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Easy Apple Kolache Recipe {Video}

Our easy kolache recipe makes a perfectly soft and tender dough, just right for holding your favorite filling. Apple Kolaches have a warm sweet apple filling nestled in a soft kolache dough. They are easy enough to make at home and taste like they came from a bakery. Our Apple Kolaches recipe makes 28 rolls so it is perfect for your next brunch or company breakfast.

Close-up side view of apple kolache on a blue plate with a full tray in the background.

What is a Kolache?

They’re defined as “a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough”. They also stated that they originated in “Central Europe” but this is highly debated with Nebraska, Minnesota, and Texas all claiming to be the “Kolache Capital of the World”.

Equipment Needed to Make Apple Kolaches

  • Baking Sheets – These sheet pans are durable and I have four of them so I can get all of my cookies baked in a jiffy!
  • 2-Quart Saucepan – I prefer the stainless steel pans. I love how this pan has a flat bottom so more food can sit on it directly. I also like the glass lids so I can see how it’s cooking.
  • Glass Mixing Bowls – This set allows me to prep all of my ingredients and they’re dishwasher safe.
Ingredients: Lemon, butter, eggs, yeast, brown sugar, cinnamon, apples, flour, sugar, milk, egg yolks, corn starch.

Ingredients to Make the Easy Kolache Recipe

  • Instant or Quick Rise Yeast. Found in packets near the baking soda at your grocery store. It’s not the same thing as “Active”. If you want to know the difference I cover it in my “Techniques Post”.
  • Sugar. White granulated sugar.
  • Whole Milk. The extra fat is essential for a fluffy dough.
  • All Purpose Flour. Bleached or unbleached.
  • Egg Yolks. You will need the yolks from four eggs. Use the whites to make an egg wash if desired.
  • Salt. For seasoning.
  • Unsalted Butter. If you only have salted butter, do not add salt to the recipe.

Homemade Apple Filling Ingredients

  • Granny Smith or Braeburn Apples. These are the perfect apples for apple pie filling. I’d choose Granny Smith apples if you only want to use one variety.
  • Lemon. Should be juiced.
  • Brown Sugar. Light or Dark Brown sugar will both work.
  • Water. To keep the pie filling from burning as it cooks and add liquid for the syrup that forms as it cooks down.
  • Cinnamon. For spice.
  • Corn Starch. Provides a thickening agent for the sauce.

Streusel Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour. No need for fancy flours in this recipe.
  • Cinnamon. Saigon cinnamon is very nice.
  • Sugar. White granulated sugar.
  • Melted Butter. Salted or unsalted is fine for this part of the recipe.

Please note, that the recipe card has more complete instructions. This is intended as an overview.

How to Make Kolaches

Step One: Activate yeast with liquid and sugar.

Activating your yeast isn’t necessary if using Instant, Quick or Instant yeast. You can mix all ingredients together if that’s the case.

Step Two: Mix the ingredients.

Add all dough ingredients together and knead the dough until it is smooth approximately 7 to 8 minutes.

Step Three: Let the dough rise.

The dough should rise until doubled, approximately 60 to 90 minutes.

Step Four: Divide Dough into Rolls.

Place the balls of dough on baking sheets. Brush with Butter.

Step Five: Let the dough rise again.

The rolls should double in size in approximately 60 minutes. If you have a proof setting on your oven use it. Make indentations in the dough using your thumb. Brush with an egg wash and then fill.

Step Six: Make the Apple Filling

In a 2-quart saucepan combine diced apples, water, and lemon juice. Cook until it starts to thicken. Fill the shaped kolaches.

Step 7: Make the Streusel

Streusel is optional but not in my house! Cut the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together using a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers. Drizzle with the melted butter.

Step 8: Top and Bake

Top down view of apple filled kolaches topped with streusel topping ready to be baked.

Additions and Substitutions for the Easy Kolache Recipe

As I said, I knew they were yummy and that the dough isn’t overly sweet so this same kolache dough recipe can be used with a sweet or savory filling.

This easy Kolache recipe is often filled with pie filling or jam, purchased or homemade is fine. Traditionally the fillings are apricot, cherry, prune, or poppyseed, but could also be meat such as sausage, or a soft farmers cheese. In the bakeries here, I see a lot of kolaches with a combination of fruit and cheese.

I made this warm cinnamon and brown sugar apple filling. It’s delicious on its own and amazing in this Kolache recipe!

Back to the Kolache itself. The first time I made this recipe was to use up some pears sitting on my counter and came up with an amazing Caramelized Pear filling that tasted amazing nestled in this soft kolache dough too.

I love apples and especially baked apples in a warm cinnamon-brown sugar mix. This Apple Kolache recipe certainly ranks up there with my all-time favorite bakery recipes.

Apple Kolaches on a tray with one on a plate separated.

How to Store and Reheat our Easy Kolache Recipe

How to Best Store Kolaches

Keep your leftover rolls in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator for three to five days.

How to Freeze and Thaw our Easy Kolache Recipe

Our soft kolache dough recipe can be frozen two different ways. Raw, you can freeze the buns after the rolls themselves have doubled in size and you’ve made an imprint for the filling. Freeze the rolls individually on trays and then combine them into one container. Fill and bake as needed.

Baked, you can freeze individual rolls in airtight containers for up to three months. This is my preferred way of freezing them.

How to Reheat Leftover Apple Kolaches

Reheat in the microwave for ten to fifteen seconds or more depending on your microwave wattage.

Tray of easy kolache recipe, baked and ready to eat.

Fruit Kolache FAQs

How do you pronounce Kolache?

kuh·laa·chee

What are Apple Kolaches made of?

