Poppy Seed Polish Makowiec

Makowiec poppy seed roll on a cutting board
Verdina Anna / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Proving : 105 mins
Total: 3 hrs
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
10960 Calories
557g Fat
1,283g Carbs
248g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 10960
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 557g 714%
Saturated Fat 241g 1,207%
Cholesterol 1835mg 612%
Sodium 5532mg 241%
Total Carbohydrate 1283g 467%
Dietary Fiber 118g 422%
Total Sugars 380g
Protein 248g
Vitamin C 17mg 86%
Calcium 7855mg 604%
Iron 96mg 532%
Potassium 6017mg 128%
*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.)

A symbol of wealth and prosperity, poppy seeds are largely used in Eastern European baking because their consumption is associated with a bright future. Many recipes feature these tiny seeds, but Polish makowiec is one of the most famous and beautiful to look at when sliced. Its yeasted dough is filled with a sweet poppy seed spread and rolled for baking, so a pretty black and white swirl results when cutting the pastry.

Made during the holidays and found everywhere in Poland, makowiec is a family tradition. Each household has a favorite recipe. In general, the flavor shouldn't be overly sweet, but some add apricot, raisins, honey, or fruit peel. It's usually eaten as a snack with a cup of coffee or tea. Beyond being tasty, poppy seeds have great levels of thiamin, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.

The traditional recipe calls for poppy seeds ground from scratch. There are manual poppy and grain seed mills that will do the trick, but instead, use a clean electric coffee grinder or buy one labeled for grinding spices, nuts, and coffee. A food processor is also a good alternative, as are a mortar and pestle, even if they require a lot more physical effort. For convenience, use poppy seed paste, available in the baking or international aisle of most supermarkets. For this recipe, you'll need 25 ounces of poppy seed filling.


For the Poppy Seed Filling:

  • 1 pound poppy seeds (or 25 ounces os poppy seed filling)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)

  • 1 cup milk (hot)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

For the Dough:

  • 1 packet dry active yeast

  • 2 cups milk (warm; divided)

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 5 large eggs (room temperature)

  • 1 cup butter (melted; divided)

For Serving:

  • Optional:

    1/4 cup powdered sugar

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this poppy seed roll recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Poppy Seed Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. If grinding the seeds from scratch, place half of the poppy seeds in a coffee, seed, or spice grinder or in your food processor, without overcrowding. Process until the seeds have released some of their oil; pulse at high speed a few times. Repeat the process until all of the poppy seeds have been processed. Reserve.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk, and lemon zest. Beat well.

  4. Add the ground poppy seeds to the butter mixture, stir well to combine, and set aside.

Make the Dough

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

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

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

  4. Scrape the 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.

Shape the Rolls and Bake

  1. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Prepare two baking trays, layering them with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

  2. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a rectangle.

  3. Spread half of the filling onto each half of dough.

  4. Roll each rectangle up like a jelly roll.

  5. Tuck the ends of each roll under so the filling will not leak out.

  6. Place the rolls on the prepared trays. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise again until double in size.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining melted butter.

  8. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool.

  9. Dust rolls with powdered sugar, if desired. Cut the rolls into 1/2-inch slices and serve.

  10. Enjoy!

Article Sources
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  1. Poppy, Seeds. FoodData Central.