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 and set them aside to soak.
  2. Slightly warm the milk, then add the yeast and sugar to it. Set this mixture aside in a warm spot for 10 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly.

Making the Dough:

  1. In a mixing bowl, place the flour.
  2. Whisk the egg with the egg yolks and add them to the flour. Pour in the milk/sugar/yeast mixture and begin combining the ingredients.
  3. Add the melted butter and continue to work the dough until everything is well incorporated.
  4. If the dough appears too dry, add a few tablespoons of milk as needed. The dough should have a play-dough-like consistency—non-sticky but pliable.
  5. Once the dough forms into a ball, cover it and set it aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size..

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Place the poppy seeds in a pot and add boiling water. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then boil for 20-25 minutes. Add more water if they become too dry, ensuring they are adequately covered. Drain the seeds well.
  2. After cooling slightly, run the poppy seeds through a meat grinder using the fine grinding plate, doing this twice. If you don’t have a meat grinder available, grind the poppy seeds in batches using a coffee grinder or a spice grinder. If neither is available, you can try using a small food processor or the single-serve container of a blender.
  3. Transfer the ground poppy seeds to a large mixing bowl. Pour hot boiled water over them and stir to combine.
  4. Set the mixture aside for at least 30 minutes to soak, leaving it uncovered. During this time, you can prepare the dough for the bread.
  5. Once the poppy seeds have soaked, add the remaining ingredients to the mixture and stir well to thoroughly combine.
  6. In a large skillet or pot, heat the butter. Add the poppy seeds, sugar, honey, and drained raisins. Mix well and heat through until the sugar dissolves.
  7. Add the crushed walnuts and stir. Set the filling aside to cool.
  8. Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites gently into the poppy seed mixture.

Assembling and Baking:

  1. Once the dough has risen, divide it in half. Roll out each half into a rectangular shape (approximately 30 cm x 25 cm or 12 in x 9 in).
  2. Place the rolled-out dough on a piece of parchment paper large enough to wrap around your roll twice.
  3. Spread half of the poppy seed filling onto the first rectangle, leaving some space on each side.
  4. Roll the dough starting from the shorter side, pinching the ends together as you go. Wet the edge with water or egg white for a better seal.
  5. Once rolled, ensure the long seam is on the bottom and leave it on the parchment paper.
  6. Wrap the parchment paper around the poppy seed roll twice, allowing space for the roll to expand (about 3/4 inch or 2 cm). Ensure the paper’s end is tucked under the roll.
  7. Set the roll aside in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Repeat the process with the second roll.
  8. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Place the rolls in the hot oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove and let them cool.

Preparing the Glaze:

  1. To make the glaze, mix powdered sugar with lemon juice. Add hot water a teaspoon at a time and whisk until a thick paste forms. If it’s too watery, add more powdered sugar.
  2. Spoon the glaze onto each roll and sprinkle with orange peel or almond shavings. Allow the glaze to set.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Makowiec !

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