St. Sava Serbian Sisters' Nut Roll Recipe

Baked roll cake with nuts filling
Yulia Shaihudinova/Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
3 rises: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 40 servings
Yield: 5 nut rolls
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
388 Calories
25g Fat
35g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40
Amount per serving
Calories 388
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 81mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 213mg 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.)

St. Sava Serbian Sisters' Circle of Merrillville, Ind., provided this recipe for nut roll. These dedicated women volunteer at least three times a year to make thousands of nut rolls, strudels, and palacinke as a fundraiser.

Some cooks use honey in the walnut filling, but the Sisters' Circle or kolo, which means "circle," uses sugar, which makes this one of the more economical recipes for nut roll out there.

Also, the amount of milk used in the filling will depend on how finely ground the nuts are. The finer they are, the more milk they will take (about 2 cups). Coarser nuts might only need 1 cup of milk. Use your judgment. When making the egg wash, use one teaspoon of water for each egg.


For the Dough:

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast

  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 1/2 cup warm water, about 110 F

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter

For the Filling:

  • 2 1/2 pounds walnuts, ground

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 to 2 cups milk, scalded

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 to 2 large eggs

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons water

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Add evaporated milk and 4 beaten eggs, mixing well. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Cut in butter with the fingers until crumbly.

  3. Add the wet ingredients and continue mixing by hand until a smooth dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, cover with the mixing bowl, and let rise until doubled.

  4. Divide dough into 5 balls, cover and let rise again until doubled.

Make the Filling

  1. Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing together ground walnuts (they should look like sawdust), sugar, and scalded milk.

  2. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Assemble the Rolls

  1. Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. You shouldn't need additional flour for rolling.

  2. Spread with 1/5 of the walnut filling. Roll from the bottom up (or top down, if you prefer) and tuck in the ends.

  3. Place seam-side down on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled.

Bake the Nut Rolls

  1. Heat oven to 325 F. Pierce each nut roll down its length with a fork. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and water, then brush the nut rolls with this egg wash.

  2. Bake nut rolls for about 30 to 40 minutes or until golden on the top and bottom.

  3. Cool completely on a wire rack.

  4. Nut rolls can be served as is or dusted with confectioners' sugar. Nut rolls freeze well once they are baked, but not unbaked.