Sweetest Secret of Melania Trump's Hometown

I was born and raised in Slovenia, just a few kilometers apart from Sevnica, where soon to be the new first lady of USA grew up. And this time of year many mothers and grandmothers are baking walnut roll, called potica. It is a traditional Easter pastry, but in many households it is a must around Christmas as well.

This is my aunt's Danica recipe and I am really grateful for it. She is a great cook and her potica is simply divine. Although Melania Trump takes good care of herself and has a great figure I am certain she would enjoy a royal treat like this.


For the dough:
1 kg plain flour
1 baking powder
600 ml milk
42 g yeast
8 egg yolks
120 g sugar
3 tbsp (3 packets) vanilla sugar
1 tsp salt
zest of one lemon

For the filling:
700 g ground walnuts
1 egg
1 egg yolk
150 g sugar
2 tbsp (2 packets) vanilla sugar
zest of one lemon
3 tbsp rum
250 sour cream
3 egg whites


  1. Sift flour in a bigger bowl. This one is perfect for the job. Mix with baking powder and make a hole in the middle. Dissolve yeast in 100 ml lukewarm milk, pour into the hole, mix with some flour and let it rise for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar, salt and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Pour the rest of the milk into a saucepan like this, add butter and bring almost to a boil. Slowly pour into the egg yolk and sugar mixture and whisk constantly.
  3. Pour into the flour (not directly onto the yeast) and knead the dough until elastic and smooth. You might have to add more flour, but the dough should not be too hard. Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature. It is ready when doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Whisk an egg, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add rum and sour cream and pour over walnuts. Mix well. Beat egg whites until soft peaks and fold into the walnut mixture. If it is to thick add some lukewarm milk.
  5. Preheat oven to 150 C. Flour your work surface and roll out the dough to about 1 cm thick. You can use a beautiful and top quality rolling pin like this. Spread filling on the dough and roll it tightly. Put the roll into greased pan.
  6. Let potica rise one more time, than coat it with lukewarm milk, pierce several times trough with a fork. Bake for an hour or more. Let it cool, covered, for 15 minutes, before you take it out of the pan.

Sprinkle with icing sugar, cut into slices, serve and enjoy!



  1. If 8 egg yolks for the dough sounds to much to you, don't worry. My aunt says, you can use 5.
  2. Traditionally it is baked in special mould called poticnik but we often use bigger baking pans like this. If your pan is too small simply improvise and bake leftovers in a cake mould like this.
  3. Baking time depends on what kind of baking pans or moulds you are using. I baked my big size potica for an hour and 20 minutes. To be certain, test with a toothpick.
  4. If potica starts browning too fast, cover it with foil.



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