Mohnstrudel (Poppy Seed Strudel) Recipe


Last updated on July 2nd, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Poppy seeds feature frequently in Austrian baking. Sprinkled on top of bread rolls, mixed into multi-seed wholemeal loaves or swirled up in sweet dessert bakes, they add a wonderful contrast colour, very distinctive earthy flavour and are fun to bake with.

For this month’s #TwelveLoaves theme ‘Seeds’, I’m showcasing the delightful Mohnstrudel (poppy seed strudel) as one of my favourite poppy seed bakes.

In Austria, poppy seeds are used for both sweet (Mohnschnecken, Mohntorte, Mohnnudeln, Germknödel) and savoury (Mohnflesserl, Mohnstangerl, Mohnsemmel) bakes. They are even grown locally, so if you should ever find yourself in the Waldviertel region of Austria, you can visit Mohndorf, a village build around Waldviertler Graumohn (a variety of breadseed poppy papaver somniferum).

Poppy seed strudel
Soft, enriched yeast dough swirled with a moist poppy seed filling

The recipe requires the poppy seeds to be ground as this will make for a much smoother filling and will also allow the seeds to release their oils and flavour. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use a food processor or pestle and mortar to grind the seeds and you will need to employ the help of your coffee grinder instead.

The trick to grinding poppy seeds for desserts is to do so just enough to break them open, releasing their oils, while letting them hang on to traces of their crisp contours.” Kay Rentschler, NY Times

Poppy seeds ground and whole
Ground poppy seeds (left) and whole poppy seeds (right)

Ingredients (makes one Mohnstrudel)


  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 85g milk, at room temperature
  • 5g dried instant yeast
  • 15g white caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 200g flour
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Egg wash for brushing

Poppy Seed Filling

  • 30g water
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 50g honey or brown caster sugar
  • 25g Powidl (similar to thick plum jam)
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves or cinnamon
  • 20g ground porridge oats
  • 100g poppy seeds, ground
  • 25g currants (I prefer currants to raisins as they are smaller, harder and not as sweet, which works well for this delicate bake)
  • 1 tsp dark rum (I used Austrian Stroh rum at 80%)

How to make Mohnstrudel

  1. Combine butter, milk, the dried yeast, sugar and egg yolk in a medium bowl and mix together with a whisk.
  2. Add the flour, salt and lemon zest and use your hands to work the ingredients into a pliable dough. The dough should not be stiff but also not too sticky. It should be nice and soft and easy to shape. Knead for 5 minutes.
  3. Place a cover on the bowl with the dough. Keep at room temperature/in a wam place until the volume of the dough has expanded sufficiently.
  4. Prepare the filling about 15 mins before your dough is ready to be shaped.
  5. To do this, add the water, butter, honey (or sugar), Powidl, ground cloves (or cinnamon) into a pan, heat up until it starts bubbling up.
  6. Take the pan off the heat and add the ground porridge oats, poppy seeds, currants and rum and combine well.
  7. Now back to the dough which should have almost doubled in volume by now. On a slightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 30 x 20 cm rectangle. Use your dough scraper to chop some of the protruding edges off in order to get to the rectangular shape.
  8. Distribute the filling evenly across the dough rectangle, leaving 0.5 cm around the edges free.
  9. Roll up the dough lengthwise. Make sure that no air bubbles get trapped as you do this. Try not to add more length to the Strudel as you roll it up, it should still end up being 30 cm long.
  10. Place the Strudel seam side down onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Flatten it slightly in order to achieve a more oval than round shape without lengthening it.
  11. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rest for approx. 1 hour (depending on the temperature in your room).
  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  13. Just before the bake, brush the Strudel with egg wash.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes or so on the second lowest shelf of your oven, until golden brown.
  15. Cool slightly before serving.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Lora from Cake Duchess and our theme is Seeds. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s selection of #TwelveLoaves Malt Breads!

For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s selection of #TwelveLoaves Malt Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Seed Bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

  • I love the idea of grinding the poppy seeds for a smoother filling. What an exquisite loaf!!!

  • I would not have thought to have ground the poppy seeds and I bet that makes for just the right texture for your filling. What a lovely bread!

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  • Karen

    What a gorgeous loaf and that filling looks amazing! I’ve always been intrigued by poppy seed fillings. Will definitely have to give this a try!

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  • Chelsea

    These look incredible. I love poppy seeds as a sweet application – when I was little, my mom used to make a poppy seed cake that never lasted more than a day or two, but we always used a can of poppy seed filling. What an interesting list of ingredients that go into this one!

  • I totally have bought and enjoyed this bread, did not know it was called
    Mohnstrude. thanks for the recipe!

  • My Austrian mother made a similar rolled coffee cake with poppy seed filling, though she typically used cans of SOLO filling. Poppy seed was the adults filling of choice, we kids preferred almond or her homemade apricot. Your gorgeous strudel brings back so many memories… food does that.

  • paemsn

    Hello! I’ve converted the measurements from grams to ounces, hope this is what you were looking for.

    • 1.7 oz unsalted butter, softened
    • 3 oz milk, at room temperature
    • 0.18 oz dried instant yeast
    • 0.5 oz white caster sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 7 oz flour
    • 1 tiny pinch of salt
    • Zest of 1/2 lemon
    • Egg wash for brushing

    Poppy Seed Filling
    • 1 oz water
    • 0.7 oz unsalted butter
    • 1.7 oz honey or brown caster sugar
    • 0.9 oz Powidl (similar to thick plum jam)
    • 1 pinch of ground cloves or cinnamon
    • 0.7 oz ground porridge oats
    • 3.5 oz poppy seeds, ground
    • 0.9 oz currants
    • 1 tsp dark rum

    Have fun baking!

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