Our Mom’s Roolyet (Russian Nut Roll)

Roll the “R” when you try to pronounce the name of this nut roll that is a family favorite from my childhood and adult life, too. Our mom’s Roolyet was the best. We’ve just managed to perfect a recipe that brings back the memory of our mom’s roll. I think she would give us at least an A maybe not an A+ yet. Our pop got teary eyed when he bit into his piece because it reminded him of his beloved bride who died four years ago. (Since I published this post back in 2017 our dear Pop was called up to heaven in June of 2018.)

My sister Vera and I perfected this in 2017 while I was visiting in Southern California. I posted this recipe on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog but decided now to add it here for my own easy access.


For the Dough:

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks (set aside egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly, reserve 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup flour

For Rolling Surface:

  • 1/4 cup powdered/icing sugar

For Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg whites


  1. In a small bowl dissolve the 2 teaspoons sugar with the scalded milk, add the yeast and mix well.
  2. In medium bowl mix the 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, melted butter minus the tablespoon you set aside, and vanilla then add in the yeast mixture and mix well.
  3. Sift the 1 3/4 cup flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons sugar together.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly while mixing, the dough will be sticky.
  5. Prepare kneading surface with a light dusting of flour.
  6. Knead the dough adding as much of the 1/4 cup of flour needed during this process to make the dough less sticky, knead the dough for 10 minutes then form into a ball.
  7. Place the dough into a lightly greased stainless bowl that is 3 times the size of the dough and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot without drafts.
  8. Leave the dough to rise to double its size, 1-2 hours.
  9. While dough is rising prepare the filling by mixing the 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts, egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, mixing well.
  10. Divide the filling into two equal portions.
  11. Once the dough is doubled in size prepare the work surface where you will be rolling out the dough, dusting it with the powdered/icing sugar.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions.
  14. Roll each portion of the dough separately into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  15. Spread the filling evenly over the rectangle of dough leaving 1/2 inch free of filling along the edges.
  16. Starting at the long edge fold over the dough carefully and keep rolling into a tight roll.
  17. Pinch the seam well and pinch the ends to prevent the filling from leaking.
  18. Place the roll seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  19. Repeat the process for the second roll and add it to the baking sheet keeping the rolls at least 3 inches apart.
  20. Use the reserved tablespoon of melted butter to brush the tops and sides of the rolls evenly.
  21. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  22. Let cool and cut into slices to enjoy.

Yield: 2 twelve inch long rolls

Notes: We found that 3 cups of whole walnuts make 2-1/2 cups of ground walnuts.
We used a slightly warm oven to let the dough rise in.
Use a serrated/bread knife to cut the roll.



About Ellenhttps://happywonderer.com/I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

23 thoughts on “Our Mom’s Roolyet (Russian Nut Roll)

    • Alycia, I’ll need to edit my post to say our dear Pop is suffering no longer but was called up to heaven in June of 2018. It was a touching and sweet moment we shared with him over this treat.

  1. Oh Ellen, your recipe looks delicious. My heart felt for your dad as he tasted your wonderful creation that his wife used to make. Food really touches all the senses, doesn’t it?

  2. Thank you for this recipe, Ellen. I’d like to try making them one day. My maternal grandmother immigrated from the Ukraine back in the last century and I remember her making these cookies when I was a young child. Sadly she did not know how to read or write and all her recipes died with her. I recently found a church online that has a Ukrainian Byzantine rite service every Sunday which I have been watching as it brings back memories of visiting her and going to church with her.

  3. Ellen – it looks wonderfully yummy! The dough came out so thin – I like how it is pulling away ever so slightly from the filling … I am not surprised that your Dad cried – I am sure there was a complex web of emotions that led to that.

    To answer your question about bugs/mosquitoes in Glacier – generally, we have not had many issues. There was only one hike in early summer through a very marshy area that was intolerable.

  4. I’ve never met anyone else who makes this, but I’ve taught my children – the 5th generation – to make it as our family’s Christmas morning tradition! Our recipe is almost exactly like this one!

  5. Hello, Ellen
    Your nut roll looks delicious! Great photo of your Dad, sweet memories. Take care, have a great day and week ahead!

  6. This looks so delicious, Ellen, I find it so amazing that a fragrance, special place, photo, or a special dish will take us back to special memories! Thank you for sharing the recipe, and your special memory today,

  7. That recipe looks wonderful. How sweet and tender to be able to share such wonderful memories of your mother and father. i am not particularly talented with yeast dough but perhaps I will give this a try.

  8. This looks delicious. Do you let the rolls with but filling inside rise for awhile before baking? Or straight into the oven after rolling them up?

  9. Pingback: A Merry Hodgepodge to You | The Happy Wonderer ~ ellen b.

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