Cakes, Christmas, Easter, Polish food

Poppy seed roll (makowiec)

January 3, 2014

poppy seed strudel (makowiec) - Magda's Cauldron

So after months of excitement, preparation, Christmas shopping, Christmas cooking, Christmas is officially over. Thursday was my first day at work after the Christmas break. Christmas decorations were taken down and Christmas tree was left naked in the corner. It was quite a sad sight. I feel in between seasons now, we had winter, then Christmas, and now are we back into the winter time? Some of you probably still eat leftovers. I know I would if I didn’t freeze some of them. I still have a few recipes that I didn’t manage to post before Christmas, but they will be pretty handy next year, or even this year.

We spent New Year Eve with a few Italian friends and in Italy if you want to be wealthy in an upcoming year you should eat lentils and pomegranate. In Polish tradition poppy seed is doing the same for you, you should just eat it during Christmas Eve, but I think if you catch up in January it will still work.

poppy seed strudel (makowiec) - Magda's Cauldron

Poppy seed roll (makowiec)

Makes: Makes 2 rolls

Poppy seed roll (makowiec)

Recipe adapted from Moje Wypieki

    Poppy seed filling
  • 330g poppy seeds
  • 112g light brown sugar
  • 65g raisins or sultanas
  • 33g walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup candied orange zest
  • 4 egg whites
  • Dough
  • 30g fresh yeast or 14g instant yeast
  • 320g plain flour + extra for sprinkling
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp strong alcohol like vodka or rum
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla paste
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 120ml milk, lukewarm
  • 100g butter, melted and cooled down
Poppy seed filling
Place poppy seeds in a medium bowl and pour boiling water over it (you just want it to be covered). Leave it to cool.
Remove the access of water and ground it in a meat grinder twice.
Add sugar, raisins, walnuts, honey, almond extract, cinnamon, butter, candied orange zest and stir until well combined.
In a separate bowl whip egg whites until stiff, add it into poppy seed mixture and gently fold it in.
If you are using fresh yeast - mix yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar (it will turn into liquid). Add 2 tablespoons of flour and all milk, stir and leave aside for 20-30 minutes until you see bubbles on the surface. Follow the steps below, adding the yeast mixture in place of the milk.
If you are using dry yeast - in a big bowl mix together yeast, flour and sugar.
Add alcohol, vanilla paste, egg yolks and milk and knead until well combined (around 5-10 minutes).
Pour slowly butter and knead until incorporated.
Cover the dough with a tea towel and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour or longer until it doubles in size.
Divide the dough in two.
Roll each part of the dough on a floured surface. You want to have rectangular dough around 3mm thick.
Spread the filling on each of the rectangles, leaving around 2-cm edge.
Starting at the long edge, roll the dough like a jelly roll.
Turn ends under so filling will not leak out.
Place the rolls on a parchment-lined pan.
Bake in a preheated oven to 190ºC/170ºC fan for 30-40 minutes. (The dough get golden very quickly, so cover it with a parchment paper so it wouldn't burn).
Leave it to cool.
You may decorate it with icing and candied orange zest.

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  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes January 4, 2014 at 19:16

    wow we are on the same culinary wavelength! I baked a poppy bread too. Your poppy roll looks divine!

    • Reply Magda January 4, 2014 at 20:53

      You probably know that Polish really love poppy seeds, Christmas and Easter are the most popular times to use it. Your was delicious as well, the only thing stopping me from making is straight away was lack of buttermilk ;)

  • Reply Hanna January 5, 2014 at 20:26

    You’re absolutely right about the day after Christmas being a bit anticlimactic after so much time preparing for the day, and then suddenly it’s over? What?

    Your poppy seed roll looks super delicious! :D

    • Reply Magda January 5, 2014 at 21:09

      Hi Hanna,
      Thank you. Yes, so what should we do? I would normally say let’s eat a cake, but is it appropriate?

  • Reply Joanna January 6, 2014 at 03:14

    Ah… jak ten twoj makowiec wspaniale wyglada!!! Nawet ma skorke z pomaranczy! Podajesz wszystkie moje ulubione przepisy! Makowca jeszcze chyba nigdy nie robilam moze raz wiec zawsze zlecam innym. W tym roku moj znajomy piekl i nawet do wczoraj jeszcze mialam maly kawalek do kawy. Wiec mam nadzieje ze ten 2014 przyniesie me duzo “wealth:”:) bo jadlam go prze caly tydzien albo i dluzej!

