How to cook the perfect poppy seed roll (makivnyk)

Poppy seed bakery is a great dainty for Christmas and New Year holidays. If you want to treat your beloved ones with this cookery, then welcome to follow our detailed recipe for a tasty poppy seed roll. Ukrainians do love baked foods with poppy seeds and know how to cook them very well)


Yeast dough

  • 50 g fresh yeast (11 g dry yeast)
  • 200-250 g sugar
  • 400 ml milk
  • 900 g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g dairy butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • a pinch of salt

Poppy seed filling

  • 300 g poppy seeds
  • 150 ml milk
  • 50 g dairy butter
  • 250 g sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 2 egg whites


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 20 g poppy seeds


Mother dough for our poppy seed roll

First, let's make a pre-ferment. Crumble fresh yeast, add 1 tbsp. of sugar, and stir everything with a spoon until smooth.

Pour in milk into the yeast mixture (the milk should be warm and not hot!).

Add about 100 g of flour and stir the mixture well with a whisk.

Cover the bowl with the predough with a towel and leave it in a warm place for about 25-30 minutes.

In another bowl, combine sugar, vanilla sugar, a pinch of salt, and eggs. Whip the mixture with a whisk. Add the pre-ferment to the egg mass. Stir in the melted and slightly cooled butter and the zest of one lemon. Mix everything well.

Add presifted flour gradually and knead the dough.

Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until it stops sticking to your hands.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl greased with vegetable oil, cover it with a towel, and put it in a warm place to rise for 1.5-2 hours.

Rich poppy seed roll filling

While the dough rises, let’s make the poppy seed filling. Cover poppy seeds with boiling water and leave for 10 minutes.

Then drain the water, put poppy seeds in a saucepan. Pour in milk, and add sugar and butter.

Put the poppy seed mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook for about 30-40 minutes.

Remove the poppy seed mass from the heat, put it on a sieve covered with gauze, and let the liquid drain. Transfer the poppy seeds to a bowl and leave them to cool completely.

Pass the cooled poppy seed mass through a meat grinder, add honey and mix well.

Finally, beat two egg whites and add the poppy seed mass gradually. If you wish, you can also add raisins and walnuts to your taste.

Shaping the dough for a roll

Knead the raised dough, place it on a floured surface and divide the dough into two equal parts.

Then roll each piece into a layer about 10 mm thick.

Spread half of the filling evenly over the entire surface, leaving the edges (around 1.5 cm) untouched.

Then shape the dough into a roll. Do the same with the second piece of dough.

Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet, seams down. Cover them with a towel and leave them to rise for about 30 minutes.

Then grease the rolls with whipped yolks mixed with milk and sprinkle the cookery with dry poppy seeds.

Baking, smelling, and enjoying

Bake poppy seed rolls in the oven preheat to 180℃ (356°F) degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Cut the cooled poppy seed roll into pieces and serve with fresh milk or hot tea.

Enjoy your meal!

Have you liked the recipe for the Christmas poppy seed roll?

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