Homemade Poppy Seed Filling – Маковая Начинка
Russians like baking with poppy seeds. Cookies, pastries, cakes, yeast breads, we make it all. You can buy poppy seed filling in the store, but many times it tastes stale and hard. I decided to try my hand at making homemade filling. There was a recipe for poppy seed filling on allrecipes.com and it turned out very well. It’s so simple to make and delicious too. Use this for pastries, yeast breads, etc. You do need a coffee grinder for this recipe. Trust me, I tried it in the food processor, blender, mashing it by hand, grinding it with my teeth (just kidding). It just doesn’t work. The seeds are too tiny for anything besides a coffee grinder. Good thing they aren’t expensive.
Yields: about 2 cups of filling
8 oz. poppy seeds (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (or 4 Tablespoons) butter
3/4 – 1 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs, beaten
Use a coffee grinder to process the poppy seeds. You will need to do this in several batches. Meanwhile heat the milk, butter, salt and sugar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the milk is frothy. Slowly pour in a small amount of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking vigorously with the other hand. This is called tempering, which prevents the eggs from scrambling. Since I don’t have 3 hands and my husband wasn’t home, I only have a picture of the tempered eggs. When you’ve added about half of the milk to the eggs, pour the tempered mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, just like making pudding. Add the poppy seeds. Cool.The filling will thicken up as it cools. Store the filling in the refrigerator.
Here’s a link to my favorite recipe to use this poppy seed filling in, Poppy Seed Rugelachs.Print
Homemade Poppy Seed Filling – Маковая Начинка
- Category: Miscellaneous
- 8 oz. poppy seeds (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup (or 4 Tablespoons) butter
- 3/4 – 1 cup sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Use a coffee grinder to process the poppy seeds. You will need to do this in several batches.
- Meanwhile heat the milk, butter, salt, and sugar on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the milk is frothy.
- Slowly pour in a small amount of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking vigorously with the other hand. This is called tempering, which prevents the eggs from scrambling. When you’ve added about half of the milk to the eggs, pour the tempered mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, just like making pudding.
- Add the poppy seeds. Cool. The filling will thicken up as it cools. Store the filling in the refrigerator.
Wow! Just what i needed. I usually use the ready one, but someone gave me some dry poppy seed and i just had no idea how to make it tasty. Thank you again for the great tip. 🙂
Ha ha! I must have read your mind. I’m glad it’s helpful.
I just recently found your blog (through Krystyna’s blog;) and am so glad I did! Your recipes look delicious! I can’t wait to try them out.
Olga, thank you so much, I was actualy looking for a good poppy seed filling recipe. 🙂
Thank you Olga for the recipe. I made pirogi with cream cheese and poppy seeds.
You’re welcome Lea. I like making them with cream cheese also.
Thanks for sharing this recipe, I used it today and it worked well 🙂
How many grams is 1/2 sick of butter? Thanks
1/2 a stick of butter is about 56 grams.
How to make poppy butter for making the buns
I have a recipe for Poppy Seed Rugelachs, which is my favorite way to use this filling. Enjoy:)
Delicious! I used this recipe for the filling in my poppyseed kalach. Thank you.
Does the poppy seed filling freeze well?
I’ve never frozen the poppy seed filling. It keeps very well in the refrigerator, and I don’t like freezing food for too long anyway. Try it out. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.
Hi Olga. Love your food blog. Great recipes. Quick question : how does the poppy seed filling get thick. Mine is so watery/liquidy…per instructions you wrote to add half the milk mixture to the eggs then let cool and add the poppy seeds. My concern is what happened to the other half of the milk mixture? I added the entire milk mixture to poppy seeds and am unsure where I messed up. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Pour part of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, whisking vigorously, so the eggs don’t scramble.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, WITH THE REST OF THE MILK MIXTURE, and cook until the mixture thickens. Then add the poppy seeds.
I think that you didn’t cook the mixture long enough. Hope that helps.
Thanks Olga, appreciate your response! that’s the part where I messed up – it didn’t thicken. assumed when the butter will get cold, the mixture will get stiff. but it didn’t so thank you and will try to do it again.
Do you think that a food processor would work instead of the coffee grinder. I just don’t have a coffee grinder at home. thank you!
No, Natasha. The food processor won’t work. I’ve tried it and many other options. The only option that worked was the coffee grinder. Because the poppy seeds are so tiny, you need something that will grind it really fine. The poppy seeds will remain whole if you use the food processor.
Hands down one of the best poppy fillings ever!!!!!!!So tasty!
My boyfriend is Slovak and he loves anything and everything poppy!!i can just feel it!!!!This is going to be a hit!!!!!!!!
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to write, dhurga.
