Skip to Content

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


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.

Carolyn Cook

Tuesday 7th of December 2021

I asked my younger son what he wanted asaCookie for Christmas this year.. My friend was able to find your recipe for me.. so I will certainly try it.. My son, said he can only get these Cookies at family function’s..


Tuesday 7th of December 2021

I hope he enjoys and Merry Christmas!


Wednesday 27th of October 2021

I make my cookies with the exact same ingredients But I have trouble rolling out the dough. If I can only find a Great Tip to roll them out I would be Home free.


Thursday 23rd of December 2021

@Rae, try using confectionery sugar instead of flour it works great but you have to keep it well coated


Thursday 23rd of December 2021

@Rae, I used to have trouble rolling out the dough, but now I have good luck rolling out the dough with a pastry cloth tube pulled over the rolling pin (can buy at stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond) and rolling the dough on a pastry plastic mat (or a cloth pastry mat works, also available at stores or online). If you don’t have access to those, I’ve read that people roll the dough out between wax paper or plastic wrap, and that helps it stick together. I use powdered sugar (like my Gram did) to dust the dough and rolling pin before I start rolling. Good luck!


Friday 29th of October 2021

Hi Rae, what is the trouble? Is the dough cracking? Sticking? Not coming out round? Make sure the dough is rested so it rolls out easier.


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!

Skip to Recipe