Trdelnik (Czech Cinnamon Sugar Pastry)

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!“I don’t know how to pronounce that word, but I want one.”  That’s exactly what I told Laura when we visited Prague on vacation this past summer.  We had never traveled into central Europe before, so we weren’t sure what to expect about Prague.  Home to a couple million people, Prague is the capital (and largest city) of the Czech Republic.  In fact, we learned that Prague is the 4th most visited European city behind London, Paris and Rome.  I had no idea!

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!Prague is steeped in history, and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV did a lot to transform Prague into a cultural center during his reign in the mid-1300’s.  Indeed, Charles’ name is still prevalent all over the city from the iconic Charles Bridge to Charles University to Charles Street.  In fact, Charles himself laid the first rock of the bridge on July 9, 1357 at 5:31am.  Why that time?  Because it follows the palindromic number 135797531.  Royal astrologists at the time had advised that this was an ideal time to begin construction of the bridge.  I guess they were right as the bridge still stands today.  In fact, it’s one of the top tourist destinations in the entire city.

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!While in Prague, we took an evening ghost tour through Old Town.  Ghost tours have become one of our favorite things to do whenever visiting a new city.  You inevitably learn the darker side of a city’s history while enjoying a stroll through alleyways and narrow streets that you might not have discovered on your own.  Rather than the supernatural, the Prague ghost tour focused on murders and other nefarious deeds.  I personally find the supernatural fascinating, so I would’ve liked more in this area.  However, the tour was still fascinating.  (Our tour guide was a drama teacher during the day, so he made for a particularly good storyteller!)

Prague Ghost TourTrdelnik

When in Prague, you can’t help but notice Trdelnik stands and shops all over the place.  Trdelnik and smoked meats.  Everywhere.  Even though trdelnik are ubiquitous throughout Prague, they actually owe their heritage more to Slovakia than the Czech Republic.  Nevertheless, Prague bakeries and shops have laid claim to the Trdelnik, and it’s almost a requirement to get one while visiting the city.

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!

So what is Trdelnik?  It’s a dough that is rolled around a stick (a “trdlo”) and then grilled.  Traditionally, trdelnik are then rolled in a cinnamon-sugar mixture and topped with chopped walnuts.  It’s fascinating to watch trdelnik baking over the open flames!  In fact, it kind of reminds me of rotisserie chicken the way it slowly rotates over the open flame.  When served, Trdelnik are often filled filled with a schmear of Nutella and whipped cream.  I had a trdelnik one night filled with vanilla ice cream.  Delicious!

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!As soon as I saw trdelnik roasting over the open flames, I wanted to learn how to make these at home.  However, after much reading and thinking, I realized it was going to be pretty hard to figure out how to make trdelnik on the grill.  Even if I could rig up a system to bake them on the grill, I knew that most folks wouldn’t have the ability to make them at home.  But then I stumbled onto several posts talking about baking trdelnik in the oven.  The method for baking trdelnik indoors will surprise you!

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!
Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!To make trdelnik indoors, you simply wrap the dough around a rolled-up magazine and bake it – magazine and all – until the dough is golden brown.  In order to ‘bake’ the magazines, you do need to wrap them in foil and then rub the foil generously with olive oil.  But by golly, it worked!

As I was preparing to make these sweet treats, I realized I didn’t have any magazines.  We don’t really subscribe to many magazines.  We have an almost-4-year old.  Do you seriously think we have time to read magazines!?  So I texted Laura and asked if she had anything in her office she could bring home.  Sure enough, she brought me some old metallurgy journals.  So there I was holding a journal article about the oxidation effects within iron and nickel alloys.  I found that super comical as I just rolled the journal article up and wrapped some cinnamon-sugar dough around it.  It might have been a good article.  I have no idea.  But I do know it did a darn good job doubling as a trdlo for baking trdelnik in the oven!

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!

Will we be making Trdelnik all the time?  Doubtful.  But were these oven-baked Trdelnik delicious?  You betcha!  Even Robbie got in on the act and downed an entire trdelnik…although he made us pick all of the nuts off of his first.  Ah, life with a preschooler.  If you ever make your way to Prague, make sure to sample a trdelnik or two.  And then come back and make this version at home!  Happy baking!

Did you make these Trdelnik at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!

