Grandma’s Homemade Kolaches

Grandma's Kolaches
Grandma’s Kolaches

Well, last week I posted about my Grandma Longwell’s amazing homemade cinnamon rolls.  As I said then, whenever we’d travel up to Belleville, Kansas for Christmas…as soon as we walked in the door, the incredible inviting smell of fresh baked pies, pastries, Swiss steak, and vegetables from Grandpa’s garden (that had been canned from the previous Summer) immediately said “hello and come in” to your senses. Kolaches are a delicious, sweet Czech pastry.

Grandma was 100% Czech.  Her parents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia and she learned to make these wonderful pastries at an early age.  As mentioned, she was 100% Czech.  My Dad is 50% Czech.  And that makes me 25% Czech.  Dad says that makes me “a two-bit Czech!”.

When I was a kid I used to tell people that the trampoline was invented in Czechoslovakia.  And when they would say, ‘Really?”…I would reply…”Yes…they were the first Czechs to bounce.”   I would laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

Anyway, these are little labor intensive..but my goodness, are they good.  When these are baking in the oven, I am transported back to that wonderful time with my family at Christmastime.   I hope both sets of my Grandparents in heaven can smell these as they are baking and know how grateful I am for all they did to make us so happy for so many years.

Kolaches Yeast Disolving
Kolaches Yeast Dissolving


Kolaches Dough Ready for Proofing
Kolaches Dough Ready for Proofing


Kolaches Dough Ring
Use whatever you’ve got on hand to cut the dough rings for the homemade Kolaches
Kolaches Fillings:  Be, I'm using blueberry, cherry, poppyseed, cream cheese
Kolaches Fillings: Be creative…here, I’m using blueberry, cherry, poppy-seed, cream cheese
5.0 from 2 reviews
Grandma's Homemade Kolaches
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These Czech pastries are wonderful. The different fillings are unique and so delicious. These take me back to my Grandma Longwell's magical kitchen in Kansas!
Recipe type: Pastry
Cuisine: Czech
Serves: 10
  • 2¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast (this equals one packet)
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs (plus 1 more for egg wash on Kolaches before they go into the oven)
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of milk (to add to egg wash)
  • 16 oz. of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of cornstrach
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of cornstarch
  • 28 ounces of canned, pitted sour cherries
  • 1¼ cups of reserved cherry juice
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the warm milk. Let rest about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with remaining milk, butter, eggs, sugar, and salt.
  3. Blend in 1½ cups of the flour.
  4. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a workable dough.
  5. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes (or, use a mixer with a dough hook). Shape into a ball.
  6. Place into an oiled bowl, turn to coat.
  7. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-less place until nearly doubled in bulk...about 2½ hours.
  8. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, cover, and let rise again, in a warm, draft-less place...should rise again about double in size...about another 1 and ½ hours.
  9. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Punch down the dough, divide in half, form into 2 balls, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  11. On a floured surface, roll out the dough ½ inch thick.
  12. Cut into 2½ inch rounds.
  13. Re-roll the scraps, and cut out more rounds.
  14. Place on parchment paper, about 1 inch apart, cover with a towel, and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  15. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  16. Using your thumb, press 1 large indentations into the center of each round, leaving a ½ inch wide rim.
  17. Brush the edges with the egg wash.
  18. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping in the indentations.
  19. Bake until golden brown. Anywhere from 12 to 20 minutes...depends on size of Kolaches...just need to keep an eye on them.
  20. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
  22. In a medium bowl, beat the cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in the yolks and vanilla.
  24. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon.
  25. Add the blueberries and lemon juice
  26. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  27. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes).
  28. Let cool.
  30. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
  31. Stir in the juice.
  32. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, until the mixture boils and thickens.
  33. Remove from heat and stir in the cherries.
  34. Let cool.





  • My Great-Grandma and my Mom used to make these (Great-Grandma’s family was from Prussia). The poppy seed were the favorite in the family. I loved lemon. My mom would drizzle icing on hers. I am saving this recipe and I will be making these. I miss those two ladies.

  • Look good! I too come from, on my moms side, a line of czechs. So I am well acquainted with kolaches… though never hurts to take a look at another recipe. One thing I noticed missing was the little crumbly topping that we always top ours with. I forget what it’s called, but it it’s very much like streusel, and just adds that little something extra (not that they need any extra, but still… it’s good).

    • Thanks Shikha! There are other types of toppings you can use, too. From poppyseed to apricot…I remember my grandmother even sometimes used cottage cheese with raisins…(those weren’t my favorite). :)

  • As a kiwi living in Japan I’ve vaguely heard about these but never seen or eaten one which means I need to make them this instant. However it’s 7pm so I should probably make something containing vegetables for dinner? Well, at least I have a plan for Saturday, now. Question; just the 2 of us, it would be fun but probably not a good idea to polish them off before Monday, so how well do they keep? Then I could make alliances at work through pastry….

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