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Grandma’s Butterhorn Cookies

Butterhorn Cookies with a flaky sour cream pastry dough rolled up with cinnamon sugar and walnuts. The bottoms get deliciously caramelized during baking! So good with an afternoon cup of coffee.

Butterhorn Cookies

Butterhorn Recipe

Feeling a bit homesick as I settle back into life in Virginia so I thought I’d post this butterhorn cookie recipe.

Grandma only makes them on Christmas Eve, but they’re really too versatile to label a Christmas cookie (they’re also a great breakfast pastry with a cup of hot coffee).

These however definitely remind me of Christmas and family. 

Making Christmas cookies all December long is a family tradition and we make so many cookies!

Have you seen all the Christmas cookies on my site? I even offer a free Christmas cookie cookbook to email subscribers (bottom of this post) with all my pro tips.

Kitchen Gidget | Butterhorn Cookies

The flaky, buttery dough is similar to pie crust, but enriched with sour cream.

It’s then rolled up with walnuts and cinnamon sugar that caramelizes, giving it a nice chewy-crisp texture.

They’re very much like rugelach. Maybe the same thing, different name.

If you like cinnamon, you might also like my Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies or my soft and chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies.

Butterhorn Cookies

There are a few steps involved with chilling and rolling the dough.

This must be done, but since the dough gets divided into 3 parts, you can keep a batch in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze to bake fresh cookies at a later date. 

After rolling the dough out thinly, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar walnut mixture. 

The nuts can be left out completely, or you can substitute a different nut.

Next, slice the dough into triangles. I use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into even wedges and it makes assembly a breeze.

Roll up each crescent starting with the wide end and bake. Enjoy the incredible scent as they cook!

Pin these butterhorns for later!

Cinnamon Butterhorn Cookies recipe just like mom used to bake! Buttery German danish with cinnamon sugar caramelized bottoms. #christmascookies

Grandma's Butterhorn Cookies

Grandma's Butterhorn Cookies

Yield: 48 cookies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Flaky sour cream pastry rolled up with cinnamon sugar and walnuts. The bottoms get deliciously caramelized!


  • 1 cup cold salted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped


  1. Cut butter into flour until evenly distributed. Small chunks of butter are ok.
  2. Mix egg yolk and sour cream together, then add to flour mixture, stirring just until dough comes together.
  3. Divide dough into 3 equal parts, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  4. Combine sugar, cinnamon and walnuts; set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll one portion of dough into 12-inch circle. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the sugar mix. Cut circle into 16 even wedges and roll up firmly starting with the wide end.
  7. Place on cookie sheet and space 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until delicately browned. Repeat with remaining 2 portions of dough.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget


Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

I have a recipe that uses 1 cup sour cream, that’s the only difference. They always leak, does anyone else have this problem?


Thursday 25th of August 2022

Hi Karen, hopefully someone will have some tips for you. Mine always leak a little too and get caramelized on the bottom. We love that about them! Try adding a tablespoon or two of flour to the cinnamon sugar mixture and see if that helps.


Tuesday 22nd of February 2022

These are fantastic! A friend gave me this recipe just a couple months ago, and was just able to make it! I KNEW not to leave the dough in the fridge too long, with all the butter, and then just like all of my pie making, I rolled between two layers of wax paper as I do with all my crusts. I cannot get mine to look as nice as yours though - but, no one has complained about the "look" and they love them. Let me know of any secrets you have about making them so nice looking. I will freeze some, and take a few out at a time, and microwave (like I do all of my other cookies) and they will be JUST like they are out of the oven. THANKS SO MUCH for sharing, I adore new recipes and this is definitely a keeper!!!

Carol L. Bartow

Sunday 23rd of January 2022

trying a hand at baking.. to mix this dough could I process in mixer on the fold dial, not good doing this by hand or the hook you use for bread?


Monday 24th of January 2022

Do you have a food processor? That would be best using the pulse setting.


Thursday 23rd of December 2021

I've been making these for yrs and my aunt taught me and she was a great baker I put dough in the middle of a pile of confectionery sugar turn dough over so it's well covered in the sugar and as I roll I keep putting more conf sugar on as soon as it gets sticky making sure the bottom & top always has conf sugar covering it, I know it's alot of sugar but they turn out great its a family favorite every year


Saturday 11th of December 2021

I'm also having difficulties rolling out the dough. It's so sticky! It's been chilling in the fridge for 2h and I followed the recipe exactly. Any suggestions?


Sunday 12th of December 2021

I usually have the opposite problem with the dough being stiff! Flour the rolling pin, counter/table and the dough really well.

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