croatian nut roll povitica

croatian nut roll povitica

 Growing up Mom spent all day making her exquisite croatian nut roll povitica. I’ve created an easy way for you to enjoy this ethnic delicacy!

Croatian Nut Roll

One of my favorite things to look forward to during the holiday season as a kid? My Mom’s Croatian nut roll!

How to Pronounce Povitica

You can listen various pronunciations on YouTube. ‘PO vuh teet zuh’ ‘PAW vit tah kuh’ But, you can just call it a Croatian Nut Roll or Croatian Nut Bread! 

Povitica Bread

Making this delicious traditional holiday bread can take all day. That is, it can take all day if you’re doing it the old-fashioned way. 

Croatian Bread

But, if you’re making this Croatian bread using my short cut, yes, puff pastry, then you can have amazingly delicious loaves of povitica in no time at all. Make ahead of time and freeze! 

Povitica Recipes

With any of the povitica recipes, adjust and modify to your tastes. If you want more of the classic cinnamon taste, then simply omit the cocoa and add more cinnamon. If you want to use almonds then you might swap vanilla extract for almond extract. If you want to sprinkle in raisins or dried cranberries (I think I’d chop them up finer.) then that’s your choice. And, if shredded coconut is your love, like mine, then make it all about coconut! 

Making Povitica

This is the way my Mom made povitica. It was an almost all day process. Oh, gosh, I remember that there was no stand mixer. No fancy equipment to make this recipe other than pure love and Mom’s strong hands. 

Walnut Povitica Recipe

Walnut povitica is classic. And, I love love this simplicity of just walnuts and maybe some cinnamon. Sometimes I’ll trade cinnamon for all spice or even cardamom. If you haven’t tried cardamom, used a lot in traditional Swedish pastries, then give it a try. Every loaf of povitica that you make becomes different. 

Kolachi Roll

Mom called it kolachi roll. Maybe because she filled it with ground poppy seeds and sometimes fruit. 

Kolachi or kolache are Czech pastries. You fill dough usually with fruit and sometimes cheese. It’s very Eastern European. And, I’ve had this original delicacy, that’s what I consider it to be, when visiting Croatian and Eastern European countries. 

Recipe for Nut Rolls

My goal for this recipe is to make a recipe for nut rolls that’s easy. A recipe that won’t keep you in the kitchen all day because I know many of you just don’t have that kind of time. 

Povitica Recipes

Povitica recipes call for making the thinnest of delicate doughs. And, this is the foundation of this recipe. However, it takes a long time to do this. And, I’m not sure we all can devote that much time to creating this dough. I remember Mom having the entire kitchen table top covered with flour and the dough and her constant rolling and stretching of this dough to make it paper thin. Hopefully, my technique will make you want to make this recipe without all the time required. 

Puff Pastry Nut Roll Recipe

Puff pastry is a perfect alternative for the homemade dough. It’s readily available. It can be gently and delicately rolled to a much thinner version and larger size. And, I know that when baked you have thin layers of the crispy dough. Probably more crispy than making your dough, but, nonetheless the layers of the delicious filling rolled in the dough. 

Povitica Bread

Pronounced ‘po-vuh-teet-zuh’, this Croatian bread or nut roll can be filled with any kind of ground nut and spices. Sometimes I like simply having ground almonds or walnuts, sugar and butter. Simple and delicious.

Croatian Nut Roll Recipe 

Having a simple and doable Croatian nut roll recipe makes the holidays all the merrier because in no time at all, you can be slicing and enjoying this tradition in your home. That’s what the holidays are all about, having a few traditions that we look forward to. And, I’m so happy to share one of mine with you. 

Croatian Bread

Besides this Croatian bread, I’ve got a few more Croatian inspired recipes that you might want to enjoy. It reminds me of growing up in those coalfields of West Virginia and watching Mom cook marvelous healthy food in our postage stamp sized kitchen. 

Sarma Cabbage Rolls

Eastern European Red Potato Salad

Easy Apple Roll Up Cinnamon Pie

Holiday Walnut Bread

Cabbage Roll Soup

Croatian Cheesecake

croatian nut roll povitica


croatian nut roll povitica

croatian nut roll povitica

Yield: Makes three small loaves

Growing up Mom spent all day making her exquisite croatian nut roll povitica. I've created an easy way for you to enjoy this ethnic delicacy!


