Nut Rolls

I am a few weeks behind on the nut roll extravaganza that is usually reserved for the holidays, but as I mentioned a couple of days ago, the holidays just totally got away from me. I did a ton of baking for the week and a half leading up to Christmas, and a lot of cooking for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and then I hit a wall. A massive brick wall. I had already ground all 3 pounds of the nuts needed for this recipe and had them in the refrigerator, but I just couldn’t do it. I needed some time off from the kitchen and to give myself a little vacation and time to recharge my kitchen batteries. Now that I’m back at it, I was determined to use those ground nuts and churn out nut roll! Besides, there’s never a bad time for nut roll, right?

This recipe is my mom’s best friend’s and my mom claims that she makes the best nut roll ever. Naturally, I had no choice but to give it a go. Now be prepared. This recipe makes 8, count ‘em, 8 nut rolls. There are a lot of ingredients. There is cake yeast. I didn’t have it in me to start to figure out how this recipe could be scaled back. I went all-out. Nut rolls can be frozen really well, so problem solved. And really, once the ingredients are mixed, it’s not all that taxing to get them all rolled and baked. I would estimate that start to finish, these took me about 6 hours to complete. That includes 3 hours of inactive rise time, and an hour and 20 minutes of total baking time. I have included step-by-step photos in the recipe below to help guide you through each phase of preparation and baking.

I believe that my mom’s claim definitely held up. These are spectacular nut rolls. I had a nut roll over the holidays that was way too doughy and dry. The dough for this recipe is very, very soft, and the filling is quite moist. The filling-to-dough ratio is also very high, which keeps everything from drying out and packs a ton of flavor into even the smallest of slices. This is now my official go-to nut roll recipe, which I will churn out for the holidays from here on out!

One year ago: Cannoli
Three years ago: Banana Muffins

Nut Roll Recipe

Yield: 8 nut rolls

Prep Time: 1½ hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes (per pan)

Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
2 oz. cake yeast
¼ cup warm water
6 eggs
16 ounces sour cream
16 ounces (2 cups) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
10 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
3 pounds ground walnuts
3 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces (¾ cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ cup evaporated milk
½ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Soften the yeast by placing it in the warm water and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until combined, about a minute. Add the sour cream, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and the softened yeast. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well-combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour a little at a time until it is all incorporated, and continue to mix until the dough does not stick and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

3. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling, stirring well to ensure that it is completely mixed and all of the ingredients are incorporated.

4. Divide the dough into eight pieces.

On a very well-floured surface and one at a time, roll each piece out into a rectangle roughly 9x-14 inches. Spread the filling to within about an inch of the edges. With the long side in front of you, roll up tightly and pinch the seams shut.

Place on baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper or that have been greased (2 rolls per sheet). Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with all eight pieces of dough. Let raise for 3 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake one pan at a time for 20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap. To Freeze: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and then in foil.

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152 Responses to “Nut Rolls”

  1. Blog is the New Black on January 10, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Love how these look like calzones! :)

    Reply

  2. Lynn Brown on January 10, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Looks delish!! Another one to add to my recipe to do list! Thanks for the step by step!

    Reply

  3. Katrina on January 10, 2011 at 7:59 am

    These look kind of like baklava! My, my, these sound tasty.

    Reply

  4. Marty on January 10, 2011 at 8:04 am

    They look delicious! I love when you have recipes that come from your grandmother, mom or in this recipe your mom’s friend. I am definitely going to make these but not until this weekend as it looks like they take a bit of time. I had made your pillow cookies a couple of times and my sister made them for the first time this Christmas. Everybody raved about them. Told her to get on your blog….there are lots of great recipes. Thanks!

    Reply

  5. Estela @ Weekly Bite on January 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Yum! These look delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever had nut rolls before. Can’t wait to make these.

    Reply

  6. Helena on January 10, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I’ve never had nut rolls before, but they look very good!

    Reply

  7. briarrose on January 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

    So lovely.

    Reply

  8. Caroline on January 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Oh my goodness, these look so delicious! I love a good nut roll!

    Reply

  9. Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie on January 10, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I’ve never had a nut roll before and these look delicious! I can’t imagine making 8 at a time though; maybe you could send me one :) ?

    Reply

  10. leslie on January 10, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Nut roll? where have they been all my life???

    Reply

  11. Erik on January 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    These look wonderful, I’ll have to try them. Looks like I’m not the only one who’s never heard of a Nut Roll before. Maybe it’s a regional thing? Maybe Italian? Either way, I’ve never come across these on any holiday tables before. Any thoughts on where they come from? Also, I have to confess, when I saw the title Nut Roll and hadn’t seen the photo yet, I expected to see something more like a PayDay candy bar!

