Potica, the link between the US First Lady and the Pope

According to STA, the search for potica, made famous by the pope and the First Lady last month, led Hollywood actor Bill Murray to Melania Trump's birthplace of Sevnica, a small town east of Ljubljana where Murray got more than he bargained for.

“So props to Pope Francis for trying to chat up First Lady Melania Trump about potica, a baked specialty from her native Slovenia.” (The Washington Post)

“Thanks to Pope Francis and the US First Lady, a traditional Slovenian dish is hitting the headlines.” (AP News)

“Melania Trump’s staff confirmed to AFP that Pope Francis had produced a custom-made joke for her benefit. According to a Vatican spokeswoman, Pope Francis loves potica and always mentions it when he meets a Slovenian.” (The Guardian)

“Pope jokes that Melania Trump feeds her husband Slovenian cake during Vatican meeting” (Independent)

“Slovenia calls for recognition of nut cake after Pope's quip to Melania Trump at the Vatican” (The Telegraph)

“The Pope just joked about Donald Trump eating lots of Potica, a nut-filled cake from Slovenia” (Huffington Post)

Potica is a typical Slovenian festive dish, baked for the holiday season, for Christmas, Easter and other important occasions. The cake can be rolled with different fillings – nuts, raisins and tarragon, however some potica’s also include cheese, poppy seeds or even chocolate.

Potica recipe (By Slovenia.si)

Ingredients for the dough:
500g white flour
30g yeast
120g butter
80g sugar
3 egg yolks
250ml milk
lemon or orange peel
vanilla essence

Put the flour in a bowl, sift if you like, add salt. In a cup dissolve the yeast in water or milk and in another cup mix the eggs, sugar, rum, vanilla essence, lemon or orange peel. Heat the milk and melt the butter.
Add hot milk to the flour, stir and then add the mixture of eggs, sugar, rum and vanilla essence. Stir again, add dissolved yeast and butter and stir into a medium thick dough. Knead until it is elastic inside and smooth on the outside. Make sure the dough does not stick to the bowl and that it is not too hard. Cover the dough with and leave to rise until it has doubled in size. Dough should always be left to rise at room temperature. Knead the dough, roll it out and then spread it with the filling.

Ingredients for the filling:
500g ground walnuts
100g sugar
100g honey
100 ml milk
2 eggs
vanilla essence
ground cinnamon
ground cloves
lemon peel

Melt the honey in tepid milk and then add half the walnuts, sugar, eggs, vanilla essence, spices and rum. Spread the filling on to the rolled-out dough and sprinkle with the other half of the walnuts. The temperature of the filling should be the same as the temperature of the dough. Roll tightly, place in a mould, prick and leave to rise. Before baking, coat with a thin layer of milk and egg mixture – make sure the holes are not blocked.

Bake 50 minutes at 190°C.


Hollywood actor Bill Murray eating potica in Sevnica, Melania Trump’s hometown (source: STA)