Homemade Ukrainian Poppy Seed Roll: A Step-by-Step Guide

Embark on a delightful culinary adventure with this traditional Ukrainian Poppy Seed Roll recipe. Each step is crafted to guide you through creating this cherished Eastern European delicacy.

CourseDessert, Snack
Key IngredientsPoppy seeds, flour, milk, butter, eggs
Preparation Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cooking Time30-35 minutes
Serving TemperatureRoom temperature or slightly warm
Flavor ProfileSweet, nutty, with a hint of citrus
Difficulty LevelIntermediate


For the Dough:

  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • ½ cup warm milk (about 110°F)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

For the Poppy Seed Filling:

  • 2 cups poppy seeds
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp milk


Preparing the Dough:

  1. Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tsp of sugar in warm milk. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar, and salt.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: Add the softened butter, eggs, lemon zest, and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms.
  4. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  5. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Making the Poppy Seed Filling:

  1. Prepare Poppy Seeds: Grind the poppy seeds using a coffee grinder or food processor until they are finely ground.
  2. Cook the Filling: In a saucepan, combine the ground poppy seeds, sugar, and milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
  3. Add Flavors: Stir in the butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and optional nuts and raisins. Allow the filling to cool to room temperature.

Assembling the Roll:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Roll the Dough: Punch down the risen dough and divide it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half into a rectangle (about ¼ inch thick).
  3. Add Filling: Spread half of the poppy seed filling evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.
  4. Shape the Roll: Roll the dough tightly from the long edge, sealing the ends and seam well.
  5. Second Rise: Place the roll on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining filling. Cover the rolls and let them rise for 30 minutes.


  1. Egg Wash: In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg with 1 tbsp of milk. Brush this mixture over the rolls.
  2. Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.
  3. Cool: Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Enjoy your homemade Ukrainian Poppy Seed Roll, a sweet and sumptuous treat that’s perfect for any occasion! Whether served as a dessert, a snack, or a special holiday treat, this roll is sure to delight with its rich flavors and tender texture.

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