    Reply

    • Darlene on November 22nd, 2012 at 10:21 am

      It is an eastern European thing. I grew up in a Hungarian/Slovak household and Christmas was not Christmas without nut roll. We used the words kolache and nut roll interchangeably but since then I have found out most people think kolaches are the cookies. They are made similarly but there is nothing like the rolls coming out of the oven warm, nut filling mushy and thin flaky crust. This is the thing about nut roll. It is also good sitting on the counter, cold from the refrigerator, any time of day or night. Not too sweet but sweet enough. Thank you for this. I am trying this recipe. I misplaced my aunts’ recipe. They have passed away.

      I used to give these as gifts at Christmas. I never found one person who did not like nut roll. I cannot wait to see how these are. My aunt always used the egg yolks in the dough and the egg whites in the filling. No milk was used in her recipe in the filling. Just egg whites, nuts and powdered sugar.

      Merry Christmas

      Reply

      • joyce on January 3rd, 2013 at 12:46 am

        I am Slovak too, & we had a similar nutroll (my grandma also added golden raisins, & put powdered sugar on top after they cooled). Kolaches are the little cookies that are folded with a prune or apricot filling.

        Reply

      • christine on October 3rd, 2013 at 9:25 pm

        This looks (and the recipe reflects the flavors of) my Babcia (Grandmother’s) nut roll…and it was always thought of as a Polish thing at Christmas.

        Reply

      • Vicki on December 4th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        How thick do you roll the dough before putting on the filling?

        Reply

        • Char on December 26th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

          Not thin as in almost see through…but about 1/8 to 1/4in, think of the thickness of say a dried black bean. That way you can roll it without ripping but when baked it you have a nice thickness between the dough and filling..

          Reply

      • E on December 8th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        My grandparents are Slovak & live in OH; we eat these all the time (their recipe makes 10 rolls). We call them kolache as well (my surprise when I asked for a kolache in a Czech bakery in TX and discovered that they called the fruit-filled cookies and large pigs-in-a-blanket kolaches).

        Reply

  12. teresa on January 10, 2011 at 11:21 am

    These are a masterpiece!
    I just LOVE your blog!
    Thanks for being such a tremendous resource!
    Happy New Year!
    xoxoxox

    Reply

  13. Erin on January 10, 2011 at 11:32 am

    This reminds me of slovenian patiza bread! My grandma has never had a recipe for it, and she changes it all the time. But now the slovenian in me needs to make some patiza. I will have to call my grandma! Maybe I will make this as well to compare!

    Reply

  14. Tracy on January 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Looks great!

    Reply

  15. Amy @ The Savvy Kitchen on January 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Looks delicious! Eight rolls? I think my New Year’s resolution to diet will have to be put on hold ;)

    Reply

  16. Island Vittles on January 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    How is it that I`ve never heard of a nut roll? Crazy…these look amazing! And since you have 8, you can send one up here, right? Theresa

    Reply

  17. linda on January 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    these look great…i love recipes that come from family & friends…ok…so i need to bake these babies!

    Reply

  18. April on January 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    This reminds me of poteca, although this recipe is much easier than the one I have. I’m going to try it! Thank-you!

    Reply

  19. Kate @ Diethood.com on January 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    YUM! I love nut rolls! They do take up a whole day to make, but they are worth it. I like the fact that you can freeze the rolls and pop ‘em out whenever you need them.

    Reply

  20. Maria on January 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Never had a nut roll, but I am sure I would like it:)

    Reply

  21. Cookin' Canuck on January 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Good for you for taking some time off over the holidays – we all need a little break sometimes. These nut rolls sounds wonderful and I love the promise of a moist filling.

    Reply

  22. Inna on January 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Oh, my, gosh. I ADORE nut rolls (or as my husband’s Polish family calls them — Kolachi). Every year, we have a huge nut-roll-making party in December. I will definitely be trying out this recipe since I’m always looking for ways to make improvements to recipes that I know and love.

    Reply

  23. Ilke on January 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Looks like your break was well deserved and your comeback is top-notch :)
    Never had these before but look delicious. I have hard time finding fresh yeast, if I use active dry, then I use less, right?

    Reply

  24. Leah on January 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Wow…I haven’t seen anybody but my mom and grandma make these nut rolls. They’re Czech/Hungarian and would make them every Christmas (along with a poppyseed filling version). The key to the soft dough is the sour cream, which that part of Europe is infamous for using in a lot of their baking (and even savory sauces). I loved eating these as a child, but have never tried making them as an adult. Thanks for sharing the recipe and rekindling some very fond holiday baking memories!

