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Traditional Kolaches

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Last Updated on June 16, 2020 by Lisa Johnson

We are now at the breakfast portion of this month’s Cooking with Astrology “Aquarius” meal. There are three main foods that everyone talks about when you move to Iowa; pork tenderloins, Maidrite (loose meat) sandwiches, and Traditional Kolaches! They even have a Kolache Festival every year where you will find thousands of Kolache for sale.

apricot and blueberry kolaches sitting on a gray and white zigzag plate

As soon as I chose Ashton Kutcher as the inspiration for this meal, I knew I HAD to make Traditional Czech Kolaches! My favorite flavors are pineapple, apricot, and apple, but I didn’t want to make my own fillings. I knew blueberry was a must, and the apricot preserves where sitting on the shelf right next to them.

blueberry and apricot kolaches sitting on a gray and white zigzag patterned plate

What are Kolaches?

Kolaches are a bread “wheel” filled with a sweet filling. Their texture is very similar to a brioche bread. Traditional fillings include; prune, poppy seed, nut, cottage cheese, pineapple, apricot, apple, cherry, and plum. Pretty much any flavor you can think of! 🙂

an apricot kolache broken apart and sitting on a gray and white zigzag patterned plate

How to make Kolaches:

First you will need to proof your yeast in warm water and a teaspoon of sugar…..

Kolaches yeast cookingwithcurls.com

Poof, it foams up and we know that the yeast is still alive!

Kolaches proofed cookingwithcurls.com

Pour the warm milk, sugar, yeast, and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer…..or a large bowl if you are doing this by hand…..

Kolaches milk cookingwithcurls.com

add 2 cups of flour and salt, and mix together…..

Kolaches flour cookingwithcurls.com

add the beaten egg yolks and remaining flour…..

Kolaches eggs cookingwithcurls.com

Mix until thoroughly combined…..

Kolaches mix cookingwithcurls.com

Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm location until doubled. My mixer has a lid, so I skip the bowl…..

Kolaches cover cookingwithcurls.com

See, nice a puffy after about an hour…..

Kolaches rise cookingwithcurls.com

Divide into 24 balls and place on a baking sheet…..

Kolaches balls cookingwithcurls.com

Dip your finger or thumb in cooled, melted butter and form “wells” into each dough ball…..

Kolaches wells cookingwithcurls.com

Fill each “well” with fruit preserves and let sit for 15 minutes…..

Kolaches filling cookingwithcurls.com

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, remove from oven, and brush edges with butter…..

Kolaches fresh out of the oven on a baking sheet

Allow to cool and serve.

I hope everyone enjoyed this month’s meal as much as I did. I love learning about new cultures and trying new foods!

Recipes for this month’s Aquarius meal:


apricot and blueberry kolaches sitting on a gray and white zigzag plate


Traditional Old-World Kolaches made right in your own home with apricot and blueberry filling!
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: Czech
Keyword: bread, dough, apricot, blueberry, recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rising TIme: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 Servings
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson


  • ½ cup warm water 110 degrees
  • 1 ½ cups warm milk 110 degrees - I used coconut milk
  • 4 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 large egg yolks beaten
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • all-natural fruit preserves I used blueberry and apricot
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons melted butter for brushing tops


  • In a small bowl, mix warm water with yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Set aside and allow to bubble.
  • Pour milk into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugar, butter, and yeast.
  • Mix in flour and salt.
  • Add beaten egg yolks and remaining flour. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Place dough into a large, greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm location until doubled in size.
  • Divide dough into 24 equal balls and place onto a silpat/parchment covered baking sheet.
  • Dip thumb into cooled, melted butter and make a "well" in the top of each of the balls.
  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. Fill with fruit preserves and let rise for 15 minutes.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and brush top of bread surface with butter.


  • The traditional fillings for Czech Kolaches are: prune, plum, poppy seed, cottage cheese, pineapple, nut, cherry, blueberry, apricot, and apple.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month.


Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 72mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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    1. Yes, they are kinda like a danish Eric. They are just smaller, which is a good thing, and they don’t have a glaze on top…which is also probably a good thing! 😉

    1. I had never heard of them before I moved to Iowa, but they are in just about every bakery here! You can even buy them in some gas stations. 🙂 They are really good if you are looking for something different to serve.

  1. They are also called “vartushka” in Russian. Usually kolaches in translation mean shaped in a ring dough, kind alike bangles. Looks like you did a perfect job 🙂

  2. This looks delicious! There is a small business near me that sells only kolaches but other than this one store I’ve never heard of them or had them. They are sooo delicious at that restaurant though so I would love to try them myself at home sometime! Thank you for sharing it, I am definitely pinning it for the future!

  3. Love these, I’m a transplant to Northern Iowa as well, they have such great desserts. Thanks for posting, I’m going to give it a try! What part of this frigid state do you hail from?

    P.S. I’m thinking I’ll follow you!

  4. Hi Lisa! These look so good!! My grandfather was Czech, so we had LOTS of kolaches growing up. 🙂 I’m going to print this recipe. I absolutely love the apricot ones! Hope you have a wonderful week!

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