The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pennsylvania Nut Roll

whosinthekitchen's picture

Pennsylvania Nut Roll

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!  

I have a friend longing for this treat from her childhood...  anyone familiar with this?  Willing to share a recipe?  I have little description.... it is long, narrow, filled with nuts andor poppyseeds... no other clues . . . 

I would like to make this in February for her birthday.


whosinthekitchen: Lisa

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Hanseata posted this yesterday (maybe she'll see this and weigh in)---it kinda fits the description:

Click here: Mohnstollen - German Poppy Seed Stollen | The Fresh Loaf

With 'Pennsylvania' in the name, it may have come from the Pennsylvania Dutch, which aren't Dutch at all, but Deutsch (German) from what I understand. Could that be it?

Merry Christmas!

whosinthekitchen's picture

Hey Debra,

Thanks fro responding... love your blog, as well.

"Pennsylvanis" is in the title as that is where she and her family are from, Washington PA spepcifically.

The link you gave me shows a stollen, with more fruit than she describes.  She describes this as a tightly rolled dough with the filling inside.  It is not near the size of the stolled... but a more circular, narrow log.  Sliced maybe about 1-2 inch in diameter.  Pennslyvania may not have anything to do owith the actual recipe.... you are right, it could very well be a German treat.  I am still hunting.  Your stollen is beautiful.  I have not used rummed fruit in mine before.  Will have to make your recipe for New Year's.  Thanks so much.  Lisa

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Thank you for the nice compliment, but it really belongs to Hanseata. Her filling is poppyseed and nut (almonds), which sounded like what your friend might be describing. You certainly don't have to put fruit in the dough, or even use a stollen dough. But you might want to press your friend to remember if it was more of a bread, or a cookie dough.... or a strudel maybe?

Click here: Poppyseed Strudel recipe

Click here: - Recipe - Gaga Sally's Poppy Seed Strudel

Click here: Maries Nutcracker Sweet, Nut Roll & Poppy Seed Roll On Line!
Click here: Rolls : Maries Nutcracker Sweet, Nut Roll & Poppy Seed Roll On Line!

mrfrost's picture

Clicking on some of the images may lead to recipes, or links to such. I often search for recipes this way. Sometimes quite successfully. Google(image search) probably has even more leads.

There are also hits on just a general web search for Pennsylvania nut roll recipes. Probaly the hits are just on "nut rolls", but some seem to be just what you are describing.

Read more: Poland: Poppy Seed or Nut Roll

Poppy Seed or Nut Roll

8 cups flour
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 stick of butter or margarine melted
5 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups of warm milk

1 lb. poppy seed or ground nuts
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks margarine or butter
1 cup milk, hot
1 lemon rind

Combine all filling ingredients and beat well.

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and eggs. Add remainder of the milk, butter and yast mixture. Beat until elastic. Sprinkle top with a little flour and cover with a cloth. Let stand in a warm place until double in size. Punch down. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Put on floured board and roll out into a rectangle. Spread cool filling and sprinkle with raisins. Roll like a jelly roll. Place in greased pan and let stand to rise again. Brush top with margarine or butter bake for 45-60 min in 350 degree oven.

whosinthekitchen's picture

THANKS!  I have done some search and found some leads.  

What my friend describes is tightly rolled.... sweet without being overly sweet.  What I have found does call for yeast.  She is unaware as to if the dough is a yeast dough or not.

She is one  who partakes rather than bakes.

Your response is most hlepul. Thank you so much.

Enjoy your winter wonderland... has it begun to snow in Atlanta yet?

I am in south Florida... cool but not enough to snow!!

wosinthekitchen: Lisa

kutzeh's picture

Nut roll

6 c flour

3 eggs

1/2 melted butter

1 c sour cream

2 T sugar

1 tspsalt

1 lg cake of yeast or 2 1/2 tsp dry

3 T milk to brush loaves

Nut filling

2 1/2lbs ground nuts

1 1/4 c sugar

3 heaping T butter

2 frothy eggs whites

1 tsp vanilla

In lg bowl, heat nuts,sugar in microwave till warm, stir well, add frothy beaten egg whites and vanilla. Mix divide into 4 sections



Dissolve yeast in warm milk, add butter, sugar, salt, sour cream and eggs, mix well add flour to make rollable but soft dough adding flour if needed. Rise till dbl, divide into 4 equal parts (6 for small loaves)  Roll thin about 14 by 10 rectangle

spread with nuts filling, tuck in ends, brush with milk, prick top and sides with fork at 2 in intervals

Bake at 375 for 20/30 minutes till brown and hollow when knocked on bottom. Overbaking will result in dry loaf.



whosinthekitchen's picture


Thanks for sending the family recipe!

