Walnut Roll (Cozonac cu nuca si stafide)

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Enjoy the classic taste of walnut roll, a Romanian favourite, specially baked for Easter or Christmas holidays. Its original name is Cozonac, featuring soft sweet bread, rum-infused raisins, Turkish delight, and a chocolate walnut filling. Perfect for holiday gatherings or any celebration, this traditional treat is sure to please!

Walnut Roll - Cozonac

The magic of this dessert lies in the memories you’ll create with each holiday spent making and savouring it with loved ones. Baking it will fill your home with an incredible aroma that will linger in your memory forever. Make this dessert at least once in your life; it rewards you with as much love and satisfaction as you invest in making it.

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Why you’ll love this recipe

This Walnut Raisin Roll recipe, also called in Romanian “Cozonac cu Nuca“, consists of soft sweet dough, a walnut filling enhanced with rum-soaked raisins and small bites of Turkish Delight. Baked to perfection, this walnut bread roll is perfect for Christmas and Easter celebrations. You should also try our Vegan Carrot Cake Banana Bread, Lemon or Berry Chocolate Cake.

Ingredients to make Walnut Roll

As this is a baked recipe, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature. This will help the dough to rise during baking, making it soft and airy.

  • Flour – All-purpose flour is going to bring out the best of this dessert.
  • Milk – Any type of milk will work, including plant-based ones.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar is best, as it does not affect the colour of the dough.
  • Icing sugar – Is used for making the filling and adds sweetness.
  • Yolks – Use yolks from large or medium eggs.
  • Fresh yeast – This is the best as it will help with the rising process of the dough.
  • Melted butter – Make sure the butter gets to room temperature, after melting it.
  • Salt – Fine salt is best.
  • Rum extract – Both, light or dark rum extract will work.
  • Vanilla extract – Use a quality vanilla extract for the best flavour.
  • Lemon and orange peel – Use only organic, wax-free fruits.
  • Grated Walnuts – For optimal results, walnuts or pecans are recommended. Alternatively, you can combine both varieties. Although, walnuts are traditionally used for this recipe.
  • Cocoa Powder – Any cocoa will work. I recommend using Ghirardelli, Valrhona, or Callebaut for a rich flavour.
  • Turkish Delight -This is a chewy candy made from gelatin, sugar, and flavourings like rosewater or citrus. It’s enjoyed for its sweet and floral taste, often with nuts like pistachios, in Middle Eastern desserts.
  • Gold raisins – They will add a fruity taste to the walnut roll.

Substitutions

  • Flour – Replace the all-purpose flour with Extra Fine 00 Flour.
  • Fresh yeast – You can use dry yeast instead, you just need to adjust the quantity: 20 gr for Active Dry Yeast and 15 gr for Instant Quick Yeast.
  • Gold raisins – You can use regular raisins, sultanas, or chopped dried apricots.

How to make this Walnut Roll Recipe

Are you ready to bake up something delicious? Give our Walnut Roll recipe a try! This special treat, known as “Cozonac cu Nuca,” is sweet and nutty, perfect for satisfying your cravings. We’ll walk you through each step, from mixing the dough to rolling out the filling. And when it’s baking in the oven, your kitchen will smell amazing!

Take a look at this step-by-step guide to making this delicious homemade recipe. The photos make it easy to follow along.

Picture of walnut roll dough rising in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

First, gather your ingredients, next, mix the dough ingredients until it forms a smooth and elastic dough. Then, let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Picture of a bowl with walnut roll filling. A spatula is lifted in the air, showing the filling's texture and consistency.

Meanwhile, prepare the walnut filling by mixing crushed walnuts, egg whites with sugar, cocoa and a splash of milk.

A dough sheet covered with walnut filling, rum-infused raisins, and colorful Turkish delight pieces.

After that, roll out the dough into a rectangle, spread the walnut filling evenly, add rum-infused raisins, and pieces of Turkish delight then roll it up tightly.

A picture of three walnut-filled rolls all braided together on a table, creating a walnut roll.

Once rolled, place it aside and repeat the process to make 2 more rolls. Then, braid the rolls and place them in a loaf pan lined with a baking sheet. Cover the pan and let it rise again for about 30 minutes.

Two rolls sitting in pans lined with paper. One roll is made with 3 braids and the other with 2 braids. They're all puffed up and ready to bake in the oven.

Finally, bake the walnut roll in a preheated oven until it’s golden brown and fragrant.

3 warm walnut rolls resting on a wire rack.

Voila! You’ve made a delicious Walnut Roll (Cozonac cu Nuca) ready to be enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.

A full list of ingredients and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

Leftovers and storage

Once it’s cooled down, wrap it tightly in parchment paper and then in plastic wrap or foil to keep it fresh. Keep in in a cold space.

You can also store it in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. If you want it to last longer, pop it in the fridge for up to a week. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before enjoying it again.

And if you’re feeling fancy, you can even freeze slices for later – just wrap them well and they’ll stay good for a few months.

Recipe FAQs

A Walnut Roll is a sweet pastry filled with a mixture of crushed walnuts and sugar, wrapped in a soft dough and baked until golden brown.

Absolutely! You can experiment with different nuts like pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts to create your unique twist on the classic Walnut Roll recipe.

Get creative with your Walnut Roll filling by adding ingredients like cinnamon, raisins, Turkish delight or even chocolate chips for extra flavour.

Keep an eye on your Walnut Roll as it bakes and cover it with aluminum foil if it starts to brown too quickly. You can also lower the oven temperature slightly to prevent burning.

Your Walnut Roll is done baking when it’s golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can also insert a toothpick into the centre – if it comes out clean, your Walnut Roll is ready!