    • Reply Magda January 6, 2014 at 13:14

      Dziekuje. Ja doszlam do wniosku, ze jednak nic nie przebije sernika ;) U mnie w domu zawsze tata robi, ale w tym roku postanowilam sprobowac sama.
      W zamarazarce ciagle mam jeszcze pol, wiec tez troche bogactwa mam szanse doznac ;)

  • Reply Christine (CookTheStory) January 11, 2014 at 02:12

    My Baba used to make this cake. Just looking at it brings fond memories back to me.

  • Reply Eastern (pastry) promises | Dreams on Paper January 20, 2015 at 22:43

    […] happily, rather than tragically. At least, so far. I intend to attempt it again – probably with Magda’s recipe, which makes what I have learned the hard way is a more sane and realistic amount of […]

  • Reply Debbie March 25, 2015 at 19:45

    This looks scrumptious! But could you clarify this amount? 1/3 candied orange zest

    • Reply Magda March 25, 2015 at 21:01

      Debbie, thanks for spotting the mistake, it should be 1/3 cup candied orange zest. I updated the recipe, thanks :)

      • Reply Chris May 24, 2017 at 20:55

        Sorry to ask but I am making this for my Polish girlfriend as a surprise treat. Could you clarify 1/3 cup of candied orange onto grams please? Also since I shall be making the candied orange myself, approximately how many oranges would this equate to roughly?

        I really want to get it right and as authentic as possible :)

        I also intend to use a well washed Porlex burr hand coffee grinder for the poppyseeds. Do think this will work just as well?

        Thanks for the recipe and your time.

        Best wishes

        • Reply Magda August 19, 2017 at 21:02

          Hi Chris,
          I hope you managed to bake the cake. I’m sure your girlfriend was delighted. Each family makes makowiec their way. Most don’t make the candied orange, they just buy it (but it’s nowhere close to homemade). I haven’t done it for a while so I can’t help you with measurements.
          I hope you haven’t broken your coffee grinder, but it should be enough, otherwise, I would use a blender.

  • Reply Bjorn July 19, 2015 at 20:03

    Hi Magda

    I am so excited to find your recipe but we are vegans and would like to know if any of the animal ingredients can be successfully sbustituted.

    (BTW my grandmother was Polish born Nuklat from Koenigsberg)

    Kind regards

    • Reply Magda September 13, 2015 at 19:43

      Hi Bjorn,
      To be fair I’ve never tried to make it vegan, I guess you can try substitution you usually use. Good luck.

  • Reply George December 14, 2015 at 03:39

    Can you advise me why we need 2 rectangular pieces of dough? Do we need to put the 2nd piece of dough on top of the first and only then roll them together?

    Thank you

    • Reply Valerie December 19, 2015 at 18:52

      This makes 2 rolls.

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  • Reply Allie December 18, 2016 at 08:18

    Does this freeze well?

    • Reply Magda December 24, 2016 at 13:41


  • Reply Debbie December 20, 2016 at 11:25

    I am planning on making this for my sisters boyfriend who is Polish. Can you tell me how far in advance i can make this? How long before it starts to go stale?

    • Reply Magda December 24, 2016 at 13:40

      Well it keeps pretty well, usually I would say up to a week, but if you know it won’t be eaten straight away you may consider to freeze it.

  • Reply Evgenia June 6, 2017 at 14:27

    Hi! Thanks for this recipe – the roll is very delicious, I have baked it four times in the last two weeks :)
    Do you have any special hints to prevent it from bursting during baking?

    • Reply Magda August 19, 2017 at 20:44

      Hi Evgenia,
      As far as I know there are several reasons why the roll may burst during baking. One is you put too much filling, or you rolled the dough too finely. I’ve read that you can roll it into parchment paper, just leaving a small space for the roll to grow. I hope it helps

  • Reply A Simple Guide to Polish Wigilia Recipes – Polish Culture – D.C. November 30, 2017 at 19:51

    […] Makowiec is a well-known Polish dessert. This is a poppy seed roll that contains raisins and walnuts and is covered with glaze. You can find the recipe here. Another version of this recipe, but in English, can be  found here. […]

  • Reply Agata December 8, 2017 at 19:14

    Jakże się cieszę , że znalazłam Twoją stronę i przepisy w języku angielskim.
    Pozwalam sobie podesłać znajomym ☺

    • Reply Magda December 11, 2017 at 20:38

      Agata, cieszę się Twoim szczęściem :D Podawaj dalej :)

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  • Reply K December 22, 2017 at 16:04

    Hi there. What would the filling be like if I didn’t add the egg whites?

    • Reply Magda December 23, 2017 at 22:46

      K, it wouldn’t hold together. Egg whites glue it together. If you can’t eat eggs look for egg substitutes. I’ve never tried it, but it could work

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