Every Christmas and Easter morning of my childhood (and even still now), my mom made a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls called ‘Butterhorns’.  The house would fill with the sweet smell of cinnamon and sugar, and we would all congregate in the kitchen waiting eagerly to eat them.  She iced them while they were still warm and served them straight off the baking tray.  Yummm….

This year for Easter we had friends over for a big brunch and egg hunt. I made my mom’s famous Butterhorns and they were a huge hit!  Easter wouldn’t be the same without the butterhorns, but they’re so yummy and so easy to make that I’m thinking they should become a breakfast staple in our house.

Here’s the recipe:

Dry Ingredients for Dough:
-4 cups flour
-3 tablespoons sugar
-1 cup of butter
-½ tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients for Dough:
-1 cup milk
-¼ cup water
-3 egg yolks
-2 packets of yeast (2 x 7g packets)

For Dough Filling:
-½ cup melted butter
-½ cup of sugar
-2 tablespoons of cinnamon

Mix together the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a large bowl. It will remain a dry, crumbly mixture.

Mix the milk and water and heat until warm. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and add to the warmed water/milk mixture. Add the packets of yeast and blend until frothy.

Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients. Dump in the wet mixture. Mix. Let stand overnight, or at least 8 hours in a fairly large bowl, covered, in the refrigerator.

In the morning, punch down and plop the dough onto a floured board. (If you let it stand for a few minutes at room temperature it will be easier to work the dough.) Knead slightly and then press into a rectangle shape. Roll out to a rectangle 24 inches by 18 inches. Brush melted butter over the dough. (I just pour the butter onto the dough and use my hands to smear it around.) Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar until it is a medium brown color. Roll up the rectangle. Cut off 1½ inch slices. Place on a cookie sheet, with the tail tucked under. Smash them with the palm of your hand. Let rise for ½ hour.

Bake at 350°F  for 10-15 minutes, until light brown. Frost with cream cheese frosting when cool (ish).

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8 ounce) pkg. of cream cheese, softened
¾ cup of butter, softened
1 pound (box) of powdered sugar
2 tsp. Vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and vanilla.


For a printable version of this recipe, click here.



Comments (14)

April 17, 2009

YUM! I was at Courtney’s for the Easter brunch and can vow that these cinnamon roles are DELICIOUS. Especially from the baking tray :-).

April 17, 2009

I love cinnamon rolls, I should really try to make them… it seems a bit long though!

April 17, 2009

It’s quite simple – just start the night before. They only need 15 minutes in the oven.
Totally worth the effort!!!!

April 18, 2009

I love traditions like this. And anything with cream cheese frosting sounds like a guaranteed success. Fun to run into you last weekend!

April 18, 2009

I have only ever made Swedish Cinnamon Rolls , that seem very similar to these ones but look forward to trying these out, as I just love Cream Cheese Frosting.
Thanx for sharing.

April 18, 2009

Great, was just about to ask you the recepy. Those were delicious! Sorry we couldn’t make it today! xxxKim

September 2, 2014

Hi, what type of flour do you use to make the butter horns? Plain flour or self raising?

Courtney in London
September 3, 2014

Hi Tracy, I just use normal flour (not the self-rising kind). Happy baking! x

December 22, 2014

[…] mom’s Butterhorns (cinnamon rolls). We make these on Christmas morning and eat them while they’re warm, […]

Elena Symeonidou
January 1, 2015

Dear Courtney, I am thinking of giving this recipe a try. how many butterhorns does it make?

April 11, 2015

Courtney I tried to make these and they were…..ok. I was so disappointed because they looked fabulously promising all the way to the last! think I went wrong somewhere. They tasted mostly of yeast and not much of cinnamon.

Please could you tell me what kind of yeast you use, and how much cinnamon and sugar? (I am in the US. I used Fleischmann’s active dry.)

Elena it made maybe around 20.

Courtney in London
April 21, 2015

Hi Helena,
I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out! What a bummer!
I checked with my mom in the US and she also uses Fleischmann’s active dry yeast, so that is not the problem. I wonder if you have larger packets than normal?
Did you remember to put the dough in the fridge over night? (We make a lot of bread and with bread you leave the dough in a bowl on your kitchen counter overnight, so this recipe is definitely different and it means that the yeast doesn’t rise as much because it’s being kept in a cold place.)
With regards to cinnamon and sugar — I think we sprinkle around a half a cup of sugar/cinnamon mix, so it looks quite dark once it’s all sprinkled out.
I hope this helps and hope you’re not too discouraged to try it again. They really are delicious!! Promise! xx

March 28, 2016

[…] Butterhorns! These cinnamon rolls have been adopted from Courtney’s family. We have celebrated Easter with them so many times, that now, Butterhorns belong to Easter as much as Birds Nests do! […]

March 31, 2018

Hi Courtney,
I know this post is quite old but I have a quick question – what temp is the butter when you mix it with the dry ingredients? cold, room temp or melted?
Thank you!!!

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