    Reply

  25. Maria on January 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    So excited to see these and have directions! I’ve been eating these my entire life as my Croatian mom makes them for the big holidays. Definitely a European traditional treat. All my mom and her friends either have the recipes in their heads or written in another language, so thanks for sharing this with us. Love your site. You have inspired me to start my own, which I did for the new year. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    Reply

  26. Anne on January 11, 2011 at 12:26 am

    I can’t believe that when you got back from taking a break from the kitchen you take on such a task as a 6 hour project!! You go girl!! You got right back in there like a champ!! You just motivated me! I too hit a wall after the holidays, wherein I was asked to make 6 different cheesecakes, one of which was peanut-butter fudge (only the best) But now I feel empowered again! Thanks!

    Reply

  27. Penny Wolf on January 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

    My Mom always made these and her recipe came from a friend of Eastern European descent. As Mom got older she began making them at Easter instead of Christmas.
    Christmas was full of treats and this is fantastic at Easter morning breakfast! Some people also use a poppy seed filling and top the rolls with a powdered sugar icing.
    These rolls are good memories, maybe I’ll make them some day. Thank you

    Reply

  28. Katie on January 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    They look delicious! Perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
    I’ve given you an award, please visit my blog for details.

    Reply

  29. Tiffany on January 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I’ve never had a nut roll! But this looks AMAZING!

    Reply

  30. Brittany on January 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I’ve never seen/heard/tasted nut roll but it sure looks fabulous. What’s not to like about nuts anyway? By the way, your recipe card is super cute.

    Reply

  31. Jill Lu on January 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I grew up on nut roll and poppyseed roll from my wonderful Czech Nana! I was thinking of sending you the recipe; so what a wonderful surprise to see on my email that you made some! They look great, too. Question: how do you roll out the dough in such a perfect rectangle?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 13th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

      Hi Jill, I have no secret, I just try to roll it in alternating directions until I get it around the right size. I wish I could be even more exact!

      Reply

  32. Erika on January 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

    These look exactly like the Hungarian beigli my mother-in-law makes. Do you know the ethnic origin of the recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 13th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Erika, I don’t know the origin of this particular recipe, but nut rolls are generally a European pastry (more eastern European I believe).

      Reply

  33. Amalia on January 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    This just looks way too good! I think I would have to halve it, I don’t know is too much! but still, nut rolls are of my favorite things ever to eat!

    -Amalia http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com

    Reply

  34. The Kettle Corn Guy on January 11, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Wow, this looks wonderful! I doubt I can make it myself, so looks like I’ll be begging my wife to see if she can create this. :-)

    Thanks for sharing.

    John McConnell

    Reply

  35. sajtosbrokkoli on January 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    In Hungary, we have a very similar traditional christmas dessert. We call : BEJGLI, and filled with nuts, and poppyseeds also.
    Here are my rolls, from 2010 christmas.
    http://kepfeltoltes.hu/view/101223/IMG_2276_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg
    In hungary, there is no christmas without these rolls

    Reply

  36. Julie McCoy on January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    This is mostly definitely a Hungarian recipe — Kolach.

    Great post!

    Reply

    • Penny Wolf on January 12th, 2011 at 7:38 am

      That’s what we called it too!

      Reply

  37. Lisa @ the Cooking Bride on January 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    This looks like potica – my great grandparents were from Czechoslovakia. This is one of the recipes I remember eating every year around Christmas. I actually tried making this once – didn’t turn out too well. But I am willing to try again! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  38. Diana on January 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Mmmmmm….love nut roll!! Yours looks so moist and flavorful. And I definitely here you on holiday kitchen fatigue – this is an intense recipe to come back to. Kudos!

    Go Steelers!! :o)

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 13th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Yes, GO STEELERS! :)

      Reply

  39. Robo Stir on January 12, 2011 at 10:51 am

    These nut rolls look wonderful! Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  40. Jason Phelps on January 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I couldn’t look at these too long for fear that I would make them!

    Jason

    Reply

  41. allison reagan on January 14, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Those look delicious-does the dough need to rise before you fill them?

    Reply

  42. allison reagan on January 14, 2011 at 12:25 am

    i just re-read the recipe and see where it rises.

    Reply

    • Jane on December 16th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Other dough I have made requires 2 rising times. Just to make sure, this requires only 1 after they are rolled. Thankyou

      Reply

      • Michelle on December 17th, 2012 at 10:38 am

        Hi Jane, Yes, only 1 raise.

        Reply

        • Maria on November 25th, 2013 at 9:04 am

          I have a question… Do you do the rise at room temp. or are you in a proof stage? I have an oven that has a proof phase. I have tried these before my aunt makes them and her recipe I couldn’t get to rise. Now that I have a proof phase in my oven I can make pizza dough other things from scratch.

