More >

Mom's Nut Rolls

Pani di Noci della Mamma

Serves 8 to 10

A not too sweet yeast dough encasing ground walnuts and egg whites is a signature treat from my mother's kitchen; the beauty of these is that they freeze beautifully once baked and are welcome gifts.



1/2 cup warm water

2 packages dried yeast

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups warm milk

1 cup butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6-7 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt


4 egg whites

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter

5 cups ground walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 - 2 teaspoons milk


Pour the water into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk, butter and sugar. Mix by hand or on low speed to blend the ingredients. Blend the egg yolks into the mixture, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Begin adding the flour a cup at a time and mix until a soft, non sticky ball forms. You may not need all the flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.

For the filling:
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add the sugar a little at a time until soft peaks form. Fold in the butter, walnuts and vanilla. Set aside.

Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered. Roll each piece into a 14 inch square. Spread about 1 cup of the filling over the dough,then roll it tightly like a jellyroll. Make sure to tuck in the ends as you roll.

Place the roll on a lightly buttered baking sheet or on a parchment lined baking sheer. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Continue making 4 more rolls.

Preheat the oven to 375

When ready to bake brush the tops with milk and make a few decorative slashed in the top of the dough.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until nicely browned.

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon of milk or more for a thin consistency

Combine in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle on rolls as they cool.

This recipe is featured on show 1717, In the Kitchen with Mom - In Cucina con la Mama.


  1. Bernice's avatar


    Hello all. I have no Idea where this will take me but i'm looking on advice to make 20 doz. easy wedding cookies that are not very difficult or expensive. Its my daughters wedding an dont got much money. OMG Please help Ms. Be4a
  2. Paula's avatar


    A question regarding what type of yeast: Is it the regular yeast or the fast-acting yeast. Ordinarily, I would assume the regular. But since the rise time is only 1 hour, I wonder if it is the fast-acting type.
    Thank you
  3. Mrs Gaylene Bielawski's avatar

    Mrs Gaylene Bielawski

    the recipe is easy and delicious thank you for sharing this as my own mother passed away and never got the recipe.
  4. Lisa's avatar


    Made the roll this afternoon. Dough was beautifully easy to work with, filled one with apricot, great recipe!

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!