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Don’t want to use corn syrup in the glaze for this schnecken recipe? Maple syrup works as a good substitute.



  • 1 medium russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3⅔ (or more) cups all-purpose flour


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups pecan halves, divided
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, divided

Recipe Preparation


  • Bring potato and 2 cups cold water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain potato, reserving cooking liquid (you should have about 1 cup). Transfer potato to a small bowl and mash with a fork (you should have about 1 cup).

  • Let potato cooking liquid cool so it’s warm but not hot (105˚–110˚). Whisk yeast and ¼ cup potato cooking liquid in a small bowl and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, beat butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. With motor running, add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating between additions. Stop mixer and switch to dough hook. Add yeast mixture, mashed potato, flour, salt, and ¾ cup potato cooking liquid and mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is very soft and elastic, just a little bit sticky, and climbing up the hook while sticking to the bottom of the bowl, 8–10 minutes (if dough is very sticky, mix in 1–3 Tbsp. flour). Cover bowl with plastic and let sit in warm spot until doubled in volume, 60–70 minutes.

  • Do Ahead: Dough (before letting rise) can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.


  • Lightly coat three 12-cup muffin pans with nonstick spray. Chop 1 cup pecans; set aside. Mix 1 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl to combine; set aside.

  • Cook brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, 1 cup butter, and remaining ½ cup granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour about 1 Tbsp. caramel mixture into each muffin cup scatter remaining 1 cup pecan halves over. Set aside muffin pans.

  • Melt remaining ½ cup butter in a small saucepan. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 pieces. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a ½"-thick rectangle that’s about 13x8". Brush with melted butter and sprinkle one-third of cinnamon sugar over, then scatter one-third raisins and one-third reserved chopped pecans on top (it will look a little sparse, but that’s okay). Roll up like a jelly roll and pinch seams together to seal. Trim about ½" of dough off each end, then slice crosswise into 12 pieces. Transfer schnecken spiral-side up and place in prepared muffin cups. Working 1 piece of dough at a time, repeat with remaining dough, melted butter, cinnamon sugar, raisins, and chopped pecans, dividing evenly.

  • Cover muffin pans loosely with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until nearly doubled in size, 40–50 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Remove plastic and bake schnecken, rotating pans once top to bottom and front to back, until golden brown all over, 20–30 minutes. Immediately turn out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool (scrape off any pecans that may have stuck to pan and place back on schnecken).

  • Do Ahead: Schnecken can be formed and placed in pans (do not let rise) 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Recipe by Hanna Rose Strauss,

Nutritional Content

For 1: Calories (kcal) 270 Fat (g) 15 Saturated Fat (g) 7 Cholesterol (mg) 35 Carbohydrates (g) 33 Dietary Fiber (g) 1 Total Sugars (g) 20 Protein (g) 3 Sodium (mg) 55Reviews SectionDoubled the recipe and made a TON of these the other day. They were great! It took all afternoon but the final product was well worth all the time required. The dough stayed soft and slightly chewy through baking. Be heavy handed with the cinnamon sugar mixture, and don't be afraid to make more caramel to drizzle over the top after you take the schnecken out of their tins.AnonymousBerkeley, CA03/30/19

Schnecken - Recipes

German Recipes, Cookbooks & Courses

Delicious German pastry with nuts.

German Pastries and Cookies

There are lots of types of German pastry and cookies of all shapes and flavors. They got popular all over Germany around the 18th century and were eaten with tea or coffee. At first they were luxuries since sugar was expensive at that time, but later on a cheaper beet sugar came out and then everyone could enjoy them.

One typical German pastry are “Schnecken” which litteraly translated means “snails” as their shape reminds to a snail shell. You can find all kinds of variations of this tasty pastry that reminds a little bit of cinnamon rolls. Some of the popular “Schnecken” variations are: Apfelschnecken (apple rolls), Rosinenschnecken (raisin-quark rolls), Puddingschnecken (pudding rolls) and Nussschnecken (nut rolls).

The Amazing Schnecken

1. Place both flours and sugar in a stand mixer with a dough hook.

2. Add eggs, yolks and milk to a pitcher for easy pouring.

3. Crumble the fresh yeast and add to the flour mixture.

4. On slow speed, begin mixing the flour and egg mixtures together.

5. When dough comes together (about 3 minutes) add in salt.

6. Continue mixing for a minute and slowly being adding the cubed butter until it is fully incorporated in the dough. Your dough should be sticky.

7. Continue mixing for 7 minutes.

8. Remove the dough and place it into a floured bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour to rest.

1. After resting, place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to approximately a 12 x 12 inch square.

2. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3. Brush the melted butter onto the dough.

