Rugelach

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Delicious to eat and fun to make, rugelach are miniature crescent-rolled pastries with a sweet filling.

Delicious to eat and fun to make, rugelach (pronounced rug-a-lah) are miniature crescent-rolled pastries posing as cookies. They’re made by rolling a triangle of dough around a sweet filling of fruit, nuts, chocolate or pretty much anything your heart desires.

If you’ve never had rugelach or made them from scratch, definitely roll up your sleeves and give this classic walnut-raisin version a try. They’re easier than they look and vastly better than store-bought. I’ll be honest: they do take some time to make because the dough needs to be refrigerated for a few hours but I promise you it’s worth it. Fresh out of the oven, they’re buttery and flaky with a sweet cinnamon scent that will tempt you to eat the entire batch.rolling-dough-with-kids

Since rugelach are hands-on, they are wonderful to make with kids. Mine love rolling out the dough (which, thankfully, is very forgiving!), creating their own fillings (scroll down to the recipe for chocolate chip and Nutella variations) and then rolling the cookies into little twists.

What you’ll need to make Rugelach

ingredients to make rugelach

How To Make Rugelach

Begin by making the dough. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse a few times to mix.

blended flour and salt in food processor

Add the cubed butter, cream cheese, and egg yolk. The cream cheese is what makes the dough pliable, easy to work with, and reliably tender. The egg yolk adds a little extra richness and helps the dough turn golden in the oven.

adding butter, cream cheese and egg yolk to the flour mixture

Pulse until the mixture forms large curd-like pieces. Be careful not to over-mix; all those little chunks of fat will steam while the rugelach bake, making the dough tender and flaky.

crumbly dough

Dump the crumbly dough onto a work surface. It will look like a mess but don’t worry, it will come together.

crumbly rugelach dough on work surface

Knead the dough just until it comes together and shape it into a square or rectangle.

dough kneaded and shaped into rectangle

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions.

slicing dough into quarters

Flatten each portion into 1-inch thick disks, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

rugelach dough disks wrapped in plastic

Wipe out the food processor and make the filling by combining the brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts in the bowl.

rugelach filling ingredients in food processor

Process until the nuts and raisins are finely chopped, then transfer the filling to a bowl and set aside until the dough is ready to roll.

finely chopped rugelach filling

Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well so the rolling pin doesn’t stick.

rugelach dough ready to roll out

Roll each disc into a rough 10-11″ circle (it should be just under 1/8″ thick). Turn the dough and dust with more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick. Don’t worry if the edges are a little cracked or rough.

11-in circle of dough

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the filling evenly over the dough and press down firmly with your hands to anchor it.

pressing the filling down to anchor it

Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice the dough into 12 wedges, just like you would cut a pizza or pie.

sliced rugelach before rolling

Roll each wedge up, beginning with the wide end and ending with the narrow end.

rolling up the rugelach wedges

Place the rolls point-side down, about an inch apart, on parchment lined baking sheets.

rugelach ready to bake

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden.

baked rugelach

Transfer the rugelach to a rack to cool completely. They are best served warm out of the oven, but keep well for several days stored in an airtight container. Enjoy!

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Rugelach

Delicious to eat and fun to make, rugelach are miniature crescent-rolled pastries with a sweet filling.

Servings: 48 cookies
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with back edge of knife, plus more for rolling dough
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 8 oz (1 package) cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 egg yolk

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the chunks of butter and cream cheese, as well as the egg yolk. Pulse until the dough is moistened and crumbly with curd-like pieces about the size of peas. Dump the dough out onto a work surface. Knead just until it comes together and shape into a square or rectangle. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and flatten into 1-inch thick discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Wipe out the food processor. To make the filling, place the brown sugar, granulated sugar, walnuts, raisins and cinnamon in the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the walnuts and raisins are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until the dough is ready.
  4. Preheat oven to 350ºF and set two oven racks in the centermost positions. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a lightly floured work surface. (If necessary, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes until pliable enough to roll, but not too soft.) Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a 10 - 11-inch circle, or just under an 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle more flour and turn as necessary so the dough doesn't stick. Spread 1/2 cup of the filling over the dough; using your hands, press the filling into the dough to anchor it.
  6. Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut the dough into twelve equal wedges (just like you would cut a pizza). Roll each wedge up, beginning with the wide end and ending with the point. Place the rolls point-side down, about an inch apart, on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have 24 rugelach on each baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through, or until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms are golden and crisp (at first glance, it might look like the bottoms are burnt, but that's just the dark filling oozing out). Transfer the rugelach to a rack to cool.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The Dough can be Frozen for up to 3 Months: Shape the dough into 2 discs, wrap each securely in plastic wrap, and place them in a sealable bag. When ready to bake, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight, and then proceed with recipe. They can also be assembled and frozen before baking: Arrange them on a baking sheet (so they’re not touching) and freeze until very firm. Transfer them to an airtight container. They can be baked directly out of the freezer; they may just need a few extra minutes in the oven. To Freeze After Baking: Let the rugelach cool completely and store in an airtight container separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 2 cookies
  • Calories: 181
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Sodium: 58mg
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I made these for our 4th of July celebration, even though these were not exactly traditional for us. They may be traditional now. I made the rolls early and froze them, so baking them fresh was a snap. The size was perfect, and less messy than something frosted, since kids took them to enjoy with no plate. I only have a few left, and I shared the recipe.

