Easy One-Rise Sour Cream Nut Roll Recipe

St. James the Less Nut Roll
St. James the Less Nut Roll.

Barbara Rolek

  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Rise about: 90 mins
  • Yield: 2 rolls (24 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
302 Calories
22g Fat
22g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 rolls (24 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 302
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 249mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 7g
Calcium 63mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy one-rise nut roll recipe has sour cream in the dough and the filling comes together on the stove. Nut rolls are popular throughout Central and Eastern Europe, especially Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland.

This recipe makes two rolls which are traditionally baked on a sheet pan but, to ensure against leaks, they can be baked in two (9x5 inch) greased loaf pans.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast (or rapid-rise dry yeast)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature, beaten)
  • For the Nut Filling:
  • 1 pound walnuts (ground finely to a meal-like consistency)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 4 ounces butter

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this nut roll recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium nonstick saucepan, mix together walnuts, milk, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 egg, and 4 ounces butter. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on medium-low, stirring frequently (if using a pan that is not nonstick, watch and stir carefully so the filling doesn't burn), until mixture is thick.

  3. Cool completely before spreading on the dough, but don't refrigerate because it will become too firm to spread.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large saucepan (or in a microwave-safe bowl), bring sour cream to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in, until well blended, 3 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons sugar, baking soda, and salt. Cool to 120 to 130 F on an instant-read thermometer.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and yeast (while the sour cream mixture is cooling).

  4. Add eggs to cooled sour cream mixture and then transfer to the flour-yeast mixture.

  5. Mix the dough with your hands until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly to form a smooth ball.

  6. Cover with an overturned bowl or greased plastic wrap and let stand 5 minutes.

Assemble and Bake

  1. The dough will be soft. Divide in half. Working with one piece of dough at a time and using as little extra flour as possible, roll to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Spread with half of the filling.

  2. Flip the sides of the dough in and then roll from the bottom up. Repeat with the other half of the dough and filling. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan or in a greased 9x5 inch loaf pans and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, covered with greased plastic, until light. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  4. Bake 35 minutes. Let the rolls cool on the sheet pan or in the loaf pans for 10 minutes. Then transfer them from the sheet pan to a cooling rack or invert the loaf pans onto a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

  5. Enjoy!


  • You can store the nut rolls wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for one week.
  • These nut rolls also freeze well.

Gluten-Free Variation

If you are avoiding gluten, you can make a gluten-free nut roll recipe. It uses brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, and guar gum to replace wheat flour.