          Reply

          • Michelle on November 25th, 2013 at 10:25 am

            Hi Maria, You could definitely use the proof function on your oven!

            Reply

            • Robin on December 17th, 2013 at 10:57 am

              If you don’t have a Proof phase on your oven – where do you set them to rise? Is it room temperature or warmer? I tried this recipe a couple of years ago after you first posted it and I had trouble with the dough rising – I had one batch that didn’t rise enough and 1 batch that was too much. Appreciate any extra tips here as I know this part of the equation of getting this roll to come out like my husband’s grandmother used to make. (of course recipe has gone with her)

            • Char on December 26th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

              This comment is for Robin…I make these every year, my hubby is Slovak so my mother in law taught me. Yesterday being cold in Ohio my dough was struggling to rise…so I heated water to boiling, poured it in a glass and set it and my dough in the microwave (since my microwave is a big one…it fitted my large bowl with 10 cups-of-flour-dough ok…lol) you may have to do this twice as the water cools down…my dough didn’t bloom like it would in summer but I could tell it rose some…I turned out great! you could do the same in your oven. P. S..just don’t turn the oven on until ready to pre heat and bake. Hope this helped, I’m a little late here.

  43. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on January 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Those look delicious, though I’d probably divide by like 8 before making! I wish I had some though :(

    Reply

  44. Tina on December 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    This looks amazing. Can this recipe be halved? Has it been attempted ?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 7th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Tina, I have not attempted halving the recipe, but I imagine that it could be done.

      Reply

      • Tina on December 15th, 2011 at 8:52 am

        I did halve the recipe! It came out amazing!

        Reply

  45. Cindy on December 8, 2011 at 1:05 am

    This looks like the Kolachi my mom made. Since her death, I have tried unsucessfully to make them like she did. I have been searching for nut rolls that look like yours! Your recipe is very similar but my mom’s calls for the dough to rise, then punch down and roll out into rectangles and then fill and bake. Everytime I tried them, the roll would bust open in places and the filling would ooze out. NOT at all like my moms. I would like to try these but wanted to double check on the timing of the dough rising. I hope your recipe is the answer I have been looking for. thank you

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 8th, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Hi Cindy, Yes, the recipe as written above is how I make them! Good luck!

      Reply

  46. Emily on December 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I have these in the oven now and they are seriously incredible, I think even better than my Hungarian grandmothers! However, my filling did spill out of the sides of each one I have baked so far. I am trying to figure out what went wrong, I am wondering if I rolled the dough too thin or over stuffed? Thanks as always!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 12th, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Emily, That happens to me sometimes too, I think probably from overfilling. But eating the spillover is one of my favorite parts of baking them :)

      Reply

  47. Sue on December 15, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Hi! We grew up having these fresh Christmas morning. I don’t see a “resting time” for the dough in your step by step directions. The recipe I use calls for leaving it in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. This helps break up the baking marathon.

    I also wanted to let you know that I have used fruit filling – my favorite is shredded apples with crushed walnuts. But I have also done peaches with pecans, pumpkin with walnuts and cranberry with mixed nut fillings. Depending on the density of your filling, you may need to make the dough a little thicker when rolling it out.

    Thanks for posting this – it was just what I needed to get me making them again!

    Reply

  48. Doreen Sabol on November 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Hi, can you please tell me if you used an egg wash or melted butter on the rolls before putting them I. The oven? They look and sound great and would like to try them for the holidays this year.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 13th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Dorren, I didn’t use an egg wash or melted butter on these. Enjoy the rolls!

      Reply

  49. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. on November 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I’m so happy to have found this recipe! When I was growing up, the ladies of our church made nut rolls for the Christmas bazaar every year and they were amazing! This looks and sounds just like them. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

    Reply

  50. Darlene on November 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I just want to say thank you again. I made these over Thanksgiving this year and this dough is amazing. My aunt never used sour cream in her recipe. They used to use milk. I tried this recipe and just substituted greek yogurt for the sour cream and the dough was perfect. Thank you. This brought back so many memories because I had lost my aunt’s recipe. This is great nut roll or kolache as we called it…Merry Christmas to all.

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 27th, 2012 at 12:03 am

      Hi Darlene, I’m so glad you enjoyed these nut rolls. They’ve always been a staple for our family at the holidays, and I’m glad yours are enjoying them now, as well! Merry Christmas to you!

      Reply

  51. Debbie on November 30, 2012 at 11:18 am

    My aunt made these every year and sent them to my father-in-law, where we enjoyed them year after year. My FIL passed away 9 years now and we haven’t had them. Thank you so much for sharing! It has brought back many great memories.
    I halved the recipe and it was perfect! Thank you again!