4. Spread the cinnamon sugar evenly onto the dough.

5. Roll dough gently stretching it lengthwise until you reach the top of the roll. It should end up at around 18” long.

6. Freeze the until it hardens (at least 8 hours).

Finishing & Topping

1. In a pan, melt the butter, sugar and corn syrup until it boils. Stir with a whisk carefully until it comes together.

2. Place the pecans in the pan bottom of two greased pan and pour the caramel over. Cover the each of the pans.

3. Remove roll from freezer and cut into 1.5” slice. You should get 12 pieces. Place 6 of the rolls on top of the caramel in each pan.

4. Proof the dough in a warm room for 3 hours or in the fridge overnight.

Schnecken: A German Cinnamon Roll Topped with Honey + Pecans

Not to be dissuaded, I tried this recipe several more times over the years. What can I say? I’m a bit stubborn at times. I’m glad I stuck with this one, though, as this schnecken recipe has become one of my favorites. Soft, pillow-y bread covered in gooey honey-coated pecans. Are you hungry yet? I know I am!

I took this batch into the curling club, and one of my friends just looked at me with a blank stare when I told him I made a batch of schnecken. He said (and I quote): “That sounds like something teenagers used to do.” He’s hilarious.

Even though the yeast monster took over my fridge when I first made this recipe, don’t let that discourage you! Just make sure you put the dough in a large bowl as it will rise overnight. Schnecken are a bit unique in that they get refrigerated overnight. However, in my opinion, that actually makes this recipe easier as you can take care of the dough on Day 1. Then on Day 2, you just need to roll it out, fill it and then let it rise for an hour. Trust me when I say the process is worth it! Cheers, friends!

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

Looking for more tasty breakfast recipe ideas? Check out these other favorites:


Tasting like a cross between a sticky bun and rugelach, these glazed, nut- and currant-filled pastries check all the indulgence boxes.



Skill level

The word schnecken means "snails" in German. They are sweet enough to be served for dessert, but really shine as a breakfast pastry.


  • 1 packet (¼ oz/7 g) active dry yeast (2¼ tsp)
  • ½ cup (100 g) plus 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) warm water (43°C/110°F)
  • 3½–4 cups (490–560 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (175 ml/6 fl oz) milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 115 g (4 oz) cream cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups (155 g) pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • sticks (5 oz/140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (225 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (140 g) dried currants or raisins

Caramel glaze

  • 1 stick (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (180 g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Rising time: 1.5-2 hours

1. To make the dough, in a large bowl, stir together the yeast, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the warm water. Let sit until foaming, 5–10 minutes.

2. In a second bowl, whisk together 3½ cups (490 g) flour, the remaining ½ cup (100 g) sugar, and the salt.

3. Stir the milk, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest into the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture and stir until a wet dough comes together.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead well, adding the softened cream cheese pieces a few at a time, and adding enough additional flour (up to ½ cup/70 g) to achieve a supple, slightly tacky dough, about 10 minutes. (The kneading can also be done in a stand mixer with a dough hook, 5–7 minutes.) Grease a large bowl with the oil, add the dough, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (cling film) or a clean tea towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1½–2 hours.

5. Meanwhile, make the filling:In a food processor, combine the pecans, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a smooth paste forms.

6. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas Mark 5).

7. Meanwhile, make the caramel glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Divide the glaze evenly between two 23 × 33 cm (9 × 13-inch) baking dishes, smoothing across the bottom of each.

8. Gently punch down the dough, turn out onto a floured surface, and divide in half, keeping 1 piece covered in the bowl while working with the remaining piece. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle 6 mm (¼ inch) thick.

9. Evenly spread half of the filling over the dough, leaving a 6 mm (¼-inch) border around the edges. Evenly sprinkle half of the currants over the top. Starting at one of the long ends, roll the dough up tightly like a jelly roll (Swiss roll). Using a sharp knife, cut the roll crosswise into 2.5 cm (1-inch) segments. Transfer the rolls to one of the baking dishes, nestling each one into the glaze. Repeat the process with the remaining dough, filling, and currants, fitting them into the second baking dish.

10. Bake, rotating the dishes front to back halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through, 20–25 minutes.

11. Meanwhile, line 2 large baking sheets with baking (parchment) paper.

12. Remove the baking dishes from the oven and let sit until the glaze stops actively bubbling, 2–3 minutes. Invert the schnecken onto the prepared baking sheets, spooning any extra glaze left in the baking dish on top. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig (Phaidon $65, hbk). Photography by Evan Sung.

These German Jewish pastries are like rugelach — but better

This rolled pastry laced with sugar, raisins, and ground nuts so named for its spiral shape (schnecken is German for “snail”) is possibly the perfect accompaniment to your warm caffeinated beverage of choice. Unfortunately, schnecken is harder to find than its more popular sweet sister rugelach (also rolled with similar fillings). But the sweet story behind this underappreciated confection will leave you salivating and, we hope, game to try a change of pace when it comes to your morning pastry.

