Polish Poppy Seed Roll Recipe

Makowiec- Poppy seed roll
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Ratings (63)
  • Total: 3 hrs
  • Prep: 2 hrs
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 2 Poppy Seed Rolls (4 servings)

This poppy seed roll or strudel recipe is made with a yeast dough and is known as makowiec (mah-KOH-vyets) in Polish. 

An Eastern European dessert table would invariably include something sweet made with poppy seeds, either ground or whole. Canned poppy seed paste, available in the ethnic aisle of most supermarkets or online, can be used but directions also are given if you choose to make your own filling.


  • For the Dough:
  • 1 package yeast (active dry)
  • 2 cups milk (warm)
  • 8 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 4 ounces butter (melted)
  • 2 (12.5-ounce) cans/25 ounces poppy seed filling (or make your own, see below)
  • For the Poppy Seed Filling:
  • 1 pound poppy seeds (ground)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces butter (softened)
  • 1 cup milk (hot)
  • 1 tablespoon zest (lemon)

Steps to Make It

Make the Poppy Seed Filling (optional)

  1. If making your own filling, grind the poppy seeds in a poppy seed grinder.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, 6 ounces butter, 1 cup hot milk, and zest. Beat well and set aside.

Make the Dough

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

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and eggs. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups warm milk, 4 ounces butter and yeast mixture.

  3. With the paddle attachment, or by hand, beat until smooth. The dough will be sticky at this point.

  4. 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.

Shape the Rolls and Bake

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

  2. 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.

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

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

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