Winning kolache recipe / Recept na tradicni kolaceWinning kolache recipe / Recept na tradicni kolace | Czechmatediary
≡ Menu

Winning kolache recipe / Recept na tradicni kolace

Hi Everyone / Nazdar vsichni!

I found this “State Grand Champion Poppy Seed Kolaches” (by Claudia Matcek). I haven’t made it according to her instructions yet but it seems easy to understand. I have a real appreciation for such recipes because I have countlessly tried to bake Kolace (and various other Czech pastry) but with…..let’s just say, little luck. The problem was that I was reading the recipes out of the Czech cookbooks and ingredients such as “kostka masla” (cube of butter) or “prasek na peceni” or (one package of baking powder) does not have an equivalent here in the US unless you have stocked up supplies from the Czech Republic.
Anyway, good luck, here it is and let me know how they came out!

Claudia Matcek’s
State Grand Champion
Poppy Seed Kolaches

Claudia is proud to say she is the 1987 State and Burleson County
Grand Champion Kolache Baker and the 1996 County Grand Champion!
2 pkgs. dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
5 1/4 cups sifted flour
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup butter or oleo
1 cup flour sifted
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and let stand. Heat milk in saucepan until pretty hot to touch, almost scalding. Remove from heat and stir in butter or oleo and 1/2 cup sugar. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast mixture. In large bowl combine salt and 5 1/4 cups flour. Add the yeast and milk mixture to flour and mix. Mix in egg yolks. Mix in enough of last cup of flour for desired texture. (“So it’s workable, not too sticky to take out of bowl and knead.”) Most of the time I use the whole cup. Knead on floured board until glossy. Grease bowl. Put dough in bowl, rolling it around to grease dough. Cover and let it rise in warm place until double in bulk. Roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into individual kolaches with biscuit cutter. Place on greased pan so not quite touching. Brush with softened butter or oleo and let rise again covered until light to touch. Make indention in each and fill with filling of your choice. Bake in 375 degree oven until brown, about 25 minutes. Remove and brush with softened butter or oleo.
Poppy Seed Filling:
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup ground poppy seed
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon butter or oleo

Heat milk and when it boils add sugar, flour and poppy seed, stirring vigorously. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add butter or margarine and then add vanilla. Cool filling before adding to kolaches dough. Spoon about one teaspoon filling in each kolache
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons oleo
4 tablespoons milk

Combine ingredients. Spoon over kolaches while still warm.

Recipe taken from:’s.htm

By the way if you are looking for a Czech cookbook yourself, this is a great one:

If you liked this post buy me a coffee! (Suggested:$3 a latte $8 for a pound) Thanks!

54 comments… add one
  • June 8, 2007, 2:25 am

    Just finished baking kolace and it came out great! I mean, not perfect (mine are kind of giant), but great! The only thing I didn’t get was the glaze. It turned out runny and when I spooned it over the kolace it didn’t stay on. Other than that, I am pretty satisfied with my baking skills;) Now, if you excuse me, I am going to have another one of my art pieces….

  • Mark Powell June 4, 2011, 3:54 am

    Thank you for the recipe and link, Tanja. I was looking for authentic kolace recipes. My grand-father used to own a beer joint in El Campo, Texas that had a largely Czech clientele, and that is where I became acquainted with real kolace (not like the ones they sell in donut shops now!).

  • Jo Ann July 13, 2011, 11:37 am

    Awesome! Great morning for making kolaches.The dough is amazing to work with. I made prune and poppy seed. Had enough dough leftover so I made some pig in the blankets, they were out of this world, the dough was so soft, not heavy tasting.Delicious. Use 2 inch glass to cut dough, then put in pan, spread with two fingers from each hand to form circle to make well then fill with the your favorite filling.

