holiday walnut bread povitica

holiday walnut bread povitica

Holiday walnut bread povitica is one of those recipes that you will make every Christmas if you’re looking for something easy and delicious!

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. 

Recipes for Christmas Bread

Preserving vintage recipes like this is important to me. However, I’m keenly aware that not many will spend the time in the kitchen making this dough from scratch. It’s very labor intensive and takes time. Rather than ‘forget’ about it, this holiday walnut bread povitica can be made quickly and easily with a shortcut step. Yes, using puff pastry is the way to have this ‘bread’, albeit not a big ‘loaf’ like size, anytime during the year, not just holidays. I bake it on a cookie sheet, but you could, of course, use a loaf pan and create more of the bread shape. Regardless of how you bake it, you’ll see that this moist nutty quasi ‘sweet’ bread is something that angels would rejoice at biting into!

If you decide to make this holiday walnut bread povitica, promise me you’ll leave a comment and maybe even share a photo on my Facebook page Ally’s Kitchen. Let me know how your friends and family like this recipe and share in some of my childhood memories.

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

Holiday Quick Bread Recipes

Let’s pronounce ‘povitica’. It’s Po-vuh-teet-zuh. And, it’s a Croatian holiday walnut bread. Growing up this was an EXTRAordinary treat. Mom would use the entire kitchen counter or table to roll out the dough, yes, always made from scratch, until it was paper thin.

She’d be almost covered in flour. And, there would be a gorgeous ‘mess’ in the kitchen. Her fillings could be poppy seeds or walnuts. Sometimes she’d use spices like cinnamon or allspice. Whatever she did with her magical hands, this holiday walnut bread povitica was spectacular!

I think this is what makes holidays so special. These memories of Mom cooking, and creating in the postage stamp size kitchen that was utterly basic but functional, make childhood holidays even more memorable for me, especially as I get older.

xoxox ~peace & namaste~   ally

holiday walnut bread povitica

holiday walnut bread povitica

holiday walnut bread povatica

Yield: One loaf

Holiday walnut bread povitica is one of those recipes that you will make every Christmas if you're looking for something easy and delicious!


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • 1/3 cup flour, all-purpose
  • 3 sheets (3x9" each) puff pastry, thawed, do not separate at perferation, roll out to about 12x15” size
  • 5 Tbl. butter, salted, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1 egg


Sprinkle one-half cup of the flour on a clean surface about 2 x 2’. Put the puff pastry in the center. Sprinkle with remaining flour. Roll out to about a 12 x 15” size with a rolling pin. It won’t be perfectly square, but that’s ok.

Use a pastry brush and coat the pastry dough. Sprinkle all around with the sugar then the walnuts.

Starting from the long end opposite you, begin rolling into a ‘snake’ tucking the ends as you go. Brush the top with the egg white. (If you mix in some yolk, no problem.)

Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Turn both ends inward to make a rectangle shape.

Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 33-35 minutes. Remove and cool. Slice and serve.


Cover tightly and this bread can be good for a couple of days.

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

holiday walnut bread povitica

Similar Posts


  1. Carla from Kansas says:

    Reading your post I became a little girl again watching my mom make povitica. Yes, all day long it took. How she got her dough that thin was magic to me. My aunt made a wonderful sweet cheese filling. None of the family have her recipe and we haven’t been able to recreate. I think she used cottage cheese. I will try any cheese recipe someone has. Thanks for the memories.

    1. Carla! I love that you could visualize this experience having lived it with your Mama. I’m sure you could make a cheese filling. In fact, you might want to check this recipe. It’s kind of like a ‘take off’ on that idea. Mom called it ‘strukli’. Soooooooooooo good. Merry Christmas, my sweet! xoxx ally

  2. I love preserving old world recipes and treasure the few that I have. You are right that a light of people don’t want to spend that kind of time in the kitchen anymore but I can’t think of a better way to spend my day. This roll looks delicious and using puff pastry is a great way to speed everything up.

    1. Sweet Julie! Those are the most special words…I couldn’t agree more. And, taking shortcuts w/o compromising flavor and texture might just encourage others to get back in the kitchen…thanks for visiting, luv! xo ~ally

    1. Lawsy mercy Miss Lynneeee! It be real good!! Love you girl! xo

  3. I’ve always wanted to make povitica, but have been a leery of how involved the process is. Loving your version here! It’s just as beautiful, but with a little less work… Absolutely can’t wait to try it!!

    1. Oh, MIchele! I’m so happy to hear you say that…’if it were easier I’d make it’…I, too, feel that way…didn’t have the patience or time to do it like Mom did decades ago, and I’m telling you, it’s hard to tell the difference!! Enjoy luv! xo

  4. I love this recipe Ally, love the photos of you in your pinny. I’ll make this over Easter that’s for sure. ♥

    1. Oh, dear Dor! I would be SO SO honored to have you serve this at your Easter table!! Take a pix for me luveeee! xoxo

    1. It is, Nettie!! I’m making it!! Join me, luv xoxox

    1. Thank you, sweet friend! It’s so simple and easy and addictive!! xo

  5. You know I love this! The simplicity makes it something anyone could make and be successful with. Yummm!

    1. You’re so right, Mary! And, no one will ever know it’s EZ PZ!! xoxo

      1. I have made this for more years than I can count. My sister made it all the time and I loved it so much she gave me recipe. I am 92, so that gives you an idea how long I have bern making it. Thank you for the short cut.

        1. Ohhhhhh, my dear sweet Mary! I know that your recipe far exceeds this one, but in today’s world it’s a real challenge. My Mom would have been about your age, and I’d watch as she’d spend hours and hours making the dough, stretching it, then filling, rolling and baking. She oftentimes used ground poppy seeds, too. Thank you for sharing your world w/me!! This shortcut does save time, and it’s really good!! xo ~ally

  6. Loving this Ally and keeping traditional recipes alive is so important, totally scrumptious sweetie ♥

    1. Thank you my dear Scorpio sister! Yes, we must keep this food history alive!! Thank you for visiting me, luv! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Caroline…yes, those walnuts are divine!! Thanks for stopping by, luv! xo ~ally

    1. Thank you so much dear Hadia…it’s almost addictive!! xo ~ally

  7. Beverley Press says:

    Tradition is what food is all about, this is to scrumptious. Thank you and once again I’m so sorry you are going through this rough time with FB. xoxo

    1. My dear Cupcake Goddess…you’re so right about food and traditions and beautiful memories. Thank you!! And, thank you for your warm caring through this debacle…it’s not over, but, boy, have I learned a LOT!! xoxo love ya!

    1. Megan! Thank you, luv…I always look forward to your visits!! xo ~ally

    1. Jenni! Thank you, luv! It’s the ‘instant’ version from the old country! xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.