Poppy Seed Filling

This is a classic kolache filling, but also works well with Danishes and various kinds of sugar cookies.

1 cup poppy seeds
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon cornstarch or flour

Bring the water to the boil and add the poppy seeds. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Let the seeds stand about 15 minutes, drain them well (pour off any excess water and press them with the back of a spoon…or pour the while thing through a very fine med strainer or cheese cloth). Stir in the sugar, lemon zest and cornstarch (or flour).

If you can’t find poppy seeds in bulk anywhere, canned filling works fine. I stir in some fresh lemon zest to brighten the flavor.

6 thoughts on “Poppy Seed Filling”

  1. Does this need to be ground? I tried to make it and it didn’t spread the way I’m used to, just looked like caviar, so I whirled it in the food processor to grind it up a bit. Was that right?

    1. That’s perfectly fine, Sarah! Lots of people grind their poppyseed filling for a smoother consistency.

      – Joe

  2. I need poppy seed filling to make a Poppy Seed Coffee Cake (Magnolia Bakery recipe) and since I can’t buy it here in Switzerland thought I’d make it from this recipe. My recipe calls for a 12 ounce can of filling. How much do you think I’d need to make of your filling to get the 12ounces? (obviously 12ounces 🙂 but for how many is the recipe?)
    Thank you! p.s. love this site!

    1. Hi Larissa, and thanks very much for the comments! This recipe makes a little over 12 ounces, so you should be in good shape!

      – Joe

  3. Hello Joe,

    I was looking through your site, hoping to find a recipe for a nut filling. Since I am German, we have a lot of coffee pastries which feature nuts. The store bought ones just have too Little nuts in them for my taste. (e.g Nussschnecken or Nussstriezel). I was wondering if I should just use your almond cream filling and just substitute the nuts I want?
    Your website is wonderful! I have made several things by now. And your brioche recipe is in the making at the moment.
    All the best!

    1. Hello Alessandra!

      Thank you for the very nice compliment! I’m glad the recipes here have been useful to you. Regarding a nut filling, I generally just use a combination of ground nuts, sugar and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Tell me: what sort of thing will you be filling? If you can send me a link to a picture of what you have in mind I can be of more help.

      Let me know!

      – Joe

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