Approximately how long does it take for the mixture to thicken? Do I have to stir it constantly? Thank you
Yes, you have to stir it constantly. As for the time, it’s very hard to say. It depends a lot on your stove and on the saucepan you are using.
Hi Olga! Do you know how long I can keep it in the refrigerator until it turns bad? Also, would the poppy seed become bad if I grind them and use them like 3 mouths later?
I’ve never had it in the refrigerator for more than a month, so I’m not sure how long it will last.
As for grinding the poppy seeds 3 months later, it depends on how fresh your poppy seeds are in the first place. They should be fine, but I would keep checking on them every few weeks just in case.
FYI: for anyone grinding the poppy seeds in the coffee grinder, not all coffee grinders are the same. I grinded my poppy seeds in a Cuisinart coffee grinder and ruined my coffee grinder. My coffee grinder was fairly new and not cheap but the motor got plugged up by poppy seed residue and stopped working from grinding the poppy seeds. Taking it apart and cleaning it didn’t help fix it. After the fact, I read on the manual that nothing except coffee should be grinded in it. So this is just some information for people to consider before using their coffee grinder to grind poppy seeds.
Thank you so much for writing, Lena. That is definitely something to keep in mind. I’ve never heard of poppy seeds ruining a coffee grinder. I’ll have to put in a picture of my coffee grinder, so others will know which one is safe to use.
My mom tried in a coffee grinder and the motor just stopped working.
Can u tell what brand is your grinder and how many watts is it ???
I will try to add a picture of the coffee grinder that I use.
I heard many other chefs who recommend using a coffee grinder to grind up spices and poppy seeds, so I know I’m not the only one. The brand that I bought was the cheapest one at Walmart, for like $15 or so.
Would be nice if you could post a picture of your coffee grinder
Mary Jo Matey
The amount of poppy seed is confusing .. says 8 oz and then ( about 1 1/2 cups ) 8oz is only 1 cup .. what do u mean by the 2 different amounts ???
Want to be sure of amounts .. cant wait to make this 🙂
Thank you ~~~
I try to include the cup measurements for people who don’t have a scale, Mary Jo.
8 oz of poppy seeds is equal to 1 1/2 cups. 1 cup of poppy seeds would actually be about 5 oz.
Even though 1 cup is usually equal to 8 oz, that is not always the case. 1 cup = 8 oz is only true for liquid ingredients. Some dry ingredients are lighter or heavier than others.
For example, 1 cup of dry mushrooms would barely weigh 1 oz, and 1 cup of long grain rice is about 7 oz.
Mary Jo Matey
Ahh I sooo appreciate your response 🙂 !!!!! Thank you sooo much .. !!! Hope ur Christmas is BEAUTIFUL !!!
Many blessings ~~~
You’re welcome, Mary Jo.
Wanted to make my granddaughter some hamantaschen. I’ve only used canned mund (poppyseed filling) before… but she has bad corn allergies and the canned has both corn syrup & corn starch. Did some research and found your recipe… made today with huge success!!! Came out fantastic!! Thank you so much for sharing! I made a double batch and now I’m going to try your rugelach too!!
Ohmygosh! I am Romanian and I grew up on poppy seed desserts too! I am so happy to have found this recipe , finding eastern European recipes is really hard so I am so thankful for your blog! I plan on using this to make cozonac cu mac.
Thanks for recipe. I am making makowiec for the first time for our family’s traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner (my husband is Polish – he cooks everything else :). I had a recipe that called for 1c milk-1c sugar-1 lb poppy seeds. Yours is half the poppy seeds for volume of milk/sugar. So I still used 1lb poppy seeds and added 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c milk. Plus the egg – nice addition! Also grated lemon rind and vanillla. The filling tastes great, now for the dough and final product.
Adding lemon zest and vanilla is such a good idea, Pam. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed the filling. I hope your makowiec turns out great too. I’d love to see a picture of it once you bake it. If you post it on Facebook or Instagram, tag me please:).
we purchased a seed grinder which works great…. hand crank but very easy
That’s great, Kathleen. Thanks for sharing.
How long can this filling stay in the fridge for?
I don’t know for sure, Alina, since I usually make the filling when I am making something with it, so I’ve never had in in the refrigerator for more than a week. I think it would last longer, but I don’t know for sure.
I was on the search for a good poppy seed filling . Finally found some in a larger package than 8 ounces Online and am eager to get some decent Poppy seed cake with Streusel Topping on the Table .i just want to add some information regarding grinding the seeds .The best way to grind the poppy seeds is with a poppy seed grinder which is available on Amazon . I brought mine – a manual one – from Europe years ago ( before Amazon ) . Another option is to buy a mortar. Many European Websites point out not to use a coffee grinder since it affects the quality of the seeds . The grinders are not cheap but if you use poppy seeds or other seeds and grains it is worth the investment . Thank you very much for posting this recipe . This is a keeper !
