Kolaches with fruit & cheese fillings and streusel

Breakfast / Brunch

Kolaches with fruit & cheese fillings and streusel

Sweet yeast buns — need we say more? That’s not all — dried fruit or sweet cream cheese fillings plus a crumbly streusel topping adorn these pillowy buns. It’s no wonder kolaches [koh-LAH-chees], an Eastern European bakery classic, have become super popular outside of their regional beginnings. These buns migrated to the U.S., in particular to Texas and the upper Midwest, where they’ve been a staple in those regions since Eastern Europeans settled in those areas, but luckily they’ve radiated way beyond those borders (and beyond the gas stations where they were often sold).

As things go, filling (and dough) variations have made their way onto the scene. Typically these buns are a bit more bread-like and have a dried fruit (prune), poppy seed, or sweet cheese filling.

Sticking with tradition, we have a “sweet” yeasted dough and two filling options — dried plums and sweetened cream cheese — or you can do a combo of the two. And if dried plums (aka prunes) aren’t your thing, grab a can or jar of pastry filling or fruit butter and expand your flavor options. Whatever you choose, these Bohemian buns are a tasty way to start your day or as a nice anytime snack.


12 kolaches

Total Time

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Test Kitchen Tips

The dough may be sticky when you first turn it out. Sprinkle it with flour and use floured hands while kneading, adding more as needed — it will come together.

For the fruit filling, you can swap in any dried fruit you like, but the consistency of the filling might differ from one fruit to the next.

Farmer’s cheese was traditionally used for cheese kolaches, but cream cheese makes a wonderfully rich filling.


For the Kolaches:

Combine ¼ cup flour, ¼ cup milk, sugar, and yeast in a bowl; let rest until mixture becomes bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Whisk together remaining ¾ cup milk, butter, 1 egg, egg yolk, zest, and salt; add to yeast mixture.

Add remaining 2¾ cups flour, in three additions, stirring after each addition until dough comes together.

Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface; knead, with floured hands, adding more flour as needed, a little at a time, until dough is smooth and it springs back when pressed with a finger, about 10 minutes. (Dough should be slightly tacky and a little greasy but not sticky.) Transfer dough to a bowl coated with nonstick spray; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 1–2 hours.

Turn out dough onto counter; punch down then divide into 12 even pieces. Shape pieces into balls, pinch closed, and smooth seams. Arrange balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, several inches apart; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, 3045 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Press a deep indentation in center of each dough ball using back of a tablespoon measure and your fingers.

Brush egg wash on sides and tops of indented dough balls (avoiding indentations).

Add 1 Tbsp. fruit or cream cheese filling to each indentation; sprinkle with streusel (about 1 tsp.). (For a combo of cream cheese and fruit filling, fill kolaches with 1 Tbsp. cream cheese filling, make a teaspoon-sized indentation in center of cream cheese filling, then fill with 1 tsp. fruit filling.)

Bake kolaches until edges are golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest part of sides registers 180–190°, 1213 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway. Transfer kolaches to a rack to cool.

For the Dried Plum Filling:

Soak plums with water until plumped and softened, about 1 hour; transfer plum mixture to a saucepan.

Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt; heat over medium to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until plums are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer plum mixture to a mini food processor; purée. Let filling cool before using.

For the Sweetened Cream Cheese Filling:

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg yolk, nutmeg, and salt with a mixer on medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

For the Streusel Topping:

Combine flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt until crumbly; let butter solidify, about 15 minutes.

Stir streusel to create some finer crumbs before topping kolaches.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per unfilled kolache

Calories: 214

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 9g 13%

Saturated Fat 5g 25%

Cholesterol 55mg 18%

Sodium 138mg 5%

Carbs 30g 10%

Protein 5g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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