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Swedish Sour Cream Twists (Layered Yeast Cookies) from The Food Charlatan
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5 from 3 votes

Swedish Sour Cream Twists (Layered Yeast Cookies)

These pastry-like cookies have yeast in them but no rising. You just have to chill the dough a while, roll in lots of sugar, and twist to get one of the best Swedish Christmas traditions! We make these every year. I love to dip them in hot chocolate!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 37 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Swedish
Servings: 36 Twists
Calories: 144kcal
Author: Karen


  • 1 cup salted butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 3 & 1/2 cups flour spooned and leveled
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 & 1/4 cups white sugar for rolling out dough, plus more
  • 1/2 cup white sugar for rolling twists in


  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat well.
  • In another medium bowl, stir the yeast into the sour cream.
  • Beat in the eggs, salt, and vanilla.
  • Beat the sour cream mixture into the flour mixture until combined. The dough will be very sticky.
  • Cover the bowl and let chill in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. It's easier to manage the dough when it's cold, and it gives the yeast a chance to develop.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a few baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle a generous handful of the 1 and 1/4 cups sugar onto a work surface. I used a pastry cloth, or a silpat would work well too. If you roll out on the countertop you will need quite a bit of sugar since the dough is so sticky.
  • Scrape the dough on top of the sugar, sprinkle some more on top, and use your hands to pat it down. Roll it into a rectangle with a rolling pin. See photos.
  • Sprinkle the rolled dough with more sugar. Don't be stingy! Use a lot so that it doesn't stick, you may need more than the 1 and 1/4 cup called for.
  • Fold the dough in half, sprinkle the top with sugar, and roll out into another rectangle. Repeat this sugaring, folding, and rolling, process 3-4 times, until the sugar is gone.
  • The final time you roll the dough in a rectangle, sprinkle with sugar, then fold the dough in thirds like a business envelope (add sugar in between layers).
  • Roll into a long strip, about 4-5 inches by 22-24 inches. See photos.
  • Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into strips about 1/2 inch wide. (Each strip should be about 1/2 inch by 4-5 inches).
  • Use your fingers to twist each strip, then roll generously in 1/2 cup sugar. Place on the prepared baking sheets spaced about 2 inches apart.
  • Repeat with the remaining strips of dough.
  • Bake at 350 for about 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. If you think you will like them extra crispy for coffee-dipping, leave them in a couple minutes longer.
  • The recipe makes 36-40 twists, depending on how you long you made the twists.
  • Serve with hot chocolate! It's so good!!


Serving: 1twist | Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg