Polish Poppyseed Roll {Makowiec}

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Polish Poppyseed Roll {Makowiec}

Makowiec [mah-ko-vyets] is “officially” referred to as “strucla makowa“. “Strucla” is a rolled yeast dough filled with a sweet filling of choice, poppyseed, sweet farmer’s cheese, almonds, apples or jam. Makowiec is often prepared for Christmas and Easter in Poland, but also enjoyed year-round as Poles have quite the sweet tooth for baked delicacies. Bakeries are abundant in my city of Szczecin and I can hardly walk by one without giving into the craving. Sweet cakes and yeast buns, jelly filled and glazed donuts, layered cakes, cookies, freshly baked breads line the shelves and leave you with no choice but to indulge. And I do. 😉

To learn and attempt making this delicious Polish treat, please make sure to read ALL THE WAY through my instructions and notes below. Good luck!

Polish poppy seed roll makowiec recipe

Polish Poppyseed Roll {Makowiec}

  • Yields: 2 rolls
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 50-60 min


  • Filling:
  • About 17 oz / 500 g of raw black or blue poppyseeds*
  • 3 cups / 750 ml of boiling water
  • 3/4 cup / 100 g raisins
  • 4 oz / 110 g of butter
  • 1 cup / 200 g of granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp of honey
  • 1 cup / 100 g walnuts
  • Dough:
  • 3/4 cup / 150 ml of warm milk
  • 1/2 cup / 100 g of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs of dry active yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups / 540 g of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg plus 2 yolks (large eggs) - reserve whites
  • 2 oz / 55 g of butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • For glaze:
  • 5 tbsp / 55 g of powdered sugar
  • 2 tbp of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of hot water
  • 3-5 tbs of orange peel or sliced almonds


  1. Place raisins in hot water (or rum, whiskey or brandy) and set aside to soak.

  2. Warm milk slightly, add yeast and sugar and set aside in a warm spot for 10 min. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.

  3. To make dough, place flour in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg and yolks and add to flour. Add milk / sugar / yeast mixture and start combining. Add melted butter and work to combine all ingredients. Add a few table- spoons of milk if dough is too dry. Dough should have consistency of playdough - not sticky but pliable. Once a dough ball is formed, cover and set aside in a warm place for at least 1 hour, until it doubles in size.

  4. To make filling, place poppyseeds in a pot, add boil- ing water and soak for 10 minutes, then boil for 20–25 minutes. Add a bit more water if they get dry, enough to cover. Drain well. Once they cool slightly you will have to put them through a meat grinder with the fine grind- ing plate - TWICE.

  5. In a large skillet or a pot, heat butter, add ground up poppyseeds, sugar, honey, drained raisins and mix well. Heat through and mix until sugar is dissolved. Add crushed walnuts and mix. Set aside to cool.

  6. Whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Add to poppyseed mixture and fold in gently.

  7. Once the dough rises, divide in half. Roll out each half into a rectangular shape (12 x 9 inch / 30 x 25 centi- meter). Place rolled out dough onto parchment paper large enough to go around your roll twice. Place half of the filling on the first rectangle leaving a bit of space on each side (see photos). Roll starting from the wider edge, pinching the ends together as you go along. Wet the edge with water or egg white for a better seal.

  8. Once rolled, make sure to leave on parchment pa- per with the long seam down. Roll parchment paper around the poppyseed roll twice, leaving space for the roll to "grow" (about 3⁄4 inch / 2 centimeters). Make sure the end of the paper is under the roll. Set aside in a warm place to rise for about 30–45 minutes.

  9. Do the same with the second roll.

  10. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Place rolls wrapped in paper in hot oven and bake for 40–50 minutes. Remove and cool.

  11. To make glaze, mix powdered sugar with lemon juice. Add hot water one teaspoon at a time and whisk to combine. It should make a thick paste. If it comes out too watery, add more powdered sugar. Spoon onto each roll. Sprinkle with orange peel or almond shav- ings. Let set.


Slice at an angle to serve.

I admit, this is a pretty intimidating recipe. It is a bit time consuming to make but as far as difficulty level, I’d give it ✴✴✴ out of 5 stars. Just take it step by step and you’ll be just fine 🙂 Hope this helps:

*I recommend raw blue poppyseeds like this: https://amzn.to/2ScF495

You can cut the process in half by buying a good poppyseed filling. I recommend this one: https://amzn.to/2RbUJYE or this one: https://amzn.to/2CpszkQ

I do NOT however recommend this one: https://amzn.to/2QGezMd as seeds are not ground and filling is super sticky.

If you purchase the ready filling, you will need at least about 850g / 30 oz to make the 2 rolls – that’s one can. It is already sweet, has nuts and raisins in it, and is ready to use. Just make dough, roll and bake.

To make my life easier, I’m using some kitchen tools that I can’t function in the kitchen without:

Video recipe for Polish poppyseed roll “makowiec” below: 


Happy baking my hungry friends!



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  1. The glaze came out really runny, I had to add about four times as much sugar. Should the lemon juice and water measurements be in tsp maybe?

    Also wish I had seen the advice to bake in the parchment before I made these. They both cracked open on the seam, and maybe that would have saved them. But they still came out delicious! Will try that next time. Wesolych swiat!

    1. Good Morning. I would like to leave the nuts out of the filling, is there an adjustment needed? I am making nut rolls and need a nut free option. Thanks Basia

  2. Hi, Do you have a good nut roll recipe? I used to have one saved on my computer but it’s missing.I do like poppy but love nut as well.

    1. Lisa, my family never made a cheese roll like this, but I imagine the filling is similar to sweet farmer’s cheese filling. I was planning on posting a recipe for those soon. Stay tuned! Anna

  3. I have made these and nut rolls for years but have never been able to solve the problem of the loaves splitting. They taste great but look like heck with one side blown out. Any suggestions?

  4. Hi, Anna! I happened to get a can of poppyseed filling and thought I’d try your lovely makowiec recipe. Unfortunately, I realized after the fact that the can I got is the brand you recommended against. Any advice on how I could doctor up the pre-made filling to be a little less sticky and more like the fillings you recommended? I’ll definitely be making it from scratch next time!

    1. The canned is really not bad. Before I could get ground poppyseed to make my own, I used the poppyseed filling in the can or jar and even my Polish mother liked it. Don’t waste it, use it until you can make your own filling.

  5. Anna, I am enjoying your recipes so much! I feel the generations beyond. I made the Poppyseed rolls today and they are beautiful! I also did not have a meat grinder and resorted to pre-grinding the poppyseeds with a Cuisinart Nut and Seed Grinder after much lively discussion with local vendors! I then soaked and boiled them per your recipe. The consistency and moisture content was perfect. I would like to freeze them for later use. Shall this be done before or after glazing? I love how food brings us together in a healing way, particularly during these challenging times.

      1. All were wondering what I was making as I cleaned out the poppyseed supply. This led to discussions about one vendor’s trip to Poland and the amazing food. The meat grinder found in the kitchen supply store was for making sausage. During my search, I didn’t realize the seeds were ground later after cooking so perhaps that grinder would have been fine.

        I also made the Christmas fish using striped bass. Delicious. The herring with potatoes (the apple addition) was even better the next day and the cabbage with yellow peas. I plan to try them all but need to do a few at a time! Thank you for this introduction to such wonderful flavors!

  6. Your recipe received high praise from my Polish makowiec-loving partner and mother-in-law! Although it was challenging, it was definitely worth the effort. Thank you for your amazing website and videos! You’ve made it possible for me to take on this foreign cuisine 😀

  7. I gave my Polish friend this beautiful loaf. When he got home he texted me that it brought him to tears. He shared his memories of the fish in gelatin dish ( he loves, American wife, not so much!) and shared tails ( no pun intended) of the carp dish and agreed that the striped bass was a good substitution. He immediately acknowledged the time spent in preparing the dishes (of yours) which I gave him and recalled his mother and grandmother spending days doing same. I will share another emotional reaction under the beetroot recipe.