    I did substitute dried cherries for the raisins, since that was what I had in the pantry, but really there are many other fruit combos that would be delicious. Definitely a keeper, thanks.

    • — Asull on July 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe. I experimented with this recipe and was not too sure how well it would work because I did not have a processor. I used a stand mixer and just went for it. I used warm butter and I let my cream cheese sit in the kitchen to warm up. In Germany they do not sell the same cream cheese but the version here is a bit watered down. My mixture was very wet because of this but easy to work with so I just prayed. I let it sit for three to four hours in the refrigerator and then rolled it out. I used the chocolate filling ( make sure it is warm when you spread it on the dough and roll them quickly otherwise it crumbles) instead from her other recipe and they turned out nice and flakey definitely not what I expected since my mixture was rather gooey. Thank you I love them and they smell amazing.

    • — Lilly on March 26, 2021
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  • I tried this and what a disaster. Just a waste of ingredients!!!

    • — Brenda on March 10, 2021
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  • I made this for a family Chanukah party and didn’t tell everyone that I made them. I was talking to various family members and asked how they liked the rugelach and they wanted to know which bakery I bought them from! They’re SO good. I followed the recipe exactly and although I was intimidated to make them, the instructions were so easy to follow. Will definitely be making them again!

    • — Jen Gilbert on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these for Christmas to add to my cookie tray and was surprised at how easy they were! I appreciated the tips on chilling them and rolling them out. They will be a regular from now on!

    • — Nadine on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love these and still have some in our freezer for special occasions. Better than store bought! Family thought these were fantastic and our daughter in law’s family owns a deli.

    • — mikermeals on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Just made these – my first time making rugelach – and they turned out great! I ad libbed a bit by glazing them in a syrup of sugar/water when they came out the oven to give them a little shine. Thank you for the recipe!

    • — Marianne on December 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • The dough came out very dry for me (and I did the spooning and leveling of flour). I don’t normally use a food processor to make dough and it was unclear if it was over processed or under processed. The butter was definitely incorporated but the dough was very dry and raggedy and did not hold together at all. I added another egg yolk as I thought richness would be a better choice than more butter. That helped but ultimately I had to add 1 tbsp. more butter. Thoughts? (Note, they still came out just fine but the dough was problematic.)

    • — Michelle on December 21, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, glad to hear they came out well but sorry to hear you struggled with the dough! By nature, the dough is quite crumbly. If you make these again, once you remove the dough from the fridge, knead it a little bit until it comes together. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • My dough was really crumbly (I weighed the flour). Not moist at all, like your picture. I gathered it into four disks, but I have a feeling when I try to roll it out, it will turn to crumbs again. Is there any way to fix it? It’s resting in the fridge now.

    • — Renee on December 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Renee, The dough is really crumbly. Once you remove it from the fridge, I’d just knead it a bit till it comes together. Hope they turn out okay!

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn! They turned out great! The rest in the fridge hydrated the dough and it stayed together when I rolled it! Yay! Thank you for sharing so many great recipes!

        • — Renee on December 23, 2020
        • Reply
  • What is the difference in preparing the dough and rolling it out with your chocolate rugelach?
    I’ve seen some comments about that.

    Going to make it for the first time and this is where I get confused!

    Thanks so much!

    Big Fan,
    Edie

    • — Edythe Davis on December 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Edie, the chocolate rugelach is a bit different in terms of shape. The dough for those is rolled into a log and then sliced whereas these are a crescent shape, so this dough gets rolled into a disc and then cut into wedges (almost like a pizza) before assembling. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Do you ever make them rolled straight and cut instead of a crescent? If so, how wide should the dough be? I tried this and I think they were too fat, because they fell over when baking –tasted great, but looked wonky–and I wouldn’t have served to guests!

    P.S. Just got your cookbook–can’t wait to read it! and ordered one for my sister’s bday too.

    • — Ellen on December 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, Yes – can follow the technique for my chocolate rugelach. Hope you enjoy the cookbook!