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • 1 (13 oz.) package refrigerated puff pastry, room temperature
  • ¼ cup flour, all purpose
  • 3 cups walnuts
  • ¾ cup sugar + 1 Tbl. sugar, divided
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cocoa
  • 1 Tbl. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 8 Tbl. butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg, separate yolk and white, divided
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Have a large clean flour cloth (28” x 28”). Place on a clean surface.
  2. Dust flour cloth with some of the flour. Unroll the puff pastry. Use a rolling pin and gently roll out thinner to about 24-26” by 20-24” or slightly larger without any holes in the dough.
  3. Put the walnuts, three-fourths cup of sugar, salt, cocoa and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until a tiny crumbly mixture.
  4. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Heat the milk and butter, melting the butter. Add the vanilla and blend. Pour into the nut mixture and blend well.
  5. Add the egg yolk to the nut mixture and work into it. The mixture will be thick like play dough. Put dollops of the nut mixture on the rolled-out pastry.
  6. Use a spreading knife to evenly spread over the dough leaving about ½” to ¾” from the edges. Gently start rolling the dough end opposite yourself.
  7. Roll carefully until in one long snake roll. Brush with egg white.
    You can make into a ‘U’ ‘S’ or tight ‘W’ or zigzag shape and put on a parchment paper lined cookie baking sheet or bread pan.
  8. Let the parchment paper extend on opposite ends. This helps with removing from baking sheet or pan when cooled.
  9. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

croatian nut roll povitica


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  1. Pamela Ott says:

    This is crazy!! We grew up eating my grandmother’s “cougan”. Because of the name we thought it was a German bread, kookchen or Kuchen or something, but I could never find it. Well my grandfather was German but my grandmother was Croatian (Churrich which became Smith at Ellis Island probably). I finally looked here and found the exact picture of our beloved “cougan”. Only 2 of us still make it although we make the dough and spend a lot of elbow and arm tiring time rolling it out to a huge round/oval shape. I would send pictures but it looks like it doesn’t allow me to. Thank you for posting! I’m Sooooo glad I finally found this, I’m 60 and love that I now know where it came from. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Pamela! What a beautiful message. Isn’t it wonderful digging into our roots! And, you’re right, making this was a labor of absolute LOVE and sweat equity. I’ve just tried to make the process a tad bit easier, quicker and less onerous while still maintaining much of the deliciousness and honor for the Coratian Nut Roll. If you’re on IG, you can DM me w/pixs, uv! Sending lots of love xoxx ally

  2. John Corey says:

    Ally, I have been searching for several years for a recipe to make a treat we had as kids (bought at grocery store) called Baker Boy Confection Roll (google that and look at the images to see what I mean). It was very much like this but the bread part was denser and sugary-crispier. I will be experimenting to see if I can get all the way there, but this is a terrific base to start from! Thank you.

    1. John! I’m so excited to see what you come up with! I do know of the Baker Boys. In fact, have one of their cookbooks. Yes, using the puff patry makes it flakier and crispy. You could use a frozen bread dough, John, and go from there. You’d have that more dense texture like BB. OK, I’m awaiting your creations my friend! xoxx ally

  3. Barbara Coholich Walker says:

    I have always wanted to make nut bread but was intimidated. My grandmother immigrated to the US from Yugoslavia. She always had nut bread when we visited. I even used the rolling pin that she used which I was lucky enough to inherit. Mine did not turn out as pretty as yours but the taste was great. I will definitely try again.

    1. Barbara! What a beautiful story and gosh having your grandmother’s rolling pin to do this is priceless. I mean her spirit was right there w/you. Pretty isn’t as important as tasty, and that’s all that counts. You’ll become more expertise w/each new nut roll! xoxx Happy Thanksgiving my friend ! Zivila! xoxx ally

  4. Connie Miller says:

    If I wanted to make this ahead of time can it be frozen? How long can it be stored and how should I store it if not frozen?

