Yeasted Poppy Seed Apple Buns


These yeasted buns are given a poppy seed and fresh apple filling, baked golden, and coated with a sweet lemon frosting.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 20 mins
12 buns



  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • ¾ cup lukewarm milk

  • 1 tablespoon lukewarm milk

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup white sugar

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 egg

  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 pinch salt

  • vegetable oil, or as needed


  • 3 cups grated apple

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 5 ounces freshly ground poppy seeds


  • 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more as needed


  1. Place potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Pass cooled potatoes through a potato ricer and set aside.

  2. Stir 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk and yeast together in a small bowl. Let stand until creamy or foamy, about 10 minutes.

  3. Combine potatoes, yeast mixture, flour, sugar, butter, egg, lemon zest, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead on low speed until dough is smooth, elastic, and detaches from the bowl, about 5 minutes; dough should be slightly sticky.

  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl. Turn over to coat. Cover with a damp dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

  5. In the meantime, mix apple, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon for filling together in a bowl. Stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate filling.

  6. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12x14-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough, leaving about 1/2 inch free on each long side. Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Roll up tightly lengthwise. Brush seams with a little water and pinch to stick together.

  7. Place the roll on a large cutting board, seam-side down. Cut into 1 1/2-inch slices using a very sharp knife.

  8. Fit rolls loosely into a greased 10-inch round or 9x13-inch rectangular baking pan, cut-side down, with a little space between them. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until visibly doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  10. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

  11. Meanwhile, stir confectioners' sugar and enough lemon juice together in a bowl to make a thick, spreadable frosting.

  12. Remove buns from the oven. Brush frosting over rolls while they are still warm.

Cook's Notes:

Use starchy potatoes. The potatoes together should weigh about 10 ounces total.

I made these with grey poppy seeds, which is a specialty from the Austrian region of Waldviertel, but you can also make them with regular poppy seeds, just make sure they are freshly ground.

If dough is too dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

If the buns don't all fit in 1 greased pan, put them in a second small greased dish. If the tops of the buns are getting too dark before the bake time is up, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

415 Calories
13g Fat
68g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 415
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 33mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 68g 25%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 10mg 51%
Calcium 211mg 16%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 369mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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