The Old Recipe Box: My Grandmother’s Butterhorns

Old time recipe for Grandmother's Butterhorns. Sweet soft delicous rolls with frosting on top. Mmmmm.

Inside my Great-Grandmother’s Old Recipe Box is a recipe for Butterhorns.   When I first saw it I was like “What is a butterhorn?”  I had never tried a homemade butterhorn before and knew I wanted to try to make them. They turned out to be a soft buttery gorgeous roll drizzled with a sweet frosting glaze.  Mmmm.mmmm..good.

Grandmothers Butterhorn - old fashioned recipe made from scratch

Here is the recipe card. The card is really old and I imagine her typing this out with an old fashioned typewriter. Can you picture it?

When it was time to cook these I gathered up my ingredients. Then got to work.


The cast of ingredients wasn’t too hard – flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, yeast and salt. I had all those ingredients on hand.


I followed the directions from the recipe card, however this first batch I didn’t cool my milk long enough and it killed my yeast. The dough never would raise up. So I tried the recipe again the second day and it worked like a charm.

So note to you all – don’t add the yeast when your milk is too hot.

This dough was really really sticky, so after it’s mixed up I greased a bowl and added the dough inside to let rise. It was doubled after an hour.


Next I took the dough and split it in half. Then rolled out each half, buttered it, and cut it into 16 pie slices. 


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The directions say then to roll them all up individually and place on cookie sheet to rise again. Here is how it looks when you roll them up.

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After about 40 minutes of rise time again they went into the oven to bake.

While they were baking I made the frosting as directed on the recipe (only I didn’t have cream hanging around, so I used my raw milk, trying to get the top part that sometimes is cream). Either way it was wonderful..and very delicious.


I drizzled it onto the Butterhorns when they came out of the oven and they looked so pretty.

And buttery.

And delicious.


My opinion on these Butterhorns? I don’t know…I liked them but I didn’t LOVE them.  I guess I wanted them to be a bit more sweet or something.  My kids thought they died and went to heaven though – they LOVED them! In fact they were all gone by that next morning.

If you bake these up let me know what you think as well. It’s fun to try new recipes out – especially old fashioned ones.

5 from 3 votes
Old time recipe for Grandmother's Butterhorns. Sweet soft delicous rolls with frosting on top. Mmmmm.
Prep Time
2 hr
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
2 hr 20 mins
Sweet Butterhorn rolls just like Grandmother used to make.
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 32 Roll
Calories: 85 kcal
Author: Karrie
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Star Yeast package or 1 instant yeast
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp . Vanilla
  • fresh cream to thin
  1. Add your yeast to the warm milk. Then add butter, sugar, eggs, then flour. Mix until well incorporated and the dough is sticky.
  2. Add to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until twice in size.
  3. Split dough in half. Roll out 1/4 inch thich in a circle.
  4. Spread with butter.
  5. Cut 16 pie shaped wedges then roll each from outer edge.
  6. Lightly cover and let rise again.
  7. Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
  8. Frosting: Mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and cream to thin. Frost or drizzle on top of butterhorns while hot.


The Old Recipe Box: My Grandmother’s Butterhorns was last modified: March 6th, 2017 by Karrie

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  1. I make butterhorns but I have never put the sweet icing on top. When they come out I brush with melted butter and then we cut them open and eat with butter and jelly. My family thinks they are a treat since I make them 1-2 times a year. You can make them with half whole wheat flour and it still turns out great.

  2. One of my families favorite memories is of my Grandmother’s butterhorns. She’s been gone a few years now but the recipe remains. I have not yet tried it. Maybe I should. Grandma made them so much that she never used a recipe. We would all line up and wait for them to be frosted and eat them while they were still warm. Thank you for bringing back wonderful memories.

  3. Are these almost like a crousant? (I totally misspelled that) Do you think I could use these for pigs in blankets? It is my hubs favorite thing. I found a recipe for mini philly cheese steak crousants on another blog (life in the lofthouse) that these also might be good with. I think the icing would never get used if they have the texture I picture.

  4. Cat Whatley says:

    I remember having these sweet-buttery delights as a child, too! Unfortunately, it wasn’t a recipe that was ever in my own home (or of a relative)…so I never got the chance to learn how to make them! I’m eager to try these!

