Cream Horns Cookies (Lady Locks)

These Cream Horns (Lady Locks) are a must-have cookie recipe for my family. The flaky crust and creamy filling make them irresistible!

It’s Christmas Cookie Week on IBC. Just kidding! But it is Christmas Cookie Day. I’m sharing my recipe for Cream Horn Cookies (a.k.a. Lady Locks). Plus, some of my blogger friends (a.k.a. #ChristmasCookieSquad) are joining in for a cookie swap! Everyone is linked at the bottom of this post so you can continue on with this cookie adventure.

How to make classic Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) | Inspired by Charm

You’re also in for a surprise today because I’m sharing my free printable Christmas recipe cards! Say what!? We’ll get to that in a minute.

Side note: I recently shared a full post with all my BEST Christmas cookie recipes. You can find that HERE if you need a little more Christmas cookie inspiration.

Download these printable Christmas recipe cards.

Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks):

Back to the cookies. . . Depending on where you live in the United States, you might be wondering what Cream Horns /Lady Locks are. I grew up knowing them as “Cream Horns,” and for years they have been a Christmas staple on my Dad’s side of the family.

I assume my grandma was the one who started making them (I don’t know for sure as she passed when I was quite young.) However, for as long as I can remember, they’ve been made by my Great Aunt Maggie.

Also, I recently made a version of these cream horns for fall: Pumpkin Spice Cream Horns! You can find that recipe HERE.

How to make Cream Horn Cookies for the holidays!

I did a little research and found out that Cream Horn Cookies are more commonly known as Lady Locks and are a tradition here in Pittsburgh. It’s customary here (and in St. Marys where I grew up) to have a cookie table at your wedding.This is literally a long table full of trays of homemade cookies. Apparently, Lady Locks are a staple on the cookie table.

I have never made them before, so I was super excited to give them a try and share them with you.

How to make Cream Horn Cookies for the holidays!

How to make Creams Horns (Lady Locks):

To make them, you’ll need a mold to form the horn around. My Aunt Maggie uses a clothespin wrapped in foil, so that’s what I did. You just wrap a piece of foil around a clothespin. It’s as simple as that. However, if you’re feeling fancy, you can certainly use a store-bought mold.

How to make Cream Horn Cookies for the holidays!

The filling is similar to a buttercream icing, but it also incorporates a milk-and-flour paste which felt very old-fashioned to me. Of course, you can fill these horns with whatever filling you like best.

How to make Cream Horn Cookies for the holidays!

The result is a flaky cookie horn filled with a sweet, creamy filling. What’s not to love? I think these cream horns might be my dad’s and brother’s favorite cookie. I do love them but nothing will top my Cream Wafer Cookies!

Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) recipe

Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) recipe

Now, just in case you need a place to write down this recipe for Cream Horns (or any others you come across this holiday season), you’re going to need some cute recipe cards.

Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) recipe

Thankfully, I have you covered with my free printable Christmas recipe card!

Free Christmas Recipe Card Printable

As you probably know, I’ve been sharing a recipe card each season for the past two years. This year, I decided to add two more cards to the bunch including one for Halloween and this Christmas recipe card.

I think they turned out beautifully. Don’t you? You can crab the FREE DOWNLOAD in this post HERE.

How to make classic Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) | Inspired by Charm

If you liked these Cream Horns, you’ll love these recipes too:

Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) recipe

Happy Baking!

Cream Horn Cookies (Lady Locks) Recipe:

Cream Horns (Lady Locks)

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookie, cream horns, holiday, lady locks
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
These Cream Horns (Lady Locks) are a must-have cookie recipe for my family. The flaky crust and creamy filling make them irresistible!


