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.


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How To Make Homemade Kolaches

Homemade kolaches are not terribly difficult to make, but they do require a little time.

You have numerous options for the filling, but our favorites are blueberry, cherry, and cream cheese.

You can even opt for savory kolaches, but Grandma always made the sweet kind.

A rack that is covered with fruit-filled and cream cheese-filled Kolaches all on top of a red napkin.

The Best Dough for Kolaches

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.

Don’t rush the dough. It may take an hour for it to double in size, or it may take 2 hours. You can even place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let rise in the refrigerator for overnight.

Then, once you form the round pastries, you’ll want them to rise until almost doubled in size again.

A person holding a baking pan filled with rounds of dough and then again with the same pan and the rounds that have risen.

To form the pastries, we use a 2½ to 3-inch circular cutter.

You can also place the dough in a rectangular baking pan and cut them into squares.

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 large circular cookie cutter to cut out rounds from dough that has been rolled out into a large rectangle.

The Best Kolache Fillings

As mentioned, we love making blueberry, cherry, and cream cheese fillings.

However, other delicious fillings for homemade kolaches include prunes, apricots, poppyseed, 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.

A person forming wells in Kolache dough and then fruit being added into the wells.
A person forming wells in Kolache dough and then fruit being added into the wells.

When to Serve Homemade Kolaches

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 Kolache with a blueberry filling sitting on a wire rack next to other fruit-filled pastries.

The smell that emanates from your oven when these are baking is truly magical.

I am transported back to that warm and inviting house in Belleville, KS, every time we make a batch.

And they are honestly as much fun to make as they are to eat.

A cherry-filled Kolache that has been split in half on a white dessert plate.

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!

A rack that is covered with fruit-filled and cream cheese-filled Kolaches all on top of a red napkin.

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. 
4.9 from 19 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

Ingredients

KOLACHE 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
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt

CREAM CHEESE TOPPING

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ 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

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 15 oz cans pitted sour cherries (Drain, but save the juice)

Instructions

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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 3-inch cookie cutter, or 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 an hour.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar and mix until smooth.  (A hand mixer works well). 
  • Beat in the yolk and vanilla.

BLUEBERRY TOPPING

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon. 
  • Add the blueberries and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool. 

CHERRY TOPPING

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
  • Stir in the reserved cherry juices and cook, stirring often, over medium heat, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cherries. Let cool. 

Notes

See the video near the top of the post for a visual guide.  If you like 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.

Nutrition

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 October, 2021!

52 Comments

  • 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!

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