This Walnut Strudel has rich walnut filling and soft and airy dough baked until golden brown on top! A classic dessert, full of flavor, made with staple pantry ingredients.
This German nut strudel is my family recipe passed down from my great-grandmother. It’s quite a tradition to make this strudel during the holiday season.
If you want to add more walnut-based desserts to your repertoire, this walnut bundt cake and these walnut cookies are excellent choices.
If you’re in the mood for some fruity sweets, try these two recipes – a refreshing summer raspberry cake or a zesty blackberry lemon bread. Both are sure to satisfy your cravings for something sweet and fruity.
- Milk: I used whole milk for this recipe. Milk will help blend the dry ingredients and proof the yeast.
- Sugar: I used regular granulated sugar. This strudel will be sweet, so I recommend not adding any more. You can slightly reduce sugar if you prefer a less sweet dessert. Please refer to the substitutions and variations section to read more about this.
- Yeast: For this recipe, I used active dry yeast. Red Star is my favorite brand. Feel free to use any brand you prefer and that you are used to using for baking.
- Flour: I used Bob’s Red Mill organic all-purpose unbleached white flour. I love how the dough has a nice texture and is soft once baked. You can use the flour you prefer, but it might slightly change the dough texture.
- Salt: Just a little salt to balance the flavors.
- Oil: I used canola oil for this recipe. I like it because it has a mild flavor and doesn’t affect the overall taste of the strudel.
- Eggs: We need two eggs for strudel dough and one more for brushing the strudel before baking.
- Walnuts: I used organic walnuts. You can find them in any grocery store.
See recipe card for quantities.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Easy to make: With easy steps and detailed instructions, you will make this strudel recipe in no time.
- Flavor: A rich taste of sweet walnuts filling and soft and airy dough with a golden brown top will melt in your mouth with the first bite.
- Texture: This nut strudel has a crunchy top with soft and airy layers inside mixed with a sweet walnut filling.
What is Walnut Strudel
Walnut strudel, or German nut strudel, comes from Austo-Hungarian Empire. The name in German means “whirlpool” because the strudel consists of layers of dough and rich filling.
German strudel has rich layers of sweet nut filling and airy dough layers.
How to Proof Yeast
With easy steps and staple pantry ingredients, you will have fool-proof healthy yeast ready for baking.
- Add active dry yeast, sugar, and a little flour to a bowl with warm milk.
- Gently mix with a spoon.
- Cover with a plate (upside down) and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
- The yeast mixture will be foamy and bubbly.
If you are using instant dry yeast, you don’t need to proof the yeast. Also, to keep the yeast fresh, keep it in the fridge after the first use.
- Proof the yeast: This is a crucial step every time you use yeast in baking. For detailed instructions and measurements, please refer to the recipe card. Make sure the yeast mixture is foamy and bubbly.
- Make the dough: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and then work the dough with your hands. Transfer to a clean surface and work the dough for a few minutes. Divide into two equal parts and set aside to rest (covered with a dry cloth).
- Make the walnut filling: While the dough is resting, mix the blended walnuts, granulated sugar, and hot milk. Mix with a spatula until incorporated.
- Assemble: Roll the dough into a rectangle, brush with oil and add half the walnut filling. Spread it equally and roll it into a strudel. Repeat the process for the second strudel.
- Bake and finishing touches: Total baking time is 40 minutes. Halfway through the baking, loosely cover strudels with aluminum foil so the top does not burn. Toward the end, remove the foil. The top will be golden brown. Leave to rest, covered with a dry cloth. Before slicing it into pieces, sprinkle the powdered sugar on top.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Success
- Use fresh yeast: To ensure you will successfully proof the yeast, I recommend using fresh yeast. To keep the yeast from going bad, store it in the fridge after use as soon as you open the package.
- Use fresh walnuts: Walnuts are the star of this strudel. Use fresh walnuts to have the best flavor.
- Place the strudel with the wrapped dough on the bottom side: Always place the strudel with the end of the rolled dough on the bottom when placing it onto the baking pan. Otherwise, the strudel might roll open once it starts rising in the oven.
