Mákos guba – Bread pudding with poppy seeds

makos guba or pompos hungarian poppy seed bread pudding
I love desserts with poppy seeds, and I do not understand why are they popular only in Central Europe. Here poppy seeds are associated with sweets. Across our borders it is usually salty stuff, like crackers, rolls and bagels that get poppyseeds, just on top. It is time to let the world know about the real destiny of the poppy seed.

This recipe is a Christmas classic. In our family we call it pompos and serve it as the third course in our Christmas dinner multi-course menu. I am glad to inform you that on the web you will find numerous recipes for this treasure, but none of them is like mine. Our family makes the pompos a bit differently and you will be happy to know that this is one of the oldest recipes in our family, maybe few hundred years old. The fact that it is also easier helps too. And you can use up stale bread while you’re at it.

old bread rolls perfect for bread pudding

Pompos – Bread pudding with poppy seeds

This is a very simple and straightforward recipe. Please feel free to adjust the quantities of poppy seeds and sugar. The quantities here are for real poppy seed lovers like me. Traditionally honey was used instead of sugar. I have used rock-hard rolls, but you can use any sweet or savory breads or even stale cake (who ever has stale cake?). My mum replaces milk with water, because this way it keeps longer. I recommend making smaller quantities and using milk for better flavor.


Makes about 4 portions

  • 1½ cup poppy seeds
  • 7-8 stale rolls or bread (around a pound)
  • 2 cups milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup raisins


  • Grind the poppy seeds in a food processor, spice or coffee grinder.
  • Heat up the milk and add the poppy seeds, lemon zest, sugar and the raisins. Bring it to a boil and then set aside to cool.
  • Cut the bread into 1-inch chunks.
  • Put the bread into a big bowl and pour the milk over it.
  • Mix gently but thoroughly. Set aside for 10 minutes and let the bread absorb the liquid.
  • Serve with drizzled honey on top.


2 Responses

  1. in our family it is second (last) course but also one of my favouritest. in restaurants you can also find it nowadays and it is very easy to make. I have seen recipes with the same beginning but baked with the honey on top at the end. we do not use raisins, nor honey, our family version is just simpler: we heat up the milk and pour it over the bread, everyone adds poppy seeds and suger as they like. nice post… again… 🙂 oh yes, and grinding is done manually, part of Christmas traditional works.

  2. My grand mom is making the best makos guba ever! when I was a kid and there was a guba for desert, they had to hide it from me so that I eat the main course first. Otherwise I would dive into the cooking pot and forgot about the surroundings 🙂 It is still one of my favorite deserts! And it is very easy to prepare. Thanks for the post Valer!

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