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How to Make Classic Rugelach

4.85 from 20 votes
My Classic Rugelach recipe is way better than anything you can buy at the store during the holidays, filled with luscious jam, nuts, and raisins.
A wire rack full of my classic rugelach cookies!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Rugelach is a bakery staple, but this delicious cookie is actually super simple to make! And my homemade rugelach recipe beats store-bought any day of the week.

If you look at a Classic Rugelach, you may feel a bit intimidated. It looks fancy! Spoiler alert: they’re a cinch. 

My classic homemade rugelach is a treasure trove of flavors and textures: flaky cream cheese pastry rolled with sweet, tart apricot jam, raisins, and chopped walnuts. But the beautiful thing about this cookie recipe is that you get to decide what filling you’d like! Try it with chocolate, or Nutella, cinnamon sugar, or your favorite jam. This pastry compliments all those wonderful flavors.

Looking for more holiday cookies from around the world? Try my Spanish Almond Cookies, Danish Butter Cookies, or my German Spritz Cookies! For more recipes from across the globe, check out my Bold Baking Worldwide section in my Holiday Headquarters.

What Is Rugelach?

Rugelach is a filled pastry that originated in Poland’s Jewish communities that traveled and became popular in Israel and beyond. The name itself, rugelach, comes from the Yiddish word for “twist.”

Rugelach is put out at many events, but especially Jewish holidays like Hanukkah. The tiny little cookies hold a special place for many people who have been eating them since childhood.

My rugelach recipe is yeast-free, which means it’s a faster dough. You don’t have to go through the process of proofing; it just needs to chill in the refrigerator for one hour! 

Dusting homemade rugelach with powdered sugar!

What You Need To Make Rugelach

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Food processor or large bowl
  • Mixing bowl

How To Make Rugelach

These cookies are so fun to make, and the cutting and rolling of the rugelach is a great way to get kids in the kitchen! Here’s how you make rugelach (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor or large bowl. Then, pulse or cut in the cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar until the mixture is damp and crumbly. Press the mixture together to form the dough.
  3. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it chill in a refrigerator for at least an hour (or until firm.)
  4. To make the fruit and nut filling, combine the raisins, chopped walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
  5. Start assembling the rugalach! Working with one disc at a time, roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle that is about 1/8-1/4-inch (3-6mm) thick.
  6. Spread the dough with half of the jam and then sprinkle all over the dough with half of the raisin and walnut mix.
  7. Starting with the rectangle’s long side, roll the dough with the filling into a log and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the second half of dough and filling. Place next to the first log on the baking sheet.
  8. Refrigerator the logs until they are firm enough to slice. This will take around 30 minutes.
  9. While the logs chill, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  10. Once firm, brush the logs with the egg wash.
  11. Cut the log into slices about halfway down at 1-inch (2 1/2cm) intervals. Be sure not to cut all the way through.
  12. Bake the rugelach for 25-30 minutes, until they are golden brown. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, then cut the slices all the way through and let cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar! 

A close up of my rugelach, filled with jam, nuts, and raisins.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Rugelach

  • Treat this dough like you would with any pastry. Work quickly and handle it as little as possible to get the flakiest results!
  • The dough is very soft and delicate, so you want to make sure it is thoroughly chilled before rolling. Check for sticking while you roll, and add more flour if needed.
  • Prefer chocolate? Try this filling in place of the jam for one of the rolls: mix 1 cup (6oz/170g) of finely chopped chocolate, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Sprinkle onto the rolled-out dough and proceed according to the directions above.
  • Can’t decide between jam and chocolate? You don’t have to! Use the jam and nut filling and add a sprinkle of 1/3 cup (2oz/57g) finely chopped chocolate on top of the filling before you roll up the logs!
  • Try filling them with homemade Nutella
  • Prefer a different flavor of jam? Go ahead and use it in place of the apricot jam! They will be delicious!
  • These cookies can be a bit time consuming to make, but you can make the dough up to three days in advance. Wrap well and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble and bake.

