Kolaches are a traditional Czech pastry with a variety of fillings, from savory sausage to sweet fruit jams. This gluten free kolaches recipe is a gluten-free adaptation of a family recipe passed down through generations. Using a blend of gluten-free flours, you can make a batch of homemade kolaches that are just as delicious as the traditional version.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below and/or a review in the comments section down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok or by subscribing to my newsletter.
This recipe calls for apricot jam filling, but feel free to experiment with other jam or fruit centers. The dough is made with a combination of gluten-free flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, and butter, and is mixed together in an electric mixer with a dough hook. The apricot filling is made by simmering dried apricots, sugar, water, vanilla extract, and salt together, then blending until smooth.
When the dough and filling are ready, roll out the dough, cut into squares, and add a spoonful of filling to each square. Pinch the corners together to form the traditional kolache shape, and bake in the oven. Once they're golden brown, brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar for a sweet finishing touch. Enjoy your homemade gluten-free kolaches as a tasty sweet treat.
If you're looking for more gluten free recipes like this gluten free version of this sweet roll, check out How to Make THE BEST Oven-Dried Orange Slices, Oreo Chocolate Dipped Apple Slices (GF), and Chocolate Gluten Free Lava Cake Recipe.
What is a kolache?
A kolache is a traditional pastry originating from European countries such as Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. It is a round or rectangular-shaped sweet dough filled with various sweet or savory fillings, such as fruit jams, cheese, or sausage. These pastries are usually made from a yeast-based dough and are often enjoyed as a breakfast or snack food. Homemade kolaches can be made in various shapes and sizes, but the traditional kolache shape is a round pastry with the filling in the center. They are often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea or warm milk.
Wet + Dry Ingredients
- 1 cup milk: It is used to provide moisture to the dough recipe and to help activate the yeast. Also used to brush over the kolaches before baking to give a glossy finish and add a touch of sweetness.
- 3 cups gluten-free flour blend: It is used as a base for the dough, giving structure and texture to the kolaches. The gluten-free flour blend should be one that does not contain xanthan gum. The dough rises in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours before adding the sweet filling.
- Butter: gives the dough a soft and buttery texture.
- 2 packets dry yeast (6 tablespoons): Yeast is a type of fungus that is used as a leavening agent in the dough, making it rise and become light and fluffy. This yeast mixture gives this kolache recipe a soft and fluffy texture.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar: It is used to sweeten the dough and also helps to activate the yeast.
- 2 eggs: It is used to provide structure, moisture, and richness to the dough.
- 6 ounces unsweetened dried apricots: These are the main ingredient for the filling, providing natural sweetness and a fruity flavor.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar: This is added to the filling to sweeten it and balance the flavors.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract: it's used to add a hint of vanilla flavor to the filling.
- ¼ teaspoon salt: it's used to balance the sweetness and enhance the flavors of the filling.
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice: gives acidity to the filling.
- 1 cup water: Used in the filling to help soften the dried apricots and make the filling smooth.
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar: Used to sprinkle on top of the kolaches after baking for added sweetness and a crunchy texture.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of gluten-free flour blend, yeast, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
In a heavy saucepan, melt milk, butter, and water together on medium heat. Take off the heat when the temperature is between 120 and 130 degrees.
Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and turn on the electric mixer with a dough hook to medium speed. While the dough is forming, add 2 eggs and continually add the 1 ½ cups remaining gluten-free flour blend. Once the dough forms, stop mixing.
Grease a clean bowl with butter and add the dough. Cover with a wet towel and let rise for 1 ½ hours in a warm location until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Making the filling
In a medium saucepan, combine water, lemon juice, dried apricots, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract over medium heat. Let simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until the apricots are soft.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is about ½ inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into 1 ½ to 2-inch squares.
Spoon about a teaspoon of apricot filling in the center of each square. Use your fingers to pinch all four corners of the dough together and place on the baking sheet with about an inch between kolaches.
Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Brush the kolaches with milk and top with a sprinkling of sugar.
Enjoy your homemade gluten-free kolaches as a tasty sweet treat.
- Milk Substitution: If you're looking for a non-dairy milk alternative, oat milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are all great options that can be used in place of regular milk in this recipe.
- Sugar Substitution: If you prefer to use cane sugar, it can be used in place of granulated sugar in the recipe. Powdered sugar can also be used to sprinkle on top of the kolaches before baking for a sweeter finish.
