Potica Nut Roll

by Erin

Whether you spell it potica or povitica (or something completely different), this Slovenian sweet nut roll bread is better than cinnamon swirl bread, in my biased opinion.

Potica Nut Roll 2

Jump to recipe

When Christmas rolls around, fruit cakes start appearing along with many other traditional Christmas recipes. While my dad does make a killer fruit cake, the pastry I most look forward to is Potica. Potica looks like cinnamon swirl bread but it’s got a little extra that make it that much better.

Potica is a Slovenian dense, sweet, yeast nut bread cut from tightly rolled loaves. I remember this being the number one thing Grandma would bake whenever she came to visit. Quite possibly my favorite part of being Slavic.

It comes in many different shapes and sizes but for my family’s recipe the sweet, yeast pastry dough is rolled out really thin and then spread with a coating of ground up nuts and sugar before being rolled up and baked (we use a clean sheet of floured fabric to make rolling easier).

Sometimes it’s a straight log, sometimes it gets bent it into a horse shoe shape, and other times it gets baked in a bundt cake pan. Whatever shape you prefer it’ll come up just right. What’s important to me is toasting a slice and then spreading butter on it. Holy yum.

Potica Nut Roll 1

However, my grandmother is one of those magic bakers that never needs a recipe, ever. So when her children asked for the recipe for her Potica, each one received different versions. This resulted in my dad attempting to find the best combination from each recipe, and I am posting his results. He found the perfect balance between the bread and nut filling.

My dad actually came to visit this past weekend and since I had never attempted to make this myself before, so I thought I’d let the recipe be passed down the generations properly. This was one of our activities for the weekend! I love baking and cooking with my dad. I love baking and cooking with almost anyone actually.

My favorite way to eat this is toasted with some butter spread over. It’s great for breakfast, but sweet enough to pass for dessert as well. Although it does take a bit of effort to make, it is surely worth it. And please use a floured cloth or parchment paper to roll the dough out on. It makes the rolling up step soooo much easier!

Post updated 10/18/21, last picture above is the original.

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Potica Nut Roll 2


Yield: 2 loaves Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat



  • 3-1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup scalded milk
  • 1-1/2  sticks of unsalted oleo*
  • 3 egg yolks beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 2 Tbsp
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water


  • 1 lb walnuts (4 cups if you don't have a scale), ground fine in food processor
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites beaten fluffy
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat milk and oleo until oleo melts. Cool to lukewarm.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 Tbsp sugar in 1/4 cup warm water.
  3. In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and oleo/milk mixture. Add half of the flour and beat well. Add yeast mix,  egg yolks, and remainder of flour.  Beat well (dough will be sticky). Sprinkle with four, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  4. To make filling, in a medium bowl mix ground nuts, hot milk, sugar and vanilla. All to cool to room temperature before adding fluffy egg whites. Fold them into mixture, and set aside.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Roll half the dough onto a floured cloth or parchment paper into an 18”X18” square.
  7. Spread half of the nut mix onto dough. Roll up with the help of the cloth/paper, seal ends and place seam side down in a greased tube pan, cake pan or cookie sheet. Prick top with fork. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  8. Bake for 30-40 min or till brown.


*Or margarine

Did You Make This Recipe?
I want to see! Tag me on Instagram at @TheSpiffyCookie and hashtag it #TheSpiffyCookie.

Source: My dad, adapted from my Grandmother.

Did you make this recipe? I want to see! Tag @THESPIFFYCOOKIE on Instagram and hashtag it #THESPIFFYCOOKIE

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Sharon Ramon January 3, 2017 - 3:41 am

I am full blooded German. My mother had a neighbor that showed her how to make this. For years my mom would make this every Christmas. It freezes well also. I love working with yeast and the recipe I saw is spot on. The measurements might be different because when I roll it out, I use a clean floured sheet that I anchor with strings at the corners on our table. The dough rolls out rather large …then I simply remove ties and roll the dough up by lifting the sheet slowly. My mom would cut the roll on both ends to fit in the tube pan ( angel food cake) and bake the two ends that she connected into one in another pan and bake it about half the time as the full potica. We would slice and enjoy that first….I made one for Christmas this past year from my mom’s recipe. Haven’t done it in years. My daughter cried when I asked her how she liked it. My mom and dad passed almost 5 years ago. With tears rolling down her face she said ” tastes just like grandma’s.”

spiffycookie January 3, 2017 - 7:34 am

Sharon, such a cute story about your daughter and I’m sorry to hear your mom and dad have passed. My dad also prefers using a clean sheet to roll out on and then uses it to roll up the dough. He splits the dough in half before rolling it out so maybe that’s why yours rolls out larger. It really is a great recipe. I know I am thankful that my grandmother passed her recipe down and hope to see her for her 100th birthday next December!

Ellen December 22, 2012 - 10:53 pm

THANK YOU!!! This was a family Christmas tradition and I could not find the recipe card from my mom.

spiffycookie December 23, 2012 - 11:35 am

Very welcome!

Jennifer December 4, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Thanks! I made this for my Polish in laws. Mine wasn’t as pretty as yours but so delicious. I will make it again for sure!

spiffycookie December 4, 2012 - 1:10 pm

Yay! Glad you tried it and liked it.

Jennifer December 21, 2012 - 4:20 pm

Thanks. I just made this again. The dough didn’t rise overnight (yikes!) so I made another batch today and just let it rise until doubled on the counter. It was so much easier to handle than the fridge dough! Just thought that might help someone. Thanks again for posting this recipe.

Jennifer November 21, 2012 - 3:21 pm

No second rise?

spiffycookie November 21, 2012 - 8:45 pm


Blair K. February 9, 2012 - 4:40 pm

Favorite part of being Slavic :-) So true! I grew up with potica, learned to make it from my mother, who is of half-Slovenian descent. Just like you, she never got a recipe from her mother, so she got one from a Serbian friend that she swears tastes just like her mom’s. Our version uses a refrigerated yeast dough with sour cream and honey in the filling.

spiffycookie February 9, 2012 - 6:11 pm

Yum! Sounds like a great filling.

Cassie (Bake Your Day) September 21, 2011 - 8:33 pm

This is new to me but it sounds delicious. The filling looks perfect!

Carolyn September 21, 2011 - 3:13 pm

Oh my word, that looks amazing. I love nuts and cinnamon in warm dough and i love how well this is rolled to get a thin crust.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 21, 2011 - 11:40 am

I love when a recipe comes with great memories! What a great looking bread.

Michelle September 18, 2011 - 10:18 pm

looks lovely! wonder if it would work with soymilk….

spiffycookie September 19, 2011 - 6:43 am

l would imagine it would. If you try it, let me know!

susan in alaska May 13, 2011 - 9:35 pm

This looks great! Love it. My mom makes this every Christmas & Easter. We ALWAYS have it for Christmas breakfast with fried apples. It came down from my dad’s dad through their family. I know my mom has a copy of my grandfathers handwritten recipe he got from his sister, but mom hasn’t shared it with me yet…

great recipe. everyone should try it. :)

spiffycookie May 14, 2011 - 12:21 am

Yes everyone should try it, it’s amazing!

Erin A March 21, 2011 - 10:06 am

oh Erin, that looks delicious!!!!!!! Makes me wish I hadn’t just started french bread dough…. (I’m a multi-tasker…working from home and making bread simultaneously lol)

But seriously that looks so good! I’ve never had it!


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