This dessert is made with a soft dough and apple pie filling. It requires flour, sugar, yeast, salt, milk, egg yolks and butter for the dough. The pie filling is made from apples, sugar, cornstarch, water, cinnamon, brown sugar and lemon juice. For the streusel topping you will need flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter.

What is a kolache?

A soft, pillowy dough filled with apple pie filling and baked.

Where are Kolaches from?

The origin of Kolaches is highly contested and the truth is unknown. Possibilities include Central Europe and several Western states in the U.S.

How to make kolache dough?

Follow our step-by-step instructions to make the perfect kolache dough.

Can you freeze Kolaches?

Yes. Freeze individual rolls in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw in the microwave for 15-45 seconds.

Pastry roll filled with apple filling cut in half sitting on a floral plate. A cup of coffee and more rolls sit behind the plate.

Tips to Make the Best Apple Kolaches Recipe

  • You don’t need to weigh the dough. You can just estimate their size. The most important thing is that they’re all approximately the same size so they bake at the same rate.
  • When forming your dough don’t press through the bottom of the roll. Your filling will leak out.
  • Dice your fruit small enough so you can get a lot of it in each Kolache. It may bake down and that’s perfectly fine. Don’t overfill the kolaches. The extra filling will just bubble off while baking.
  • Instant or Quick Rise yeasts don’t have to bloom and can be added directly to the recipe.
  • Make sure that you allow the kolaches to cool slightly before serving. The hot filling will burn your mouth.
Close-up top-down view of a single apple kolache on a blue plate.

If you like this recipe, we would appreciate your comment and a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review!

More Great Apple Recipes

Don’t forget to stop back and let me know how your Kolaches turned out!

Top down view of a Kolache Pastry topped with streusel.

Easy Apple Kolaches Recipe – Made At Home

Author: Hostess At Heart
Easy Apple Kolaches recipe has a warm cinnamon and brown sugar apple filling nestled in a soft kolache dough. They taste bakery delicious but are easy enough to make at home.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rising time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Breakfast and Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Czech, European
Keyword: Apple Kolaches Recipe
Servings: 28

Ingredients
 
 

Dough

  • ½ oz Yeast or 2-packages
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk warmed to 110 – 115 degrees F
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour may need an up to an additional cup
  • 4 egg yolks room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened

*Apple Filling (optional)

  • 4 apples Granny Smith or Braeburn (about 4 cups diced)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp water
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

Streusel (optional)

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Additional Ingredients: melted butter or egg wash

    Instructions
     

    Dough

    • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and warm milk. *Let rest for 10 minutes.
    • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add butter, egg yolks and yeast/milk mixture. Add enough remaining flour until no longer too sticky to handle.
    • Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl, turning once to coat both sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
    • Butter (or grease) 3 baking sheets. Cover a kitchen scale with plastic wrap. Punch dough down and tear off 1 1/2 ounce pieces of dough. Shape into smooth round balls with seams on the bottom. Place 12 on each greased baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and allow to double, approximately 60 minutes.
    • Using your thumbs, make a depression in each roll large enough to hold 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling. Don't press through the bottom of the roll. Brush with melted butter again or use an egg wash with the left over egg whites. Fill with desired filling. Sprinkle with streusel if desired.
    • Bake at 350° F for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn and rotate pans halfway through baking.

    Dutch Apple Filling

    • In a 2-quart saucepan combine diced apples, water, and the juice of one lemon.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool while the dough rises. NOTE: Add an additional tbsp of corn starch if the filling doesn't thicken. Water content can be very different according to the apple variety.

    Streusel (optional)

    • Cut the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together with a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers. Drizzle with the melted butter and fluff together with a fork.

    Video

    Notes

    1. Instant or Quick Rise yeasts don’t have to bloom and can be added directly to the recipe.
    2. Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

    Nutrition

    Calories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 106mgPotassium: 100mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 165IUVitamin C: 3.2mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1.3mg

    Nutritional Disclaimer

    This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

    Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

    This recipe was originally published on July 10, 2019. I’ve updated this post to include detailed photos and instructions. No changes have been made to the recipe.

    Want more delicious recipes? Follow Hostess At Heart on Pinterest!

    Baked roll filled with apple filling and topped with a cinnamon crumble sitting on a floral plate in front of a cup of coffee and tray of rolls.
    Recipe Rating




    Pam

    Sunday 4th of July 2021

    Sounds delicious. I am from texas. Love kolaches. Miss them since I moved. Will have to try your recipe. From what I know the originated from the czechs, but yes they are loved in texas.

    Julie Menghini

    Wednesday 7th of July 2021

    Thank you, Pam! We love this special treat at breakfast but I'd eat them any time of day!

    Nikki Lee

    Wednesday 31st of July 2019

    I cannot wait to make this these fall! Thank you for a magnificent recipe! I just hope mine turn out as beautifully as these do!

    Julie Menghini

    Monday 5th of August 2019

    Thank you, Nikki! I'm sure you'll hit it out of the park!

    Sandra Shaffer

    Monday 29th of July 2019

    These kolaches are beautiful! I ate a lot of pastries when we were in Europe, but I don't think I had kolaches. So excited to give these a try!

    Julie Menghini

    Tuesday 30th of July 2019

    Thank you so much, Sandra!

    Healing Tomato

    Monday 29th of July 2019

    I had never heard of Kolaches before, but, its definitely something I would like to try now, The apples look delicious and easy to make

    Julie Menghini

    Tuesday 30th of July 2019

    Thank you! I know your kolaches will be an instant success!

    Debi

    Monday 29th of July 2019

    Anything with a Streusel topping is tops in my book. These are perfect for fall when I want apples! Thanks so much!

    Julie Menghini

    Tuesday 30th of July 2019

    Thanks, Debi! I'm a streusel love too!