just 9.8 inches for the rolling portion. The stainless steel is also crack and split resistant, unlike other materials, so it will likely last longer than other picks.
This one in particular is awesome because it comes with gift packaging as well. It’s also one of the only options that is dishwasher safe, so it’s incredibly convenient.
Vintage style has been kicking around for years and, with the rise of food styling, it has worked its way into the kitchen. An old, wooden rolling pin brings a sense of nostalgia and warmth to baking. It evokes childhood memories of eating warm cookies with a glass of milk and spending time with mom in the kitchen. Joy the Baker loves vintage rolling pins (even if they can be too small or full of splinters). Vintage style is pretty and, if you’re a fan of taking pictures of your baking escapades, then vintage is the pin for you.
J.K. Adams 19-Inch Maple Wood Rolling Dowel
It’s back to basics with the J.K. Adams wood rolling dowel. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. The great thing about using a simple rolling dowel is that there aren’t any moving parts that can break. It’s also the perfect size for making a large batch of cookies, measuring 19 inches x 2 inches.
This model is hand-wash only. Like a quality chef’s knife, every well-equipped kitchen should have one of these!
Rolling Pin FAQ
Do I need to refinish or apply some sort of oil or spray before using the Ateco 20 Inch French Rolling Pin?
No, you don’t need to spray the pin, use oil or do anything to start using this rolling pin. This is a solid and sturdy piece of high-quality maple wood. You don’t need to refinish it now or in the future, just simply hand wash the rolling pin when you are finished using it and then dry immediately.
What’s the diameter of the middle part of The Original Kitchen Cooperative French Rolling Pin?
The diameter of this rolling pin is approximately 1.5 inches in the middle part. The diameter is, of course, smaller on the tapered ends. This rolling pin is a perfect size for rolling cooking dough as you do not need a big pin to simply roll some cookie dough.
Does cookie dough stick more, less or about the same using the Fox Run Marble Rolling Pin with Wood Base compared to other rolling pins made solely out of wood?
For the most part, the dough will stick less on this cool marble material. Not all wooden rolling pins are created equal and there will be some fantastic rolling pins made out of wood. However, with a rolling pin made out of marble, it is very difficult for the dough to stick or cling on to this texture. This guarantees the dough rolling process to be a smooth and easy one.
How much does the NoPro Marble Rolling Pin weigh?
This rolling pin weighs about 5 pounds. This is a heavier rolling pin than your standard wooden ones due to its marble material. This makes rolling very easy and saves you time from having to go back and forth. Smooth and minimal rolling is all it will take to get your dough nice and flat.
Do the handles of the J.K. Adams Maple Wood Medium Gourmet Rolling Pin stay still or roll while rolling?
The handles spin and turn independently of the actual rolling pin. Meaning when you roll the pin, the center rolling piece will turn and roll while the handles in your hands will stay still. If the handles were not independent and attached to the pin you would have to turn your hands on the handles constantly. When the handles move independently of the rolling pin, it allows your hands to stay still and steady and provide a more comfortable rolling experience.
What is the length of the Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin?
The length of the Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin is 17.7 inches. That is measured from handle to handle. The length of the actual rolling portion of the pin is just 10 inches. 10 inches should be big enough for rolling cooking dough. Unless of course you are planning on baking a very large amount! The handles’ long length will give your hands a more spacious and comfortable rolling experience.
The Cats Pattern Embossing Rolling Pin looks difficult to clean, what is the best way to clean it? Can I just risk putting it in the dishwasher?
This rolling pin could be a bit more troublesome to wash than other pins. This is because of all the little grooves that the dough could get stuck to. No, you absolutely should not put this rolling pin in the dishwasher. Doing so could definitely cause the pin to warp and not work properly. I would suggest cleaning this pin immediately after using it and to not let any of the dough get dry and sink in. You could use a soft toothbrush or a soft brush to ensure all bits of dough are removed from the pin before storage.
Do I need to refinish or oil the JumboLiving Embossed Wood Rolling Pin?
This rolling pin comes with some natural oils from the wood. Washing this pin incorrectly or with soap will take away some of these oils. With this pin, it is good practice to oil it every now and then before storing. I would definitely oil this pin if I have been washing it incorrectly. I would use some mineral or olive oil but most other oils can work as well.
Is the RollerMaster Rolling Pin oven safe because it is stainless steel?
While I don’t know exactly why you would want to put a rolling pin in the oven, no it is best you do not put this rolling pin in the oven. While it is stainless steel, part of the bearing that allows the pin to roll has a small amount of plastic. Putting this pin in the oven would cause that to melt and you would have a very difficult and likely smelly time using the pin afterwards and it may not even work at all!
What type of wood is the J.K. Adams 19-Inch-by-2-Inch Maple Wood Rolling Dowel made from?
This pin is made of a high quality hard maple wood. This pin is built to last and is handcrafted and finished in the state of Vermont. The manufacturer gives a lifetime warranty for this pin. You do not need to refinish or oil this pin, as long as it is washed and dried with care. If you are using this pin frequently and not washing and drying it correctly, over time I would advise to oil it every now and then. But for the average customer, you do not need to worry about this.
So, after all that research, what is the best rolling pin for cookie dough? It seems to be a case of personal style. Personally, I’ll be going for a traditional wooden pin without handles. If it was good enough for my Grandmother, then it’s good enough for me.
Need to keep your royal icing fresh for your next cookie batch? Check out my step-by-step recommendations.
For more recommendations on great baking supplies for your cookies, see this article on the best rimmed baking sheets and the ice cream scoops that will have you baking like a pro.
Sending cookies in the mail? Read about how to pack cookies for shipping!