  • Jarmila Honzakova September 5, 2011, 5:33 pm

    We do not use any glaze on the real Czech Kolaches. After baking we powder them with sugar.
    You can also use other kinds of filling, e.g. cheese filling (In the Czech Rep. we have special type of cheese, but you can use whipped cream cheese instead and then add sugar and raisins). Or we also use special plum cream. I think you can make kolaches with dried plums instead, but they must be soft. In my opinion these are the most delicious.

  • Jarmila Honzakova September 5, 2011, 5:48 pm

    In my previous email I used dry plums instead of prunes. Sorry.

  • Tanja September 5, 2011, 10:26 pm

    Jarmilo, thanks for the tip! I have never thought of whipped cream cheese! That’s genious! Can I use it for the buchty filling too?

  • Patsy Spann Oliver October 14, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I, also, am a real Czech. My father was born in Fayetteville, Texas, in 1909. He has since passed but his mother’s family still lives somewhere around there. Her name was Mathilda Polansky. My understanding is that my family also had a band that played for dances every weekend.

    I’ve decided to try to making Kolaches. That’s how I found this blog. What fun. All us old Czech’s still going strong.

  • Tanja October 14, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Hi Patsy and good luck! And yes, Czechs are a relentless bread :))

  • Terri October 15, 2011, 7:46 am

    Hi Tanja. We have our Czech Fest every year the first Sunday of October in Crosby TX. Each year we get fewer and fewer kolaches as the older members pass and the younger ones don’t learn to make them. I am going to try this recipe and maybe I’ll be able to contribute next year. Thanks!!

  • Tanja October 15, 2011, 9:26 am

    Terri – that sounds like a wonderful idea! Someone has to keep the kolache torch going :)

  • Kendra November 3, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Hey Tanja. Your kolache recipe sounds great! I’ve been looking for a good recipe for a while; it’s so hard to find any decent kolaches where I’m from. I’m part Czech so I feel it’s time to start baking my heritage’s food. :)

  • Jaime November 21, 2011, 8:02 am

    My grandmother has made these since I was little. She also makes one with an apricot filling. I’m glad I finally found a recipe that resembles hers! Thanks!

  • Tanja November 21, 2011, 9:10 pm

    Hi Jamie and no problem! They are lot of work so good luck :)

  • R Vratny December 14, 2011, 7:39 am

    These sound great. As other people have stated the kolache is a big hit at our family reunions here in Iowa. Some of the ones that used to make these have either passed away or are getting too old to bake anymore. I have been bringing a dish that my dad used to make and has been a big hit. The casserole he called kapusta is made with pork, cabbage, onion, tomatoes, and caraway seed.

    I may try to make kolaches next year along with the kapusta!

  • Tanja December 14, 2011, 1:55 pm

    Hi R Vratny! That cassarole sounds yummy! Do you mind posting this recipe here? We would be so grateful!

  • R Vratny December 14, 2011, 2:03 pm


    2 – heads cabbage, cut into 1” pieces
    2 – large cans diced tomatoes
    2 – large red onions, cut up
    Salt and pepper
    4 – lbs. pork steak, cut up into 1/2″ pieces
    2 – T caraway seed
    6 – T. Crisco

    Cut cabbage into one inch pieces, add tomatoes and toss. Fry onion in Crisco until slightly browned. Add onion to cabbage mixture and toss. Place pork steak in remaining Crisco and brown, the cut into ½ inch pieces. Add 1 ½ tablespoon caraway seed to cabbage mixture and mix. Put cabbage mixture and browned pork steak in large roaster. Add remaining caraway seed to top. Put in 350° oven for 40 minutes. Remove and stir. Bake an additional 35 minutes. Remove and stir. Bake an additional 35 minutes.

  • Tanja December 15, 2011, 2:10 pm

    Yummy! Thanks so much!

  • Shar December 23, 2011, 12:24 pm

    When I made them the dough began to dry out towards the end. Is there a way to prevent this? It was only the second time in my life making kolaches!!

  • Tanja December 23, 2011, 1:08 pm

    You mean when it the dough was rising? If that’s the case you have to cover the bowl with the rising dough with a piece of dishcloth.