    Reply

  52. Shannon on December 1, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Hi. First of all these are fabulous. I have made them 3 times in the last year. So what I’ve always wondered was….how long can they stay froZen for? How do I defrost them your way? I have a way that has been working but I wanted ur version cuz it’s probably better then mine. Thanx and Happy Holidays.

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 2nd, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Hi Shannon, We usually just take them out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator. I’m glad you’re enjoying the nut rolls!

      Reply

  53. micki on December 4, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Would like cheese verson of the nut roll. I think it was cottage cheese,

    Reply

  54. BARB on December 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    after filling the nut rolls, all i have to do is put plastic wrap on the cookie sheet. barb

    Reply

  55. BARB on December 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    do i just put the plastic wrap on the cookie sheets to make the rolls to raise.

    Reply

  56. BARB on December 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    do i have to put the plastic wrap on the cookie sheets to let the dough raise. bar

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 4th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      Hi Barb, You place the assembled nut rolls on a baking sheet, then cover them loosely with plastic wrap, and let them raise.

      Reply

  57. my4hens on December 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    This is the recipe I plan to use and share with family and friends, and kudos going to the BEB!! Follow the recipe to at “T” and the process is flawless. I will continue to practice with the rolling of the dough to find the thickness of the dough that works best. Other than that, a hit with picky eaters in my home. **I did add about 1/3 cup honey for extra sweetness, which was a plus. Just be mindful if you add the honey, spread the filling with care as you do not want to tear the dough.

    Reply

  58. Kassidee on December 14, 2012 at 9:42 am

    How big is your stand mixer, to accommodate this large batch of dough? Have you ever tried it with a hand mixer? (a scaled down version, I mean)

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 14th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Kassidee, I have a 6-quart stand mixer. I have not made it with a hand mixer; if you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

      Reply

    • Kassidee on December 14th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      ALright. I already made it and YUM! BUt it did split a lot while rising and the dough is more “biscuit-ey” than “bread-ey.” Do you knead the dough very long? I didn’t. I just mixed it until it came together and pulled away from the sides, let it rest while I got the filling together and rolled it. It wasn’t very stretchy like my bread dough is, but I thought it was just because the dough was so soft and buttery. ANy suggestions?

      Reply

      • Michelle on December 14th, 2012 at 9:40 pm

        Hi Kassidee, The dough is, indeed, very soft and easy to work with, but it really shouldn’t have the consistency of a biscuit. Did you allow them to raise? I’m wondering if perhaps they didn’t get puffy enough.

        Reply

      • Kasey on December 16th, 2012 at 8:58 am

        I had the same problem. The dough raised (in fact, my loaves “grew” together), but the dough split while rising, & it didn’t bake to a nice brown like what is shown in the pictures. The filling is FANTASTIC, though! :-)

        Reply

  59. David on December 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    These are absolutely FANTASTIC and easy to make. Once you get started, you are done in no time. Dough is VERY easy to work with. I used the cake yeast and they did rise beautifully! You can use 3 packets of dry yeast in its place if you can’t find cake yeast in the egg section of the grocery store.

    Reply

    • Dina Collins on February 5th, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      I was wondering how many packets you would need of dry yeast to equal the cake yeast. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  60. Rhonda on December 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    These nuts rolls look amazing. But, I do have a question on the filling. Did I scald the eggs and sugar with the milk?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 15th, 2012 at 10:58 pm

      Hi Rhonda, No, you just mix all of the ingredients together.

      Reply

  61. Karen on December 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! This is the recipe that my mother always used. I used to make it every Christmas. I lost it a few years back, and since my mother is deceased, I could not get it from her. No one else in my family had it. I kept trying different recipes, but none of them were the same. I recognized this one immediately! It was a huge recipe, and it had sour cream in the dough. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 15th, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      Aw, this makes me so happy to hear, Karen! I’m so sorry you lost your mom, but I hope these nut roll bring back some wonderful memories :)

      Reply

  62. Amy on December 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I want to try a nutroll this Christmas and your recipe sounds awesome. One question: do you roll the nutroll before rising or do they rise flat?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 15th, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Hi Amy, You fill and roll them, then let them raise.

      Reply

  63. Sharon on December 15, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for this lovely recipe. I will try it this weekend. The version I have is very similar and was passed down to me from my husbands grandmother. They are Italian and I know these as Italian nut rolls. All of the family look forward to them around the holidays-not just Christmas but Easter, too!

    Reply

  64. mary ross on December 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Where did you find cake yeast? I have not been able to find it, so for years I have been using packaged yeast and hoping I have used the right amount in all my Aunt old recipes.

