Polish family recipes – poppyseed strudel and cheese coffeecake

My grandmother immigrated from Poland in 1913 as a young girl; one of my earliest memories is of helping her make yeast bread in her small kitchen.  She made many kinds of coffeecake, poppy seed rolls, and other traditional Polish / Eastern European baked goods, but unfortunately she wrote down very few of these.

 Two of my treasured recipes of hers are for a yeasted poppy seed roll and another Polish friend’s recipe for a cheese-filled coffeecake.


Poppy Seed Strudel (my grandmother’s recipe)

1/2 cup softened butter

2 cups flour

 2 egg yolks

 1/2 cup warm milk

1 tablespoon sugar

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1 package dry yeast

 1 can Solo poppy seed filling

Work butter into flour.  Mix egg yolks with milk, add sugar, salt and yeast.  Add yeast mixture to flour and work into a soft dough. Knead lightly.

Roll out 1/3 inch thick.  Spread with poppy seed filling, roll up, place on greased cookie sheet and let rise till doubled.  Brush with egg. Bake at

350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  


Cheese Coffeecake


¼ c. plus 1 tablespoon scalded cream or milk

1 cake (1 oz) yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine)

2 ½ c. sifted flour

½ tsp salt

4 egg yolks, beaten



1 lb. Cream cheese (2 8-oz. packages)

1 c. sugar

1 egg, separated

1 tsp vanilla

½ c. chopped walnuts

Crumble yeast into cream or milk, allow to stand until dissolved. Add sugar. Cut butter into flour and salt as for pie crust. Add yolks of eggs and yeast and mix thoroughly. Divide dough into two parts. Roll each to fit a 9 x 13” pan. Arrange one piece of dough to fit the bottom of pan.

Beat cheese, 1 egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla until light. Spread on top of the dough in the pan and place the second rectangle of dough on top. Brush top with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle nuts on top.

Cover and let rise in warm place until light. (Dough is very rich and will take longer to rise). Bake 350 30 minutes or until done.

Smacznego! (Polish for “bon appetit”)

4 Comments Add yours

  1. A_Boleyn says:

    My mom used to make a yeast poppy seed roll as well. One of these days I’m going to give them a try. I wish I’d been able to see a picture of the finished product for inspiration. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bundtlust says:

      I will certainly post a picture the next time I make this…it’s been several years and is long overdue!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A_Boleyn says:

        I didn’t get my camera until Dec 2012 so my early recipes had no pictures. And, since I’ve rarely gone back and re-made some of the recipes (I’m all about the new stuff) I had no pictures of them either. Is this similar to a babka?


      2. bundtlust says:

        The dough doesn’t rise as much…babcia’s was free form, so the dough spreads out rather than up. The dough is quite rich but the texture is completely different from a brioche or babka.

        Liked by 1 person

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