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have had great luck with every recipe I’ve tried from both your website and your cookbook. Thank you for that. I would like to try both these Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Rugelach cookies and your Chocolate Rugelach cookies, but my waistline does not need full batches of both. I was hoping to make one batch of dough and split it in half to use 2 chunks for the chocolate version and the other 2 chunks for the raisin/cinnamon version above. I noticed that the Chocolate Rugelach has the addition of 6T of sugar. I am looking for a suggestion as to which dough recipe to use and divide. Thanks for your help. Rhonda

    • — Rhonda on December 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Rhonda, I’d use the chocolate dough – a little extra sweetness won’t hurt the cinnamon raisin version. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • All done! Been making theses since the 70’s!

    • — Nana Ann on December 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this recipe today and it turned out perfect. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • — Lesley on December 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Love everything I have made from your site. Do the pans get rotated midway? Thank you

    • — Mary on December 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, Yes, thank you for catching that! I will update. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 5, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hey! I can’t seem to find the instructions for the Nutella version. May you please point me to them? Thanks!

    • — Erra on November 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Erra, I don’t have a nutella version on the site, but you might like this chocolate version.

      • — Jenn on November 25, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn. Love everything I have made from your site. Do the sheets get rotated midway? Many thanks.

        • — Mary on December 5, 2020
        • Reply
        • Glad you like the recipes! Yes, the pans should be rotated halfway through. Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on December 7, 2020
          • Reply
  • Can I freeze the rugelach dough

    • — Debby on November 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes (see the bottom of the recipe for freezer-friendly instructions). 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Delicious. Necessity being the mother of invention; I substituted pecans for walnuts and dried apricots for raisins. Came out perfectly. I froze 1/2 of the rolled cookies we’ll se how that works.

    • — Bonny on October 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • How could this recipe be adapted for making raspberry rugelach?

    • — Karen on May 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, although I haven’t tried it, I suspect you could just use raspberry jam or preserves instead of the nuts, raisins, cinnamon, and sugar here. Keep in mind that the jam will ooze out a bit as the rugelach bakes. I’d limit the amount that you spread on the dough to a relatively thin coating to avoid too much oozing. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on May 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • These turned out perfect. They were much easier to handle when rolled (I made one batch crescent shaped). The dough is light and not at all sweet so it really makes the filling shine. I used brandied raisins and I think it made it easier to spread and tamp down, not to mention very tasty.
    My husband and I have been home for 30 days and your recipes are keeping me sane. Thanks again for a great, easy recipe.
    Tomorrow I’m making your baked Brie. Yum

    • — Marilyn Segal on April 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Thanks for reporting back — so glad you enjoyed! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • I know its a different dough than the chocolate Rugelach recipe, but can I roll these like that recipe and bake them at 350 for 20 minutes?

    • — Marilyn Segal on March 31, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Marilyn, I think that should work. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on April 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • How long can these cookies be frozen after they are baked? They are delicious.

    • — sharon bailey on January 26, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sharon, they will freeze nicely for up to 3 months (and glad you liike them)!

      • — Jenn on January 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi! I have enjoyed your website immensely! I have made so many of your recipes– appetizers, main courses, side dishes and desserts and have loved them, sharing the website and recipes with so many, many friends.

    I tried to make the rugelach dough this week, I am an experienced baker and cook but not I guess with using a food processor to prepare dough. It came out of the processor dry and flaky. Did I not process it long enough? I also used the butter and cream cheese cut earlier in pieces as the recipe describes but straight from the frig. Would like to try again if I could get some clue as to what I did wrong.

    Thanks! Please keep those wonderful recipes coming!!

    • — Karen on December 25, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen! It sounds like you definitely needed to process the dough a bit longer – it should be crumbly but moist.

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • Just got done making these!!! Sooooooo delicious and easy to make…….
    If you have never worked with any type of dough before, I strongly suggest you try this recipe.
    Dough rolls out beautifully…..is not dry at all….nor sticky…
    Once rolled out, I did add a little raspberry jam…….and mini chocolate chips….
    This is my favorite rugelach recipe………

    • — Wendy Schoenburg on December 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • I love rugelach but was always too intimidated to make them. Then I found your recipe and decided to go for it. So glad I did. Delicious and fun to make. Can’t wait to share them at the cookie swap.

    • — Nancy on December 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • Embarrassed to ask…but can I cheat and make these using premade dough, like Pillsbury crescent rolls?

    • — Pam on December 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • No need to be embarrassed but I wouldn’t recommend using a premade dough for these. I think there are too many variables that could change with the recipe and don’t know that you’d get great results. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 19, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    This recipe looks so fun, but I am doubting whether it would work for me. I live in Norway, and our cream cheese (although Philadelphia brand) does not come in brick-form like yours, but in tub/spread form. That there was a difference occurred to me just recently as I was having trouble following American cream cheese frosting recipes for layer cakes, where the frosting always ended up too runny for a stable cake without adding loads more powdered sugar. The cream cheese works just fine for other recipes such as your amazing cheesecake.