- Let the strudel rest before cutting it into pieces: To avoid the strudel falling apart when you start slicing it into pieces, let the strudel rest for at least an hour and a half before cutting. I recommend using a bread knife for cutting the strudel.
Substitutions and Variations
- Make a different filling: You can make the filling with poppy seeds. Make sure to use fresh poppy seeds, and ground them well. You can also use pecans. Follow the exact instructions for walnuts.
- Use less sugar: I used one cup of granulated sugar. If you want to cut down on sugar, I suggest using ¾ cup of granulated sugar.
- Use a combination of white and brown sugar: If you want to add a more decadent and deeper flavor, use ¾ cup of white granulated sugar and ¼ cup of brown sugar.
How to Serve
Serve it as a dessert, or if you want to indulge, you can serve it as a sweet breakfast with a glass of milk or tea.
You can also serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to two days.
Yes, absolutely. You can make it several hours in advance or even the day before.
There are several ways to proof yeast. I always proof the yeast using warm milk, sugar, and a little flour. You will know the yeast is proofed once the yeast and milk mixture is foamy and bubbly after 5-10 minutes of proofing.
I usually cover yeast while proofing with a plate or dry cloth. If you cover it with cloth, ensure it does not fold down on the yeast mixture.
Strudel has thin layers of pastry wrapped around the filling, while streusel is a crumbly sweet topping. Usually, the topping consists of sugar, flour, and butter.
Other Dessert Recipes You’ll Love
- Blackberry Lemon Bread
- Butterscotch Rum Cake
- Walnut Bundt Cake
- Summer Raspberry Cake
- Lemon Meringue Slice – Sampita
- Mini Bundt Cakes
- The Best Homemade Apple Pie Recipe
- Gurabije – Lard Cookies
- Walnut Cookies – Sape Recipe
- Vanillekipferl – Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with [this recipe]:
- baking pan
- measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowl
- A spatula
- aluminum foil
- Parchment paper
- blender or food processor
For the dough
- 1 ⅓ cup warm whole milk
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup canola oil (plus more for brushing the rolled dough)
- 2 eggs
For the walnut filling
- 1 lb grounded walnuts
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoon hot milk
For brushing the strudel
- 1 egg
- Powdered sugar
- Start with gathering and measuring all ingredients.
- Proof the yeast: Heat the milk in a microwave or stove. Add yeast, one teaspoon of granulated sugar, and little flour to a bowl with warm milk. Mix gently to combine and cover with a plate (upside down) and set aside for 5-10 minutes to proof.
- Make the dough: Add flour, salt, oil, and beaten eggs to a large bowl. Then, add the yeast mixture and mix the dough with a spatula. Once the dough becomes more incorporated, work the dough with your hands. Transfer the dough to a clean working surface (with a little bit of flour sprinkled on top) and continue to work the dough for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Set aside and cover with a dry cloth.
- Make the walnut filling: Blend the walnuts in a blender or food processor. Make sure to pulse the blender and not let it blend for too long because walnuts will form a paste due to the oil in them. Add blended walnuts, granulated sugar, and three tablespoons of hot milk to a medium size bowl. Mix with a spatula until incorporated.
- Assemble: Roll the dough into a rectangle (9×13 inches). Brush the dough with oil and spread half of the walnut mixture, leaving little space from the edges. Roll the dough lengthwise until you make a strudel. Transfer the strudel onto a parchment-lined baking pan. Repeat the process with the second strudel and brush them with the beaten egg. Set aside to rest until you preheat the oven.
- Bake: Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Put the strudels into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then put aluminum foil loosely on top of the strudels. Bake for another 15 minutes, and then remove the foil. Bake for another 5 minutes. The total baking time is 40 minutes.
- Finishing touches: Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least one and a half hours. Dust the powdered sugar on top and slice it into pieces. Serve and enjoy!
- Make sure to proof yeast before mixing it with other ingredients.
- Use a smaller baking pan I used 9×13 inches (23×33 cm) baking pan.
- Let the strudel rest and cool down before cutting it into pieces.