Kolache Cookies Recipe

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These Easy Traditional Kolache Cookies recipe for Christmas have a melt in your mouth cookie base and are topped with sweet preserves. Don’t forget the extra powdered sugar!

For more easy holiday treats, be sure to try this soft and chewy Cake Mix Cookie recipe! Or make a batch of Chocolate Dipped Oreos with festive sprinkles!

Kolachky cookies with powdered sugar on a white plate.

The Best Kolache Cookies from Grandma

OK, I know. You don’t need to tell me that these aren’t authentic because your Polish Nana makes these cookies and pinches them into the center over the jelly.

I get it. My mom usually does that too. And my own polish nana.

But know what happens when I try to fold them over and pinch the centers? After baking, I open the oven and they all look deformed and have opened up.

So now I started making them this way and I couldn’t be happier. They are easier and so much prettier!

I’m sure some of you have tricks up your sleeve for pinching these closed. Feel free to leave a comment below so others can learn!

For now, I will make mine open.

  • We’re making our Kolachky Cookies BIG! I use a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter and this allows me to add even more jelly, which makes me happy. If you prefer them smaller, feel free!
  • Apricot Preserves are a traditional filling and so delicious! I’ve got other ideas for you below, as well.
  • Making them open also means they are fuss-free and fool proof!
  • These cookies are perfect for rounding out your holiday treats!

You can also try my Jam Thumbprint cookies for a similar melt in your mouth cookie topped with almond glaze.

Ingredients for Kolache Cookies

  • Butter – We use unsalted butter in all our recipes to control the amount of sodium. If you only have salted butter, that will work fine here, too.
  • Cream Cheese – Full fat cream cheese will give you the best results for these cookies. Be sure to let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes before starting.
  • Flour – Regular all-purpose flour works great to create that melt-in-your-mouth texture we’re striving for. Make sure to use our guide on how to measure flour properly.
  • Preserves – Apricot and strawberry preserves both work great for these cookies. You can use both or pick one. You can even substitute a different flavor to mix it up.

Easy Instructions

STEP 1. Make the cookie dough. Cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add the flour and baking powder and beat until a soft dough forms.

STEP 2. Roll out the Dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to about ½ cm thickness. Cut with a 2 ½ inch circle cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread about 1 Tablespoon of preserves into the center of each cookie.

STEP 3. Bake, cool and finish cookies. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F for 15-18 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack then dust them powdered sugar.

PRO TIP: You can also roll out the dough and cut into squares. Place the filling in the middle of each square and pinch corners closed before baking.

Kolachky cookies on plate with powdered sugar.

Tips and Tricks

  • Allow the cream cheese and butter to soften at room temperature before you start making the dough.
  • When rolling out the cookies, you can gather any scraps and re-roll them to make more cookies. However, it’s best to only do this once, as repeating the process can make the cookies tough. 
  • Don’t overbake the cookies! They should come out of the oven BEFORE they start to brown.
  • Make sure the cookies are compeletly cooled before sprinkling with the powdered sugar. Otherwise, it will just melt in.
  • You can also add extra powdered sugar when serving to make the cookies look extra festive!

Recipe FAQs

What fillings can I use for kolachky cookies?

Apricot preserves are traditional and we also love strawberry preserves for the jelly filling. Or you can buy cans of poppy seed filling (near pie filling at the store); it’s so tasty. Or try your favorite flavor of preserves!

How do I store Kolachky Cookies?

Once cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Feel free to sprinkle with extra powdered sugar when serving.

Can I freeze these cookies?

Yes, you can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Place in a freezer safe container or ziplock bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then add powdered sugar when serving.

Kolachky cookies with appricot and raspberry preserves.

Traditional Fillings for Kolachky Cookies

  • Apricot Preserves. The Apricot Kolache cookie is one of my favorite flavors of jam filling!
  • Strawberry Preserves. I make this flavor Kolache cookie for the kids, as it seems to be THEIR favorite, even though it’s not traditional. 
  • Poppyseed filling. You can buy cans of poppy seed filling (near pie filling). This is so good and Poppy Seed Kolache cookies are a family favorite!
  • Nut filling. You can use my pecan tassie recipe as the filling!

What traditional cookies do YOU make for the holidays?

Looking for the BEST sugar cookie cut out recipe? These Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are so flavorful and they always hold their shape. Don’t forget to add the delicious Vanilla Bean Frosting too!

Don’t want to make cut out sugar cookies? These are the best, chewy Sugar Cookies with a no-chill dough. Topped with a creamy sugar cookie icing, you’ll love this Copycat Swig Sugar Cookie recipe!

If you’re looking for the best Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust, this one is it. Easy cookie crust with a sweet and tangy lemon filling and lemon glaze, topped with powdered sugar!

These Twix cookies have a buttery shortbread cookie base with creamy caramel and chocolate on top! I’m not even kidding when I say they are addictive!

Gingerdoodle Cookies are chewy, soft cookies that taste like a cross between a gingersnap and a snickerdoodle. Add this to your baking list ASAP! You’ll love the texture of the cookies, but more importantly the molasses flavor with the cinnamon, ginger, and cloves is irresistible!

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Kolache Cookie Recipe

4.65 from 39 votes
By: Aimee
Cream Cheese based cookie topped with sweet preserves makes these Kolachky cookies irresistible!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Servings: 36 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened 8 oz
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups preserves I like to use a combination of apricot and strawberry
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine butter, cream cheese, and granulated sugar. Beat until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add baking powder and flour. Beat until a soft dough forms.
  • Drop dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1/2 cm thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2 inch circle cookie cutter (or biscuit cutter) and place on baking sheet. Spread about 1 Tbsp preserves into the center of cookie.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, until set (before it begins to brown). Cool completely on wire rack.
  • When cool, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for one week. You may need to add powdered sugar before serving.


  • If desired, after adding the preserves, pinch sides up into the center of cookie. 
  • Allow the butter and cream cheese to soften at room temperature before you start making the dough.
  • When rolling out the cookies, any scraps can be smooshed back together and rolled out again to get more cookies, but you won’t want to repeat this process more than once, or else the cookies will become tough. 
  • Don’t overbake the cookies! They should come out of the oven BEFORE they start to brown.
  • Make sure the cookies are compeletly cooled before sprinkling with the powdered sugar. Otherwise, it will just melt in.
  • You can also add extra powdered sugar when serving to make the cookies look extra festive!



Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 131kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 37mg, Sugar: 10g
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: Polish
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on November 30, 2018

Comments & Reviews

  1. Can the dough be rolled into balls and then a thumbprint put in the middle? I’m not great at rolling out dough?

  2. This is (almost) EXACTLY how my Slovak grandmother made them – round with a thumbrint filled w Apricot (no powdered sugar on top). BTW for filling, try pkg of dried apricots, low boil with water just to cover until mushy then food processor to puree and sweeten to taste (usually sweet enough that I don’t add any sugar). SO much better than preserves and doesn’t run.

  3. A must for us every year. I use a small paint brush and dab in water then fold over to seal. A labor of love for sure but worth it!

  4. I have been baking these for years and years and use my grandmothers receipe- almost the same as yours except no granulated sugar, only powered sugar. And putting the jelly in the middle I refrigerate mine rolled up for two hours, take out cut and push my thumb in the middle of each one then add the cooking jam, and TONS (LOL) of powdered sugar!!!!!
    Thanks for all your recipes, I’m trying the Rice Krispie Treats tonight!

  5. It’s a tradition at our house to try one Christmas food from another country every year. These are now at the top of my list – they look so yummy!

4.65 from 39 votes (39 ratings without comment)

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