The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (2024)

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Shelly 49 Comments

★★★★★5 from 13 reviews

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Rugelachis a classic pastry filled with a variety of nuts, fruit, preserves, and cinnamon sugar. This is an easy rugelach recipe that breaks down and simplifies the steps so everyone can make it with ease!

The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (1)

Table of Contents

  • Why You’ll Love This Rugelach Recipe
  • Recipe Ingredients
  • Other Rugelach Filling Ideas
  • How To Make Rugelach Cookies
  • Do I Have To Chill My Rugelach Dough?
  • Tips for Success
  • Serving Suggestions
  • How To Store Rugelach
  • More Easy Pastry Recipes
  • Get the Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Rugelach Recipe

Here are a few reasons why you’ll love these rugelach cookies.

  • Easier than you think!I prefer to make my Rugelach by creating a log of dough and slicing it, instead of creating individual crescents. I have found this is an easier process, quicker to put together and creates beautiful pinwheel-style cookies.
  • Made with pantry staples.Rugelach dough is made with ingredients like butter, cream cheese, and flour. There’s no need to source any hard-to-find ingredients for this recipe.
  • Perfect combination of textures and flavor. The butter and cream cheese dough is soft, but as it bakes it gets buttery, crunchy, and caramelized.
  • Versatile.One of the best things about rugelach is that you can easily switch up the filling. I’ve included my personal favorite filling in the recipe but below you’ll find a long list of other options too!

Looking for more easy to make cookies? Be sure to try Kitchen Sink Cookies, Butter Cookies, Monster Cookies, Molasses Cookies, Italian Ricotta Cookies, and Linzer Cookies too!

The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (2)

Recipe Ingredients

This rugelach recipe is made primarily with pantry staples, so you may find that you already have everything you need on hand. See the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Butter & Cream Cheese– The trick to making rugelach dough is the combination of cream cheese and butter. If you were to use an all butter dough it would be a lot like apie crust, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just the cream cheese keeps the dough soft, tender, and pliable, because you are rolling it up. I like to use salted butter to boost the flavor of the dough, but you can also use unsalted butter if you prefer.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Kosher Salt– Helps to balance out the sweetness.
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Filling– Apricot preserves, golden raisins, and chopped walnuts are my go-to’s for the filling, though see below for other filling ideas.
  • Cinnamon Sugar– Adds warmth and sweetness to the filling.
  • Milk– Helps the dough turn golden brown in the oven.
  • Turbinado Sugar– For garnish and texture.

Other Rugelach Filling Ideas

Since you divide the rugelach dough into fourths when rolling it out it’s a great time to get creative! You could easily create four different “flavors” with one batch of dough with is so fun! Here are some ideas of other fillings:

  • Nutella
  • Fruit preserves or jam like strawberry or raspberry + minichocolate chips(or a mixture of all of these!)
  • Butter and cinnamon sugar
  • Peanut Butter + mini chocolate chips
  • Other dried fruits instead of raisins like: dried cherries, Craisins, chopped dates etc.
  • Apples and cinnamon (raw peeled and diced apples)

How To Make Rugelach Cookies

Making rugelach is easier than you may think, especially using my technique of creating a log instead of individual twists Remember to scroll to the bottom of the post to the recipe card for the full instructions!

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The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (4)
The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (5)
  • Make the dough.Mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and salt and mix for a minute. Turn the mixer to low and mix in the flour until just combined and a smooth dough forms.
  • Chill.Place the dough on plastic wrap and press into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  • Divide. Divide the dough into 4 and return all except the piece you’re working with to the fridge.
  • Shape and roll the dough. Roll out the dough into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Top with 1/4 of the preserves (it will be a thin layer), raisins, and walnuts, as well as the cinnamon sugar. Roll tightly into a log and place on a baking sheet. Repeat.
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  • Bake.Brush each log with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut the logs 3/4 through in 1-inch slices. This is an important step to baking the rugelach, not cutting it all the way through!Bake on a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet for 45 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Cool and slice. Cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes, then slice all the way through and enjoy.
The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (9)

Do I Have To Chill My Rugelach Dough?

The trick to making rugelach is to chill the dough. Chilling the dough allows the flavors to combine, the gluten in the flour to relax, while also making it easier to work with, being less sticky! Chilled dough also slices much easier than warm dough so you will have pretty pinwheels.

Tips for Success

If this is your first time making rugelach, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Keep the dough chilled.This recipe makes four “logs”. I like to keep the dough that I am not working with in the refrigerator so it’s nice and cold when I want to roll it out. It takes the stress of trying to get things done quickly out of the equation.
  • Do not cut the dough all the way through.Before baking, slice the dough 3/4 way through so it bakes evenly but not all the way through. The bottom should still be connected to prevent the filling from going everywhere.
  • Cool on the baking sheet.When the rugelach comes out of the oven, let it cool for 30 minutes before you finish slicing it. This gives it some time to finish baking and allows the filling to set so it doesn’t spill out.
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Serving Suggestions

I think presented on a dessert platter is the prettiest presentation for this dessert, but here are a few more ideas:

  • Place them in a tin or airtight container perfect for gifting!
  • Have a piece or two of rugelach with your coffee in the morning or a decaf after dinner!
  • Rugelach is a popular dessert served on Hannukah, so make a big batch at the beginning of December and enjoy immediately or freeze!
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How To Store Rugelach

