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Polish Poppy Seed Roll Makowiec Recipe

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A prominent feature at the Christmas table, the Polish poppy seed bread covered with sugar frosting or chocolate is really toothsome. This Polish poppy seed pastry is made with a really easy Makowiec recipe!

Memories Of Poppy Seeds And Poland 

See also my Polish poppy seed cheesecake recipe (seromakowiec).

Poppyseed flowers contain opium alkaloids, but they can be misused sometimes. 

Years ago, when I was growing up in Poland I remember my neighbor producing drugs from poppy seeds. It was quite common for individuals to do that at the time.

But it soon became such a big issue in Poland, that resulted in poppy seeds being banned in the entire country. Nowadays, you can’t seed them yourself, only self-seeders are available for use.  Of course, you can buy ready-to-eat poppy seeds in the stores as well.

But when used in the right amount, poppy seeds add a lot of flavor to both dinners and desserts. We often made the Polish poppy seed pastry and cover it with chocolate frosting or sprinkle it with powdered sugar. 

These poppy seed roll Polish desserts are as popular at Easter and Christmas as piernik – gingerbread, keks – fruitcake, Polish nut roll, or kompot z suszu drink.  

Why Are Makoweic Rolls Popular With Polish Christians?

Don’t have time to make a proper makowiec? See my quick poppyseed Christmas tree cake recipe!

According to legend, poppy flowers grew from the places where Jesus’ blood fell during the crucifixion. So having makowiec rolls with poppy seeds at Easter and Christmas became representative of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the new life that he gives us.

It’s also popular to eat makowiec at Christmas time so that you will have wealth and prosperity in the year ahead. 

What Are The Other Names Of These Makowiec Poppy Seed Rolls?

The other names for the Polish poppy seed bread are makowiec strudla, strucla, makownik or placka. They look a lot like the Swiss roll, but the makowiec recipe uses yeast-based dough. 

Makowiec Roll.
Makowiec Roll

What Other Toppings Can I Use For This Polish Poppy Seed Roll Recipe?

You can top the makowiec with any of the following:

  • Chocolate Frosting
  • Powder Sugar
  • Sugar Glaze
  • Candied Peel
  • Chopped Nuts
  • Honey
polish poppy seed rolls.
Polish poppy seed rolls

Tips For Making Polish Poppy Seed Roll Recipe – Makowiec

Rolls made with poppy seeds.
Makowiec Rolls made with poppy seeds
  • You don’t need to make the poppy seed filling yourself. You can buy the poppy seed filling here.
  • Washing the poppy seeds in hot water reduces the morphine content.
  • You can also add cinnamon, nuts, dried fruit, or honey to the filling. 
  • If you want something heady, you can also add rum-soaked raisins to the filling. 
  • Serve the makowiec dessert roll with coffee or wine!

Polish Poppy Seed Roll – Frequently Asked Questions About Making Makowiec

Makowiec Roll in a red plate.
Makowiec Rolls made with poppy seeds

How Do You Pronounce Makowiec?

Makowiec is pronounced mak-ov-yets or mah-kov-yets.

If Poppies Contain Opium, Is It Safe To Eat Makowiec?

With the current food regulations, only poppies that have a very low morphine content are harvested for food purposes. So yes, it’s safe to eat makowiec. 

Who Invented Makoweic?

Can I Freeze Leftover Makoweic?

Yes, you can freeze leftover makowiec in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours and reheat before serving. 

Polish Poppy Seed Roll Makowiec Recipe

Yield: 15 servings

Polish Poppy Seed Roll Makowiec Recipe

Polish Poppy Seed Roll Makowiec Recipe

A prominent feature at the Christmas table, the Polish poppy seed bread covered with sugar frosting or chocolate is really toothsome. This Polish poppy seed bread is made with a really easy Makowiec recipe!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes


Makowiec Dough

  • 5 cups (600g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 stick (110g) of butter
  • 1 tbsp (7g) of instant yeast
  • ½ cup (130g) of sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Makowiec Filling

  • 3 ½ cups (500g) of poppy seeds
  • 1 ¼ (250g) cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of margarine
  • 4 egg whites
  • raisins/ candied fruits/ nuts (optional)


Make The Dough

  1. Melt the butter in warm milk (don't make it too hot!).
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and knead the dough (using your hands or food processor). The dough may be a bit sticky but it's ok.
  3. Place the dough in a big bowl then cover it with a clean kitchen cloth.
  4. Leave the bowl in a warm place for about 90 minutes until the dough doubles its size.

Make The Filling

  1. Wash (rinse) the poppy seeds with hot water.
  2. Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee/meat grinder or food processor. You may need to run the food processor a few times, depending on how strong your grinder is.
  3. Beat the egg whites with sugar and a bit of salt until stiff.
  4. Mix the margarine, honey, and ground poppy seeds.
  5. Carefully add beaten egg whites to the rest of the ingredients while using the spoon to stir in one direction only.
  6. You may also add raisins or candied fruits to the filling.

Assemble Makowiec

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 pieces.
  3. Roll each piece out onto a floured surface to just under ½” thickness.
  4. Spread the filling onto the dough, avoiding the edges.
  5. Roll up the pastry, starting at one of the long ends. Make sure to tuck the ends of the roll under it. (that will prevent the filling from leaking out).
  6. Brush the rolls with beaten egg or melted butter.
  7. Place the poppy seed rolls on a pan lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Decorate Makowiec (Makowiec Toppings)

Here are the most popular ways to decorate Polish poppy seed cake:

- powdered sugar

- sugar glaze (1 cup of icing sugar + 4 tbsps of water)

- chocolate frosting

For each of these options, you may add candied fruits or nuts on top.


If you don't want to make the filing yourself, you can buy a (canned version.)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 41mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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Did you like this Polish poppy seed roll makowiec recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

14 Responses

    1. I am sorry for the mistake! You need to add it to the dough.
      I’ve just updated the recipe to make it easier (instant yeast instead of fresh yeast).
      I hope that helps!

      Merry Christmas 🙂

  1. Should the rolls be left to rise (a second rise) before baked? The first rise is noted, not another after rolling. Jules

  2. Dough doesn’t rise at all what a waste. The method needs to be adjusted bug time. Threw it all out. Wouldn’t rise!

    1. If the yeast dough is not growing, it’s not the problem with the recipe 🙂

      Here’s what might happen:
      -room temperature in your kitchen is too low
      -you had drafts in your kitchen
      -you used milk that’s too hot or too cold
      -your yeast’s expiration date has passed
      -you didn’t follow the instructions in the recipe

      I am 100% sure the recipe is correct, as I used it so many times.

  3. My parents are Polish. I made this one time and my mother couldnt believe I actually made this. She thought I bought it. My mom passed away in September and will keep making this in her honour.

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