  8. Hi there, I’m going to make this recipe in few days for Christmas. I have a question, I don’t see egg whites on the ingredient list but the direction asked to fold in the egg whites to poppy seed. I would like to know how many egg whites it supposed to be ?

  9. Thank you very much for this recipe. I made Makowiec for the first time ever to surprise my Polish family. They were very impressed as it tasted amazing, and they realize it is a bit of a process to make. It has all the ingredients my family traditionally used, which other recipes often omit (such as honey, walnuts, raisins, egg white), and kept its shape well with no blow-outs in the parchment paper. This will probably become the staple that I get asked to make every Easter and Christmas.

  10. Delicious! I made it last night, and they’re challenging and time consuming, but worth it. I do not have a meat grinder, so I used the poppyseeds intact, and it still worked out. I am a beginner, so my loaves do not look pretty, but they taste good! I froze one of them, too.

  11. Made this recipe yesterday, fantastic! The dough was perfect and wrapping it in parchment paper when baking really helped! After getting a golden color on the loaves, I removed the parchment paper. Perfecto! One thing is I may have baked it for a little too long but I put them in am airtight container and the rolls were so soft and tasty the next day. 5 stars for this recipe and making this made my Polish mother proud. Dzięnkuje Bardzo!

    1. It did not work for me. It became a damp mess in the coffee grinder and cleaning out that mess took forever! I ended up making the filling the best I could without a meat grinder and by attempting to use the Vitamix to grind the poppy seeds….which, as Anna said, did Not work! Regardless, my partner (polish descent) and my neighbor loved it. We had no comparison though.

  12. Is the oven temperature meant to be 160 fan and 180 conventional or is the 180 fan? Also mine keep on cracking and I seem to have a lot of filling left over after two. I’m wondering if the cracking is caused by too much filling as I read somewhere it is caused by steam escape. Also for anyone about to make this cake 1/2 the liquid quantity for the glaze to make sure it doesn’t get too running. I used a magimix for grinding poppy seeds and it works ok. I bought a poppy seed grinder but annoyingly they don’t work on wet seeds.

  13. I grew up eating makowiec so know the real thing. While I did use a Polish brand of canned filling I bought at the local Polish deli, I was very pleased that this dough is 100% authentic in texture and flavor. Very very happy and will be sharing the recipe with my sister.

  14. Also instead of using the glaze in the recipe, I took the rolls out 5 minutes early, used a heavy egg white wash, sprinkled with poppy seeds and back in the oven for 10 minutes…..

  15. I just purchased 1.5 lbs. of poppyseeds from the local baker. I told him of our Grandmother making poppyseed and nut rolls and my Sister and I want to try it. He sells them but was happy to assist knowing it has to do with family traditions. I think I have a grinder with my Kitchen Aid Mixer and wondered if that would do the grinding job? The baker wanted me to buy the already prepped butter poppyseed mix but the rolls there do not taste the same so we are going for the original ‘grind them down and cook them’ method! Thanks much for all of your posts.

  16. Thank you so much for this wonderful, easy to follow recipe. One question- how do I prevent the bottom of the roll from getting too dark (burned)? Do you suggest baking rolls on a cookie sheet or silpat?

  17. I veganized your recipe and it turned out great. 1) Vegan butter as a direct replacement. 2) Cashew based sour cream in place of eggs in the dough. 3) Aquafa (chick pea liquid) stiffened with cream of tartar for the egg whites in the filling. I really enjoy your videos. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I plan on trying your farmer’s cheese method with soy yogurt as the culture with soy milk at Christmas. I currently curdle the soy milk with white vinegar on the stove. The texture is good but it’s missing the sour/tartness. Hoping the countertop fermentation does the trick.

    Your Hungry Friend

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