  • Lisa December 24, 2011, 8:46 am

    Oh my gosh, I am so excited to find this authentic recipe. I’m originally from Nebraska and my grandmother and I used to make kolaches when I was little but no one seems to have the recipe she used. She’s been gone for 30+ years but I still remember “helping” her and getting full of flour yet she never got mad. She would let us make little pie crusts with the leftover dough and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them and bake them. Mmm.. I haven’t made kolaches for years but wanted to start again with my daughters. My favorites were poppy seed, cherry and apricot. Dad and grandpa loved the prune ones! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • tom wolfe January 28, 2012, 12:56 pm

    Thank you very much for posting this recipe!
    I will try it out tomorrow but I would like to know what type of flour you use? Is it all purpose or bread flour?
    I grew up in Michigan and kolaches were always a treat from our local bakery where I have many fond memories.

    Best regards

  • Tanja January 28, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Hi Tom, I would use all-purpose flour.Good luck!

  • Nancy (Ira) McGrew April 16, 2012, 7:27 am

    Hi Tanja,
    I also am a full blooded Czech and I live in Iowa. My hometown of Spillville in NE Iowa is famous for several things. One being that Antonin Dvorak spent time there in 1896 and composed a piece of well known music Humoresque…Anyway I have been in a family that continues Czech traditions. The Kolach making sort of drifted away as we could always buy from a family friend who makes the best Kolaches in the world! :0) In our small town of 300 our Kolaches are made closed faced. The opposite corners are pulled together and there are then 4 “eyes” in the corners. Cedar Rapids, IA which is closer to where I live now ( has the National Czech and Slovak Museum)…folks there make open faced kolaches. We always wondered why our custom was making closed faced Kolaches. My mother who is 83 does not know the answer to this. I think our friend Mildred Riehle would not mind me sharing her recipe if you would like it. I will be using it for the last time with my students as I will be retiring this spring from teaching.

  • Amy Kienow May 11, 2012, 10:00 am

    Hi Tanja, I was so excited to have come across this recipe. To find one coming from someone so close to home. I am actually from Burleson County. Born and Raised!!! So I am familar with the “Matcek” name. My kids and myself are members of SPJST (SPJST stands for Slovanska Podporujici Jednota Statu Texas, or Slavonic Benevolent Order of the State of Texas”). Anyways, this year for there Youth Achievement Day, the food competition is Kolaches. My grandma use to make Kolaches for the Kolache Festival in Caldwell. She passed away 9 years ago and nobody has her exact recipe. So I was on the search to find a recipe for Kolaches. Thanks to you I think I have found one and I plan to give it a whirl the first chance I get!! Do you have any idea how to make Sausage Kolaches? Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

  • Tanja May 11, 2012, 10:49 pm

    Hi Amy! Glad to hear you are such a Czech/Slovak patriot and enthusiast :)
    I hope your recipe comes out well and I am sorry to say I don’t know about sausage kolache. That must have been a regional thing where your grandma grew up or maybe it was her own invention!

  • Raymond Kelly (horazdovsky) May 23, 2012, 10:16 am

    I would like it if Nancy McGrew would contact me via email. My mothers family lived in spillville Iowa for I think 40 years, and I am certain that she would know some of the names. I grew up in Cedar Rapids and I almost cry with the wonderful memories of the Czech Bakery (Sykora’s) and Polenia meat market on 16th avenue SW.

  • Olga Ptak May 26, 2012, 3:26 pm

    Ceske kolace are always big hit in any gathering. We do small or large open faced kolace with diferent topping. I live in Alaska, and we do not have any czech bakery, so with many years of practising and experimenting i can say that i do quite good kolace. to have recipe is one think and to know how it suppose to look and feel is another. Never less practise makes perfect. I would attach soem pictures ir i only know how.

