A Sweet Yeast Bread with Poppy Seed Filling

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With Easter around the corner and Spring having officially arrived (even our grass in Kansas is starting to finally turn green again!), I wanted to bring you a new recipe that is fitting with the season. Hefezöpfe are lightly sweetened, braided yeast loaves that are very popular around Easter time. They’re light, fluffy and best enjoyed with a cup of coffee either in the morning or in the afternoon for the oh so famous, German cake and coffee time! The specific kind I made also has a poppy seed filling that gets sneakily inserted in the middle of the logs you end up braiding (or in my case, twisting). I LOVE poppy seed, but for anyone who is not a fan, feel free to forego the filling completely, or make a hazelnut filling instead, using ground hazelnuts instead of poppy seeds, which is also extremely yummy and would be my second choice!

Put some Verpoorten in that Espresso!

Let’s face it: Whether you make this recipe for Easter brunch or for an afternoon coffee time, you are going to need caffeine! Verpoorten is one of THE German Eierlikör or egg liqueur brands that’s available in the US for purchase. They only use the highest quality eggs to make it and it’s so versatile as it can be used in baking, drinks, over ice cream, you get the point!

One way to put on a twist on your shot of espresso would be by adding a shot of Verpoorten Eierlikör and a touch of steamed milk on top! This will make for a pretty and very tasty, 3-layer drink to go with your Hefezopf (or anytime after dinner when you need that extra boost!).

Carefully pour Eierlikör over the backside of a spoon into a clear shot glass, repeat with espresso, the spoon some frothed milk on top! Prost!

Verpoorten Layered Espresso Shot

Oma Sieghilde’s Potato Salad Recipe Up Next!

Thank you first of all for all the well wishes after my pregnancy announcement last week – we are so excited to give our puppy a tiny human to play with :-D! Please stay tuned for the new “dirndl mama” blog launching soon – the website is in the works and I will keep you posted! While you’re stuck on this blog, please stay and explore some other, great German recipes and let me know what kinds of drink or food recipes you would love to see on my blog for the coming months by leaving a comment below! Please also make sure you’re subscribed to receive weekly emails with new recipes  Later this week, I will share a recipe from my grandma Sieghilde’s collection for her super yummy, creamy potato salad!

Ingredients for 1 poppy seed filled Hefezopf:


  • 4 c (500 g) flour
  • 8.5 oz (250 ml) milk
  • 1/4 c (50 g) sugar
  • 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp (75 g) butter
  • 1 package (7 g) dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest

Egg Wash & Toppings:

Poppy Seed Filling:

  • 4.4 oz (125 g) poppy seed (much cheaper if you buy in bulk at Whole Foods)
  • 2 oz (60 ml) milk
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) butter
  • 3 Tbsp (40 g) sugar


  1. In a small bowl, combine luke warm milk, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 or so minutes, or until the yeast starts to activate and bubble. Stir in the egg, lemon zest and almond extract.
  2. Sift flour into bowl of a stand mixer, or large enough bowl to allow for the rising later on (it will at least double in size). Add in salt, room temperature butter (or heat it for a few seconds in your microwave), and the milk-yeast mixture. Knead (using mixer or by hand) for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic. Cover with a moist kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot for 90 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. To prepare the filling, bring the milk to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in the butter until melted. Add in the sugar and poppy seeds. You should end up with a thick mixture that holds together well. Set aside until you’re ready to work it into the dough.
  4. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it in half and form two logs (you may want dust your work surface with flour), about 2 feet each in length. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit longways into the log, about one third deep, then spread it open using your hands.
  5. Work the poppy seed mixture into the slit, using a spoon, then using your fingers, pull the dough together and pinch it shut, enclosing the poppy seed mixture completely (If it’s not perfect, that’s fine. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Mine didn’t hold together everywhere and still tasted great!)
  6. Placing both logs next to each other, twist them around each other until you’re at the end. Now folding it in half, twist the entire loaf around itself, creating the look of 4 logs coming together, and cutting the overall length in half. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees. Whisk together ingredients for egg wash, then brush that on. Sprinkle with Swedish pearl sugar. Bake the loaf for about 25 to 30 minutes, covering it with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to keep it from getting too brown, and reducing the temperature to 350 degrees for the remaining 10 to 15 minutes of baking.
  8. Enjoy with butter, jam, honey, Nutella.. there are endless possibilitites! Guten Appetit and I wish you and your family an egg-tastic Easter!

Sophie’s Easter Hefezopf Tools & Entertaining Picks

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Some Other Spring-Appropriate German Recipes To Try:

Sponsored Content and Affiliate Links Disclosure

I received compensation from Niche Import Co. in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.