Gluten-Free Polish Poppy Seed Roll (Makowiec Bez Glutena) Recipe

Alina Zienowicz / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
  • Total: 3 hrs
  • Prep: 2 hrs
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 2 rolls (32 servings)

When a reader asked me for a gluten-free version of poppy seed roll, that most traditional of all Eastern European desserts, I turned to Miriam Pearl, the author of Delicious Without, who is an expert at working with gluten-free flours. She converted my recipe into this tasty gluten-free version. Here's what Miriam had to say:
"All I did was replace 1 package of dry yeast with 1 tablespoon of dry yeast, replace 8 cups of all-purpose flour with 8 cups of Better Batter All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (if you live in Canada, Better Batter products can be purchased through Delicious Without) which has xanthan gum but I added an extra 2 teaspoons of xanthan to that. The rest of the recipe is the same. Because gluten-free is heavier, it needs more yeast to lift it up."
Since Miriam's company is a non-dairy environment, she uses rice milk in place of regular milk and Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks in place of butter in my recipe and it works great. Here are more of my Eastern European Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free Recipes.

If you don't want to make your own poppy seed filling, you can substitute 2 11-ounce cans.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups milk (warm, or rice milk)
  • 8 cups gluten-free flour (Better Batter All-Purpose, if you live in Canada, Better Batter products can be purchased through Delicious Without)
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 4 ounces butter (or vegan butter, melted)
  • For the Poppy Seed Filling:
  • 1 pound poppy seeds (ground to a paste)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces butter (softened, or vegan butter)
  • 1 cup milk (or rice milk, hot)
  • 1 lemon (​​zested)​​

Steps to Make It

Make Your Own Poppy Seed Filling (optional)

  • If making your own filling, grind the poppy seeds in a poppy seed grinder, then combine with 1 cup sugar, 6 ounces softened butter or vegan butter, 1 cup hot milk or rice milk and zest of 1 lemon. Beat well and set aside.

Make the Dough

  1. In a small heatproof bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk and set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum powder, sugar, salt and eggs. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups warm milk, butter and yeast mixture. With the paddle attachment, or by hand, beat until smooth. Dough will be sticky at this point.

  3. Scrape dough into a clean, greased bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and cover. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size, or follow this Quick Tip to cut the rise time.

  4. Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a rectangle.

  5. Spread 1 can or half of the filling you made on each rectangle of dough and roll up like a jelly roll. Turn ends under so filling will not leak out.

  6. Place on a parchment-lined or greased pan, cover and let rise again until double in size.

  7. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush tops of rolls with additional melted butter. Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

  8. Remove from oven and cool. Dust rolls with confectioners' sugar, if desired.