Grandma’s Homemade Kolaches

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Homemade pastries are just something special. And these delectable treats are nothing short of amazing.

Grandma Longwell was an amazing cook and baker. She was also 100% Czech, as are these pastries. This recipe is in honor of her and the joy she and Grandpa Longwell brought to the entire family. These were her specialty, along with her homemade cinnamon rolls.

An overhead view of a baking pan filled with freshly baked kolaches topped with poppyseed filling and cream cheese filling.

How To Make Homemade Kolaches


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The Ingredients You Will Need

As with any pastry, you’ve got to start with a good dough. Grandma made lots of baked goods, and she used the same dough for most of her pastries and breads.Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

For the Dough:
Milk – Whole milk is best, warmed to 105 to 115°F.
Sugar – Granulated.
Unsalted butter – Melted and then cooled.
Yeast – Either Instant (aka Rapid Rise) or Active Dry.
Flour – All-purpose.
Salt – Table salt or Kosher

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
Cream cheese – Room temperature.
Sugar – Granulated.
Egg – Just the yolk.
Vanilla extract – Go with good quality, if possible.

For the Poppyseed Filling:
Poppyseeds – Found in the ‘spice’ section of most well-stocked supermarkets.
Flour – All-purpose.
Unsalted butter – Chilled.
Ground cinnamon – Can substitute vanilla extract, if desired.

EXPERT TIP: For the first round of proofing, we recommend placing the dough in an oil bowl and then covering it tightly with plastic wrap and then placing it in the refrigerator overnight. If you are pressed for time, you can cover the dough and then place it in warm, non-drafty area for 1 to 2 hours, or, until the dough almost doubles in size.

A large ceramic bowl filled with risen bread dough.

Tips for Making Perfect Kolaches

Allow Enough Time for Proofing the Dough – Ensure the dough is soft and pliable by using the right amount of flour and allowing it to rise properly. Overnight for the first proofing and then 90 minutes to 2 hours for the second rise is recommended. This will result in light and fluffy kolaches.

Properly Seal the Fillings – When forming the kolaches, ensure the fillings are well-sealed within the dough to prevent any leakage during baking.

Brush with a Glaze and Top with Struessel – Before baking, brush the kolaches with melted butter and then top with a simple struessel. This will add a shine and a touch of sweetness to the finished pastries.

EXPERT TIP: Place the cut dough onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and then allow to rise again. Don’t worry if they don’t completely double in size, they will expand considerably during the baking process.

A person using a spoon to transfer a mound of cream cheese filling into a well of an uncooked kolache pastry.

The Best Kolache Fillings

As mentioned, we love making cream cheese and poppyseed fillings.

However, other delicious fillings for homemade kolaches include prunes, apricots, cherry, blueberry, and even cottage cheese.

Create a small well in the center of each dough ring and then fill it with the prepared fillings.

NOTE: The fillings can easily be made 1 to 2 days in advance of baking.

An overhead view of poppyseed and cream cheese filled kolaches sitting on a baking rack with a blue linen napkin underneath it.

When to Serve Homemade Kolaches and How To Store Them

These pastries are incredible when served fresh out of the oven or even at room temperature with a warm cup of coffee.

Grandma would have numerous Tupperware containers filled with all types of pastries, pies, and more.

These are perfect for serving at breakfast, but also make a wonderfully sweet ending to a delicious dinner.

Wondering about the history of Kolaches and why they’re so popular in Texas? Read about the history

A straight-on view of a poppyseed filled kolache sitting on a baking rack next to more kolaches and a mug of black coffee.

Other Classic Baking Recipes to Try

Everyone loves a baked goodie, right? Especially when it’s made from scratch and homemade. Here are some of our favorites that we’re certain you’ll love, too:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Orange Sweet Rolls
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Monkey Bread
Blueberry Hand Pies (Pop Tarts)
Country White Bread
Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread
Jumbo Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Banana Nut Bread
Zucchini Bread
Bacon Parmesan Gougéres

These are all amazing and delicious in their own special way. But, in the meantime, isn’t the grabbing your eye?

A straight-on view of a half-eaten poppyseed filled kolache on a white dessert plate with a fork next to it.

Ready to make the best pastry this side of Prague? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

An overhead view of a baking pan filled with freshly baked kolaches topped with poppyseed filling and cream cheese filling.

