Vegan Bejgli (Hungarian Walnut Roll)

December 10, 2020
At Christmas time in Hungary, there are two sweets that are traditionally found in every household.

Szaloncukor is one: a chocolate candy most often filled with fondant, marzipan, or jelly wrapped in white fringy tissue and bright shiny foil, strung with thread, and hung on the tree.

The other is beigli, a rolled pastry filled with either poppy seed or walnuts, or both. Both my grandmas used to make beigli every Christmas when my sister and I were kids. I love everything with poppy seed but this time I made the walnut version for you, as my last recipe was also made with poppy seed. I'm sharing the method for the poppy seed filling as well. if you'd like to go with that.

Of course, the original recipe is not vegan but I worked out a recipe that tastes delicious.
vegan bejgli; hungarian walnut roll on a blue plate with a cup of tea

Vegan Bejgli (Hungarian Walnut Roll)

Recipe Type: Breakfast Sweets
utensils YIELDS 8-10 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 500 g flour
  • 200 g vegan butter, softened
  • 3 servings egg replacer (to replace 3 eggs)
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1/3 cup + 1 1/2 cups +1 1/2 cups lukewarm vegan milk (I used almond)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegan sour cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1+1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 3 1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp rum
  • 1 cup rum-soaked raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups ground poppy seeds
        graphic for recipe card


For the dough:
Dissolve yeast in a mixture of the 1/3 cup lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar and wait a few minutes until frothy.
Combine flour and butter until crumbly.
Add the yeast mixture wait a few minutes. Add the egg replacer, sour cream, and salt and combine to a soft dough (add 70-100 g more flour if needed).

Divide the dough into 4 and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to rest.


Walnut Filling:
In a large bowl combine ground walnut, 1 3/4 cups bread crumbs, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp rum, and 1/2 cup  raisins and 1 tsp cinnamon if using.
Add 1 cup sugar to 1 1/2 cups milk, bring to the boil, then add to the other ingredients. Mix very well.

Poppy Seed Filling:
In a large bowl combine the ground poppy seeds, 1 3/4 cups bread crumbs, zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
Add 1 cup sugar to 1 1/2 cups milk, bring to the boil, then add to the other ingredients. Mix very well.

Let both fillings cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Roll out the dough (each part) to a rectangular shape that’s not too thin (about 1/2 cm). Spread the cooled filling over it, leaving about an inch all around the edges. Fold the edges over the filling. This will create a nice finished edge after rolling. Another way to do it is to roll the filling out between sheets of plastic wrap first. It’s important to get a fairly even ratio of dough to filling. [I always go a little overboard on my fillings—but the filling is the best part!]

Roll up the dough along the longer side, creating a log. Prick with a fork along the top. Traditionally, at this point, an egg wash is brushed on top. You can leave it au naturale, but feel free to add a vegan egg wash so the rolls will be nice and shiny.

Place the rolls on a  large baking sheet. Let them rest for a couple of minutes, then place in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown for 35-40 minutes.

Let cool completely and only slice once you are ready to serve.

Usually we bake them days before Christmas and keep them in a cool environment.

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Photo: IMola Toth

Imola is a Hatha and Ashtanga yoga teacher, tree planter and writer and editor of Raised by the Wolf, an online magazine for Wild Women, with a passion for exploring and life outdoors. Originally from Hungary but currently planting trees and rewilding the enchanting forests of France. Hop over to RBTW magazine, and blog and follow her on Instagram @yogiraisedbythewolf


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