Grandma’s Butterhorn Recipe

5 from 2 votes

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Oh my gravy do I have a wonderful recipe for you all today! My Grandma is the best baker EVER.  Pretty sure all grandma’s everywhere know how to whip out amazing dishes flawlessly. It comes with being a grandma, I suppose. I’m working on getting copies of all her recipes and slowly I’m getting them one by one. Anyways, this is one straight out of her recipe box and one of my all time favorites that she makes. I grew up eating these and I’m pretty sure she grew up eating these too. Old family recipe right here.

Here’s a little get to know you trivia about me and my family: every Sunday, my Grandparents were invited over to my family’s house for dinner if they brought dessert. And just about every Sunday they would come, dessert in toe. It would always be coconut cream pie, chocolate chip walnut cookies, sponge cake with the BEST chocolate icing, cinnamon rolls, zucchini bread, horseshoe shortbread cookies or these butter horns. (There were more then this–these were some of my favorites off the top of my head.) After dinner, we’d do the dishes and eat dessert while playing cards. And, just like clockwork, someone other then my Grandpa would win and he would start swearing up a storm. Those were the days. Then I moved to Idaho for school….then met Gordon and… know the rest of the story.

So, about these butter horns….my first few attempts weren’t so successful, meaning they were good but just didn’t quite taste like hers. So, after some trial and error, I got it down! All that hard work (and extra 3 pounds I gained) was well worth it and you are going to be thanking me later. I promise. These are melt in your mouth little pieces of heaven and the whole batch makes 48 cookies! It does take a few steps to make these, but SO worth it. And don’t be scared–the steps are easy! Butter Horns are filled with cinnamon, sugar and ground walnuts and are tender, moist, tasty little gems that will find a place in your heart (and quite possibly on your behind). I absolutely LOVE these, partly because they’re good and partly because they will forever be linked to home and my grandparents, whom I absolutely love to death. A little bit of a sentimental post, but this recipe is sure to please!

5 from 2 votes

Grandma's Butterhorn Recipe

This Butterhorn recipe consists of cinnamon, sugar and ground walnuts. They are tender moist little gems that will find a place in your heart.
servings 48 Small Cookies
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins


For the dough-

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 lb cold butter 1 cup or 2 sticks
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

for the filling-


  • In large bowl, combine flour, salt, and butter until coarse crumbs form. Stir in sour cream and egg yolk until dough comes together--you may want to use your hands. Form into a fat disc shape, wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate 2-3 hours.
  • To form cookies, remove dough from fridge and let it warm up for 5-10 minutes while you make the filling.  
  • In food processor, combine sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Pulse the mixture until the nuts have practically become almost as small as the sugar granules.
  • Next, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Flour your board liberally and roll out one piece of dough into a circle that is 12-14 inches across and 1/8 inch thick. You want the circle to be pretty even, but it doesn't doesn't have to be perfect.
  • Sprinkle on 1/4th of the sugar walnut mixture over entire circle. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 12 even triangular pieces (just like you're cutting a pie). Roll up each triangle tightly, starting at the wide end to form crescent shapes. Place onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue this process with remaining dough and filling. 
  • Bake Butter Horns at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes. I cooked mine for 32 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, they shouldn't be shiny and the dough should be pretty much dry to the touch. At 25 minutes, I could still see a little butter in the dough that was making the dough moist still, so after a few minutes more in the oven, that went away and they looked cooked. As a reminder, if you are using a non-stick darker cookie sheet, these are going to cook faster. You want the bottoms of the cookies to be light brown, not dark brown! So be careful.
  • After 5 minutes on the baking sheet, remove to a cooking rack. 
  • Dust all the Butter Horns with powdered sugar and enjoy!
  • I decided to give some away and pack them in these cute little glassine bags! Adorable!


Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 146IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butterhorn

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14 Responses
  1. mcca0440

    lauren, how can you give one of our family's secret recipes away over the web!!!!!! Isn't this supposed to stay with family members only????? Auntie Valerie

  2. Darlene

    Thank you so much for posting this Butterhorn Recipe. It looks like something I had at a friends house about 25yrs ago & have always wanted the recipe. We have since lost touch & moved away & I am so excited to try it. Hope I can get it right. My daughter in law is having her first baby in Sept. & I am doing a shower. I am trying to come up with a few nice square/desserts for this. Hope it works out for me. Thanks.

  3. Laura

    My Mom and I made Butterhorns every Christmas and I still make them. She learned how from my Hungarian grandmother. I can’t wait to try your Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies. Don’t think I can wait for Christmas! Thank you so much for sharing Lauren.

  4. Tracy Martin

    I was totally shocked to find this recipe! My grandmother use to make this recipe and it our family recipe also! She was from Hungary. Our recipe must be doubled or tripled and we roll out our dough like a pie crust and sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar and walnuts (not crumbled in a food processor), cut the pie crust into strips and then those strips cut into triangles and rolled up. Ours seem to be much smaller. Tasty, addictive little things! Our Christmas morning tradition to eat butterhorns and unwrap presents. 🙂

  5. liz

    my mom made butterhorns every Christmas morning. I wish hers had had the cinnamon and walnut…she did them plain with icing. I am going to make your grandma’s this year as I love a cinnamon roll most of all. can’t miss combined with the memory of tender butterhorns. thanks. happy holidays.

  6. Susan

    5 stars
    This is my mother’s exact recipe although she did not dust them with confectioners sugar. I will try adding that final touch when I make them

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