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Kolacky With Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry

Thanks for sharing!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without some homemade kolacky cookies.  They are a tradition in my husband’s family and one that I am glad to keep going. They are a delicious cookie that will be the star of your holiday tray!

powdered sugar dusted apricot and mixed berry kolacky on plate.

These fruit filled pastry like cookies are a Christmas tradition in many Polish families. The tender dough is wrapped around a pastry filling usually featuring fruit or poppy seeds.

This recipe comes from my husband’s late Aunt Bun. They have quickly become a favorite in my family as well. 

You can use whatever fillings you’d like, but we love the apricot and mixed berry varieties. You’ll want to make several batches over the course of the holiday season.

Why This Kolacky Recipe is Special to Us

I never had the pleasure of meeting Matt’s Godmother, Aunt Bun.  From what I hear, we would have gotten along famously.  We have a lot in common after-all.

We are both the oldest of six children, we both like to entertain and love to cook.  If her children are any indication, she was a fun loving, family centered, wonderful woman.

plate of berry and apricot kolacky cookies ready to eat.

Aunt Bun is no longer with us but her sister Val, my mother-in-law, has kept the kolacky (a Polish cookie) tradition alive.  For as long as I have been around, there has always been kolacky at Christmas.

They are usually filled with fruit and dusted with powdered sugar and they are wonderful!  Prior to meeting my husband, I had never even heard of kolacky.  

Now I can’t imagine a Christmas without them. In fact, now my whole family expects these cookies during the holidays now.

We even have a friend who requests them as his birthday treat. Kolacky have become a favorite of so many.

cream cheese dough wrapped around berry filling ready to bake.

Aunt Bun usually made the kolacky recipe that is below, but there is a special kolacky dough recipe given to her by a coworker at Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago.  Aunt Bun was very guarded with her recipes, so that “special” dough secret will have to remain within the family.

I am making the standard kolacky recipe as a tribute. Honoring people by cooking their recipes is certainly a tasty way to keep their memory alive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pronounce kolacky?

It sounds something like this – kuh-lotch-key. It seems many Polish recipes have different spellings for the English translation, and these are not different. They are also spelled kolaczki, or kolache which are both pronounced the same way.

What is the best way store kolacky?

Kolacky are best fresh, but they can be stored for a few days at room temperature in an airtight container. For the prettiest presentation, wait to dust them with powdered sugar until you are ready to put them on their serving platter.

Can you freeze kolacky cookies?

Yes, but because of the fruit centers it is best to freeze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to a storage container, putting a layer of wax or parchment paper between the layers of cookies. They will last that way for several months.

Can you freeze kolacky dough?

Yes! If you want to do some of the holiday baking prep work ahead of time you can freeze a batch of dough up to a couple of months ahead of time. Just wrap it well. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before you plan to use it and roll it out the next day.

berry filled kolacky

More Great Cookie Recipes

Cranberry dark chocolate oatmeal cookies are another great addition to your Christmas cookie spread. They will delight adults and kids alike.

If you like fruity centers, you may enjoy peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies. They are a fun twist on the classic flavor combination.

Or for another classic, may no bake corn flake wreaths. They are a really easy but festive and fun no-bake dessert.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

plate of kolacky, some with apricot filling and some with berry filling.

Kolacky With Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry

It wouldn’t be Christmas without some homemade Kolacky.  They are a tradition in my husband’s family and one that I am glad to keep going. They are a delicious cookie that will be the star of your holiday tray!
4.59 from 93 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 60 Cookies
Calories 65 kcal


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can fruit pastry filling or really thick preserves


  • Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and combine
  • In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Add in fourths into the butter mixture, combining well after each addition.
  • Chill dough for an hour
  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Roll dough to approximately 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch squares.
  • Add filling diagonally down the square.
  • Fold the two corners without filling over the cookie and press to seal
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks and dust with powdered sugar before eating.


We usually use the Solo brand pastry filling. It stays put when the cookies bake. However, you can try using any thick jam or filling you would like.


Serving: 1CookieCalories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 61mgSugar: 1g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without some homemade Kolacky. They are a tradition in my husband’s family and one that I am glad to keep going. They are a delicious cookie that will be the star of your holiday tray!

Thanks for sharing!

Recipe Rating

Charles M. Heyda

Wednesday 11th of January 2023

Kolacky is a pastry of Czech, not Polish, origin. The English spelling "kolacky" came from the Czech word "koláčky" and the English word "kolache" came from the Czech word "koláče." The English words "kolacky" and "kolache" are not pronounced the same, because they are two different words. "Kolacky" is pronounced /ko-LOTCH-kee/ and "kolache" is pronounced /ko-LOTCH-ee/. The Czech word "koláčky" is a diminutive of the word "koláče." In other words, "koláčky" are small "koláče."


Sunday 25th of December 2022

400 Deg is way too high, been making these for years


Sunday 25th of December 2022

You could certainly bake them at a lower temperature, but 400F has always worked for us.

Betty Mazer

Friday 23rd of December 2022

The recipe is fine and the cookies are DELICIOUS! I did lower the temperature on my oven to 350° for 12-13 minutes and they were perfect!


Friday 17th of December 2021

How much filling do you use for each? Is there a secret to keeping the corners sealed together?


Friday 17th of December 2021

Just a little smear on each, maybe a half teaspoon? I've never measured. If you slightly moisten a finger and the top of one corner of the dough then put the other corner of dough on top and give a little pinch that helps them to stay together.

pat hobson

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Would the kolacky work with mincemeat filling?


Tuesday 24th of August 2021

I haven't tried it, but I can't see why not. As long as the filling is solid enough to not run off the pastry when it is heated, it should work.