Old World Poppy Seed Roll Cake Recipe

Old World Poppy Seed Roll Cake Recipe

Tender, soft, sweet yeast bread swirled with a creamy homemade poppy seed filling. Growing up, my mother and aunts always made this Eastern European bread for Easter and Christmas. Looks complicated, but is easy enough to make for an Old-World treat. I like it best after the second day.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 216 kcal


  • ½ pound poppy seeds
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon juice
  • ½ cup hot milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 cups  all-purpose flour, or more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 pic egg, separated - white reserved


  • Place poppy seeds into a food processor and process until seeds are ground, about 1 minute.
  • Mix poppy seeds with 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, lemon juice, and hot milk in a bowl; stir to combine. Cover poppy seed filling and refrigerate while making bread (filling will set up and thicken as it chills).
  • Mix yeast with water and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Allow to stand until the yeast forms a creamy layer.
  • Whisk flour with salt in a bowl; use a pastry cutter to cut 1/4 cup butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Pour yeast mixture and egg yolk into flour mixture and stir to make a soft dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and slightly springy, about 5 minutes. If dough is too sticky, knead in more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time.
  • Cut dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a 12x16-inch rectangle.


Nutrition Information:
  • protein 5g
  • carbohydrates 26.8g
  • fat 10.6g
  • cholesterol 21.8mg
  • sodium 109.5mg
Keyword Roll Cake

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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