Homemade Kolaches

Nothing conjures memories of special times with family more than when I'm making a batch of Grandma's Homemade Kolaches.  They take a little TLC, but they are so worth it.  Make sure to let the dough double in size, once in a lightly oiled bowl, and then again once the pastries have been formed.  Pastry perfection. 
4.91 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast and Dessert
Cuisine: Czech
Keyword: homemade Czech pastries, how to make kolaches
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Proofing: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 48 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 636kcal


Kolach Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk lukewarm, 105° - 120°F
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter melted and then cooled
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • tsp active dry yeast or Instant Yeast (aka: Rapid Rise)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted, for brushing the uncooked kolaches

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Blueberry Topping

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cherry Topping

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 15 oz can pitted sour cherries (Drain, but save the juice)

Poppy Seed Topping

  • cup poppyseeds
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Streusel Topping

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter chilled, cubed
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon ground


Prepare the Dough

  • Add the lukewarm milk, sugar, cooled butter, eggs, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix everything together using the paddle attachment.
    1 cup whole milk, ½ cup sugar, 5 tbsp unsalted butter, 3 large eggs, 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • Add 4½ cups flour and salt to the mixture. Mix on low just until the dough starts to come together. Use your hands to remove the dough from the paddle attachment. Remove the paddle and replace it with the dough hook. Mix (knead) on medium for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough is soft and is starting to pull away from the bowl, adding another ¼ to ½ cup of flour as needed.
    5 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and smooth it into a ball with your hands. The dough will be quite sticky. This is normal. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough over to coat with oil all over. If desired, brush melted butter over the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, non-drafty area until it has doubled in size, usually about 2 hours. Or, place in the refrigerator for overnight or up to 12 hours.
  • On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness.
  • Using a 2½-inch cookie cutter, an inverted metal can, or an inverted glass, cut rounds from the dough. Re-roll the scraps, and cut more rounds.
  • Place each round on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart from each other, cover with a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using your thumb, press 1 large indention into the center of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch wide rim. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping into the indentions. Liberally sprinkle the streusel over the tops of the kolaches. Brush the melted butter all over the edges of the kolaches.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the size of the kolaches). 
  • Transfer to a wire rack and let cool

Cream Cheese Topping

  • Place all of the cream cheese topping ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Or, mix with a hand mixer.
    8 oz cream cheese, softened, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp vanilla extract

Blueberry Topping

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon. 
    ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Add the blueberries and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
    2 cups fresh blueberries, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool. 

Cherry Topping

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
    ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Stir in the reserved cherry juices and cook, stirring often, over medium heat, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes.
    1 15 oz can pitted sour cherries
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cherries. Let cool. 

Poppy Seed Topping

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the poppy seeds, sugar, and flour.
    ⅓ cup poppyseeds, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, add the poppy seed mixture and stir constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Let rest for at least 15 minutes (it will thicken as it cools off).
    ¼ cup whole milk, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, ½ tsp vanilla extract

Streusel Topping

  • In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the ingredients. Use a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers to create a crumbly texture. Set aside.
    ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup unsalted butter, ¼ tsp cinnamon


See the video near the top of the post for visual guidance.  If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
The fillings can be made several days in advance.
The kolaches will keep in an air-tight container on the counter for 4 to 5 days.  They'll keep in the fridge for up to a week.  They can be frozen for up to 2 months.


Calories: 636kcal | Carbohydrates: 120g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in January, 2014, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe, new tips and photography, and a fabulous new video in November, 2023!


  • Mornin Kris: Been looking for 2 days to try to find the recipe that most resembled my Bubbi’s (grandma). Unfortunately I nenver got her recipe, but non the less they were Kolaches. She always rolled out the dough and cut into squares and then brought each corner up together and sealed. Poppy seed, apricot, prune and cheese were her favorite fillings (and all ours-10 kids). For years I have been searching for the same looking kolach, she must have been from another part of Czech/Bohemia!
    Thanks for your recipe I”m going to try them for our family reunion!

  • 5 stars
    Thank you for this fabulous recipe. I usually make coffee rolls on Sundays for my guys. Today I wanted to try kolaches. This recipe was so easy! The enriched dough was a dream to work with. The only thing I would redo is to cut them all in one go. The couple made with re-rolled scraps were a wee bit dense & tougher. We truly enjoyed these & add this recipe to our line-up .Best wishes.

    • Hi Jennifer! Yay! We are thrilled you made the kolaches and had success! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hola from Costa Rica,
    I was reading Texas Monthly and got a craving for kolaches. I searched for recipes and found this one to be one of the less complicated so I went for it. Baking here is sometimes problematic because of the humidity. I am in the mountains and we don’t have AC to dry the house our any. I put the dough in the oven with the oven light on and it rose perfectly. My only problem was that as the kolaches baked, the holes I’d made for the filling kind of closed up and the filling went all over the place. Still, they were really good. Because there are just 2 of us, I baked 8 kolaches and divided the rest of the dough in two and froze it. We’ll see how it turns out when thawed. I plan on making klabosneks with the next batch.

