Kolache Cookies

Jam-Filled Kolache Cookies With Cream Cheese Pastry

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Chilling Time: 25 mins
Total: 57 mins
Servings: 9 servings
Yield: 18 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
231 Calories
14g Fat
25g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 231
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 35mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 17mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 43mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Kolache (pronounced "ko-lah-chee") cookies are butter cookies made with a pastry-like cream cheese dough and filled with jam. These treats originated in Eastern Europe (many believe they are from Czechoslovakia while others say Poland) and made their way to the United States; they are especially popular in the South, particularly Texas.

The cookies are traditionally cut into squares with two sides folded over the filling, but they can also be cut using a round cookie cutter and the jam simply spooned on top. The dough is made with just butter, cream cheese, and flour, and the jam and a light dusting of confectioners' sugar are the only sweeteners, making for a delicious and delicate cookie that is also perfect for holidays and special occasions.

“Kolache Cookies remind me of jam thumbprints. They’re buttery and flaky with a nice burst of fruit from the jam. Not to mention they’re absolutely beautiful on a cookie platter.” —Joan Velush

Kolache Cookies/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jam-Filled Kolache Cookies With Cream Cheese Pastry ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese; beat until fluffy.

    butter and cream cheese mixture in a bowl, hand mixer

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Add the flour to the mixture and blend well.

    dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

    dough wrapped in plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Heat the oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

    parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness; cut with a 2- to 2 1/2-inch square cutter. Place the squares of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

    cookie dough squares on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Spoon 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon jam onto the center of each cookie.

    cookie dough with jam on top on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Rotate each square of dough so it is a diamond shape; fold 2 opposite corners together, meeting in the middle, slightly overlapping the edges. Press the corners together firmly with one finger on top and one beneath so they adhere. If necessary, dab the dough with a little water to get the corners to stick. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

    Jam-Filled Kolache Cookies With Cream Cheese Pastry on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. Remove the pan to wire racks to cool. Lightly sift confectioners' sugar over the cooled cookies.

    Jam-Filled Kolache Cookies With Cream Cheese Pastry

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • Do not skip refrigerating the dough; if the dough is warm, it will stick to the surface while rolling and won't hold its shape in the oven.
  • To prevent the cookies from opening up while they bake, you can pinch the corners together and fold over the pointed edge, adhering it to the cookie. It may not look as pretty but will be better looking than if the cookie unfolds in the oven.
  • If using a round cookie cutter, simply spoon the jam onto the center of the cookie and spread out a little, leaving a border of the cookie exposed.

How to Store

Keep cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Make Ahead

The dough can be prepared up to 3 days ahead of time, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated. When you roll out the dough, let it stand at room temperature just until pliable. A good test is to start to roll out the dough--if it is brittle or tends to crack, cover it and let it stand at room temperature a little longer.

What flavor jam can I use?

Almost any type of jam works as the filling for Kolache cookies. Apricot and strawberry are traditional, but feel free to try blueberry, cherry, raspberry, mulberry, or lingonberry. A poppyseed filling is also common, as is a cream cheese filling.