    On a side note-slash-alternative serving method…My Beloved Hubby loves when I buy the crescents-in-a-can and wrap them (as squares instead of triangles) around Apple Chicken Brats (because a hotdog bun or hoagie roll just doesn’t cut it!)!! I think this recipe will be much better…in flavor and in the amount of “unnecessaries” (like additives and preservatives that are in the store-bought version)…just omit the “frosting”! I would make these for a quickie lunch during busy weekends or game (sports and board) days! All the kids love them (even the “old” kids, like BH!)!!

    Kudos for keeping family recipes and traditions alive!

  5. I bet a little cinnamon and brown sugar in them before they get rolled up would be good!

  6. Karen Wood says:

    I have to try this. So simple! I bet you could put various fillings in them. I’m thinking almond paste, jam, or even custard. I used to get a lot of store bought butterhorns. Nothing store bought tastes the same these days as it used to so I don’t anymore, but the store bought ones are always round as if they rolled strips into a round and then put a glob of filling on the middle. They are also served in restaurants warmed and then you put butter on them and let it melt in and you have to eat them with a fork.

  7. They look delicious, even though I have never seen them rolled croissant-style either. Try them with some toasted walnut pieces sprinkled on the wet glaze. I remember my grandma and my mom making them when I was very young, so like you, I am all about the ‘memory’… it’s what made me into the professional baker I am today. Thanks for the memory.

  8. Oh, I love heirloom recipes~! Such a wonderful thing. Maybe you can tweak them a bit to be sweeter by spreading with butter and dusting with sugar before baking? (Kinda like cinnamon rolls but without cinnamon.) I may have to try this recipe myself. Thanks for sharing!

  9. What a privilege to be the keeper of your Great-Grandmothers recipe box. What a treasure! I recently inherited my Nanna’s carving set, which invokes memories of my Sister and I sitting at her kitchen bench, watching her carving roast chicken.

    I made these for my boys for an afternoon tea treat today and they were delicious. I have never heard of butter horns – must be an American thing (greetings from Western Australia), but I’m very glad I have now. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Was thinking, as I glazed them, that a sprinkle of cinnamon, either in or on the glaze, would be awesome. But then, cinnamon on anything is awesome!

  10. I have an old butterhorn recipe as well which is very similar but it has to rest in the fridge. Anyhow what I was going to suggest if you make them again is skipping the glaze and spreading poppyseed cake and pastry filling. I’ve never made it from scratch but buy Solo brand from Winco. The recipe I has calls for it and they are my favorite rolls

  11. My Family has made these for years as a family tradition. My brothers and I used to have contests when we were younger to see how many we could eat! This is a BIG favorite!!

  12. I’ve been looking for this recipe since my mom passed away about 30 years ago. She would make these and I loved them!! I’ve looked at other recipes, but they didn’t seem like just the right one. Usually they were not frosted. This is the one that seems closest to Mom’s and I can’t wait to make them. Thanks for posting not only a good recipe but a wonderful memory.

  13. My grandmother made some very similar to yours. The two differences are that she buttered them a second time after rolling them up and before the second rise. Secondly, she brushed the glaze on so it covered every nook and cranny of the butter horn which made them quite sweet. My family couldn’t imagine an Easter feast without them! I taught myself how to cook because of the love and admiration I had for my grandmother (and her cooking). Thank you for sharing your Great-grandmother’s love with us.

  14. Erin Zinke says:

    This recipe is similar, but my great, great grandma’s recipe is different. The steps are slightly different and we have to leave it to rise in the refrigerator over night. I make them about 4 times a year and the memories it brings are delightful. I have wonderful memories of making them with my grandmother. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Sharon Battiston says:

    Hi, I’m going to try these they sound really good. My Grandmothers Butterhorn recipe (80? years old) is a bit different …
    2 cups flour, 1 cup butter mixed together. Add 1 egg yolk & 3/4 cup sour cream. Roll into a ball, cover and refrigerate overnight. Divide into 3 pieces and roll out 1 piece at a time. Sprinkle the circle with 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 tsp of cinnamon. 1/4 cup chopped nuts optional. Cut into 12 wedges and then roll up from the outside in. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper) Bake at 375* for 25-30 minutes.

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