- Dough Substitution: If you're looking for a different type of dough, you can try using a pre-made buttermilk biscuit dough or cheese roll dough in place of the gluten-free dough used in this recipe. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the kolaches will be different, but it still makes a delicious recipe.
- Cream Cheese Filling: Mix cream cheese with a little sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest for a tangy and creamy filling. Top with some poppy seed.
- Egg Yolk Filling: Mix together egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract for a rich and custardy filling. Add a dash of maple syrup for a delicious twist on these traditional kolaches.
- Plum Jam Filling: Use store-bought or homemade plum jam for a sweet and fruity filling.
- Cottage Cheese Filling: Mix cottage cheese with sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt for a tangy and creamy filling.
- Blueberry Filling: Mix blueberries with sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch for a sweet and juicy filling.
- Cheese Kolaches: Use shredded cheese or cottage cheese as a filling for savory kolaches.
What gluten free flour should I use?
When it comes to gluten-free flours, there are many options available on the market. Two great options for this recipe are Caputo's Gluten Free Flour and King Arthur All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. Both flours are made without xanthan gum, which is important for this recipe as xanthan gum can make the dough too dense. Both of these flour blends can be used as a 1:1 replacement for all-purpose flour in most recipes, making them a great choice for this gluten-free kolaches recipe.
- Mixing Bowl: A large mixing bowl is necessary to combine all of the dry ingredients for the dough.
- Electric Mixer or Stand Mixer: An electric mixer with a dough hook attachment is necessary to combine all of the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and knead the dough.
- Rolling Pin: A rolling pin is necessary to roll out the dough to the desired thickness.
- Pizza cutter or knife: A pizza cutter or a sharp knife is necessary to cut the dough into squares. It also helps cut the dough into strips.
- Baking sheet: A baking sheet is necessary to place the kolaches on before baking.
- Parchment paper: Parchment paper is necessary to line the baking sheet so that the kolaches don't stick.
- Food Processor: A food processor is necessary to blend the apricot filling into a smooth consistency.
- Wire rack: A wire rack is necessary to cool the kolaches after baking.
- Plastic wrap: Plastic wrap is necessary to cover the dough while it rises.
- Dough scraper: A dough scraper is necessary to help divide and shape the dough.
- Store kolaches in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Kolaches can be frozen for up to 3 months, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer bag.
- To thaw frozen kolaches, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature.
- Reheat frozen kolaches in a preheated 350F (175C) oven for 10-15 minutes or until warm.
Yes, the dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before using it. Let it come to room temperature before using it.
Yes, you can use other types of fruit for the filling, such as strawberries, peaches, or apples. Adjust the sugar and cooking time accordingly.
Yes, you can make the kolaches larger or smaller by adjusting the size of the squares you cut the dough into. Keep in mind that larger kolaches will take longer to bake and smaller kolaches will take less time to bake.
Yes, you can use almond or oat milk in place of cow's milk in this recipe.
Yes, you can make these kolaches vegan by using vegan butter and a flax egg in place of regular butter and eggs.
The BEST Gluten Free Kolaches Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Electric mixer or stand mixer
- Pizza cutter or knife
- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- Dough scraper
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups gluten free flour a blend without xanthan gum
- 2 packets active dry yeast 6 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Making the dough
- Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook and mixing bowl.
- In the mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups gluten free flour, yeast, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
- Melt milk, butter, and water together in a heavy saucepan on medium heat. Take off the heat when the temperature is between 120 and 130 degrees.
- Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and turn the mixer on medium speed.
- While the dough is forming, add 2 eggs and continually add the 1 ½ cups remaining gluten free flour. Once the dough forms, stop mixing.
- Grease a clean bowl with butter and add the dough. Cover with a wet towel and let rise for 1 ½ hours until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Making the filling
- Combine water, lemon juice, dried apricots, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for 15 - 18 minutes, or until the apricots are soft.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface until it is about ½ inch thick.
- Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into 1 ½ to 2 inch square boxes.
- Spoon about a teaspoon of apricot filling in the center of each square.
- Use your fingers to pinch all four corners of the dough together and place on the baking sheet with about an inch between kolaches.
- Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes.
- Brush the kolaches with milk and top with a sprinkling of sugar.