Trdelnik

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!
4.92 from 12 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 326kcal

Ingredients

For Trdelnik

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • tsp active dry yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 5-6 magazines
  • aluminum foil
  • olive oil for coating

For Topping

  • ½ cup walnuts finely chopped
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • {optional} fresh whipped cream and/or Nutella

Instructions

  • Using a large bowl, add flour, sugar, yeast and salt; stir until well combined.
  • Add milk, eggs and melted butter; mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing for 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer dough into a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm location for 60-75 minutes, or until approximately doubled in size. (Note: I like to let dough rise in the oven with just the oven light – not the actual oven – turned on.)
  • While the dough is rising, roll 6 old magazines tightly lengthwise and tie shut with cooking string. Wrap each magazine in aluminum foil. (Note: Make sure to cover ends of the magazines with foil, too.)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Once dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll into a large 18” square.
  • Using a knife or a pizza wheel, cut dough into ¾”-1” strips.
  • Generously rub each foil-covered magazine with olive oil.
  • Wrap strips of dough around magazine, making sure that each piece of dough slightly overlaps the one next to it. (Note: I was able to fit 3 trdelnik onto each magazine.)
  • Spread chopped walnuts and/or cinnamon-sugar onto a large plate; set plate aside.
  • Using a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 Tbsp of water until foamy.
  • Brush all sides of the dough with the egg mixture. Roll each trdelnik into the walnut/cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Lay magazines widthwise across an oven safe baking dish or rimmed baking pan. Pay careful attention to ensure that only the ends of the foil-covered magazines (and not the actual dough) touch the baking dish. The middle portion of the magazines (where the trdelnik dough is wrapped) will "hang" suspended above the baking pan.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate trdelnik and continue baking for 15-20 more minutes, or until golden brown in color.
  • Slide trdelnik off of foil-covered magazines.
  • {Optional} Fill baked trdelnik with fresh whipped cream or spread Nutella on inside before serving.

Trdelnik is a unique cinnamon sugar pastry found throughout Prague.  Often filled with whipped cream and Nutella, Trdelnik are a delicious sweet treat!

Looking for other fun dessert recipes?  Check out these other favorites inspired by travel, too!

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Ontbijtkoek is a traditional Dutch spice cake, and it's a wonderful treat when served with a hot cup of coffee!Ontbijtkoek (Dutch Breakfast Cake)

Rüdesheim Coffee is a unique German coffee cocktail featuring flambeed sweetened brandy topped with strong coffee, whipped cream and shaved chocolate.Rüdesheim Coffee

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34 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I love the idea, the recipe, but you lost me at the baking dish point with “don’t let the dough touch the sides or end of the dish”! It has to touch something unless it is done on a wire rack?

    1. Hey Frank! Ah, I appreciate you catching that mistake. I will go clarify that step in the instructions right now. In short, the magazines get laid widthwise across the baking sheet or baking pan. That way only the foil edges of the magazine lay on the edges of the pan. The trdelnik dough itself doesn’t actually touch anything, but rather hangs “suspended” above the pan. Does this make more sense? Thanks for pointing this out, my friend!

  2. 5 stars
    Ok, I can’t pronounce either…I just know to say ‘gimmmmmme’, lol. Talk about a real treat, David! Where has this been all my life? I bet this would be so good dunked in coffee. Pinned! Also, do you deliver 😉 ??

    1. You’re right, Dawn! These trdelnik would be excellent with a cup of coffee. In fact, the first trdelnik I had in Prague was ordered with a shot of espresso. It was amazing! 🙂 And, yes, I’m happy to deliver…as long as you have a curling club nearby where I can stop and play a game. Haha!

  3. 5 stars
    Very cool. I’ve never heard of Trdelnik. Such an impressive recipe and ambitious task to make it. Looks and sounds fantastic! Guessing your son is a big fan. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. So I was about to give up on the idea of making trdelnik at home until I came across the rolled-up magazine trick. I really wanted to figure out how to do these over an open flame like they do in Prague…but man that wasn’t going to be easy! Either way, these trdelnik are a fun and delicious treat. Thanks, Valentina!

