clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
close up of finished kolache recipe with lemon and poppy seeds

Lemon Poppy Seed Kolaches

  • Author: Joy the Baker


My favorite Texas pastry.



For the kolache dough:

  • 1 cup (228 grams) full fat greek yogurt, resting at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups (485 grams) all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for sticky dough and flouring the counter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

For the filling:

  • 1 cup store-bought lemon curd
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the crumble topping:

  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter, melted


  1. To make the dough, in a medium bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, and salt. Melt butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan and whisk the warm melted butter into the yogurt mixture to combine.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, use a rubber spatula to combine flour, yeast, warm water, and eggs. Add the yogurt mixture and use the spatula to roughly combine. Knead the mixture with the dough hook on low speed for 5 minutes. Dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but be very tacky too the touch. Add up to 1/2 cup more flour as necessary but really, you want the dough to be sticky. The overnight rest in the refrigerator will make the sticky dough easy to work with.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. While the kolache dough rests, make the cheese filling and the crumble topping.
  5. For the cheese filling, in a medium bowl using hand beaters or in the bowl of the stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together all of the cheese filling ingredients until a smooth paste forms. Place in a small container, cover and refrigerate.
  6. For the crumble topping, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and use your fingers to incorporate the ingredients into a sandy mixture. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to fill.
  7. The following day, remove the dough from the fridge, and divide it into about 20 pieces and use a bench knife to divide the dough into balls that are 1 3/4 ounces (or 50 grams) each, about the size of a golf ball.
  8. Place the pieces on lightly greased or parchment-lined rimmed half sheet pans, leaving about an inch between them. Flatten the balls until they’re about 1/2″ thick, cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Using your fingers, make a wide, deep indentation in the center of each flattened dough ball. Don’t be afraid of being decisive here; you want to make a deep enough indentation that it doesn’t just disappear as the buns rise and bake.
  10. Place about 1 tablespoon of the lemon curd at the bottom of the indentation you’ve made followed by 1 generous tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on top. Crumble a bit of the streusel on top. Cover the kolache, and allow them to rise for about 45 minutes. They won’t necessarily double in bulk.
  11. Uncover the kolache, and bake them in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
  12. Remove the kolache from the oven, and serve warm, or at room temperature. Store any leftovers airtight at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage and reheat covered in foil to serve warm.