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 18th, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Mary Ross, I find it in the dairy aisle, actually. Usually up on a top shelf.

      Reply

  65. Jane on December 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Made the rolls yesterday. THE BEST I EVER HAD!! A few questions. I used 3 dry yeast (fresh not available in our area) I made 2 nut and apricot, lequoir etc. My question, after 1 hr. they rose beautiful and then spread out in the pan. Also, 20 min wasn’t enough time to bake, they looked raw inside. So I did up to 30-35min. Now they seem dry. Would the nut take longer than 20 min or was the yeast wrong. Even our local bakeries used dry yeast. The net sells in bulk. Help I am so glad to find this recipe. My Hungarian mother never used a recipe, so I could never make decent tasting rolls. Thankyou soo much for your help.
    Merry Christmas
    Jane

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 19th, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Hi Jane, I have not made these with dry yeast, only the cake, so that could definitely have something to do with it. The inside should be nice and moist.

      Reply

  66. Jane on December 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Sorry to be a pest. Do you think using a convection could have an affect on the turnout. I always use the convection option on my new range on everything. Could this affect the results? Thank you. Jae

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 19th, 2012 at 10:42 am

      Hi Jane, Not a pest at all! But the convection oven could definitely be the culprit. I just have a regular conventional oven, so all of the recipes here are written for a conventional oven. If you try them again, use the regular setting and see if that doesn’t help.

      Reply

  67. mary ross on December 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Hi Michelle, Sounds like we grew up in the same kind of house hold, mine was Slovak and Polish. Sure was nice finding your web site, did you also have Pirohy and Cold Dough cookies at XMass?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 19th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Mary, We didn’t have Pirohy or Cold Dough cookies, but they both sound interesting! Do you have recipes?

      Reply

  68. Lynda on December 21, 2012 at 9:04 am

    My husband’s Italian grandmother (now deceased) used to make nut rolls and poppy seed rolls all the time. She never used a recipe! She always used a wine glass as her measuring cup LOL. We all loved the rolls and I have been trying to find a suitable recipe for years. I will try your recipe, it looks like a great one. Would LOVE to have a recipe for the poppy seed filling if anyone has one.

    Reply

  69. Anne on December 25, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My Grandmother would make these and poppy seed rolls for Christmas. I have her recipe, but I live in the mountains and with the altitude her recipe would come out too dry. Your recipe is moist and perfect, even at 5,200 feet!
    My only request is that I think the rise time should be included in the “total time” listed on your recipe card. Not including the 3 hours of rising can be confusing.
    Thank you again for a fabulous recipe!

    Reply

  70. Julia on December 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Tried baking nut rolls for the first time this Christmas following this recipe and came out very good! Thank you!

    Reply

  71. Linda on January 8, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I am of Croatian decent. This is called potica (po-teet-sa). My grandmother and my mother always made it for Christmas and Easter. I have their old recipe. I am always interested in other versions. The filling is made a little differently. Try it with a slice of cold baked ham (YUM). I also have the recipe for the cottage cheese filling if anyone is interested in that. The dough was also a little different, more buttery and flaky. My grandmother always made that version during Lent for what ever reason. All the old timers are gone, so no one to ask.

    Reply

    • Lexy Lawrence on January 28th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      LINDA – I’d love your recipe for the cottage cheese filling….also looking for the poppyseed filling ingredients if anyone has it (please email me at:
      yxelyxel @ gmail . com (no spaces inbetween) Thanks.

      MICHELLE – Thank you so much for bringing my grandma’s German Nut Roll recipe back to me. I miss it and can’t wait to get started making this.
      One question….how wide would you say the width of the nutroll is after it bakes? Our’s were about 4-5″ wide. I’ve had some Polish ones that were much smaller, like maybe 2-3 inches.

      Reply

      • Michelle on January 28th, 2013 at 11:45 pm

        Hi Lexy, These are more in the range of 4-5″. Enjoy!

        Reply

  72. Harriet Grant on March 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I have been looking for years for this exact recipe my Grandmother use to make this and I could not find a recipe to match hers this is spot on! they turned out excellent,,Happy Easter

    Reply

  73. mirjana on April 17, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Yes this is Croatian “Orahnjaca”,orah=walnuts…..here you can find more Croatian recopies !