    1. Yes! I hope you make it to Prague sometime soon, Alexandra. (On a side note, Prague is known for both garnet and crystal. Laura found a garnet ring there that she absolutely loves!) And of course I highly recommend sitting down each evening with a trdelnik and a coffee. 🙂

  4. wow these look stupendous david. and what about that baking method with the magazines? boy is that a whacky, but clearly effective idea:) I’ve not been to prague but i have been to budapest which i think has a similar feel with the old buildings etc. Yes i could really go for one of these pastries right now just before bed. cheers S

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Sherry! The magazines are a super wacky idea, and I was more that a little skeptical about it…but they work! Budapest is on our list of places to visit, too. I pretty much love Europe and it’s old Gothic buildings! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    A ghost tour in Prague and pastries filled with Nutella and whipped cream sounds like my idea of heaven. I’ve never heard of these but now I HAVE TO TRY THEM. Thank you for adding to my weekend baking list :).

    1. Tell me about it, Kelsie! The only thing that would’ve made the experience better would have been seeing an actual ghost. Or seeing an actual ghost sitting down to eat a trdelnik. Now wouldn’t that have made for a fun story!? 🙂

  6. I’ve always wanted to visit Prague, it looks like such an interesting city. Plus those Trdelnik (currently using google translate to figure out how to say it!) look delicious, like a Czech version of cannoli!

    1. Prague really is a pretty cool city, Matt! I highly recommend putting it on your list. Oh, and if you make it over, be prepared to see a lot of garnet and crystal–that’s what Prague is famous for (at least these days). Oh, and Trdelnik. Yum!

    1. I have to say that I was more than suspicious about the whole magazines in the oven, thing…but it worked out! These trdelnik were pleasantly similar to the ones we ate on the streets of Prague. And now I can make ’em at home whenever I want! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I’m still to visit Prague and I think after seeing these delicious Trdelnik pastries I’m putting Prague further up my list of “must see” places! Thanks for recreating these. They look stunning and showing how they can be baked at home in your oven is genius!

    1. Yes! Bump Prague up on that list a little bit. It’s a really cool city! And make sure you do a night-time ghost tour. And make sure you eat a bunch of trdelnik. Deal? 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    We were in Prague last week (for the first time) and you are so right, those trdelnik stands are everywhere. I love that you were inspired to figure out how to make them at home!! I’ll give it a try too!

    We should have gone on that ghost tour – sounds like a lot of fun.

    1. No way!! What perfect timing with this post then. 🙂 You should totally try making trdelnik at home now. The magazine trick sounds odd, but it works!

      The ghost tour was good, but overall I’m not sure I’d do it again. I wanted a little more in the way of spooky. Not like people jumping out at me spooky, but more ghosts and such. Either way, I hope you had fun in Prague! We certainly enjoyed our time there!

  9. 5 stars
    Haha – Now I feel I need to get y’all a magazine subscription so you will have a never ending supply SO you can make a batch of these and drone them down to me! These look so good – remind me of cream horns only the pastry is diffeernt. Now I need to grab lil S and head to Prage because the thought of trdelnik stands all around has me sold! Thanks for sharing this, David!

    1. Haha! And I bet the magazine subscription will be WAY better than some journal article about iron alloys. 🙂 You’re indeed right that trdelnik are similar to cream horns. But the dough is different. I can’t explain it. I guess you’ll just have to head over to Prague! It’s a really fun city. Hope you’re doing well, my friend!

  10. 5 stars
    David, these pastries look amazing with their crispy shells and creamy filling! One of my grandmothers was Czech, but she didn’t share any traditional recipes. Where have these been all my life!

    1. Well I say it’s time to discover some Czech pastries! To be fair, trdelnik came from Slovakia and only showed up in the radar in Prague in the past decade or two. But now they’re everywhere. (And you can see why…these things are awesome!) Thanks, Kelly!

  11. Wow, doesn’t this looks good. Funny I’ve been to Prague but didn’t notice these babies. Don’t know what was wrong with me… but better late than never. They sound delicious, and I’m not even all that big on sweets. They must be killer!

    1. So I’m not sure when you visited Prague, but Trdelnik have really only moved in over the past ~10 years or so. Now they’re everywhere! And for good reason…they’re delicious. 🙂 Thanks, Frank!

  12. 5 stars
    Could you use the cardboard from a roll of paper towels & cover it with aluminum foil instead of using a magazine?

    1. Hey Janice! Hmmm…that’s a really good question. I can’t say for sure since I haven’t tried that, but I would think it would still work. Just make sure you entirely cover the roll with foil to insulate it! If you do try this instead of magazines, let me know how it works out. And of course just keep an eye on the oven when these are in there. I doubt anything would go wrong since paper towel rolls are similar to magazines, but better to be safe than sorry! 🙂

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