  • Susan Fitzgerald June 8, 2012, 12:07 pm

    It’s like a family reunion reading everyone’s e-mail’s about their “Kolaches” memories and Cedar Rapids. I think I can smell the Quaker Oats from Dallas!! Thanks for the great receipe. I can’t wait to take some to my mom at the retirement home and surprise her with a little piece of Iowa!

  • R Vratny June 15, 2012, 4:16 pm

    Here I am changing the subject again. My sister is over and we are talking about things my dad used to make. The recipe she can’t seem to find is a flat bread (no yeast) made from mostly flour eggs and cracklings (leftovers from the lard rendering). He made this if he could keep me from eating all the cracklings before the bread was made. She remembers this being called plutsku (sp).

  • becky June 26, 2012, 1:01 pm

    can kolaches be frozen and how long is a recommend time frame??

  • Tanja June 29, 2012, 8:26 pm

    I would say the same freezing rules that apply for bagels and bread applies to kolaches.

  • Yvonne November 6, 2012, 11:42 pm

    I would also like Nancy (Ira) McGrew Recipe for kolaches. I was born & raised in Nebraska, I grew up in a little town of Wahoo Ne, which the town was made of mostly, Czechs, Germans, & Swedes. My Grandma ,& Mom was fullblooded Czech, which makes me half. I was raised on Czech food, sweet home made Kolaches, duck, sour kraut with caraway seed. ( my grandma I think like to put caraway seed into everything she could get away with LOL) and of course they would make homemade dumplings, that was dropped Into water and boiled. alot of times we’d have Potato dumplings to yummy, we’d take the juice from duck and spread it over the dumplings. my Grandma & Mom baked alot, unfortuantely, I then wasnt interested in watching them do it, so now I dont know how to, unless I run across a good Czech recipe. Most of my family on my Moms side is all gone, except one aunt. My Mom also passed away.
    My Aunt has trouble with her memory, so cant get the recipes from her, so i am looking ofr some good homemade Czech recipes, from bread to main dishes. I seen Nancy McGraw has one also, I would love to be able to try if she’d please email me it. my email is, if any one has Czech recipes. I’d really appreciate it, as I loved to pass them unto my daughter before I I join Our Lord, so that she and my other daughters can carry on our Tradition from our family of the Havelka’s. There is also something my Mom & grandma made us for breakfast I know what they call it in Czech languge but dont know how to pronounce it so am taking a wild guess at spelling. Klasic its like pancakes only its all chopped up into smaller pieces, and fried crispy, after its done you pour on syrup. Does anyone have the recipe for that if you know what I mean it is? Thank You.

  • Ashley November 25, 2012, 12:02 am

    I as everyone else has grown up in a czech family. Mine is from Wilson, Kansas. My great grandma use to make kolaches for every family reuion. She passed away six years ago and I took on the responability of caring on the tradition of making them. I’m 29 now and having been doing this for 6 years. No one in my family even cared to care it on and that upset me very much. Still struggling on how to get them just right I guess all I have to do is pratice, pratice, pratice. Thank you for helping me figure out what I have been doing wrong for all these years. God bless all of you!

  • Colleen November 25, 2012, 5:44 pm

    I just made poppy seed kolache today using this dough recipe. Wow, they turned out amazing. This recipe makes a lot. I had enough extra dough to make a batch of pecan sticky buns.
    I live in North Vancouver, Canada and have taken up the torch making some Czech family favourites. I am half Czech from the paternal side. My Grandmother’s folks immigrated around 1900 and she was born in North Dakota and the family later immigrated to Saskatchewan where they homesteaded near Delisle. My Grandfather was from Rouchovany, and immigrated via New York. He travelled and worked in many places until he married my Grandmother in 1926.
    I made the kolache in the style of my Grandmother, square with sweetened ground poppy seeds oozing out of the corners. Yum. Houska is next…

  • Tanja November 26, 2012, 9:37 pm

    Awesome Colleen!!!! That’s always good to hear that :)
    It’s awesome that you are a 3rd generation Czech and still so excited about the Czech culture/cuisine!

