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Poteca Nut Roll

My mother-in-law brought this recipe from Yugoslavia in the early 1900's. It was a tradition in her family to serve it for holidays and special occasions. Now it's my tradition. Family members often help roll our the dough and add the filling. —Mrs. Anthony Setta, Saegertown, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 35 min.
  • Makes
    1 coffee cake


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract, optional
  • 4 cups ground or finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, salt, egg, shortening, and 1-1/2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 30x20-in. rectangle. In a bowl , combine the butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon extract if desired and nuts. Stir in enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread over rectangle to within 1 in. of edges.
  • Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams and ends to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet; shape into a tight spiral. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350° until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. If desired, combine confectioners' sugar and enough milk to make a thin glaze; brush over roll.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 304 calories, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 183mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 2g fiber), 6g protein.
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  • Katy's mom
    Sep 2, 2020

    My mother made potica every year at Christmastime. She always put them in loaf pans and never glazed the tops with anything. It really isn't needed. The best way to eat potica is to lightly toast slices in a toaster oven (or under the broiler) and slather them with real butter. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

  • Brandon J.
    Nov 22, 2018

    Perfect but we just brush the top and sides of some with either our farm fresh honey, maple syrup or sorghum molasses instead of the sugar milk glaze.

  • cv1959
    Mar 30, 2015

    Very, very good and not too difficult. I will definitely make this again.

  • TPT001
    Nov 8, 2012

    I have made this dessert several times it is always a hit. What an amazing dessert it never lasts long in my house

  • mjy14
    Apr 22, 2011

    This is a great potica recipe. As for rolling it out, I divide the dough into 4 parts and make 4 loaves. It is much easier to work with, and you can give it to more people!

  • aloha58
    Dec 20, 2010

    I've been making this every Christmas for over 15 years, and it's a family favorite! It's the kind of thing that you start traditions with, and this year, I'll make it with my granddaughter for the first time.

  • jlbrn2
    Nov 29, 2008

    I have made this recipe twice and it has been delicious. When I roll the dough, which is very tender, I have a difficult time transferring it to the baking sheet. During baking, the sides split and the filling is exposed. Am I doing something wrong?

  • Aquarelle
    Jun 8, 2008

    My former mother-in-law, who is of Slovenian ancestry, taught me how to make "potica." Her recipe is similar to this one. I've also seen recipes that call for apples or dates in the filling. I always cut the dough roll into two pieces and bake them in a greased 9"x13" pan, and have also had good luck baking them in a French bread pan. Or you can cut it smaller yet and bake the segments in regular loaf pans.

  • ShirleyMcM
    Jan 4, 2008

    No comment left