Nothing completes a holiday spread quite like a sweet and soft walnut roll! The nut roll filling is so perfectly moist with just the right amount of walnut flavor and crunch. And don’t stress about the dough – today I’ll share two easy ways you can make it with no fuss!
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What is a Russian Walnut Roll
A Russian walnut roll goes by so many different names, including Orechovnik, but it’s generally the same across cultures. Traditional nut rolls are soft, milky bread, rolled with a sweetened walnut filling. It’s absolutely delicious and surprisingly easy to make!
In Russia, walnut rolls are enjoyed on holidays, so now I make them every Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter! Once you make this delicious nut roll recipe, you’re not going to be able to celebrate a holiday without it.
This recipe makes double the amount of dough you’ll need just in case you want to create two different kinds of rolls. You can get creative and make a walnut cinnamon roll if you’d like! Otherwise, just double the nut filling recipe to have an even amount of both filling and dough.
More Traditional Slavic Recipes to Try
- This Russian Bird’s Milk Cake Recipe with Chocolate Glaze is a classic cake that is soft, moist, and fluffy!
- Russian Layered Honey Cake has a delicious gooey honey filling in each layer!
- Apple Sharlotka Cake has a crumble cakey base and decadent apple filling.
- If ring-shaped dough with a sweet cheese filling sounds good to you, try these Russian Vatrushka Buns with Sweet Cheese Filling.
Ingredients to Make a Walnut Roll
Let’s start with the dough! I know it can be intimidating for many people, but it’s actually quite easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it. However, I’m also a huge fan of shortcuts (when they work), and using a bread machine for this dough is a shortcut I can get behind.
If you don’t have a bread machine, feel free to knead your dough by hand or with the help of a stand mixer. More instructions are below!
- Eggs– large
- Dry vanilla
- Warm milk– make sure it’s not hot!
- Unsalted butter – melted. Can be melted in the microwave or stove top.
- Light olive oil
- Sea salt
- Dry yeast
- Flour– All purpose flour.
Simple Walnut Filling
The best things in life are always simple. And so is this walnut filling. I’m talking only three ingredients!
- Walnuts – Finely chopped. You could use/add other nuts but I like sticking to walnuts only.
- Sugar – I find 1 cup to be the perfect amount.
- Egg white – To bring it all together.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
Step By Step Instructions to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Make the Dough
Bread Machine: Place the eggs, dry vanilla, milk, unsalted butter, oil, sea salt, flour, and dry yeast in the bread machine bucket. Choose the “DOUGH” option on the machine and wait until the dough is ready.
Handmade: If you don’t have a bread machine, feel free to knead your dough by hand or with the help of a stand mixer. Dissolve the yeast into warm milk, then combine the rest of your ingredients and knead until your dough is soft, but not sticky. Leave the dough in a covered bowl until it rises about 2 times the size. The rising should take about 1 hour.
Step 2: Prepare the Filling
While the dough is rising, combine the finely chopped walnuts, egg white, and sugar in a bowl. Mix well. This will be enough for half of the dough in order to give you some flexibility to make another filling for the other half. If not, just double the filling measurements.
Step 3: Preheat and Prep
When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 240 degrees F. Get a baking sheet and spray or butter the pan so the rolls don’t stick while baking.
Step 4: Divide Dough
Divide the dough in half. If you want different kinds of fillings, divide the dough into how many fillings you want.
Step 5: Add Walnut Filling
Sprinkle your work surface with flour and then roll one piece of dough flat into a rectangular shape. Spread the walnut filling over the rectangle, and then roll the dough in from the long side. Place it on a baking sheet. Repeat this step with the rest of the divided dough and your chosen fillings.
Step 6: Rise and Egg Wash
Allow your rolled dough to rise once again for about 15 minutes, then whisk 1 egg and brush it on the top of each roll. Place your roll in the oven.
Step 7: Bake and Enjoy!
Bake the roll(s) for 15 minutes at 240 degrees F, and then change the temperature to 275 degrees F to bake for another 15 minutes. Lastly, change the temperature to 295 degrees F and bake until the rolls are golden brown. Slice them up and enjoy!
They’re known by so many different names! In the US they’re just known as nut rolls, but in Slovak cultures, they’re known as orechovník. Hungary, Turkey, Poland, and Croatia all have their own names for them as well!
Nut rolls will typically crack if you use too much flour or overbake the rolls. Just make sure you don’t sprinkle too much flour onto your work surface when you roll out the dough, and keep an eye on the oven.
You could make so many different variations of a nut roll, or even play around with different ingredients entirely. I think walnut cinnamon rolls sound like a great option – just mix cinnamon into the walnut filling and maybe drizzle some icing on top. You could also try out my honey pecan cake roll recipe, or play around with lemon poppy seed rolls, or even dried fruits as fillings!
More Dessert Rolls To Try
- Walnut Pumpkin Roll with Ricotta Cream
- Easy Strawberry Roll with Drizzled Chocolate
- No-Yeast Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch
- Soft and Sweet Cheese Cookies with Farmer’s Cheese
Other Tasty Walnut Recipes
If you tried this Soft and Sweet Russian Walnut Roll (Orechovnik) or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you enjoyed it in the📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Soft and Sweet Russian Walnut Roll (Orechovnik)
For the dough:
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tsp dry vanilla
- 1½ cups milk, warm, not hot
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp oil light olive oil is best
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp dry yeast
- 4 cups flour
For the filling:
- 2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup sugar
To make the dough: Place all the ingredients in bread machine bucket. Choose DOUGH option on the machine and wait until the dough is ready.2 large eggs, ½ tsp dry vanilla, 1½ cups milk,, 8 Tbsp unsalted butter,, 3 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp sea salt, 4 cups flour, 1 Tbsp dry yeast
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Combine into a bowl the finely chopped walnuts, egg white and sugar. Mix well and you've got yourself a walnut filling! This will be enough for half of the dough in case you want to make another filling also.2 cups walnuts,, 1 egg white, 1 cup sugar
How to make the roll:
- When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 240F. Get a baking sheet and spray or butter the pan so the rolls don’t stick when baking.
- Divide the dough in half. If you want different kind of fillings divide the dough into how many fillings you want.
- Sprinkle the surface with flour then roll one piece of dough flat into a rectangle shape. Spread walnut filling. Roll the dough in from the long side. Place on a baking sheet.
- Repeat the previous step with the rest of the divided dough by rolling it, adding filling and rolling it up.
- Give 15 minutes for the dough roll to rise once again then whisk 1 egg and brush lightly the top of each roll. Place in oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes on 240F, then change the temperature to 275F for another 15 minutes and lastly change the temperature to 295F and bake until rolls are golden brown. Slice and enjoy!