  • Tanja November 26, 2012, 9:39 pm

    Hi Ashley! It’s a good thing they have you in the family! Just wait, when you are in your grandmother years they will all be begging you to give them your recipes :)
    Have a Merry Christmas!!!

  • Yvonne November 27, 2012, 8:13 pm

    Hi Tanja & Everyone,
    Happy Belated Thanksgiving. Its been a few weeks since I been here, but I always enjoy coming back to find new recipes. One of the ladies in here sent me some awesome recipes she has, of kolaches, and other delicious Czech recipes. I grew up on that food, as my Mom is full blood Czech, her Dad came from the Old country, but Mom is passed away, and so is most of her side of the family, except one Aunt, which she has memory problems, so cant get those good recipes anymore, as unfortunately, I never wrote any of them down when Mom was still alive. I always took it for granted she be with me forever I guess. Mom never measured thins out when she cooked or baked, at least I never seen her or a measuring cup in our home back then.
    I seen there is a link for more recipes above with this link:
    Recipe taken from:’s.htm

    But when I clicked on it nothing happened, there was no page for it :( I would have looked to look thru it, as I am making a Czech Cookbook for my daughters, & granddaughter, so they can carry on my hertiage of Czech. American food yes is good, but nothing bets a homemade Czech dinner, breakfast lunch or just a snack. Like Duck, sourkraut, potato dumplings, or regular, with the grease from the duck or sourkraut all over the dumplings, then a kolache ( my favorite was poppyseed) but then I loved them all. Of course My Grandma, Mom & all my Aunts, would always cook the duck with caraway seeds, it helped bring out the flavor. My sister, didnt like those, she’d pick it out, sometimes I would too, but it taste so delicious, i’d just go ahead and eat it.
    My Aunt & Mom mad some kind of homemade cream puffs, with some kind of pudding or custard filling, I remember they would make it from scratch & cook it on the stove. They wouldnt ever use whip cream, and I love the ones they made. You cant find bakery in any bakery here in Oklahoma the way our Moms & Grandma’s would bake, in fact I have a hard time finding good rye bread from a bakery. If anyone has any Czech recipes, I’d appreciate them to add to my Cookbook for my daughter. Thanks to one very nice lady I met in here, I have gotten some to add & I really appreciated it that she emailed me them. My email addy is, Have a good day, & May God Bless!

  • Tanja November 28, 2012, 9:05 pm

    Hi Yvonne!

    The home-made cream puffs you are talking about are called “venecky”:

    I will post a recipe on that very soon – don’t worry!! :)) That way your Czech cookbook will be complete :)

  • Tom December 22, 2012, 4:13 pm

    I was first exposed to kolaches in Shiner Texas when visiting the family of a friend. Boy were the kolaches a treat and the Shiner sausage was good too! I have been thinking about that large Czech family that was so nice to me. As I got to know the family, the 2 sisters even allowed me to take part in the kolaches making process. I had some really good times with them and the stories they told……… I am going to make a bunch of kolaches today and think back on those good old days of innocents, story telling and large family gatherings.

  • Tanja December 24, 2012, 2:04 pm

    Hi Tom, that’s the spirit!! Good luck :)

  • Ron Vasko February 11, 2013, 6:12 pm

    I recently attended a Sokol dinner in Milwaukee and expected to find Kolaches for sale; I was wrong. I was told they couldn’t get enough volunteers to bake more kolaches. They only baked 1200 kolaches for the desert (two per person). I volunteered to help bake but I need a recipe. This one sounds great. I’m anxious to try it.

  • Sarah S. April 10, 2013, 2:14 pm

    I’m a transplanted Czech Texan, now living and working as a professional baker in San Francisco. I’m testing out Kolache’s for my bakery, and I couldn’t find my grandmother’s recipe for the life of me. Who would have thought that a simple google search would lead me to a distant relative’s award-winning Kolache recipe??? Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Tanja April 12, 2013, 8:00 am

    great! Good luck and hopefully we will get to taste them one day too :)

  • jennifer fojtik November 3, 2013, 12:34 pm

    I can’t wait to try this!!!!! I remember watching my great grandmother make these… this is very close to how she made them. I can’t find a lot of people that make the poppy seed and those are my favorite!!

