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Delicious old school cheese swirls just like you baked at school. Using homemade scone dough, grated cheese, diced onion, and mustard, then rolled up and air fried.

Whether you call them cheese swirls, cheese whirls, cheese wheels or even cheese pinwheels they are delicious cooked in the air fryer.

air fryer cheese whirls recipe
Air Fryer Cheese Whirls Recipe
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Cheese Swirls

Yesterday I mentioned that at 40 years old I still remember school dinners and my love for the cheese flan at primary school.

Alongside fish fingers, sticky toffee pudding and that strawberry flavoured custard, school dinners were always amazing.

But when I hit secondary school my favourite foodie memory for food technology. You had just 1hr 10 minutes a week about food and I loved every moment.

The first week you did homemade scones and then the next week you did cheese swirls.

Looking back, I love the concept. That the first week you are teaching the kids a basic cheese scone recipe.

Then the next week, with the skill that they have learned they are using the same dough, rolling it out and covering it with cheese and onion and mustard and making something even better.

Well, that is exactly what I recommend you do with the air fryer. Master our air fryer scones first and see just how easy it is to make scones in the air fryer.

Then the next week, come back and make our air fryer cheese swirls.

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Is It Cheese Whirls?

After a little market research for your cheese swirls recipe, I realised that I am talking about a recipe with so many different names.

Whilst I call them cheese swirls as that is what they were called back in the 90’s at school I notice more people call them cheese whirls.

I also notice that many name them cheese twists or cheese wheels.

Or if you are outside the UK and live in the USA then you are likely to think of them as pinwheels, or in Australia scrolls.

Whatever they are called where you live, note they are easy prep and cook in the air fryer perfectly.

What Are Cheese Whirls?

Cheese whirls, or cheese swirls as I call them, is scone dough that is rolled up with a cheese and onion and mustard filling.

It is then sliced, and cheese whirls are cooked on their sides.

Cheese Swirls With Puff Pastry

Another popular option is to make cheese swirls with puff pastry. The same concept remains you are just swapping scones dough for puff pastry.

There is not much difference in taste and texture and its just a quick prep method.

This is also perfect for when you have spare puff pastry and want a simple use for it.

What Is Cheese Whirl Recipe Made Of?

A cheese whirls recipe is so simple, and I am sure you have these ingredients in already that make up a cheese whirl.

In a nutshell you need scone dough, and a quick filling.

The filling for cheese whirl is usually cheese and onion.

Ham & Cheese Swirls

A popular variation is the ham and cheese swirls. Instead of cheese and onion you swap the onion for ham.

It’s a great way to use up leftover ham especially after Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or I make a ham and cheese swirl after a gammon roast dinner.

How Do You Roll Cheese Swirls?

Its really easy to roll cheese swirls.

You start by rolling out your dough and then drowning it in mustard, then onion and then loads of grated cheese.

You then start rolling it from the top and slowly roll it, adding egg wash to help it stick as you roll.

How Do You Roll Cheese Swirls

Then once it is fully rolled you can slice it up and then it is ready for the air fryer.

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Cheese Whirl Ingredients

Cheese Whirl Ingredients

Dough – You will need one batch of our scone dough that you can roll out and then cover with your fillings. For this you will need self raising flour, butter, milk, and cheese.

Cheese – Cheese whirls school recipe will be loaded with grated cheese. We used some red Leicester that we had in the fridge, but any will do.

Onion – We also added onion to ours, as old school cheese whirls always started with a layer of diced onion.

Mustard – This ingredient is often forgotten about but there is always a layer of mustard around the edges of the dough before you add the cheese and onion.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this recipe for cheese whirls it has just been our Philips air fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?

air fryer cheese swirls step by step
  • Dough. Start by rubbing the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add grated cheese, seasonings and then enough milk to make a scone dough.
  • Roll. Next roll out your dough on a clean floured worktop and then cover the edges with mustard. Then add diced onion, loads of grated cheese, and roll up.
  • Slice. Next slice into medium slices and then load into the air fryer over some foil.
  • Cook. Then air fry your cheese swirls primary school recipe for 12 minutes or until the dough is fully cooked.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is cooking a cheese swirl in air fryer and why you should be doing it too!

Can You Freeze Cheese Whirls?

Yes, you can freeze cheese whirls and they are just as good, when reheated from frozen.

I will often make some cheese whirls with leftover scone dough, or sometimes with leftover shortcrust pastry.

Then I will make them, cook them and once cool freeze them for another time.

Can You Make Cheese Whirls The Day Before?

Yes, you can. This makes them perfect for picnics, as when you are prepping your picnic the day before you can include your cheese whirls.

More Old School Recipes

cheese whirls

Your cheese swirls recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Cheese Swirls

Delicious old school cheese swirls just like you baked at school. Using homemade scone dough, grated cheese, diced onion, and mustard, then rolled up and air fried.
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 6
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Scone Dough

Kitchen Gadgets


  • Rub the fat into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add your seasoning and 28g of grated cheese. Then use enough milk to make a scone dough.
    How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?
  • Add flour to a clean worktop and to your rolling pin. Roll out your dough into big rectangle shape. Brush the edges with mustard.
    How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?
  • Then add diced onion and grated cheese.
    How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?
  • Gradually roll it from the top, adding some egg wash as you go so that it will stick together as it rolls.
    How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?
  • Once it is fully rolled add to a chopping board and slice into medium slices.
    How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?
  • Place a layer of foil in the air fryer, then add the sliced cheese whirls and then air fry for 6 minutes at 160c/320f followed by 6 more minutes at 140c/280f.
    How Do They Make Cheese Swirls?


Cheese. You can use any cheese that grates well and melts well. I usually grab a bag of grated cheese from the supermarket.
Temp. We go as low as 140c because otherwise the cheese will over cook and the dough wont cook through.
Thanks for reading our cheese swirl air fryer recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more delicious baking recipes in the air fryer, then do check out our air fryer meat pie recipe next.


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 546IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 300mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Proper old school recipe. These took me back and i introduced them to my kids and they loved them. I had them and will be making them again. So quick and easy recipe.