This Poppy Seed Roll is so quick and easy! Sweet yeast bread is braided into a roll and swirled with a delicious pasty poppy seed filling! I love this fluffy European bread! This recipe has a rising time of 15 minutes and is baked in under an hour! It’s my take on the traditional pastry roll that’s still rich and soft even though it’s a quick dough!


poppy seed roll recipe

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I’m a poppy seed pastry connoisseur! Maybe that’s because my mom bakes the best Poppy Seed Bulochki. I literally watched her make these Bulochki from start to finish to share the recipe to her rolls that relatives and aunts all love! I’ve also come to love these yeast cookies that can be filled with jam or poppy seeds! Eat them for dessert, a breakfast pastry, or a snack!

Poppy Seed Roll

When I need poppy seed rolls on a whim, I make these! Rising time is so quick and the dough is easy to work with! Bakery fresh rolls made easily for Company or that sweet bread fix! I can have these rolled and ready to bake under an hour!

Poppy Seed Filling is my husband’s favorite and if I make sweet bread, poppy seeds would be highly requested! It’s the paste-like sweet filling that makes these so good warm out of the oven with a cold glass of milk–YUM!

Poppy Seed rolls come sweet or crunchy (walnuts.) But, personally, when baking I’d rather just use poppy seeds. Mincing walnuts or chestnuts would be an extra step, that I’d rather alternate!

However, you don’t want to skip the irresistibly glossy tops after baking these rolls! Brush the tops hot out of the oven with my sugar glaze for that high sheen you’d see in Russian bakeries!

rich and soft poppy seed rolls

Poppy Seeds

Poppy Seed filling is a paste from ground poppy seeds, typically made with milk, sugar, and butter. Alternatively, honey can be used as a sweetener if you want to avoid the corn syrup in bakery sold cans. It’s an ingredient well known in Polish and Russian baking and the American cuisine is getting more familiar with poppy seed recipes!

You can locate poppy seed filling in some American grocery stores, sold in the bakery aisle. However, your better checking a local European or Polish store for poppy seed paste (filling.)

I’ve accumulated one of the easiest ways to make a traditional poppy seed roll! Since this recipe yields, a generous amount of yeast the rising time is super speedy and you’ll have poppy seed rolls baking in the oven in under an hour! If you are a Polish or Ukrainian baker, get your hands on this recipe because it’s that EASY!

I’m also on the hunt for a good poppy seed filling recipe so I’m looking forward to any recipes, comments, or feedback below! Meanwhile, you can buy poppy seed filling here.

poppy seed roll recipe

How to make a Poppy Seed Rolls:

  • Activate Yeast: by mixing it into warm milk. Liquid too hot or cold can kill the yeast. You want your yeast to be warm to the touch. To keep yeast fresh, refrigerate after opening and freeze any excess amount. I like to buy dry active yeast in bulk and keep a repurposed spice container full of it, any leftover yeast gets frozen in a sandwich bag until needed. Unproperly maintained yeast can cause flat and dense pastries or bread that nobody wants!
  • Warm the Milk: in the microwave for the quickest results! I like to dissolve the yeast and sugar right into the warmed milk!
  • Eggs make Fluffier Rolls: you want to whisk the eggs right into the warm milk after it has been dissolved with sugar and yeast.
  • Melted Butter makes these sweet yeast rolls similar to brioche buns! So good!
  • Knead in your flour: add all but 1 or 2 cups of flour to not add too much flour. The dough should form into a soft dough ball but will become sticky if kneading for too long. You want to knead the flour in a Kitchen Aid mixer just until the dough releases from the sides of the bowl. Lightly flour and shape into a ball before rising.
  • Let the Dough Rise until Doubled: then shape into rolls and place onto a baking sheet. Two rolls fit a large 18×13 baking sheet nicely.
  • Make a beautiful brown crust: by brushing an egg wash before baking and my sugar glaze after baking for a super shiny crust!


Storing Poppy Seed Rolls:

Room Temperature rolls: should be cooled and stored sealed in a container or freezer bag. Keep on the countertop for up to 1 day and freeze any leftovers for fresher rolls. Poppy Seed Rolls that sit too long can get stale.