    Reply

  74. Jen on April 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    This is an OUTSTANDING recipe- the only one I will ever make. It makes a ton of nut roll. I froze them at Christmas time and just grab one out of the freezer anytime that I need a fix. I LOVE your site- this is my go to when I need a Pittsburgh favorite- nutroll, thumbprints and pepperoni bread just to name a few :-)

    Reply

  75. CINDY on July 7, 2013 at 10:32 am

    FIRST TIME MAKING THIS RECIPE , NUTROLL HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LITTLE DAUNTING FOR ME , THIS WAS A HUGE HIT , EASY TO FOLLOW RECIPE AND BY FAR THE TASTIEST IVE EVER HAD. EVEN MY MOM WHO HAS BEEN MAKING NUTROLL FOR YEARS ASKED ME TO MAKE IT FOR HER !!! THANKS FOR SHARING

    Reply

    • Irene on August 19th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      yes my mother in law use to make this for me and the kids and we all loved it so delicious now i am making it all the time love it.

      Reply

  76. yana on July 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hi can I substitite with dry yeast??? And if yes how much would I need to uae??? Love your blog!!!

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 12th, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Yana, Yes, you would need to use 3 (0.25-ounce) packages of active dry yeast.

      Reply

  77. Angela on October 30, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Hello! Thank you for this recipe. Do you think that I could substitute pecans for the walnuts (due to an allergy)?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 30th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Angela, I think that would be okay (the taste will, of course, be a bit different). Enjoy!

      Reply

      • carol on December 25th, 2013 at 6:45 pm

        I have a recipe for Poteca (also a nutroll) that uses only pecans and with a little orange extract in the filing. It too is yummy. Though Kolache is my Hungarian husband’s favorite.

        Reply

  78. traci stotler on November 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    This is a GREAT recipe! I come from a Croatian family and this is authentic! I know that the women who made the nut rolls in our family put an egg wash on their nut rolls as well! Thank you!!!!!!

    Reply

  79. mia on November 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    hi…I have these raising as I type this. just a quick question….I didn’t have enough pans for all 8, can the dough be refrigerated and rolled out later?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 21st, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Mia, I have not tried refrigerating the dough, but I think that would be okay.

      Reply

  80. Marie on November 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Hello, made these today! Very good. Almost as good as my mother in laws. My only issue is they are too wide/flat. I did wait for the 3 hours. Is there a trick to keeping them narrow?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 21st, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Marie, My grandma’s were always a little on the wide side. You could try starting with a rectangle that is narrower, and then perhaps freezing the logs for a bit before baking to help reduce any spreading.

      Reply

  81. traci stotler on November 23, 2013 at 6:52 am

    A few questions, i have made this recipe two times now and they are fabulous! are the rolls flat after you take them out of the oven? about how much nut filling do you use per roll? how thick is your dough when rolled out so that the nuts don’t break through while baking? do you just use saran wrap and foil? no freezer paper to freeze? do you bake on parchment paper on a cookie sheet?
    best recipe by far, just trying to make them LOOK better – they taste great! THANK YOU!

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 23rd, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Hi Traci, First of all, yay another Pittsburgher! :) I do bake these on parchment paper, and yes, freeze with plastic wrap and foil. Unfortunately, I didn’t measure the nut filling, just divided it evenly between each roll. My rolls are rather flat. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  82. traci stotler on November 23, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    p.s. i love your blog, i also am a pittsburgher!

    Reply

  83. Christopher Capotis on November 28, 2013 at 3:31 am

    We halved your recipe (easy to do !!), and the rolls came out perfect !! just as you described them in your recipe Michelle. The filling did come out in places slightly after baking them but not much really and it’s not an issue. We brushed egg on top but I don’t think that’s significant either way. Strictly a preference. We mixed the filling ingredients first. We split the dough and filling in equal parts before rolling. I think, the key to success is to follow your recipe precisely !! delicious, thanks a million for your help !!

    Reply

  84. Susan Slogick on December 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for your recipe; my mother’s version is nearly identical but I resisted making them as I thought it was too difficult. Turns out that this is a good all around dough; I’ve made really great cinnamon buns in addition to the nut rolls and kolaches (or little nut roll cookies as we used to call them). I too am from the Pittsburgh area and my mother was Croatian and a dairy farmer; her baked goods were legendary in our family and now that job is mine. I only hope to live up to her standards. And, if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, making this is easy.

    Reply

  85. Bob on December 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

    did you not let the dough rise befoe rolling out for the nut roll?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 5th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Bob, No, the dough does not rise before rolling out.

      Reply

  86. Angela on December 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Interesting recipe, its so different than my Grandmother’s, her parents were born in Hungary and they all settled in eastern Ohio. My grandmother’s recipe does not call for sour cream but I’ll try it that way, also my grandmother always used brown sugar in the filling, not white. I’ve seen many different variations and I’m sure they are all good! I’m the only one in the family that makes these at Christmas and I usually make 20-30 rolls each year.
    Thanks for the post, I grew up in Ohio with these every Easter and Christmas, but I live in Minnesota now and no one here (except for the ones that know me) had ever heard or had these nut roll before!

