How to Make Polish Wheel Cake or Kolacz

  • 01 of 06

    Here Is What You Will Need to Make Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz

    Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz
    Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Sponge:

    • 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 3/4 cups warm milk
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour

    Dough:

    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 8 ounces (2 sticks) melted butter, cooled slightly

    Cheese Filling:

    • 2 pounds farmer's cheese or ricotta cheese
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
    • 1 cup light or dark raisins, plumped in water and drained (optional)

    Crumb Topping:

    • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold butter
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoon vanilla sugar
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour

    Makes 2 (12-inch) Polish Wheel Cakes or Kołacz

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    How to Make a Yeast Sponge

    Yeast Sponge
    Yeast Sponge. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    To make the sponge: 

    1. In a medium bowl, mix yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, milk and 1 cup flour.
    2. Set aside in a warm place to rise until light and foamy, about 15 minutes.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    How to Make the Dough for Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz

    Making the Dough for Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz
    Making the Dough for Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    To make the dough:

    1. Using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer or large bowl, beat 4 eggs with 1 cup confectioners' sugar until light colored and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add flour and sponge, and continue to beat the dough until well incorporated. The dough will be too loose for a dough hook, so continue to use the paddle.
    2. Gradually add melted butter and continue to beat until the dough is smooth and starts to blister, about 10 mnutes. Scrape down dough from sides of bowl, cover and let rise in the same bowl until doubled.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    How to Assemble the Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz Before Baking

    Risen Dough for Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz
    Risen Dough for Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
    1. Grease a two 12x3-inch round pans. Stir down dough and pour half into each pan. Cover and let rise until dough comes to within 1 inch of ​the top of the pan.
    2. Meanwhile, make the crumb topping by mixing 1 stick butter, 6 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar and 1 cup flour as for pie crust. Set aside.
    3. Make the filling by beating farmer's cheese or ricotta, 4 eggs, 2 cups sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar. Stir in drained raisins. Set aside.
    4. Place rack in ​the middle of the oven and heat to 325 degrees. When the dough has risen, pour half of cheese filling on top of each pan of dough and allow to sink in, pushing it down, if necessary.
    5. Sprinkle each cake with half of the crumb topping.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Bake the Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz Until Golden Brown

    Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz
    Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Bake about 50 minutes or until dough is golden brown and toothpick tests clean. There may be some moist cheese crumbs clinging to the toothpick so test away from the center.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Cut Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz into Wedges

    Sliced Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz
    Sliced Polish Wheel Cake or Kołacz. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Allow the kołacz to cool completely before cutting into wedges. The cheese filling and crumb topping will have sunk down to the middle or bottom of the cake, which is normal. Kołacz can be dusted with confectioners' sugar if desired.