    1. Hi, Connie, I’ve never done that before, so I’m kind of ‘gunslinging’ here. It think you can freeze. Just wrap well in parchment paper and then cover that with foil. You’ll maybe forgo some of the crispy crunch when thawing, but you could slowly warm slices in a low temp oven for a few minutes. If NOT frozen, it’s good for about 5 days. I sometimes refrigerate. Again, when you cover w/plastic wrap, etc., some of the puff pastry crunchy/crisp is compromised. Regardless, it’s gonna be awesome!!! xoxx ally

  5. We finally cutting tires. And it does not look like the pastry cook as much as yours did only inside the roll.

    It almost seems as if there was too much filling for the puff pastry. I think next time I will divide it between the two sheets and maybe use a little bit less butter because it is very butter forward when I eat it is still delicious though!

    1. Rallou! Thank you for checking in w/me! I so appreciate it. When I remake I shall keep in mind your points and see if that is the case for me. You have a plan for your next nut roll, my friend! Here’s to the deliciousness of it and I’m honored that you’re carrying on this beautiful food tradition from my family. xoxx ally

      1. Ruth Nosrati says:

        I made it and it was delicious. You write that the filling will be thick. Mine was not. I used it anyway and some of it run out when baking. What did I do wrong?

        1. Hey, Ruth, as I said next time you make it, grind up more walnuts and add to increase the thickness. Hopefully, my video helps you see the thickness that I speak of, luv xoxx ally

  6. Rallou Matzakos says:

    Do you use just one piece of pastry or both pieces?

    So roll out both together to make one big roll with the filling or just one sheet with the filling or both sheets with half the filling for each?

    Lol – sorry – engineering degree here so I have too many questions!

    1. Ha ha, no problem Rallou. I used a large one piece of puff pastry that I rolled as thin as I could w/o creating holes or tears. It’s called JusRol puff pastry and is found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Not frozen like Pepperidge Farms puff pastry (which is also in 3 strips). If you’re using frozen PF, then thaw and pinch together all three pieces then go from there with the stretching of the pastry. I love your questions, my friend! xoxx ally

  7. I always loved this. My aunt had a friend that made this at Christmas time. She would put a flat bed sheet on her dining table and roll the dough out on it. She rolled it soooo thin and would spend the day making a dozen rolls for family and friends. This recipes is so much easier. Thanks.

    1. Nannykat, that sounds like how my Mom used to do it. Yes, it was an all day process. So labor intensive w/all the love that went into this exquisite holiday (or any day!) nut roll! I sure hope you’ll try it. The puff pastry makes it so so so much easier! xoxx ally

  8. Kolachi(Kolači) means cakes in Croatia 😍
    You did povitica perfect!
    ❤️😘 From Croatia

  9. Can you tell me what I did wrong… my filling was more of a liquid consistency not play dough. I did use 1/4 cup of nut milk instead of milk. Could that be the reason? If the milk is the reason should I use full fat milk instead?
    Also, I rolled the pastry out thin but when it was baked some places the filling oozed out and in your video yours looks firm while mine looked flimsy. What did I do wrong there?

    Aside from that it was still very delicious, thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi, Jojo, well, first of all, congratulations, you created the flavor and taste, that’s so important. And, with some recipes, it takes a tad bit of ‘practice’ especially with the rolling out. Mine always has cracks and holes, too. I try to ‘glue’ and pinch it back together. Next time, maybe don’t roll quite as thin. As for the liquid consistency, your filling should be more ‘pasty’ kind of like peanut butter that can spread. I’m not sure about the nut milk. Mom always used real cow’s milk, usually whole (full fat). I think next time you’re gonna nail it. Did it slice well? And, the flavor was spot on? xox ally

      1. Hi Ally! Thank you for you getting back to me! I will use full fat milk next time. Yes it did slice well, and the taste…was delicious, everyone loved it! Thank you again.

        1. Jojo, thank you! And, when you remake, please let me know. That’s how we all learn. xo ally

  10. Anonymous says:

    can i make without a flour cloth? I’ve no idea wha tit is

    1. HI…it’s like a dish towel, large, I buy mine at WalMart. You could dust your clean surface with flour to roll out. The cloth helps in rolling. But, you could use parchment paper as well. Hope this helps! ~ally xoxx

    2. Ruth Nosrati says:

      I made it and it was delicious. You write that the filling will be thick. Mine was not. I used it anyway and some of it run out when baking. What did I do wrong?

