A cooking and baking journal

Cooking Lesson -- How to Make Kolache Step by Step

Ah, Kolache! This delightful Czech pastry has a cream cheese or fruit filling and is one of the undisputed favorite desserts of my Papa. What better time to make this delicious favorite than Fat Tuesday? I was thinking about doing Paczki, a Polish pastry, but it requires deep frying and I didn't feel like tackling a pot of hot oil. It takes me awhile to build up enough confidence to take on such an ordeal!

So Kolache it was. And this time I am going to do something different. I am going to share with you a step-by-step cooking lesson on how to make cream cheese filled Kolache, from start to finish. I just recently bought a digital camera for myself so I wanted to give this a try!


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups scalded milk
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon or almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fruit preserves (or you can use cream cheese filling; recipe is below)

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Cream shortening and sugar together. Add a little bit of hot milk to eggs to temper them. Add the eggs to the creamed mixture along with the salt, flavoring, and the remaining milk. When lukewarm, add yeast to mixture. Let stand 5 minutes. Add flour, beating well. Knead down into bowl. The dough will be slightly sticky. Let rise 1 hour.
  2. Cut off small balls of dough. Roll into rounds in your hands, and place on greased cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Let rise 15 minutes.
  3. Make a depression into the center of each roll. Fill with fruit preserves or cream cheese filling. To make cream cheese filling, cream together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) until brown. Watch carefully. Cool on wire racks.

Yield: 38 Pastries

Recipe above is an adaptation of this recipe from AllRecipes.com.

Now, let's see it done step by step. . .

Note: When I was taking snapshots of the Kolache making process, I was doing two times the recipe. So that is the reason for the large amount of dough!

Step 1: Separate eggs. Beat eggs a little with a fork. Tip: Using cold eggs makes for much easier separating. Tip #2: What can you do with the leftover egg whites? My sister used them in an all-egg-white omelet the same day. It was delicious!

Step 2: Cream shortening and sugar together.

Step 3: Add milk to a sauce pan and heat on medium high until you have scald milk. Remove from heat. Tip: Don't know when the milk is ready? Wait until you see a bit of steam and there is some foam on the side of the pan. Never bring it to a boil! Scald milk should look like this:

Sort of resembles buttermilk, doesn't it?

Step 4: Add a little bit of the hot milk to the egg yolks to temper them. Then add the tempered eggs to the creamed mixture along with salt, flavoring, and rest of the milk. Mix until combined.

Step 5: When the mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast and mix.

Let mixture stand in a warm place for five minutes to activate the yeast. Yeast will start to bubble and foam a little bit:

Step 6: In another bowl, add the flour and make a well with your spoon.

Pour in half the liquid mixture and start incorporating.

Using your spoon, push the dough down into the bottom of the bowl and try to make a level top. This dough is really loose and sticky.

Step 7: Cover bowl with plastic wrap that was sprayed with oil on side towards dough. The oil we prevent the dough from sticking.

Let dough rest in a warm spot (like on the top of an oven that's on warm), and leave for 1 hour.

Here's the dough after the resting period:

Step 8: Spray your hands with oil and tear a golf ball sized piece of dough from the bowl. The rest of the dough will start deflating. . . Don't worry, this is natural!

Plop the dough down on a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil. Try to leave 2 to 2-1/2" space between each pastry for these will rise in the oven.

Step 9: Let the pastries rise for a 2nd time by leaving them in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Step 10: While you are waiting, make the cream cheese filling. Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Beat in vanilla.

Step 11: After rising, make an indentation in the middle of each pastry.

Fill each indentation with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese filling OR jam of choice.

Step 12: Place in a preheated 450 degrees F oven. Kolache is a pale dough and 450 is a hot oven. Could spell burnt pastries if you don't watch these! When I bake them, I place the baking sheet on the middle rack for 3 minutes then move it up to the highest rack for 7 minutes more. I also turn them a couple times. I know when they are ready by the slight browning on top.

Here is what they look like:

Warm, soft pastries with a delicious creamy filling. Uh, maybe I should have saved writing this tutorial for another day; Ash Wednesday is perhaps not the right day to talk about Kolache! ;)


So what did you think of my tutorial? What would you have done differently? Do you have any advice that could help make it better? Have any suggestions for future tutorials? Comment or email me; thanks a bunch!

Tutorials and photos all rights reserved to the writer, Rebekah Fox. If you are interested in propagating this tutorial, please contact me to ask my permission.


  1. These look yummy! It's so helpful to have a picture showing what they look like when they're done. Good description (and picture) of scalded milk.

  2. Thanks Catholic Bibliophagist! When I made these for the first time I wasn't too sure what scalded milk should look like. It may be a household term in many recipe books but they never really explain what it is, so I thought it was top priority to add this little helpful tip.

    Thanks for reading!