Easy Kolache Cookie Recipe

If you're looking for a cookie recipe that isn't too sweet, but is still rich and flaky, then you need to try this easy kolache cookie recipe. Kolache cookies go way back to the 1880s, when they were introduced to certain parts of America by Czechoslovakian immigrants. The cookie has taken on many forms since then, ranging from the traditional fruit-filled treat to fluffy pastries that are sometimes filled with sausage (via NPR).

This recipe, however, keeps it simple with just a few ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen. In fact, recipe developer Mark Beahm says that this tasty dessert would be perfect for a beginner. "There's only 5 ingredients, and you don't really need any special equipment. You just need a bowl, something to mix with, a rolling pin, and a round cookie cutter," he explains. The cookies also come together quickly. You can have these baked and ready to serve in about an hour. 

So without further adieu, let's get started on these impressive cookies that are almost too pretty to eat. 

Gather your ingredients

There is nothing out of the ordinary in this recipe, but don't let that fool you into thinking they won't taste great. You will need 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1½ cups of all-purpose flour, 6 tablespoons of your favorite jam or preserves, and some powdered sugar for dusting. You will also need ½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted, softened butter. Beahm says he likes to use unsalted butter because different brands add different amounts of salt to their butter, and using the unsalted types gives him more control over how much total salt is in the recipe. In this case, no extra salt is needed.

Make and chill the cookie dough

To start making the dough, combine the cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk or spatula, mix the two until they are fully combined. When they are thoroughly mixed, add the flour and stir in with a spatula until just combined.

Once the dough is mixed, you'll want to form it into a ball and then flatten it into a rectangle that is about 1-inch thick. Wrap the rectangle with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes or in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Beahm says that chilling the dough makes it easier to roll out, noting that if the dough is too warm, the cream cheese and butter will stick to your work surface and rolling pin.

Preheat the oven and cut the cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While you're waiting for the oven to heat up, remove the dough from the refrigerator, and roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin. You'll want your finished piece to be a rectangle that is about ¼- to ½-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. When you've cut all you can, roll what's left of the dough into a ball and flatten it to ¼- to ½-inch thick again and continue cutting cookies until you have used it up. Place a sheet of parchment on your baking sheet, and place the cookies on the paper 2 inches apart.

Fill the kolache cookies

Now, it's time to fill the cookies. Believe it or not, you can use your thumb to make an impression in the middle of the cookies, but you need to be careful when doing so. Beahm says you should give the cookie a couple of firm presses, paying attention to not go all the way through the dough. The impression needs to be deep enough so that the jam does not spread across the entire top of the cookie. Although, that wouldn't be too terrible of a thing as the cookies will still taste great! Once the impressions are made, fill them with about 1 teaspoon of jam or preserves. Be careful not to place too much jam on the cookies, as it may overflow in the oven.

Beahm says he has seen some cookies with nut-based fillings, but jam is by far the most popular filling with apricot and raspberry jam being the most common. And his favorite jam? Raspberry. Just make sure you use jam or preserves, and not jelly!

Bake the cookies and enjoy

Your oven should be preheated by now, so it's time to bake the cookies! Waiting for them to cook might be hard, but at least you don't have to wait too long. It should only take about 12 to 15 minutes for them to bake. A good giveaway that they are ready is when you see the edges beginning to brown. Allow them too completely cool before dusting them with a generous amount of the powdered sugar. The sugar and the jam are what makes these cookies sweet. Coupled with the flaky texture of the dough, this is a recipe that your family and friends will ask you to bake again and again. 

Easy Kolache Cookie Recipe
5 from 40 ratings
Impress your guests with these deceptively easy, homemade, traditional kolache cookies -- a perfect treat for the holidays or any time of year!
Prep Time
Cook Time
easy kolache cookie
Total time: 22 minutes
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons jam or preserves
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter with a whisk or rubber spatula until smooth and fully combined.
  2. Add the flour and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a rectangle ¼- to ½-inch thick.
  6. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles. Reroll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all of the dough is used.
  7. Place the cut cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  8. Use your thumb to make a deep impression in the center of each cookie. Fill with about 1 teaspoon of jam or preserves. Do not overfill them.
  9. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they just begin to brown on the edges.
  10. Let the cookies cool completely.
  11. Serve with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.
Calories per Serving 125
Total Fat 7.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 20.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.2 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 3.8 g
Sodium 26.0 mg
Protein 1.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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