    I am worried however, that using the cream cheese with more liquid would not work for pastry like this. What do you think? I see you have recommended shortening for others – but that is basically impossible to get here.

    If you have any other thoughts or tips for using European-style cream cheese for baking in general I would love to hear it!

    • — Elise on December 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Elise, I think you could get away with using the tub cream cheese. (You could also use more butter in place of half of the cream cheese and then the remaining half with the cream cheese.) Hope that helps and please let me know how they turn out if you make them this way!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Do you think I could do a mashup of this recipe and your chocolate rugelach recipe, using that rolling method but this filling? And, would it work well to spread a thin layer of apricot preserves under this filling or would it make it too gooey/sticky? Thank you so much! These look like great recipes.

    • — Cora on December 6, 2019
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes (but I’d use the apricot preserves sparingly; if not, it may seep out of the rugelach). Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 10, 2019
      • Reply
  • These sound yummy. Could I make the filling at a more coarse consistency? And, would sprinkling granulated sugar on top affect baking time or outcome? Your recipes are wonderful, thank you.

    • — Tammy B on December 4, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, but I wouldn’t make the filling much more coarse or it will be difficult to roll the dough around it. And adding sugar to the tops won’t impact the baking time at all (and glad you like the recipes)! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hey Jenn,
    trying to print off your recipes for Rugelach and it doesn’t seem to appear? The link “jump to recipe” only gives me the reviews?

    • — Jacquie on September 14, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Jacquie, that happens if you’ve been reading the reviews and then click on “jump to recipe” at the top of the page. Scroll to the very top of the reviews and immediately above that, click on the word “recipe.” That will show you the recipe and on the right side of the recipe box, click on the print icon. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on September 14, 2019
      • Reply
  • Do these cookies need to be refrigerated after baking?

    • — Wendy on September 12, 2019
    • Reply
    • No – you can store them in an airtight container and leave them on the counter. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2019
      • Reply
  • What a great recipe. I didnt change a thing. It came out perfect and this was my first try at making it.
    Thank you

  • Hello….Love your recipes. For the rugelach to be crunchy and flakey, would the flour need to be rolled thinner and cooked a little longer? Trying to recreate crunchy rugelach I used to enjoy as a child.

    • Yes, Tara, I think what you mentioned will help you achieve a crunchier pastry.

  • Hey Jenn! If I don’t have a large food processor or a standmixer, how would you recommend I mix these? Should I cut in the butter and cream cheese with my pastry cutter or should I try to process the butter/flour/cream cheese in batches?

    Thanks!

    • Because you have one, I’d recommend using the food processor and just doing it in batches. Hope you enjoy!

  • I have some of this dough that I froze and was wondering if I can defrost it, make the cookies and then refreeze them unbaked or baked?

    • Yes, that’s fine, Kathy. Enjoy!

  • Absolutely FABULOUS recipe!!!

  • Can’t wait to try these. Question, I’ve noticed some recipes call for sour cream however, your recipe calls for an egg yolk, what is the difference?
    Thanks much?

    • Hi Debbie, Both add richness – there are many ways to get there. 🙂

  • I do not have a food processor – is there anything else you would recommend to use? A Kitchen Aid? Blender? Thanks!

    • Hi Helen, Your mixer that would work (bring the butter and cream cheese to room temperature first). The dough won’t be quite as flaky, but they’ll still be good. Enjoy!

  • Can you use raspberry preserves instead of jam? Can you use regular sized chocolate chips chopped instead of the mini’s?

    Thanks……….

    • Yes and Yes. (I’d actually recommend a chopping up a chocolate bar instead of chocolate chips though – it will be easier to chop.)

  • Do you use the large or small chopping blade to make your rugelach in the food processor?

    Thanks in advance…..love your recipes!

    • Hi Barb, My food processor only has one chopping blade. If you have more than one, I’d use the largest blade that fits in the bowl you’re using.

  • Jenn, what can I substitute cream cheese with? I am in a village in Montenegro and don’t have it in the local store

    • Hi Olga, I’d replace the cream cheese with shortening. Hope you enjoy!

  • Easy and fool proof! I accidentally over mixed the dough and it still turned out really yummy! I made another batch and was careful with the mixing. I couldn’t tell which I liked better.

  • Great rugelach recipe! I make the traditional and the mini chocolate chip versions, as written, and the rugelach comes out perfectly every time. The only change I made is I cut the dough to make 16 per batch instead of 12. Do make sure you allow enough time to chill the dough and are patient when rolling so they are nice and tight. I was asked to make “my” rugelach for our upcoming Film Festival. I am sure I will be sharing this recipe with more friends after the festival.

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