Poppy seed roll (makowiec)

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 roll (makowiec)

  • Servings: Makes 2 rolls
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Traditional Polish poppy seed strudel, usually made for Christmas. Poppy seed is said to bring luck.

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


  • 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.