  • Candy Parks December 16, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I am descendant from Chex, Slovoc, Astrian, wondering to the Gypse side and German, gosh what a mix yet the food is awsome. Really very simple yet so tasty. My folks are gone and most of my relatives, my sister and I still try and carry on. Our young ones don’t seem interested enough to take the time. They love the food that comes out of our kitchens yet they don’t want to take the time to come and learn. Cooking is more than a recipe, it is feel, love, taste, and then more love with our seasonings and just knowing the right time to remove from the oven or off the stove top, or just how many kneads on the dough is right. Practice and love, I see our young ones going to pintrest and trying new things, that is great however they all call for something in a box and can. I learned from some of the most frugal Great Cooks that could make magic with their cooking. I so believe in sharing all I know and all my recipes that have been handed down to me, yet many are not recipes they are by feel, I just had my niece ask for my dumpling recipe, I don’t have one, depending on how many are eating I throw it into a bowl and mix it, comes from watching from the the great cooks and bakers before us, however don’t ever give up, keep cooking and sharing our nationality. I would love to share, my madian name is Vocelka, my Greats landed and went to Chicago in the late 1800’s and lived in ward 9, the Gypsy took over with my Dad and we moved out of Chicago in the 50’s and moved to Northern Ontario Canada, then to WI, MT, MN. My Mother who was mostly German could cook like no one else and learned the Chex (they are very similar)
    she could cook and bake our counties like no other even on a wood burning range with no electric all made by hand in Ontario Canada with 6 feet of snow and 30 below zero. Thank you for sharing and allowing me to share.

  • Maria Karpinski May 15, 2014, 11:45 am

    I am half Slovakian. The open face Kolache are new to me. Are they Slovak? Anyway my mom who is deceased gave me her Spillville Iowa cookbook from the 1960’s. Kolache recipes are in there. Does anyone want me to post these from the cook book? As a half Polish person from Silesian area, I mostly make yeast coffee cakes with fruit fill, poppyseed and with the crumbs on top. I bake up natural smoked bacon with no chemicals and drain the lard off and use it with butter for the flour sugar crumbs on top. The flavor is way better than crisco!

  • Tanja May 18, 2014, 8:55 pm
  • Laura Weatherford May 14, 2015, 8:52 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! Made two recipes today and they were beyond awesome! My mother-in-law was from Shiner, Texas and I love being able instill some of her Czech heritage in my family by making these, especially since she’s no longer with us.

  • Tanja May 27, 2015, 3:23 pm

    I am so glad!!

  • Maria Karpinski May 29, 2015, 10:47 am

    My paternal grandma was Slovakian. Harmonic was their last name.
    Kolache was not in her background coming from the old country to Ohio and then settling in Flensburg MN.
    Among Polish families she made the yeast coffee cake, butter/sugar crumbs on top with homemade Poppy, Prune, Apple fillings fired up in the wood cook stove to bakery perfection. I continue this, but an elder hired me to make her kolache from Keewaunee Wisc. Which floored me. Could not find recipe or method to round kolache, with the cream on top. Lots of photos, but no help. So T. you have saved me. Thank you for posting method and recipe.
    I invented on the cream topping. I whipped a cup of cream but not stiff. Added 15 oz real farmers cheese direct from Poland (so much better). Then I added “Mapleine” instead of vanilla. Amazing flavor after it was baked. Also got cherry jam and cherries from Poland (we have a store in NE Mpls MN on Washington ave NE Sikowras) Amazing cherry product too. The elder lady was so happy she bit into the kolache and said, “That’s it, That’s it.” Thanks.

Leave a Comment