This will be a great bake off for my friend's birthday!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!


Cathryn K's picture
Cathryn K

Hello Lisa,

My husband's mother had a traditional recipe that he wanted to taste again this Christmas. We searched the internet and came up with the following. We made it and it tastes just like the one he remembers.  Enjoy!


Nut RollpastedGraphic.pdfDough:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter(4 oz)

4 eggs

1 package yeast (about 2-1/2 teaspoons)

1/4 cup warm water

4 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

Cream sugar and butter together. Add eggs one at a time Dissolve 1 yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and add to creamed mixture. Sift 4 cups flour and 2 tsp. salt together. Add to mixture and mix. Place in greased bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.



Nut filling

4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 Cup white sugar

4 oz melted butter

2 eggs, beaten 


  • Mix all filling ingredients together.


  • Roll out 10" X 14" size dough, spread half of the nut filling on and roll up. Repeat with second dough roll. 


  • Seal edges, cover with towel and place in warm spot until dough rises, or for an hour, whichever comes first.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Brush with melted butter if desired the last fifteen minutes before roll is done. 
chollie's picture

These are really typical filled yeast doughs,  filled, then rerolled into a log, or logs depending on the size and are found. all over Southern Germany (Bavaria), Austria, and wherever else today's geography  calls the countries of the former Austrian (Hapsburg) empire.  The poppy seed version uses ground poppy seeds (either in a blender of food processor) and cooked in milk 2-3 minutes, then mixed with lemon rind, raisins, cinnamon, sugar and butter - cooled before using.  An excellent substitute for the yeast dough is puff paste, filled, rolled and baked.




dcsuhocki's picture

Hi Lisa,

I grew up in Northeastern PA, and nutroll and poppyseed rolls are always baked around the holidays.  My area has a large Central and Eastern European immigrant population (Czech, Slovak, Polish, Ukranian, Lithuanian, Russian, etc.).  These immigrants, and now their descendants, always bake these cultural foods around Christmas and Easter.  Do you know anything about your friend's family ancestry?  Just a thought, but it might help with narrowing a recipe.  For example, I came across this recipe for Polish makowiec:

Unfortunately, I don't have any of my family's recipes handy.  Hope this helps and best of luck with your search!  Merry Christmas!


whosinthekitchen's picture

Happy New Year, dcsuhocki,

My friend has some Eastern European lineage but  not clear on the connection to the nut roll..... I think it comes from growing up in Washington PA more.  She talks of her father bringing them home and what a holiday treat it was.  Your Polish makowiec is beautiful.

Thanks so much for your help and guidance.  I am having fun with this project. 


whosinthekitchen's picture


Thanks.  Establishing the dough indeed has yeast is a great help.

When it comes to the nut part.... I am getting the idea from comments and other research, walnuts are the most often used.  My frined LOVES walnuts so that part makes sense with her description.

Thanks so much,


dcsuhocki's picture

Hi Lisa,

I hope you're getting clsoer.  Nut rolls are common Slavic/Eastern European desserts too, as well as poppyseed rolls, so maybe your friend had some families in her area.  The makowiec does look wonderful...but all the credit goes to Floydm, I just stumbled upon the recipe. I know it's not much help.  Good luck!

kutzeh's picture

Aunt Patti's nutroll is my mother's Helena Data recipe. She immigrated here from Poland and this recipe has been passed down from her. I made a small change replacing some butter with sour cream.  Forgot to say, do not let the rolls rise but bake immediately. If risen you will have nut bread not rolls.

kutzeh's picture

Any on interested in Polish culture and recipes, try this site.