Tip: freshen stale rolls by reheating them in the microwave.

Freezing Rolls:

Freeze baked and cooled rolls by cutting them into slices. Neatly arrange the poppy seed slices into gallon-sized freezer bags and seal airtight. Freeze for up to 6 months.

To Reheat: Thaw overnight or set the microwave on defrost mode until rolls are warmed and no longer frozen.

What does Makowiec mean?

Makowiec (pronounced Ma-Koh-Viets) means a Poppy Seed Roll in Polish.

Are poppy seeds safe to eat?

The poppy seeds you buy at the grocery store are safe for consumption. When processing poppy seeds there are two categories the plant gets processed into, either food use or pharmaceutical purposes. The harvesting differs from the two making it safe enough to use for food purposes. Read more on harvesting, cooking, and the variety of Poppy Seeds here.

What recipes can I make from poppy seed filling?

Once you realize that a low level of opium alkaloids is safe enough to eat you can make many desserts and pastries to enjoy! Here is a list:

Pirozhki vs Poppy Seed Rolls:

Piroshki are Ukrainian buns typically filled with savory or sweet fillings. My mom would call these pirog-ee which is another word for piroshki or pirog. Poppy Seed Rolls have become the American term for this baked sweet yeast bread filled with a sweet poppy seed filling.

How to Make Shiny Tops for Sweet Yeast Bread?

A sugar and water mixture is the secret to getting those perfectly glossy tops you’d see on European rolls! It has to be brushed on the rolls immediately after the oven and remains glossy thereafter.

Other Toppings to consider:

  • egg wash and coarse sugar (before baking)
  • a honey butter glaze
  • poppy seeds
  • confectioners sugar glaze

Where can I buy Canned Poppy Seed Filling?

Canned Poppy Seed fillings can be found in European markets, Polish Deli, Russian supermarkets, or some Major Grocery stores. Some Mennonite bakeries can carry poppy seed fillings too.

What Ingredients go into a Poppy Seed Roll?



For the dough:

  • flour- all-purpose or bread flour can be used.
  • butter- use unsalted butter or if using salted butter omit the salt in the recipe.
  • milk- whole milk for rich rolls.
  • yeast- used active dry yeast.
  • sugar- granulated sugar.
  • salt- kosher salt.
  • eggs- go with cage-free eggs.

For the Filling:

  • canned poppy seed filling- can be found in the baking section of major grocery stores. I used the Solo brand but you can make your own poppy seed filling by grinding cooked poppy seeds and sweetening them.

For the Glaze and egg wash:

  • egg- for eggs wash.
  • water- to dissolve the sugar for the tops after baking.
  • sugar- mix with the water to make a glossy top after baking.

How to Make a Poppy Seed Roll?

Make the Dough:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer,  dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm milk.

dissolving the sugar in yeast in warm milk for poppy seed rolls

2. Knead in the flour.

flour for poppy seed rolls




dough for poppy seed rolls

4. Cover the dough and allow to rise until doubled in size.

dough doubled in size for poppy seed rolls

Fill the Dough:

5. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and roll each piece out into a 10″ by 11-inch square.

dough cut in half for rolls

dough for a poppy seed roll flattened to fill with poppy seeds

6. Spread 1/2 a cup of the poppy seed filling onto 2/3 of the square. Then cut the bottom unfilled section into 1″ strips and begin to roll, starting from the poppy seed filling side. Stop when you get to the strips and wrap each strip over the roll, stretching out the strip if needed and pinching down the ends.

poppy seed filling spread over sweet yeast dough

dough cut for rolling

rolling poppy seed rolls

how to braid a poppy seed roll the easy way

braided poppy seed pastry

7. Place the rolls onto a lined baking sheet and allow them to rise for 30 minutes.

braided poppy seed rolls rising on a baking sheet

Bake the Rolls:

8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush rolls with a beaten egg wash, and bake for 22-25 minutes.

poppy seed rolls brushed with egg wash

9. Stir together 2 tbsp of sugar and 1/4 cup of boiling water until granules dissolve. Brush over hot rolls. (This gives a glossy sheen to the tops.)


