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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


Friday 10th of November 2023

I love this recipe! I too have been making these for years as they are a favourite for Christmas and parties. I'm wondering if I could try making these with greek yogurt. I have so much I need to use and don't have any sour cream in the house.


Saturday 11th of November 2023

I think it could work in this recipe. Let us know if you try it!


Thursday 19th of October 2023

I make my hers and before baking I brush with beaten egg white .. makes them shiny !

Mary Ann

Wednesday 14th of December 2022

I’ve been making similar butterhorn’s for years (except my butter is room temperature) but they seem to dry out very fast…I tried storing them in a tin and then I tried a Rubbermaid container, but they dry out so fast. Is there another way of storing these cookies that they last more than a few days. I make them for christmas gifts and sometimes I don’t get to give them out until 10 days after baking and they are disappointing cause they are such a tasty cookie. Thanks in advance for your help.


Wednesday 14th of December 2022

These cookies are a little on the "crisp" side, but I find them to be more flaky and chewy than dry. Does yours have the sour cream and egg? To keep them fresh until you're ready to serve, you can freeze them after baking. My grandma used to make them in advance and store them outside (in the Midwest) until Christmas :-)


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.

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.

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