Makowiec (Polish Poppy Seed Roll)

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Makowiec (Polish Poppy Seed Roll)

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about 17 oz / 500 g raw black poppyseeds or blue poppyseeds
3 cups / 750 ml boiling water
4 oz / 100 g Butter
1 cup / 250 g Sugar
4 tbs honey
3/4 cup / 100 g raisins
1 cup / 100 g walnuts
3/4 cup / 150 ml warm milk
1/2 cup / 110 g Sugar
1 1/2 tbs dry active yeast
3 1/2 cups / 500 g all purpose flour
1 egg
2 egg yolk
2 oz / 50 g Butter
Pinch Salt
For glaze:
5 tbs / 55 powdered sugar
2 tbs Lemon Juice
1 tbs hot water
3-5 tbs Orange peel or sliced almonds
  • Medium


  • Filling:

  • Dough:

  • For glaze:



Polish poppy seed roll, which is basically a strudel-esque yeast cake filled with ground poppy seeds, honey, butter, raisins, and walnuts, is one of Poland’s most traditional and most popular sweet foods. And, it is an absolute must at the Christmas Eve dinner table.

How to Make Poppyseed Cake (Makowiec):

  1. Place the raisins in hot water (or rum, whiskey or brandy) and set aside to soak.
  2. Warm the milk slightly, add the yeast and sugar and set aside in a warm spot for 10 mins.
  3. Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. To make the dough, place the flour in a mixing bowl.
  5. Whisk the egg with the egg yolks and add to the flour. Add the milk/sugar/yeast mixture and start combining.
  6. Add the melted butter and work to combine all the ingredients.
  7. Add a few tablespoons of milk if the dough is too dry. The dough should have the consistency of play-dough – not sticky but pliable.
  8. Once a dough ball is formed, cover and set aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour.
  9. To make the filling, place the poppy seeds in a pot, add boiling water, and soak for 10 mind, then boil for 20-25 min.
  10. Add a bit more water if they get dry, enough to cover. Drain well.
  11. Once it cools slightly, you will have to put them through a meat grinder with the fine grinding plate – TWICE.
  12. In a large skillet or a pot, heat the butter, add the poppy seeds, sugar, honey, drained raisins, and mix well.
  13. Heat through and mix until the sugar dissolves.
  14. Add the crushed walnuts and mix. Set aside to cool.
  15. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff.
  16. Add to the poppy seed mixture and fold in gently.
  17. Once the dough rises, divide in half. Roll out each half into a rectangular shape (30 cm x 25 cm / 12 in x 9 in).
  18. Place the rolled out dough onto parchment paper large enough to go around your roll twice.
  19. Place half of the filling on the first rectangle, leaving a bit of space on each side (** see pictures below).
  20. Roll starting from the shorter side, pinch the ends together as you go along. Wet the edge with water or egg white for a better seal.
  21. Once rolled, make sure to leave on parchment paper with the long seam down.
  22. Roll the parchment paper around the poppy seed roll twice, leaving space for roll to “grow” (about 3/4 inch/2 cm). Make sure the end of the paper is under the roll.
  23. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 min.
  24. Do the same with the second roll.
  25. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Place in the hot oven and bake for 40-50 min. Remove and cool.
  26. To make the glaze, mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice.
  27. Add hot water a teaspoon at a time and whisk to combine. It should make a thick paste.
  28. If it comes out too watery, add more powdered sugar.
  29. Spoon onto each roll. Sprinkle with orange peel or almond shavings. Let set.

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