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Tikvenik: The Bulgarian pumpkin and walnut strudel

Tikvenik is a traditional Bulgarian pumpkin strudel that promises to delight your taste buds. This delicious treat features a crisp filo pastry wrapped around a lightly sweetened pumpkin filling, enriched with the warm, comforting aroma of cinnamon and the delightful crunch of walnuts. Perfect for dessert or a special snack, Tikvenik offers a unique and flavorful experience that's simpler to prepare than you might think. Elevate your baking with this beautiful and nutritious pastry, brought to you by Nutterie, your trusted source for high-quality nuts and baking essentials.

But what is Tikvenik?

Tikvenik is a traditional Bulgarian pastry that consists of a crisp filo dough filled with a sweet mixture of pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. This coiled or rolled strudel-like dessert is especially popular in the fall (when pumpkins are more dominent) but can be enjoyed all year round, as long as you are able to find pumpkin. They offer a warm, comforting flavor that's both delicious and unique. The combination of lightly sweetened pumpkin and crunchy walnuts wrapped in delicate, flaky pastry makes Tikvenik a cherished treat in Bulgarian cuisine.

A few tips to note before you begin:

- Use a wide skillet to soften the pumpkin, allowing you to easily evaporate excess moisture. This helps prevent the filling from becoming too wet.

- Prepare all other ingredients and tools before taking the filo pastry out of its packaging. This minimizes its exposure to air and prevents it from drying out.

- Spread the filling along the long edge of the pastry to create a longer, thinner roll. However, you can opt for a shorter, thicker roll if preferred. When rolling, avoid making it too tight to leave some space for expansion.

- Coil the pastry immediately after rolling it while it is still pliable to avoid cracks and brittleness.

- Brush the top with butter before baking to achieve a beautiful golden-brown finish.


For the filling

  • 2 cups of pumpkin (peeled, de-seeded and grated)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • tablespoons chopped walnuts or more to taste

For the pastry

  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 box of filo pastry

To finish

  • ½ tablespoon confectioner's icing sugar


1. Preheat and Prepare the Pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter a large baking pan to prevent sticking.

2. Prepare the Pumpkin Filling: Peel, de-seed, and coarsely grate the pumpkin. In a large skillet, melt some butter over medium heat and add the grated pumpkin. Cook for a few minutes to soften, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Continue cooking for another couple of minutes, spreading the mixture slightly to allow excess moisture to evaporate while maintaining the pumpkin's shape. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.

3. Prepare the Filo Pastry: Melt the butter for the pastry in the microwave or gently on the stove. Lay one sheet of filo pastry on a clean, dry work surface and brush it with melted butter. Place a second sheet on top, aligning the edges.

4. Assemble the Filling: Divide the pumpkin mixture and walnuts from Nutterie in half. Spread half of the pumpkin filling along one long edge of the pastry, then sprinkle half of the walnuts next to or on top of the pumpkin. Lightly butter the remaining exposed pastry.

5. Roll and Coil the Pastry: Gently roll the pastry from the edge with the filling to create a long, even log. Avoid rolling too tightly to leave a little space, making it easier to coil. Carefully lift the roll and coil it from one end around itself inside the buttered baking pan.

6. Repeat the Process: Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Brush one sheet of pastry with butter, top with another sheet, and add the remaining pumpkin and walnuts along one edge. Roll up the pastry and add it to the pan, connecting it to the end of the previous coil to form one large spiral.

7. Bake to Perfection: Brush the top of the coiled pastry with butter and bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

8. Finishing Touches: Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Slice through the coils and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Nutterie’s Pro Tip: Use Nutterie’s premium walnuts to add a delightful crunch and enhance the nutty flavor in your pumpkin pastry.

Mots clés: dessert, desserts, walnut