    Reply

  87. Kathy on December 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I lost my recipe…these look close to what my grandma made. We have been eating nut rolls my whole life 58+ years. Grandma made them all year long…I just make them at Christmas.

    Reply

  88. Barb L on December 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I found this recipe two years ago and made it for Christmas for my grown children and grandchildren. This year I got a call, ” mom are you going to make your nut roll this year?”….My boys are picky and this recipe is a hit. Don’t let all the ingredients scare you. It’s fun to make and very easy to follow. This is a winner!!!!

    Reply

  89. Lorraine on December 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I make a similar recipe for holidays, but add ground coconut and almond extract to filling, one cup coconut and 1 tsp extract per lb of walnuts. I use egg whites and warm milk to enable spreading of filling.

    Reply

  90. Micole on December 16, 2013 at 8:05 am

    These look just like the nut-rolls that I remember growing up! We lived near Altoona/Johnstown and ate these nut rolls every single Christmas!! Now it’s my turn to try and make them.
    thanks for sharing your recipe!!

    Reply

  91. Vicki on December 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Just an FYI…make sure the whole recipe prints when you print it. I made these and couldn’t find out why they were so tasteless when i discovered on of the ads printed over 2 key ingredients for the filling….sugar and butter. No wonder they tasted awful. $20 worth of walnuts in my garbage can…will try them again with ALL the ingredients this time. At least they looked pretty! lol

    Reply

  92. Ricky on December 16, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Hello! Glad to see others that know of the greatness that is a nut roll! It just isn’t Christmas until my Dad and I are in the kitchen making nut rolls! However, I do have a question for you! Whenever we let ours rise, they kind of “blow out” the sides. We’ve tried making them thicker, but that didn’t help out, as 3 out of the 6 still “blew out”. Any ideas on what we can try so they stay intact and in their log shapes? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 17th, 2013 at 12:19 am

      Hi Ricky, I haven’t found a resolution to the “blow outs” either! I will certainly update if I find one!

      Reply

      • wendy Remington on September 21st, 2014 at 5:59 pm

        My mother’s family from Ohio makes nut and poppy seed rolls. When I follow her recipe it says to “prick” the rolls to let the steam escape. I have found that when I use that recipe I don’t have blowouts. Good luck!

        Reply

  93. Robin on December 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Does anyone have a good recipe for the poppy seed filling or apricot filling used in these rolls instead of nuts. My husband’s slovakian grandmother made all 3 kinds and of course with out a recipe – and it wasn’t passed on. Thanks.

    Reply

    • BW on January 18th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      My Gram, who was Slovak and Hungarian, always used store-bought poppy seed and apricot filling. She always used Solo brand. And now it’s what I use!

      Reply

  94. Blair K on December 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    You can’t go wrong with nut roll, whatever you call it! I’m half-Slovenian so we call our special holiday yeast bread potica. Similar to this except the layers of dough are much thinner and honey is often used as a sweetener. The version I learned from my mom (who learned from her mom) is so rich it approaches baklava! We also use sour cream in the dough, which is refrigerated overnight. (Makes the dough easier to handle.) Most common filling in the US is walnut (what my mom always made) but there are lots of other traditional fillings, including a very unusual tarragon potica!

    Reply

  95. Liz on December 25, 2013 at 11:29 am

    My mom makes these with pecans instead of walnuts every year for Christmas and they are always a huge hit with our south Louisiana family. This is my first year making these and I’m trying a gluten-free version. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    Reply

  96. Michele on December 26, 2013 at 7:54 am

    This is the best recipe, everyone raved about it, but the only thing the dough does not fit in my kitchen aid mixer. I will have to cut the recipe in half for next year. A friend of mine said she buys nut roll from a lady every year and these are as good as hers. Thank you

    Reply

  97. Lori on December 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Help! I make a very similar nut roll my aunt and grandmother made…. But mine always have a blow out, where they split long wise in the oven and filling comes out. Still taste good, but not as pretty as I remember or as yours look. Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 27th, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Hi Lori, I would make sure that you don’t roll out your dough TOO thin, and that you’re not overfilling them.

      Reply

  98. Mary on January 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    These were so like my husband’s mom’s nut rolls that he got misty-eyed. :)

    Reply

  99. Kathleen on April 9, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Hello,
    I don’t have an electric mixer. Would I be able to mix the dough by hand?

    Thanks,
    Kathleen

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 9th, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Hi Kathleen, Yes, you could definitely mix the dough by hand. Enjoy!

      Reply

  100. rina on July 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

    My dad actually said this recipe was better than my grandma’s, which is high praise indeed. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe!

    Reply

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