  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Clothespins wrapped in foil or lady lock molds


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter, vegetable shortening, and sugar for about 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Then mix in the egg yolks. Finally, mix in the flour and water until combined. Chill dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time until it's about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into strips that are 1/2-inch wide and 10 inches long. Then wind the strips around the foil-wrapped clothespins (or lady lock molds.) Bake on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until the horns are just barely starting to brown.
  • Remove the horns from the oven. Allow them to cool for about 2 minutes; then carefully remove them from the clothespins. (Don't let the horns cool completely on the molds or the horns will crumble easily. The horns will also crack more if they are overbaked.) Let the horns finish cooling.
  • In the meantime, prepare the filling. In a saucepan, heat the milk and flour over medium-high heat while constantly whisking. Cook 8-10 minutes until thick. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, vegetable shortening, and salt 5-6 minutes or until fluffy. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Then mix in the milk and flour paste and vanilla. Beat until combined and fluffy.
  • Put the filling in a piping bag and then fill each horn. Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you're cooking in the kitchen!

Before you click away, be sure to check out the rest of the #CookieSwapSquad for more festive and tasty cookie recipes:


Christmas Cookie Recipes - Cookie Swap Squad 2017

Nordic Gingerbread Cookies – The Faux Martha
Oatmeal Lace Cookies – Julie Blanner
Orange Gumdrop Bars – Freutcake
The Best Peanut Butter Blossoms – The Sweetest Occasion
Cream Horns – Inspired by Charm (You are here!)

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  • Hope at

    These cookies look delicious. I really want to try my hand at making them. One question what type of flour did you use?

  • Marilyn at

    Can’t wait to try your cream horn cookies! Thanks!

  • Marilyn at

    Can’t wait to try your cream horn cookies,

  • Sarah K at

    Oh these look delish!! 😃 I’ve never made them but have enjoyed eating them for years!! I’m from Pittsburgh as well, so happy to Pin a local blogger!! FYI: the best Bakery lady lock I have eaten is from Lincoln Bakery in Bellevue.

  • Paula at

    Moved south a few years ago after growing up in Pittsburgh. I miss all the bakeries and the ethnic foods. These were always my favorite cookies but I’ve never made them. I need to give it a try.

  • Sarah at

    These look so elegant and delicious!!How long do you think these will keep please? Thank you so much for sharing 😃

  • Sherry at

    Really would have like to make these, howevet everytime i tried to read the recipe an add kept popping up and the recipe kept going down the page☹

  • Jeannie at

    I have been making this same recipe for many years. The only difference is the filling has two cups granulated sugar in the filling instead of the powered sugar. This is a favorite of all my family and friends.

  • shar at

    The Lady Locks look fantastic; I must give these a try. And thank you for the recipe cards!! Merry Christmas, Michael

  • Beth Blank at

    These look so lovely! Must make. I’ve been enjoying your blog since I found your Christmas cocoa bar a few years ago. Still making your cocoa. A very merry Christmas to you.

  • Sabrina B at

    Nice, like a cannoli in concepts but without the ricotta, and whatever else is in those, hadn’t ever heard of lady locks, so am happy to be introduced to them here, thank you!

  • Leah at

    I grew up in Pittsburgh, Go Steelers, and when I saw this recipe I almost cried: My all time favorite childhood memory is of these wonderful treats. I am so happy to be making Ladylocks this year. It would have made Mr Hainer (Hainer’s Bakery) in Wilkensburg proud, thank you

  • Kristi at

    I’m not a huge cookie lover (I know I’m weird) but these sound (and look) absolutely delish. And how adorable are those recipe cards!

  • Maureen at


    I worked with a lady who made these at Christmas time. She took a dowel rod and cut it into the length for these cookies. Wrapped the rod pieces with the foil and used them that way. After she was done baking, she rewrapped the rods with foil so they were all ready to be used the next time.


