Croatian Cooking: Orahnjača Recept – Walnut Roll Recipe

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Croatian Cooking: Orahnjača Recept – Walnut Roll Recipe

I’ve eaten many walnut roll slices  – far too many. And now I have this walnut roll recipe in my Croatian cooking bag of tricks, thanks to a dear reader who kindly shared it with me, I fear I may eat many, many more….
Often served at Christmas time, but also just as great on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea, just like a makovnjača poppy seed roll, this walnut roll recipe is easy to make.

Walnut Roll Recipe

Orahnjača Recept - Walnut Roll Recipe


The Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl place 1 cup of warm milk
  • Add 1 pkg of vanilla sugar (or two teaspoons of vanilla essence)
  • Add 1 tablespoon dry yeast. Let it do its thing for 10 minutes
  • Add 1 large egg
  • Add 1 tsp salt
  • Add 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • Add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 tsp rum
  • Mix all ingredients with an electric mixer for 30 seconds
  • Add 1.5 cups of white flour
  • Beat two minutes at medium speed with a paddle beater
  • Change to a dough hook and slowly add in another 2 cups of flour
  • Add the flour slowly until it pulls away from the bowl – if you need less, don’t add it all
  • Continue mixing for 2 more minutes
  • The dough will be tough but smooth
  • Place the dough in a warm bowl, massage with 1 tsp of warm butter over dough, cover with plastic wrap a let it rise 1 to 1.5 hours until it doubles in size.

The Filling

  • Grind 2.5 cups of walnuts
  • In a saucepan warm up 1 cup of milk. Add walnuts, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp of plum jam, 1/2 a cup of raisins (optional) and zest of a lemon
  • Add 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • Cook on low for 10 minutes until the milk is incorporated into walnuts (watch that the milk does not burn) – the mix should be thick like porridge
  • Add 1 tbsp rum and 2 tbsp butter
  • Place in a large soup bowl and cool in the fridge.

Tip: It’s easier to spread if it’s cool.

Get Ready To Roll

  • Knock down the dough, which has risen
  • Cut in equal halves – either use a baking scale eyeball it if you have the skills
  • Roll out each piece to 20 inches (50cm) by 14 inches. (35cm)
  • Do one roll at a time. The thinner the better

Tip The dough will fight you back as it is very elastic, so be patient.

Here is a great video which shows you how to roll it all out, skip to 2 mins 35 seconds

Get Ready To Assemble The Walnut Roll

  • Fill each roll with half of the filling, be sure to leave 1 inch (2.5cm) on the sides and two inches (5cm) on the back seam
  • Roll into a sausage roll going from edge closest to you – last two inches (5cm) use a pastry brush and apply an egg yolk wash
  • Place roll onto a 9 x 13 pan, lined with parchment paper or butter.
  • Repeat for the second roll
  • Poke both rolls all over with toothpick
  • Then glaze with an egg wash
  • Leave uncovered and allow to rise for one hour for it to double in size.


  • Bake at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for 20 minutes uncovered and then 40 minutes covered with aluminium foil (covering the rolls prevents burning).
  • You’ll know the rolls will be done with a hollow sound is heard when you knock the top of them
  • Allow the walnut roll to cool slightly in the pan for 20 minutes
  • Remove from pan and serve warm.
Note: You can freeze the second roll. Wrap tight in both cling and aluminium foil to be sure that it does not get freezer burn.

If you have any tips to make this walnut roll recipe better, please let us know in the comments we love to hear your suggestion.

More Tasty Croatian Recipes


Comments (7)

  1. From the very first day I arrived I want to taste it but I haven’t seen any place where you have have just a pice and not the whole pie, is there any place in Split or Dubrovnik? Thanks!!

  2. I’m trying it tonight… i remember my mother making this, but I think she also folded in some whipped egg whites to the filling (can’t remember how many)… and there was orange zest as well as lemon…. but I’m doing it your way… fingers crossed!

    On another note, do you know of any tree house accommodations in Croatia?

    Enjoying your site,

    Kindest regards,


    1. Ohhh that sounds great too. This is a blog reader’s recipe and from what I have seen there are so many variants. So I’d love toknow what you thought of it.

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