Tips for Making A Poppy Seed Roll:

  1. Use oil for melted butter! Quicker to use in yeast recipes!
  2. Brush your dough with egg wash after it has risen and is ready to go in the oven. Otherwise, it will seep into the dough by the time it bakes.
  3. For more poppy seed filling spread a generous 1/2 cup of poppy seed filling onto each dough piece.
  4. Baking poppy seed rolls too soon can cause rolls to crack or tear. Allow some rising time after the rolls have formed. Don’t allow them to rise for too long.


Other Russian Bread Recipes:

Poppy Seed Roll

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rising Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 2 footlong rolls
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
This Poppy Seed Roll is so quick and easy! Sweet yeast bread is braided into a roll and swirled with a delicious pasty poppy seed filling! I love this rich European bread! This recipe has a rising time of 15 minutes and is baked in under an hour! It's my take on the traditional pastry roll that's still rich and soft even though it's a quick dough!


  • Kitchen Aid Mixer
  • 18x13 baking sheet
  • Bench scraper



  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp, melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned poppy seed filling
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)

Sugar Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water


How to make easy poppy seed rolls:

  • yeast and milk mixture for the poppy seed roll recipe
    Microwave milk until warm (around 1 minute.) Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and stir in the sugar and yeast. Whisk in the eggs, salt, and melted butter then add the flour and knead for 7 minutes.
  • poppy seed roll dough rising
    Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled (15 minutes.)
  • dough divided into two
    Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and roll each piece out into a 10" by 11-inch square.
  • how to roll up a poppy seed roll
    Spread 1/2 cup of the poppy seed filling onto the upper half leaving a 4-inch border on the bottom. Cut the unfilled bottom into 1" strips. Roll, starting from the poppyseed filling down. Stop when you get to the strips and wrap each strip over the roll, stretching out the strip to braid the roll. Pinch down the ends.
  • finishing the tops to a poppy seed roll
    Place the rolls onto a lined baking sheet and allow the dough to rise for 10-15 minutes.
  • brushed tops of poppy seed rolls
    Heat oven to 350°F. Brush rolls with egg wash and then bake for 22-25 minutes. Brush tops with the sugar glaze. Slice before serving.


  • Sugar Glaze: makes Poppy Seed Rolls super shiny and glossy. 
  • The recipe Makes 2 footlong rolls or 24 slices. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 39mgPotassium: 60mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 50IUCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

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4.70 from 13 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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    • Colleen

    Made this for a party at my Aunts. I let it raise for 40 minutes the first time and 20 minutes after rolled. Turned out perfect

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful Colleen!

    • Rosemary Witzel

    Hi Alyona, can I use 1% milk? Or, can I use part half & half and part 1% milk? I don’t have whole milk in the frig.

    Thank you!


      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I think that will be fine.

    • Keith Rhoades

    I was planning on making this for the holidays. So nice to find a recipe that uses the Solo poppyseed filling. Can I add raisins or candied fruit to the filling?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi, you can definitely use other fillings. I would recommend preserves instead of jam it seems to bake better.

    • barb c

    Followed recipe to the letter. One of the two rolls split on the side :(…. probably could use more poppyseed, but thats my preference. Dough, however, perfectly sweet. Will try again and tweek it a bit.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Barb, that can happen sometimes. I think it could be that the rolls don’t rise long enough or it needs to be rolled thicker. I use more filling lately too.

    • Joan

    Wow! Always wanted a recipe for this poppyseed roll! Thank you!

    • Anna

    I love this easy and delicious recipe but mine always crack on the sides and turn out kind of flat. I don’t roll the dough out too thin either. I am not sure what’s wrong. Any tips on what I could be doing wrong?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Anna, I’m thinking either the dough is too soft and might need more flour or maybe they are not rising long enough causing cracks.

    • Ken Otto

    Poppy seeds should be put through a grinder. The grinder cracks the seeds and makes them slightly on the oily side. Then using equal amounts of ground poppy seeds and sugar mix them together. This is then used as the filling for poppy bread or kolaches.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thanks for the tips!

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