Home Celebrating German Culture in America Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel (Other Fillings Too!!)
Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel (Other Fillings Too!!)

Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel (Other Fillings Too!!)


In my mom’s German Friend Group, she is famous for her Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel. (Although, to her it’s just called “Mohnkuchen”.) Made with enriched yeast dough, a filling of Poppy Seed and raisins, and topped with a crunchy flavorful Streusel… it’s usually the first to disappear from the table! The thing is, since I was a child, I didn’t want to eat the poppy seed part. I LOVED (and still love) the Streusel (and got my fingers slapped repeatedly for picking it off of her cakes!). My mom clearly loves me, because she always made a second cake, this one filled with Apricots or Cherries.

And now… after asking her for the recipe for over 10 years…. she has FINALLY shared it with me (and therefore, with us). It took a little deciphering. The recipe came as a Denglisch email (Deutsch-English)… and was missing a few key steps. Baking it was a bit like the Technical Challenge on the British Baking Show… it presumes that you are both an experienced baker, and a bit psychic.

BUT I pushed through… and my lovely family got to enjoy 4 cakes before I finally got it right! (and I was awarded STAR BAKER!) (…kidding)

cherry streusel cake

The same recipe… but with Cherries

Because I had cherry, apricot, and apple filling at home, I made it with those. However, I am sharing her recipe for the Poppy Seed Filling because it’s more traditional (Although frankly, she cheats a little. She starts with the canned Solo Poppy Seed filling, and augments it with raisins, citron and almond extract).

The recipe is written with metric weights and I converted to cups. (Really, you should use a scale when baking German Recipes, they come out better).

This recipe makes 2 cakes, which means you can cut the Poppy Seed Filling in Half if you want to make different flavors. 

And if you see my mom, say thanks! She’ll appreciate that…

Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel (Other Fillings Too!!)

Category: Celebrating German Culture in America

Servings: Makes 2 Cakes

poppy seed cake


    Yeast Dough:
  • 500 gr (3 1/4 cup) All Purpose Flour
  • 30-40 gr Fresh Yeast (2 1/4 tsp or 1 packet dry yeast)
  • 1/4 Liter (1 cup) Milk lukewarm (divided)
  • 70gr (1/3 cup) plus 2 Tbl. Sugar
  • 70 gr (5 Tablespoons) Butter melted
    Poppyseed Filling:
  • 2 can Solo Poppy Seed Filling (12.5 oz)
  • 1 cup Raisins (or less)
  • 3 Tablespoons Citron (finely Chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 100 Gram (7 tablespoons) Butter -melted
  • 150 Gram (1 cup) Sugar
  • 175 Gram (1 3/8 cup) Flour
    Zucker Guß:
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cup Powdered Sugar
  • Few Tablespoons Milk


    Start with the Yeast Dough:
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Make a small depression in the flour.
  • In a measuring cup, combine 1/2 of the warm milk, yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Pour into the depression in the flour, and kind of cover it with a dusting of flour (from the bowl, don't get more).
  • Let sit in a warm place for 10 minutes. The Yeast will start to activate... you will see bubbles forming on the surface.
  • Add the rest of the milk, the rest of the sugar, and the butter, to the flour/ yeast mixture. Mix in a mixing bowl until fully combined.
  • Then Knead for 10 minutes (I use the dough hook on the mixer)
  • Lightly oil a bowl, drop the kneaded dough in, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place for 40 -55 minutes until doubled.
  • While it's rising, make the PoppySeed Filling
    Poppyseed Filling:
  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Mix Sugar and Flour, add cooled butter and stir with a fork until it makes crumbs.
  • You can also add cinnamon or ground almonds.
    Put it Together:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Butter 2 Baking Sheets... or Cover with Parchment paper
  • Cut Dough in Half
  • Beat down each half, and roll out to a rectangle around 12 by 16 inches
  • Spread the filling of your choice on the rectangle (Leave an inch or so around the edge bare... more if you are using a lumpy filling)
  • Roll up the rectangles from the long sides. Don't roll too tight! Just 1/4 over, then onto itself.
  • Place seam side down on the baking sheet.
  • Cover with streusel.
  • Do the same with the second one. (They might both fit on the same sheet, but I have better success when I use two sheets)
  • Let the cake rise again for 20 minutes.
  • Bake 20 minutes. Will be browned, and streusel will be golden.
  • Let Cool
  • Combine Powdered Sugar and Milk until it looks like glue.
  • Drizzle on the cake.
  • Slice and serve
  • This cake freezes well for 2 months.
  • Wrap it up tight, and don't forget to label it!


This recipe makes 2 cakes. Make different flavors if you like.

Bake one for now, and the second for later.... 

Also know that the cake freezes really well. Wrap it up tight and label it. The cake should keep 2 months in the freezer with no problems.  


Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel
Step by Step

Let yeast activate with the milk and a little sugar in a depression in the flour

Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel


Mix, Knead 10 minutes, then let Rise until Doubled.

Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel


Cut dough in half… Roll to a rectangle…. Spread with Filling 
This one is an apricot filling (I used Apricot spreadable fruit)
instead of Poppy Seed Filling

Silesian apricot Roll with Streusel

Fold the dough and filling over 1/4 of the way, then roll on top of itself
This one is with cherry pie filling

Silesian cherry Roll with Streusel

Place on parchment covered or buttered Baking Sheet
poppy seed streusel cake

Top with Steusel

poppy seed streusel cake

Let rise for 20 minutes….

Then Bake 20 Minutes


Drizzle with sugar glaze (Zucker Guß)


Slice and Serve

steusel kuchen


Apricot and Cherry Test Bakes…they were delicious!

Streusel kuchen

This one is with apple filling…use what you have!

apple streusel cake


More German Baking Recipes

I’ve always reached for Dr Oetker first when baking… but lately I’ve pulled out Classic German Baking more often. Her version of Silesian Poppy Seed Roll with Streusel is a bit different from my mother’s.

Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to StreuselkuchenClassic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to StreuselkuchenClassic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to StreuselkuchenGerman Baking TodayGerman Baking TodayGerman Baking Today



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