Sour Cream Sugar Twists Recipe

4.85 / 5 ( 20 Reviews )
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Christmas Recipe: Sour Cream Sugar Twists!

This Christmas recipe is one that goes way back for me. Whenever my mom would ask for Christmas treat requests, I always wanted these sour cream twists. Now I can make them for myself, but it’s still better when she makes them. 😉 I suppose they don’t need to be just for Christmas either, but that is when we always make them! They would probably be a lovely Easter treat as well.

What Are Sugar Cream Sugar Twists?

The twists are a lot like a pastry with those layers, but I am no pastry chef! They are not too sweet, but just sweet enough that I want to eat them all day long…which is basically what I’ve been doing the last few days.

Even though these were a common holiday cookie for me growing up, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else make them before! So if you’ve made them or tasted them before, give a shout out in the comments. Let me know if you love them too!

Tips for Making Sugar Twists

When I first started making these, the folding and rolling out process seemed intimidating, but it really isn’t very difficult and doesn’t take very long either. And really, it doesn’t have to be perfect for them to still turn out great. The hardest part is waiting the two hours while the dough chills! FYI – I always use a pizza cutter to easily and quickly cut the dough into strips.

Because the sugar filling kind of melts and crystallizes while baking, you definitely want to have a silicone baking mat, or something like that, lining your pan to keep them from sticking. The silicone baking mats work perfectly for this recipe!

Final Thoughts

I love how simple and tasty this recipe. If you haven’t already tried sour cream sugar twists before, then you will want to give it try. Before you know it, this holiday special recipe will quickly become a fan-favorite and tradition in your home!

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Sour Cream Sugar Twists Recipe

These twists are not too sweet, but just sweet enough that I want to eat them all day long… which is basically what I’ve been doing the last few days.
4.85 / 5 ( 20 Reviews )
Print Rate
Prep Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Serves: 58
Adjust Servings: 58


Sugar Filling


  • Soften yeast in the warm water. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or electric mixer on low speed to mix in the butter and shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Beat in eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and yeast mixture, until well combined. Divide dough in half, cover and chill for 2 hours, or until firm enough to roll.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. In a small bowl, combine the sugar filling ingredients.
  • Sprinkle some of the sugar filling on your surface and roll out one half of the dough to about 16 inches x 8 inches. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup sugar filling on top. Fold one end of the dough over to the center, fold other end over to make 3 layers (like folding a letter). Roll out again. Repeat the sugar filling and folding process, roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch x 1-inch strips. Twist and place on cookie sheet, at least an inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
  • Store at room temperature in an airtight container, for up to 1 week. To refresh twists, if needed, place on cookie sheet and reheat at 350°F/175°C 5 minutes. Can also be frozen for up to 3 months.


Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g
Meal Type: Desserts, Christmas, Easter, Meatless
Categories: Cookies and Treats, Oven

Comments & Reviews

  • OMG! My grandma used to make these! These are famous in our family! we call them starlight sugar crisps but i’ve never seen anyone else make them! YAY! they’re so delish nuked in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.

    • I haven’t seen anyone else make them either! That’s one of the reasons why I thought I definitely needed to share this recipe. It is fun to hear that other families love them too!

  • Hey, me too. We call them Vanilla Sugar Twists. I was so surprised to see them in the picture. Delish!! I love these guys

  • They have been made in our house for my entire 65 years and never seen anyone else make them

  • My grandma Shirley made these. Unbelievably delish. My sister and I have tried unsuccessfully for years to duplicate. Tips needed

  • My grandmother always made these during the holidays! I have a similar recipe that I just took out of her recipe box and can’t wait to bake a batch:). Happy Holidays!

  • My Italian grandmother with a gift for anything that came out of the kitchen found a very similar recipe in the local newspaper probably 60 years ago and gave them a whirl. They have been a family standard ever since with minor changes and one addition: one cup sour cream, four cups flour and a teaspoon of cinnamon (no vanilla) in one cup sugar for rolling. I will echo what so many have said – I haven’t seen anyone else make them! For us they are not so much a holiday cookie as a celebration cookie – birthdays, baptisms, family reunions, or “just because.”

    • Love it! Thank you for sharing, Cathy. Celebration, holiday, and “just because” cookie all sound good to me. 😉 Just thinking about them is making me want some!

  • 30 years ago a friend of mine used to make these for our synagogue. I thought this was a traditional Jewish recipe! She passed away many years ago and was famous for her baking. I have searched everywhere for this recipe which reminds me of her. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you!!!

    • I’m glad you found this sour cream sugar twist recipe! I hope you enjoy making them and remembering your friend. <3 Thank you for commenting, Marilyn.

  • My mom called them sour cream twists. For the holidays, she would often use colored sugar for the last sprinkle before cutting them. She made them weeks before Christmas and froze them, hoping they would be a cookie to bring out for unexpected company. She soon realized that we kids enjoyed them frozen just as much and the top layers were often quickly eaten.

  • My Swedish Grandmother and Aunt who worked for the former Hough Bakery in Cleveland kept us grandkids well fed and this twist on a cookie was always so good! My grandmother was the secretary to the Pyle brothers and Aunt was one of the head pastry chefs. Great memories and this is the closest to what they made. One of my biggest regrets growing up was not learning more from these very talented cooks! The other grandmother was Pennsylvania Dutch and her cooking was just as good. Sweet and savory memories!

  • I look forward to making these! But, is the yeast dry active or cake? I assume cake. I searched other recipes and they call for dry active. Thank you!

    • Great question! I actually use an instant yeast, so I suppose the softening isn’t necessary. But I still follow the recipe as written and just use the instant yeast that I have on hand. It works well! Active dry yeast will work as well.

  • My grandmother always made these for holidays and now I make them for my family and give them out to neighbors during Christmas time. I think my grandma still has the Pillsbury book the recipe came from. They are delicious and hard to stop eating. No wonder it was a winning recipe!

  • I’m having trouble with many of the twists coming untwisted during baking. What an I doing wrong?

  • Barbara

    I haven’t made this recipe, but it is an old family favorite. We always called them Sugar Crisp’s. My only advice is to use parchment paper, that’s the only difference between Great and GREAT!!

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