Butterhorns (i.e. heaven in bread form)

I hope everyone enjoyed a lovely holiday break! I know this weekend is the last free weekend for many of you, before it’s back to the grindstone at school. My deepest sympathies to you. It was a pleasant and quiet holiday up here in the snowy northern woods. We got quite a bit of snow on Christmas and again on New Years! And I took a much needed rest from crafting and cooking and blogging and such. My right hand started giving my carpal tunnel like trouble. Not cool hand…not cool. 😦 So I bought a few wrist braces, chilled out and didn’t play ANY video games, or play on my phone (that was the hardest!) and really just kind of let my wrists chill out and take a break. They are much better for the most part. I’m still trying to limit the amount of repetitive activity and stop when it starts hurting. Though…I didn’t just do nothing. I did a little bit of last minute baking on Christmas Eve/Day.

Every year for as long as I can remember we have had Butterhorns for breakfast on Christmas morning. Every year. The year that we got married (on Christmas Eve) I asked my mom to make a batch for me to take to the hotel so I could have some first thing for breakfast! Though…I’m sure I ate some that night… and we were going back to my parents house for Christmas morning festivities. I just gotta have me those butterhorns. They may be the single holiday food I look forward to the most, if I had to choose just one food…that would be it.  You’re probably thinking to yourself by now; “Really? That good? They can’t be that good.” oh but they are. They are that  good. I’m not sure where exactly the recipe comes from or how it got started. My mom grew up with them, and so carried on the tradition. Her brother and his family have them, my parents have them, I have them, my sister has them, etc. Because they are SO good!

You ready for the recipe now? I have given you fair warning, these are delicious, you will probably want to (or actually) eat them all. Which I believe is why we only make them at Christmas….though now that I have the recipe……


first, gather the ingredients and supplies!
first, gather the ingredients and supplies!

3 3/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
1 c. melted butter
1 c. evaporated milk
3 T. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 pkg. yeast (1 T.)
2 eggs, beaten


When working with yeast it’s always a good idea to proof your yeast before you add it in with the rest of your mix. Nothing like mixing up a big batch of dough…waiting 2 hours…only to find it hasn’t risen AT ALL! (probably because your yeast is dead)

Yeast, warm (not hot!) water, and sugar or honey.
Just mixed it all up.

In the meantime, while your waiting for the little yeasties to feast and burb and make glorious bubbles, we’ll start on the rest of the dough.

Combine flour, salt & 3 Tablespoons of sugar in a nice big mixing bowl. Melt your butter in a safe container in the microwave…then pour all that buttery goodness into the flour mixture.

oh butter baby!
oh butter baby!

It’s probably been about 5 minutes now, so lets check back on the yeast. Make sure you keep an eye on your yeast, if it’s alive and kicking it has a tendency to escape small vessels!

Perfect! See how foamy that is? Nearly twice it's size!
Perfect! See how foamy that is? Nearly twice it’s size!

Add the yeast mixture to the flour, then you’ll add the eggs and evaporated milk.

It’s still pretty messy and lumpy at this point.
I had my kitchen elf come and help finish up mixing the dough. He used his hands to mix in all the flour and everything so it was an even consistency.

Now stir! Stir it super well, It will be a fairly dense dough, you do not have to knead it like you do with most bread doughs. You do need to plan ahead a little bit for these, after the dough is all mixed up form it into a tidy pile, cover it up and refrigerate it overnight.


The next morning, pull your dough out of the fridge and let it hang out on the counter until it’s about room temperature. It will be a little easier to roll out this way. Or if you have a kitchen elf with hot hands like I do, just ask him to come in and fondle your dough for a few minutes 😉


On a lightly floured surface you’re going to want to roll out to about 1/4″ thick. I decided not to be too picky about the shape of it, because quite frankly, they taste just as yummy in non-perfect shapes as they do in perfect shapes. Who am I to discriminate?’butterhorn9Once your dough is rolled out, use a butter knife (or whatever’s handy) and make mostly triangular shapes, then starting at the fat end, roll them up! Once you’ve done this, you can lay all the horns out on a baking sheet and freeze them. That’s what my mom usually does, makes them a few weeks early, freezes them, then tosses them in zip bags. That way on christmas morning all she has to do is pull them out of the freezer and toss them in the oven! Otherwise, if you’re going to bake them straight away turn your oven on to 350 degrees.


while waiting for the oven, we discovered that Mr. Spock loves butterhorns! The dough and the finished product. He’s grabbing a piece of dough off the kitchen elf’s finger here.

Once the ovens hot, place your butter horns on a baking sheet (grease if needed, I baked them on a pizza stone) Bake for about 20 minutes fresh. They should be puffed up and golden brown on top. If you went the frozen route, no need to thaw, but the frozen butterhorns on your baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes!

butterhorn11Enjoy! These are wonderful eaten plain, warm, cold, in house or with a mouse…. well you get the idea.

There is also an icing option which I did not manage to take pictures of. I was far to busy watching Christmas movies and eating all the butterhorns! But here is the recipe for that: and a short version of the butterhorn recipe. My husband doesn’t care terribly much for the rum icing, actually up until a few years ago I never even bothered with it either, so I made the icing, left out the extracts then split it 50/50 I made a rum one for me and a vanilla for him. Though I suppose you could experiment and use other flavors as well. This recipe may seem time consuming…but it’s not. I do believe you can also make the dough in a bread machine on the dough setting. That’s usually what my mom does. I would strongly encourage you to try these out, make them for your next dinner, or brunch, or monday. They’d be great for curing mondays! Or come visit us on Christmas and I’d be happy to share one with you. (but only one…..)

-3 T. butter (softened)
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar
evaporated milk (add enough to make a good spreading consistency)
1 T. rum flavoring


3 3/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
3 T. sugar
1 c. melted butter
1 c. evaporated milk
3 T. warm water
1 t. sugar
1 pkg. yeast (1 T.)
2 eggs, beaten

-combine flour, salt & 3 T. sugar
-add butter (will be lumpy)
-dissolve yeast in warm water with 1 t. sugar. Wait for reaction.
-add to flour mixture
-combine eggs & milk
-add to flour mixture
-refrigerate overnight
-roll 1/4″ thick on floured surface. Cut into triangles. Roll into crescents.
-can freeze at this point.

bake at 350 degrees for 20 min. (30 – 40 min. if frozen)


2 thoughts on “Butterhorns (i.e. heaven in bread form)

  1. I couldn’t sleep, so what does one do? I just finished rolling out the last batch of the Eastern cousins Christmas morn/noon/night celestial servings of “B.U.T.T.E.R.H.O.R.N.S.”!
    It’s amazing, I always hear a choir of angels singing Handel’s Messiah when I pull them out of the oven….. ;0)

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