Polish Poppy Seed Loaves

Total Time

Prep: 50 min. + rising Bake: 35 min. + cooling


2 loaves (12 pieces each)

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
Traditionally, these loaves were eaten after sundown on Christmas Eve as part of a 12-course meal. At our house, we never can wait that long to bite into the pretty spiral slices of this tender, coffee cake-like treat.—Linda Gronewaller, Hutchinson, Kansas
Polish Poppy Seed Loaves Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Combine eggs, yolks and yeast mixture; add to crumb mixture and mix well. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide in half. Roll out into two 12-in. squares; cover with plastic wrap.
  3. In a small skillet, cook and stir poppy seeds and butter over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in the raisins, honey and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Stir in candied orange peel and lemon zest.
  4. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high just until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold into poppy seed mixture. Spread over each square to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up each square jelly-roll style; pinch seams to seal.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.
  6. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over cooled loaves.

Nutrition Facts

1 each: 234 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 118mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (20g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.