    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Yep! You can totally use a dowel rod too. Same concept. Thanks!

      xo Michael

    • Jessica Hall at

      That lady from Sharon, PA was my Grandma!!!! For many years, she would hand out order sheets to anyone in the area that wanted to buy cookies. Her and my grandpa would bake and freeze over 70,000 cookies every fall to fill all the orders by Christmas! She also filled orders for so many weddings! I have all her cookie recipes and plan on making these “clothespin cookies” this year 🙂

  • Sandy at

    Back in the day, you couldn’t go to an Italian wedding reception and not be overjoyed at the cookie table. Trays and trays of beautiful, delicious, assortments of cookies. When our daughter married fifteen years ago, a friend gave me the phone number of a lady in Sharon, PA who made Lady Locks. I ordered six or eight dozen, left my home in NE Ohio and traveled to Sharon. Beautiful, delicious, and the price was right.Thank you for all your cookie recipes. I’m trying your favorite, but in a small circular cut out.

    • marylou at

      Sandy..would love to have contact information on the lady who made these. we are from cleveland and my son is getting married in Pittsburgh and i am looking for someone to make these for the cookie table. thank you

    • Jessica Hall at

      That lady from Sharon, PA was my Grandma!!!! I grew up surrounded by these cookies baking often. For many years, she would hand out order sheets to anyone in the area that wanted to buy cookies. Her and my Grandpa would bake and freeze over 70,000 cookies every fall to fill all the orders by Christmas! She also filled orders for so many weddings! I have all her cookie recipes and plan on making these “clothespin cookies” this year 🙂

      • Veronica at

        Hi I’m from Girard… I am looking for a the old recipe.. is yours the same as this one? I don’t want to use the “fluff”…

      • Teres at

        I was unable successful making these. The dough would not bake and stay together.

  • Haley at

    Native pittsburgher and just made these for the first time yesterday (with my moms recipe)! Did you have any trouble with yours unrolling during baking?i got many with little tails. But I did cheat and use frozen puff pastry. Do you think these can be frozen with icing inside? Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I just used a little water to secure my tails and placed them tail side down on the baking pan. However, puff pastry probably rises a bit more which probably gave you more trouble.

      I froze the ones I made – I’m hoping they are just as tasty for Christmas!

      xo Michael

      • Maureen at

        I don’t recommend freezing ones that have been filled. The filling may break down and make your cookies all mushy. You can freeze them unfilled and fill them before giving or eating though and they will be fine.


      • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

        Thanks for the tip, Maureen! Mine are already filled an in the freezer! Oops! I’ll report back after I take them out.

        xo Michael

      • Mich at

        Eat them frozen! My moms recipe is similar , including foil clothespins, and we have never had a problem. Keeping family members from snitching them out of the freezer is a little harder. lol Our family has always called them lady locks. And Pittsburgh wedding cookie tables are legendary.. Proud to be a Pittsburgh are resident.

      • Jeannie at

        I have been making & freezing these for over 50 years. You will be fine. I also eat them from the freezer & they are great. It is a favorite cookie of my friends. Enjoy!

      • vicki at

        my family loves these frozen . I’m from a Pittsburgh area Italian family and we all freeze these

      • Jeannie at

        I have been making these cookies for over 50 years. I use granulated sugar instead(2cups). I freeze them with the filling all the time & they are fine. Enjoy

      • Alvera at

        Hello there I want to make these for a wedding and I was wondering if I fill them would they get soggy or mushy when I take them out? Thanks

      • Sunny at

        Freezing is the only way my mother in law ever stored these. In fact, that is the way my husband prefers to eat them, right out of the freezer. Nothing happens to the crème, I promise, although we use a different recipe than this.

      • judith judge at

        i have been making them for years and always freeze very well

  • Cyd at

    These look kind of magical! And those recipe cards are gorgeous!!!

  • Elisabeth Heien at

    We do not have shortening here in Norway. At least, I am pretty sure about it, as I needed to look it up some years ago, had at the time never heard of it. An American friend tried to explain exactly what it is, too, and I have never come across anything similar here. Can I use a substitute?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You can use lard or just substitute with additional butter. Obviously the results would be slightly different.

      xo Michael

  • Melissa at

    I showed these to Kev this morning and he said we have to make these!

  • Julie at

    These look heavenly!

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