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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


Monday 21st of December 2020

I've been making these for the past 40+ years. Once I decided to focus on some new cookies and didn't make these & I never heard the end it. Your recipe is the first one I've seen that matches mine exactly on the ingredients! The only difference is when mixing the dough, I put the butter in softened and add all dough ingredients at once. And I bake at 325 for 25 mins. The reason I came across your recipe today, I was looking for anyone that has frozen these. Didn't know if this dough would freeze well. Or if baking the cookies & then freezing would work. I'm trying to limit my sugar intake so was hoping to do smaller batches so I'm not tempted to eat them


Monday 21st of December 2020

Hi Lisa! My grandma used to freeze the cookies after baking. I would also think the dough can be frozen before baking since it's similar to a pie crust. Merry Christmas!


Friday 27th of November 2020

I modified this recipe slightly to make them like scuffles, a Ukrainian/Romanian cinnamon sugar twist, which is usually made with yeast, but I'm allergic to yeast. This recipe is almost the same, similar results. My grandmother made them at Christmas, but nobody picked them up after she passed, so I'm so glad to find this recipe and revive that tradition.


Friday 27th of November 2020

That's so cool! Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Sunday 31st of December 2017

My mother used to make butterhorns and frosted them with a glaze. I can't find her recipe. Have you ever frosted these? Any recommendations?


Sunday 31st of December 2017

My grandma never frosted hers, but could it be something like this?

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Saturday 31st of October 2015

[…] addicted to Sally’s cookies! And I especially love cookies when they have fillings like my Grandma’s Butterhorn Cookies or cream cheese frosting sandwiched between Red Velvet […]

Peanut Butter Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies | Kitchen Gidget

Friday 11th of July 2014

[…] addicted to Sally’s cookies! And I especially love cookies when they have fillings like my Grandma’s Butterhorn Cookies or cream cheese frosting sandwiched between Red Velvet […]

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