Cheese-Filled Sweet Rolls


Rate this recipe

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

There’s a Czech fairy tale about a hero who sustained himself during his adventures with these filling sweet rolls. This recipe came with the Bohemian bakers who emigrated to work for the elite in Vienna, where it eventually became Buchteln. They can be stuffed with the typical ingredients of the Austro-Hungarian baking world, (prune butter, apricot preserves, walnuts, or poppy seeds), but the farmer’s cheese is especially popular.



  • 1 ounce ½ cube) fresh compressed yeast or teaspoons (about envelopes) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup milk (heated to 105° to 115°F if using dry yeast)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup unbleached flour


  • cups unbleached flour, as needed ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

Cheese Filling

  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 8 ounces farmer’s cheese, rubbed through a coarse wire sieve
  • 1 large egg, separated, at room temperature
  • cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  1. To make the sponge: Crumble the yeast over the milk in a small bowl and add the sugar. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until the mixture is bubbly and almost doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  2. To make the dough: Stir the flour, the sugar, and the salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty standing mixer. Add the butter. Attach to the mixer and fit with the paddle blade. With the machine on low speed, mix until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the sponge, milk, egg, yolks, vanilla, almond extract, and lemon zest and mix on low speed. Mix in additional flour as needed to make a somewhat sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Gather up the dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand just until the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Gather the dough into a ball and place in a large buttered bowl. Turn to coat the dough with butter, then cover tightly. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1¼ hours.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Mash the sugar and butter together with a rubber spatula to combine. Beat in the cheese, then the egg yolk and raisins. Whisk the egg white in a small bowl until stiff, and fold into the cheese mixture.
  5. Punch down the dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead briefly. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into twelve pieces and form each into a taut ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Butter a 13 X 9-inch baking pan. On the work surface, pat and stretch a ball of dough into a -inch round. Place a generous tablespoon of the filling in the center of the dough. Bring up the edges of the circle to enclose the filling, and pinch closed. Place smooth side up in the pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
  7. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Brush the tops of the rolls with half of the melted butter. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining butter (which may have solidified but will melt in contact with the hot rolls). Cool for at least 20 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature.

Part of