That’s great, Ulrike! I’m so happy you were happy with this recipe.
I have used professional 900 watts personal Ninja, the kind that makes one smoothie at a time by turning the cup upside down and pressing on it, and it did a great job grinding poppy seeds, all 8 oz at once. It took less than a minute of continuous pressure to have them ground. I used Red Mill poppy seeds, they come in 8 oz bag: very convenient!
Will try it tomorrow in poppyseed rolls.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Kira.
Hi Olga, can you freeze it?
Yes, it works really well, Irena.
I just store it in a freezer ziplock bag and then thaw before using.
I’ve had poppyseed filling in the refrigerator in a tight lidded jar for one year. I tasted it, it tastes fine, but I am wondering if it is OK to use now for baking. I saw you’ve never kept it for more than a month refrigerated and you think it could be OK longer, but one year? Thinking I might try to make something small with it and see how it goes. I just made new poppyseed filling for baking now. I don’t taste anything off in the one that has been refrigerated, so wondering if OK to use. The filling I have refrigerated did not have egg in it, only soaked in some hot milk, sugar, maybe butter.
I, personally, wouldn’t use it. If I don’t use up the poppy seed filling in more than a week, I freeze it. That way, it will stay fresh much longer, up to a few months. I’d rather be safe than sorry:).
Love your kindness with your recipes so easy to follow, I made a baked poppy seed cheesecake, thank you so much for the delicious poppyseed filling recipe, I’m now looking for you yeast poppyseed scrolls but cannot find it? If you could please assist. Regards Monica
A poppy seed cheesecake sounds delicious, Monica:).
Here is the recipe for the Poppy Seed Roll – click here.
Hi, for some reason my mixture always gets curdy at the end from the eggs. It will look smooth while it is on stove, but as soon as I take it off and keep whisking mixture it starts to curdle from the eggs. How do I avoid this or is it supposed to be like this? It makes my poppyseed filling have little curdles in it. Still tastes great but please let me know how to avoid the curdles. Am I possibly getting it too hot and heating it for too long? Please let me know, thank you!
Very excited to make your poppy seed roulette. Маковый рулет is by far my favorite dessert, but I like some raisins in the filling. What volume of raisins would you suggest adding to this recipe?
And thanks for this great website of Russian recipes. It’s truly a treasure.
Add however many raisins as you like, Nik. It’s completely up to you. I’m happy to hear that you enjoy the recipes on my website. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Can I ask when you refer to 1/2 stick of butter how many grams is that? The standard block of butter I get from the shops is 250grams.
Many thanks – I cant wait to make this for the roulette!!!
I will update the recipe to clarify the instructions. 1 stick of butter is 113 grams.
Thank you so much! I’m in Australia so our measurements are different. 🙂
thank you so much for the delicious poppyseed filling recipe. I just confused , what do you mean 3/4-1 cup sugar ? Equal how much gram of sugar ?
Thanks in Advance .
3/4 – 1 cup means that you can adjust the sweetness according to your taste preference, 3/4 cup if you want it to be less sweet, 1 cup if you want it to be sweeter. 1 cup of sugar is about 200 grams.
hi olga..i have a recipe that i do like and use a poppyseed grinder..but i mix and simmer everything first then grind then add honey,..I see you grind the seeds first (dry)..just want to be sure..and would like to try with the sugar..also how long will the fillg last in fridge and can it be frozen?..i did freeze the other i make and it was fine even after 6mos…ty for reply..
I grind the dry poppy seeds first. In my opinion, it works better this way and the poppy seeds are much smoother.
I don’t keep it longer than a week in the refrigerator and you can freeze for up to 3 months as long as you seal it really well.
ty so much for getting back to me Olga..i am going to try your way..sis is giving me a coffee grinder ..will let you know huggzz
Did you answer Nik’s concern above..? I have exactly the same concern.. the curdling after it looking so smooth and nice? Is it supposed to do that?.Any feedback would be appreciated..Thankyou..
Curdling can happen if you overcook the pastry cream or if you don’t temper the eggs properly.
I was wondering if it is possible to put the poppy seed in jars to can it for later use. If so, can you let me know how long it takes and how long it will last?
I haven’t tried canning it, but I don’t see why not.
Little bit more labor-intensive, and another one I have, but it is definitely worth the effort. However, word of warning, wash your poppyseeds before you grind them. You’ll notice the poppyseeds, have a light dusting on them as a part of the harvesting. If you don’t rinse this off, your poppyseeds will taste bitter in your recipe.