Sheet Pan

Grandma C's Nut Roll

April 29, 2014
0 Ratings
  • Makes 3 Nut Rolls
Author Notes

My Grandmother used to make nut rolls in quantity every Easter and Christmas.
The whole family avidly anticipated the arrival of the bi-annual box of nut rolls in the mail. They ship and freeze well, if they're well-wrapped in foil.
The original recipe just had eggwhites, sugar, and ground walnuts in the filling, but adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the filling as you fold in the nuts is a nice subtle variation. —gorboduc

What You'll Need
  • Walnut filling
  • 1 pound shelled walnuts
  • 4 egg whiltes (reserve the yolks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Dough
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 egg yolks reserved from the filling
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • splash milk or water
  1. Add the walnuts and 1/2 c sugar to a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
  2. Whip the egg whites and remaining sugar into a meringue that holds stiff peaks and fold in the nut mixture. You don't have to be gentle here--the egg whites are just acting as glue, so you can fold without fear of deflating the whites. Set the filling aside.
  3. Mix the yeast and warm water, set aside. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the yeast mixture. Beat the reserved egg yolks into the sour cream and add to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, then switch to the dough hook and add enough flour to make a soft dough. Stop adding flour when the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the mixer bowl. Knead until silky smooth, 5-8 minutes. Divide the dough into three balls. Put in greased bowls, cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place until doubled. When the dough is nearly risen, preheat the oven to 350° . Punch down one piece of dough and roll it into an oval about 14 long. The dough should be about 1/8 in thick. Spread 1/3 of the filling onto the dough, leaving 1 inch borders on 3 sides (both short sides and one of the long ones), and a border about 1/4 of the width of the oval on the remaining long side. Roll the nut roll long-ways, like a jelly roll, and set it, seam side down, on a greased sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  4. Beat the egg together with a splash of water or milk to make an egg wash.
  5. Brush the nut rolls with the egg wash and bake immediately, without waiting for them to rise.
  6. They will take 25 - 30 minutes to bake, and are done when they're golden brown.
  7. Cool the baked nut rolls on a rack. The cooled nut rolls freeze beautifully if well-wrapped in two or three layers of aluminum foil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Danielle van Heeckeren
    Danielle van Heeckeren
  • Melody
  • gorboduc

4 Reviews

Melody December 12, 2017
This recipe has no sugar in the dough but says to cream butter and sugar. I ended up adding 3 Tbs of sugar (similar to another recipe for that amount of flour and it is perfect. Something I discovered when rolling out nut rolls years ago ... don't use flour or sugar on the counter. Spray with Pam. The dough rolls out quickly and retains its shape without shrinking back as most doughs do. The amount of nut filling gave a nice healthy layer and the final nut roll was exactly as I liked it ... very little dough between the layers of nuts. Yummy! I give this an A+
Melody December 12, 2017
Recipe says to cream butter and sugar for dough, but there is no sugar in the dough. I knew I should've read this thoroughly before starting, so hopefully someone can answer this quickly.
gorboduc December 18, 2016
Yeah--my suspicion is that that's because the original recipe called for margarine, which would have been salted. I bake with unsalted butter, so I often add a tsp of kosher salt to the dough to account for that.
Danielle V. December 18, 2016
I was comparing my recipe which is very similar. Surprised that your dough has no salt.