How Do I Store Rugelach

You can store any leftover rugelach in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze rugelach for up to 2 months. Just be sure to defrost at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.

Make More Holiday Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

How to Make Classic Rugelach Recipe

4.85 from 20 votes
My Classic Rugelach recipe is way better than anything you can buy at the store during the holidays, filled with luscious jam, nuts, and raisins.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 18 cookies
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Chill the Dough 1 hr 30 mins
My Classic Rugelach recipe is way better than anything you can buy at the store during the holidays, filled with luscious jam, nuts, and raisins.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 18 cookies

Ingredients

Rugalach Dough

  • 1 ⅔ cups (8⅓oz/236g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) cold cream cheese diced
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) cold butter diced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fruit and Nut Filling

  • 1 cup (5oz/142g) raisins
  • 1 cup (5oz/142g) walnuts finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (10oz/283g) apricot jam
  • Egg wash
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Rugelach Dough:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a food processor or large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt, then pulse or cut in the cream cheese, butter, and granulated sugar until the mixture is damp and crumbly. Press the mixture together to form a dough.
  • Divide the dough in half, flatten each half into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (until firm).

Fruit and Nut Filling:

  • Combine the raisins, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Set aside.

Assembling the Rugelach:

  • Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll the dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle about 1/8-1/4 (3-6mm) inch thick.
  • Spread the dough with half of the jam and then sprinkle all over with half of the raisin walnut mix.
  • Starting with a long side, roll the dough with the filling into a log and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, and place next to the first log on the baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate the logs until they are firm enough to slice, about 30 minutes.
  • While the logs are chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Once both filled logs are firm enough to slice, brush with the egg wash.
  • Cut slices in the logs about halfway down at 1-inch (2 ½cm) intervals taking care not to cut all the way through.
  • Bake the rugelach for 25-30 minutes, until they are golden brown. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, then cut the slices all the way through and let cool completely.
  • Store rugelach in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to one week. For longer storage, they can be frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for an hour or two.

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Margaret24

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Vikky
Vikky
10 months ago

I’ve just made this recipe using left over Christmas cake fruit soaked in brandy and sherry, delicious😋

Sara Goverman
10 months ago

Just to give you a little info from a Jewish baker-I make rugelach and yours look delicious, however, these are not the traditional shape for rugelach, This is more like a strudel shape. Rugelach are shaped like mini croissants – little triangles that a rolled up. Hope you don’t mind the comment.

Heidi McCabe
Heidi McCabe
10 months ago

Would like to know what size the rectangle of pastry should be, not simply the thickness, please?

CarolF
CarolF
10 months ago

Nobody around me likes raisins, so I made this with dried cranberries and apricots soaked in rum and orange juice instead. I filled the other roll with chocolate and nutella. It’s amazing, thank you very much for this recipe! Also, I made this in a gluten-free version and it worked out really well 🙂

Suzette
Suzette
10 months ago

My dough (which was super simple to make and came together beautifully) is chilling as I write this. I could not decide between jam/nut or chocolate/nut filling, so I’m making two – one of each! Can’t wait for them to be done so I can taste them. Thanks Gemma for another great recipe!!

pepi
pepi
7 months ago

For how much time can I store the dough in the fridge?

Christina Nicoloro-Moore
Christina Nicoloro-Moore
9 months ago

I love this recipe! I always thought this cookie would be too hard too make. It was a special treat I would occasionally pick up for my husband at the Italian market. I have made it twice since Christmas. He says it is the best cookie I have ever made! Thanks, Gemma!

Hana
Hana
10 months ago

Hi, I love your recipes, and this one seems delicious , but is there any way to use gluten free flour instead of all purpose? Thanks , Hana

Last edited 10 months ago by Hana
Karyn
Karyn
10 months ago

These were absolutely delicious and not difficult to make. I like that you can customize the filling to your liking.

Margaret24
10 months ago

I used my sister’s homemade apricot jam and pecans instead of walnuts. I also used light instead of dark brown sugar. They came out delicious. My jam mixture did run as I may have over filled but overall successful.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!