    • Hola, Jackie!

      So sorry you had a little issue with the holes closing up and the filling going over the sides. We have found it takes a little practice to get that balance just right. The klabosneks sound wonderful! The dough should thaw with no problems. Let us know how they turn out!

      • I made klobasneks with part of the frozen dough. Our electricity went out just about the time the thawed dough was ready to work and stayed out for 7 hours. I went ahead and made the rolls and out them in the refrigerator where it was still cold. Baked them the next morning and they were fine, a little bit dry but much better than I thought they would be after all that. I have decided to use actual fruit rather than preserves the next time I make the kolaches. I think that will solve the problem with the filling running all over the place.

  • 3 stars
    I rolled the dough to 1 1/2 in thick (used a ruler)and they are HUGE. I really think you mean 1/2in thick. They look nothing like yours. I’m so sad. It also only make 6 kolaches. Can you fix please

  • 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe, it sounds just delightful and I cannot wait to get the kids in the kitchen to help mw whip up these little bites of delight 🙂

    • Thank you, Donna!! I’m so glad I get to share her recipe with so many cooks and bakers that appreciate a good Kolache! And the kiddos will love ’em! Thanks again, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    These look absolutely delicious. Any type of filled pastries are the type of pastries I want in my belly! The blueberry topping looks perfect on top. I can’t wait to eat this!

  • 5 stars
    I’ve never made kolaches before, but I really want to now because these look so much better than anything I’ve ever seen before. Thank you to your grandmom for these tasty morsels

    • Thank you, Amanda! I make these a couple times a year, and every time, Wesley (The Loon), asks me why I don’t make them every other day! 🙂 Thanks again!!

  • 5 stars
    These traditional pastries are so wonderful! I love them with apricot filling in the center but now I want to try the poppyseed ones that you mentioned as I have never had those! Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe!

    • Yes! Apricot is so good. My grandmother would make them with apricot, and I need to do that, too. The poppyseed topping is so good. I’ll add that recipe to the post, too. Thanks again! Kris

  • 5 stars
    I grew up in Nebraska and we used to go to Clarkson Nebraska to attend Kolache days… they were authentic and delicious. Ive tried many recipes over the years to recreate them, but this is the first one that actually reminded me of how wonderful they were! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • 5 stars
    What a beautiful pastry! I love the story behind it — recipes with stories are the very best. Keeping up with tradition is so important. I’ve never tried making kolaches but you’ve inspired me to give it a go. The fillings I imagine are endless.

    • Thank you, Marisa!! I so agree, recipes that come with love and history are just that much better. And yes, the fillings are whatever you can dream up. This dough isn’t overly sweet, so you can go with savory fillings, too. Endless yummy ideas! Thanks again, Kris & Wesley

    • These sound so good. I ate them while living in Prague and the sweet memories still linger. I am working on my courage to try to make them at my rather advanced age of nearly 83.
      A minor point. “Kolache” is plural while “Kolach” is singular in Czech.
      Thanks for the recipe.

  • 5 stars
    Lovely recipe! You don’t see a lot of desserts that call for leavened dough. I’m guessing it’s something people don’t want to commit to time-wise. While that’s understandable, these look absolutely fantastic, and clearly worth the effort.

  • 5 stars
    Baking Grandma’s recipes always invokes such warm memories for me. They’re such a treasure. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have never had the pleasure of meeting kolaches, but boy! I sure want to now. They sound like a wonderful vehicle for my homemade jam.

    • Recipes from Grandma are just the best. Of course, which I think is common for lots of cooks with grandma’s who were an inspiration, mine never had any recipes written down. So, it’s all from memory from watching her, and trying to re-create what she did. These are super close…and I need to look up your homemade jam! Sounds wonderful! Thanks again! Kris

  • 5 stars
    Oh my gosh.. you’ve made me want to bake! (And that’s quite a task there mister!) But mostly I want to go back in time to your grandma’s kitchen and eat her kolaches! I might just try to make these- I can almost smell them through my computer screen!!

    • Go for it, Sarah!!! These really are so delicious and bring out warm and fuzzy feelings. Just so comforting. And they do smell heavenly. Make ’em girl! :). xoxo Kris & Wesley

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