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Traditional Poppy Seed Mohn Hamantaschen

Traditional Poppy Seed Mohn Hamantaschen


It's that time of year again...Purim is a-comin' with great fanfare and, of course, the ever-popular hamantaschen.

When I shared my chocolate-dipped cream cheese hamantaschen recipe two years ago, I mentioned that I had never actually tasted the traditional poppy seed filled ones. Scandalous, I know! But I'm happy to report that I've mended my ways and hereby present you with the ultimate traditional hamantasch recipe.

You'll need to make the filling and let it cool before using it in the hamantaschen. The filling recipe may seem intimidating when you first read it, but read it carefully a second time and you'll find it's not as difficult as it sounds. While it's cooling, you can make the dough.

This dough is quick to make and easy to work with. If you don't like poppy seed filling, or if you'd like some variety, you can use other fillings as well. Strawberry and apricot jam have become very traditional. Prune lekvar is also traditional. Some people also like to fill them with chocolate or peanut butter. Get creative and have fun—there's a whole world of Hamantaschen out there!

One of the most common questions I get asked this time of year, is how to make sure the hamantaschend don't open up while baking. So, some tips:

  • Keep the dough on the thinner side.
  • Do not overfill the hamantaschen.
  • Work patiently and consistently. Don't rush through. Take the extra 15 seconds to make sure the edges are tightly pinched.
  • Close the hamantaschen up more than you think you need to. See mine—I left a pretty small opening.
  • Be careful not to add too much flour to do the dough, because that will make the dough drier and harder to seal.

Dough Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Dough Directions

  1. Mix the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour and the baking powder. Mix.
  3. Add the second cup of flour until the dough forms a soft, but not sticky ball. You may need 2-3 more tablespoons of flour if your dough is sticky.
  4. Roll out the dough and cut out circles.
  5. Put a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle.
  6. Gently fold the sides and pinch shut tightly.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes on 350°F.

Yields: 20 Hamantaschen

Filling Ingredients

Note: Very closely based on Tori Avey's recipe

  • ¾ cup poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp. butter (coconut oil or margarine, for pareve)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg

Filling Directions

  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter/margarine in a small saucepan. Whisk in the coconut milk, sugar, and honey, and simmer over a low flame until the sugar is melted.
  3. Pour half the mixture into a cup or small bowl.
  4. Very slowly drizzle the hot mixture from the cup/bowl into the beaten egg, whisking constantly.
  5. Now slowly pour the egg mixture back into remaining hot mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly.
  6. Simmer the mixture for 3-4 minutes until it thickens. Remove from fire.
  7. Whisk in the poppy seeds and refrigerate until fully cooled before using.

Wondering why Hamantaschen are traditional Purim fare? The reasons and symbolism are abundant. On the surface level, Haman, the evil villain from the Purim story, was said to wear a triangular hat. Alternatively, he is said to have had triangular ears (hence, the Hebrew name for hamantaschen, "Oznei Haman" - Haman's ears.

For a deeper look at the message behind the Hamantasch, read The Secret of the Hamantasch, Holy Hamantaschen, and Mystic Purim Pastries.

What's your favorite hamantasch filling? Let us know in the comments.

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Discussion (24)
March 12, 2017
I'm back...btw, it's if you use yeast dough and egg wash the results are breathtakingly delicious. They take more time but it's worth it.
March 12, 2017
My grandfather owned a bakery for many years and we loved his hamantaschen. My favorite filling was prune which had lemon added so they were quite piquant.
March 11, 2017
Shalom. If you are wanting to use whole wheat flour, use whole wheat pastry flour. You will not need to make any adjustments if you do. The use of all Regular whole wheat flour will not work. You can substitute 1/3 white flour for regular whole wheat without making any other changes. XbakerDean
dean johnston
la mesa
March 2, 2017
Hi Ruth,

I do not ground them, but I know that many recipes do ask for that. I would imagine the quantities would be the same, the end texture would just be smoother, so it's up to you. Let me know how it comes out.
Miriam Szokovski
March 2, 2017
I have always had the poppy seeds ground. Do you use them unground?
Ruth Betty
ST Kilda East
November 1, 2016
whole wheat
Hi Alicia,

I haven't tried it with whole wheat flour, but in general you need more liquid when you're baking with whole wheat. not sure how I'd adjust this, but if you tried it, let me know how it worked out.

PS. there is a "pin it" button at the top of the page, in the header above the recipe!
Miriam Szokovski
October 27, 2016
Do you know?
Do you know or does anyone reading know I'd I can use while what flour? Will it work or do I need to make adjustments to baking powder or any other ingredients, thanks so much (we want a Pinterest pin option)
Alicia Dishmam
South Charleston
March 23, 2016
I love the poppy seed because it's not as sweet as the other fillimgs
March 18, 2016
for Alan from Quebec
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 lemon, quartered and seeded
1/2 orange, quartered and seeded
1 tablespoon Triple Sec or other orange-flavored liqueur
2 dried figs, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1. To make the dough, cream the butter or margarine with the sugar in a food processor or standing mixer. Add the
egg, vanilla, and orange juice and continue to cream until smooth.
2. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until the dough comes together, adding flour until the
dough is pliable. It will be slightly sticky. Roll into a ball, using the remaining flour if needed, flatten, and wrap in
plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
3. To make the filling, place all of the filling ingredients in a food processor and process until chopped but not pureed.
You should have approximately 2 cups. Set aside until the dough is chilled.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet. Fill a small bowl with water.
5. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured board until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Place 1 teaspoon of
filling in the center of each circle. To shape the hamantaschen, first brush water around the rim of the circle with your
finger. Pull the edges of the dough up to form a triangle around the filling and pinch the 3 corners together, leaving a
small opening in the center. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.
Yield: Makes about 30 cookies
Dobbs Ferry, NY
November 30, 2015
to allan
I will keep it in mind and let you know if I come across anything which sounds right.
Miriam Szokovski