      1. Hi, Ruth! It’s so great that you liked the nut roll! Watching the video didn’t help you see the thickness that I speak of? Next time you make it, add more ground walnut to make the mixture thicker. Now I don’t like mine really sweet, so you might adjust sugar amount, too. Please let me know!! xoxx ally

  11. oyce Maggitti says:

    Looks delicious, going to make for next family gathering. Thank You

    1. OH, I sure hope you do! It’s a delicious addition to any family gathering. So from my family to yours, Zivila! xoxx ally

  12. Donna in Texas says:

    Loved this recipe! Made for a monthly family gathering (my month to cook). My family loved it.

    1. Oh, gosh, Donna! Nothing makes me happier! Thank you so much for letting me know that it was a hit! Hope to see more of you, luv! xoxx ally

  13. Anonymous says:

    I love what you cook because I know it’ll work for my in Santa Fe at 7500 ft. Baking at high altitude is a bit of a trick. Love so many of your videos and recipes. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi, my friend! Welcome! So glad you’re here. Yes, I cook/bake at high altitude (8k+ feet), too, part of the year. Then the other part of the year at about 5′ above sea level! It can be tricky. As long as the flavors are good, I sometimes don’t mind a flip or flop! Merry Christmas, and, please come back real soon! xoxx ~ally

  14. I’m amazed at your site. How I can put the items I need for the recipe in my cart at various stores I shop at. How long as it taken you to have such an great site? With your creative self I could just imagine how much more you keep pushing the envelope to have better options. Thank you for the ease as I keep trying to stay healthy and learn more recipes. ❤️

    1. Hi Deena! Gosh, I so appreciate your remarks because I’m always wondering if things a working well, easy to find, fast loading, etc. There are glitches for sure and lots more work to be done. Thank you for letting me know, and I look forward to seeing more of you! xoxx Merry Christmas! ~ally

  15. I too will try all your recipes. You make cooking fun again as I look forward to trying to plan a better kitchen for that reason. Merry Christmas to you and the Flav Fam.

    1. Deena! Yes, that’s what your kitchen should be…fun zone! And, I try to make these recipes super easy and simple yet healthy and deeelish! Merry Christmas and don’t be a stranger! xoxx ~ally

  16. Thank you for sharing!! Looks delicious!! Definitely will be making this! Merry Christmas to you & your family!! 🎄

    1. Wanda! Hope you’re munching on nut roll now! We polished ours off last might after dinner while we were all sitting around the LR recovering from a huge dinner! Don’t be a stranger and I very much appreciate you! xoxx ~ally

  17. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicious 😋 I’ve a great recipe with puff pastry, with marzipan in it , called Parisian, very similar.

    1. OH, yes! That would be fabulous. Mom used to use poppyseed paste too. Thank you, luv! xoxx ~ally

  18. Thank you for sharing! I’m gonna try it😍

    1. Awesome! It’s super simple and really good. Thanks so much for stopping by and don’t be a stranger! xoxx ~ally

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ally you and your family are so sweet I enjoy watching your energy! Your a awesome cook, can you make this with Bobby this weekend ??

    1. Hi, luv! Thanks for those very special kind words. Yes, I’ll try to make w/Bobby and family. They’re GF, so the puff pastry is not. But, I can eat it all! ha ha! Merry Christmas! And, thank you for your support! xoxx ~ally

  20. Inam sesi says:

    I will try every recipe of yours

    1. Goodness gracious, you’re so special and sweet! Thank you, my friend!! xoxx ~ally

    1. Awhhhhhh, you’re so special. Thank you dear. And. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours! ❤❤

  21. This looks incredibly delicious. I will make it with almonds, thanks a bunch Ally for sharing your family recipe, and I I LIKE your simplified version.

    1. Hadia! Thank you! Yes, almonds would be great, and I’ve had it w/almonds and know. You can also omit the cacao if you don’t want that chocolate flavor. YES! The simple version makes us want to make it. And, well, for me, it’s just perfect! xoxo ~ally

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