Recipe

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 kg of flour (8 cups)
  • 600 ml milk (20 oz)
  • 150 gr sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 4 yolks
  • 50 gr fresh yeast (2 oz)
  • 50 gr melted butter (2 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange peel

Walnut Filling

  • 500 gr grated walnuts (4 cups)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 100 gr icing sugar (1 cup)
  • 50 ml milk (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • Turkish delight 6-8 squares
  • Gold raisins

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk

Dough Method

  1. Start by placing the flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm milk and let them rise for 10 min.
  3. Pour it over the flour and mix.
  4. Add the lightly beaten yolks and start kneading by hand or using a stand mixer.
  5. Gradually add the melted butter and fruit peel, and continue to knead until you get a homogeneous composition.
  6. Leave to rise until it doubles in volume.

Filling Method

  1. Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until peaks form, adding the sugar and milk gradually.
  2. Sift the cocoa over the egg whites, add the vanilla and rum extract and mix.
  3. Incorporate the grated walnuts with a wooden spoon.

Folding method

  1. Lightly grease a work surface with sunflower oil and turn out the dough.
  2. Knead lightly and form six balls of dough.
  3. Roll out the dough balls into a rectangle.
  4. Spread the filling, sprinkle raisins and Turkish delight(cut it into thin rectangles).
  5. Roll each rectangle of dough tightly.
  6. Braid the three rolls and seal the ends.
  7. Place the cakes in the tray lined with baking paper and leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Preheat the oven to 200C/392F/Gas mark 6 and bake for approx 60 min.
  9. Beat the yolk and milk and grease the cakes with it.

Tip: Place an aluminium foil on top when it has a nice colour, to prevent it from burning. Spread Kia or poppy seeds for a nicer look.

Leave to completely cool and serve. Enjoy!



Two baked golden-brown walnut rolls.

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3 warm walnut rolls resting on a wire rack.

Walnut Roll (Cozonac cu nuca si stafide)

Claudia
Treat yourself to the delicious taste of walnut roll, a yummy baked treat great for Easter, Christmas, or any time! It's a soft pastry filled with walnuts, raisins, and spices, all baked until golden and amazing.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Resting time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Romanian
Servings 12
Calories 893 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl: For mixing and kneading the dough.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients.
  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer: Optional but helpful for mixing dough and beating egg whites.
  • Rolling Pin: For rolling out the dough into rectangles.
  • Baking Tray: To hold the assembled rolls during rising and baking.
  • Baking Paper or Parchment Paper: To line the baking tray and prevent sticking.
  • Pastry Brush: For brushing the tops of the rolls with egg wash.
  • Oven: For baking the walnut rolls.
  • Cooling Rack: To cool the baked rolls after removing them from the oven.
  • Aluminium foil: To prevent the rolls from burning on top.

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 1 kg of flour 8 cups
  • 600 ml milk 20 oz
  • 150 gr sugar 3/4 cup
  • 4 yolks
  • 50 gr fresh yeast 2 oz
  • 50 gr melted butter 2 oz
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ lemon and 1/2 orange peel

Walnut filling

  • 500 gr grated walnuts 4 cups
  • 4 egg whites
  • 100 gr icing sugar 1 cup
  • 50 ml milk 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum extract
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • Turkish delight 6-8 squares
  • Gold raisins

Egg wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions
 

Making the dough

  • Start by placing the flour and salt in a bowl.
  • Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm milk and let them rise for 10 min.
  • Pour it over the flour and mix.
  • Add the lightly beaten yolks and start kneading by hand or using a stand mixer.
  • Gradually add the melted butter and fruit peel, continue to knead until you get a homogeneous composition.
  • Leave to rise until it doubles in volume.

Making the filling

  • Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until peaks form, adding the sugar and milk gradually.
  • Sift the cocoa over the egg whites, add the vanilla and rum extract and mix.
  • Incorporate the grated walnuts with a wooden spoon.

How to fold the walnut rolls

  • Lightly grease a work surface with sunflower oil and turn out the dough.
  • Knead lightly and form six balls of dough.
  • Roll out the dough balls into a rectangle.
  • Spread the filling, sprinkle raisins and Turkish delight(cut it into thin rectangles).
  • Roll each rectangle of dough tightly.
  • Braid the three rolls and seal the ends.
  • Place the cakes in the tray lined with baking paper and leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.

Baking

  • Preheat the oven at 200C/392F/Gas mark 6 and bake for approx 60 min.
  • Beat the yolk and milk and grease the cakes with it.
  • Tip: Place a aluminium foil on top when it has a nice colour, to prevent it from burning. Spread kia or poppy seeds for a nicer look.
  • Leave to completely cool and serve.

Video

Notes

Step-by-Step Guide: You’ll find a helpful step-by-step guide to making this recipe on my blog. The photos make it easy to follow along.
 
 
 
 
Substitutions & Twists: I’ve listed some great substitutions and variations in the post above, so you can customize the dish to your liking.
 
 
 
 
Storage: Wrap the walnut roll tightly in parchment paper and then plastic wrap. Store it in a cool place for up to 2 weeks.
 
 
 
 
Tip 1: Keep Your Dough Soft: Make sure your dough is soft and elastic by kneading it well. This helps create a fluffy texture in your walnut rolls.
Tip 2: Spread Filling Evenly: When rolling out the dough, spread the walnut filling evenly to ensure every bite is full of deliciousness.
Tip 3: Let It Rise Properly: Allow enough time for your dough to rise until it doubles in size. This step is crucial for achieving that light and airy texture in your walnut rolls.
Keyword Christmas, Cozonac cu nuca, Easter, Walnut Roll
Walnut Roll (Cozonac cu nuca) collage

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    What a delicious recipe – I love the walnut filling! This is the perfect treat to bake for the upcoming Easter holiday 🙂