Made from an yeast and egg batter rendered even more decadent via the inclusion of sour cream and butter, schnecken are prepared by liberally adorning a large dough rectangle with sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and nuts (usually walnuts or pecans), turning it into jelly roll form, then slicing the roll into rounds and baking them open-side up.

Sugary but not cloying, light but still satisfying, schnecken were the traditional morning fare of Germans and residents of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and often the specialty of Jewish-run bakeries. When many of these Jews immigrated to the United States during the latter half of the 19th century, they brought with them recipes for schnecken, which made its American debut before the birth of the sticky bun. According to many culinary historical sources, that latter treat in fact is a derivative of schnecken, which temporarily faded from the gastronomic landscape as immigrant populations assimilated. While the 1901 edition of the Settlement Cook Book holds a recipe for “Cinnamon Rolls or Schnecken” and the 1920 edition even contains two schnecken recipes, by the 1940s the best-selling Cook Book referred to the same dish as a “cinnamon roll” and later included tweaked recipes for “pecan rolls” that are closer to today’s sticky buns.

Perhaps the schnecken’s most famous reference is its cameo in the 1996 Blockbuster remake of The Birdcage, “When the schnecken beckons!” Love this reference as much as I do? Then you can order this inscribed mug to enjoy the quote daily with your morning coffee. (It should be noted that the schnecken+beckon pairing is not unique to the film, as oddly, 10 years prior to the film a physician described a form of the rare disease Type I Achondrogenesis as schneckenbecken dysplasia since those with the condition suffered from curled spines.)

Are you now desperately seeking schnecken? Making your own is easier than pie. However, if too much COVID-19 home baking has left you feeling half-baked, you can order some terrific schnecken through GoldBelly from NYC’s William Greenberg Desserts. But Ohio denizens know that the country’s best schnecken isn’t found in the Big Apple. Busken’s Bakery of Cincinnati, in operation since 1928, rolls out schnecken that is so immensely popular that each year between November 1st and Christmas it sells 6000 loaves. Their schnecken is made from a recipe from Virginia’s, another historic now-shuttered Ohio bakery, and today its former owner still oversees the pastry’s production to ensure par excellence quality. Fortunately, you can enjoy your sweet bite of history by having some of their schnecken shipped to your door.

Schneckennudeln (German Cinnamon Rolls)

The word 'Schneckennudeln' in English literally means 'snail noodles'. That would probably gross most people out! But no worries, this traditional south-west German pastry does not have any snails in it or has anything to do with noodles for that matter. It was named so as it resembles the spirals of a snail's shell. It is actually the equivalent of a cinnamon roll which is commonly served at afternoon 'Kaffe und Kuchen' (coffee and cake). There are different kinds of Schneckennudeln, depending on what kind of filling they have like poppy seeds, ground almonds or hazelnuts and raisins as examples.

This recipe is with ground nuts filling, which is my favorite! It is a traditional Swabian recipe that my mother-in-law shared with me! I have to say that after tasting her self-baked Schneckennudeln, I am no longer satisfied with the ones we get from the bakeries around and that says a lot as bakeries in Germany make really good bread and pastries.

Virginia Bakery Schnecken – Delicious, But Limited!

Meaning “snail,” schnecken is a sweet, rolled baked good that falls somewhere between cake and pastry in texture, and resembles a cinnamon roll in flavor. There’s schnecken available from a variety of bakeries, but The Virginia Bakery’s is notable, and fondly remembered, thanks to the copious amounts of butter it uses in each loaf (2 sticks, for those curious). Dense, rich and yes, quite buttery, this sweet treat, once thought lost, has been resurrected by another Cincinnati mainstay, Busken Bakery.

Available during the Easter and Christmas holidays, Jungle Jim’s Scratch Bakery is excited to offer The Virginia Bakery’s famous schnecken for a limited time only. These are individually packaged and ready to take home and share (if you’re able to), but they’re going to go fast. Be sure to stop in soon to pick one up for your weekend celebrations.

Have you had this sticky, delicious Cincinnati favorite?

Schnecken (Sticky German Cinnamon Buns)

Schnecken are a type of sweet bun that was a traditional Saturday morning treat in German homes at the beginning of the 20th century. Schnecken means “snails,” which is what these coiled buns resemble. They are much stickier, puffier, gooier and generally more over the top than ordinary cinnamon buns.


3 1⁄2 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1⁄3 cup unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup milk, plus
2 tablespoons milk
2 large eggs

1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, plus
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup walnut (or pecan) pieces

1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons sugar
1⁄2 cup light brown raw sugar (demerara)
1 tablespoon cinnamon


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