  • Room Temperature.Store rugelach cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Can I freeze rugelach?Yes! Once they’ve cooled completely, you can freeze the cookies in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter and enjoy.
  • Can I freeze the dough? Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in a large zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

More Easy Pastry Recipes

  • Butterhorn Cookies
  • Sour Cream Twists
  • Nutella Pastry Cookies
  • Apple Strudel


    The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (12)


    ★★★★★4.9 from 13 reviews

    • Author: Shelly
    • Prep Time: 20 minutes
    • Cook Time: 45 minutes
    • Total Time: 65 minutes active time + chill time
    • Yield: 40 pieces 1x
    • Category: Pastry
    • Method: Oven
    • Cuisine: Dessert




    Rugelach is a classic pastry filled with a variety of nuts, fruit, preserves, and cinnamon sugar. This is an easy rugelach recipe that breaks down and simplifies the steps so everyone can make it with ease!



    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 8– ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 cup apricot preserves
    • 1 cup golden raisins
    • 1 cup chopped walnuts
    • Cinnamon Sugar (2 tablespoons granulated sugar + 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar for garnish (I used Sugar in the Raw)
    • Tools:Reynolds Kitchens Quick Cut Plastic Wrap


    1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and cream cheese together for 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
    2. Add in the sugar and salt and mix for 1 minute, scraping the sides as necessary.
    3. Turn mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just combined, don’t over-mix.
    4. Place a large piece of plastic wrap onto your counter. Place the dough onto the plastic wrap and press it into a rectangle shape, approximately 1- inch thick. Wrap the dough tightly in the
    5. Reynolds Kitchens Quick Cut Plastic Wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
    6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    7. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, working with one piece at a time, placing the dough you aren’t using back in the refrigerator.
    8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12 x 8- inch rectangle. Spread 1/4 cup of the preserves evenly onto the dough. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the raisins and 1/4 cup walnuts evenly on top. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon sugar all over the top. Roll the dough tightly from the long side into a log. Place the log seam side down onto your prepared baking sheet and repeat with the process with the remaining dough placing the logs 2- inches apart on the baking sheet.
    9. Brush each log with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
    10. Using a very sharp knife, cut the logs 3/4 through (not all the way) into 1- inch slices.
    11. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes, and then transfer to a cutting board to slice all the way through.


    Store airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or freeze airtight for up to a month. You can also use any flavor preserves you like if you don’t prefer apricot.


    • Serving Size: 1 piece
    • Calories: 153
    • Sugar: 10.8 g
    • Sodium: 51.8 mg
    • Fat: 8.6 g
    • Carbohydrates: 18.4 g
    • Protein: 1.7 g
    • Cholesterol: 18 mg

    Keywords: rugelach, rugelach recipe, rugelach cookies

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    49 comments on “Deliciously Easy Rugelach”

    1. Elizebeth

      Sep 14, 2023 at 5:20 pm

      Great, easy to follow and make recipe! I used a different filling and still turned out great. Previously I would make them into individual rolls, no more. This way is superb!


    2. Mary Ann Szybeko

      May 15, 2022 at 12:37 pm

      Why did my dough separate was it too thin


    3. Michele V

      Jan 2, 2022 at 7:36 pm

      5 Stars! Thank you I have used this recipe multiple times. I use to make them into individual crescents but the log is so smart and saves so much time and is equally delicious! The only thing I do different is I divide my dough into 4 pieces before I chill it. I take out two pieces at a time and leave the rest in the fridge chilling. Thank you for encouraging everyone to try something so delicious!


    4. Shelley

      Dec 17, 2021 at 7:35 am

      Quick question: is bake time really 45 minutes?


    5. Pam

      Dec 11, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      I also had so much trouble with the dough. Not only with the spreading but rolling it out. I tried flouring parchment paper,wax paper and just the countertop. Tried rolling it out and putting 2 in refrigerator for a while and 2 in freezer with no luck. What a waste of ingredients..Couldnt get it to release


      1. Mary Ann Szybeko

        Feb 23, 2023 at 9:51 am

        Made these several times dough super


    6. Kaylin R

      Nov 28, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      I seem to have a lot of trouble with my rolls really spreading out when baking. They don’t stay in a nice roll shape what am I doing wrong?


      1. Shelly

        Nov 28, 2021 at 8:01 pm

        Have you made my recipe or other rugelach recipes?


        1. Kaylin R.

          Dec 1, 2021 at 6:14 pm

          Only your recipe, I wish I knew what was going on.


        2. Tina

          Dec 10, 2021 at 3:56 pm

          I’m having the same issue. Shelly what method do you use for measuring flour? By weight, measuring cup scooped into flour bin, or spoon filled measuring cups? This would help us figure out if our dough has enough flour. My dough was very soft and sticky. Hard to shape it to refrigerate.


          1. Shelly

            Dec 11, 2021 at 12:05 pm

            I use the spoon and sweep method for measuring the flour!


    7. Julie C

      Nov 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Hi is this Unsalted butter or regular butter ?


      1. Shelly

        Nov 12, 2021 at 2:20 pm

        I use salted butter, but you can use either 🙂


    The Best Rugelach Recipe - Step by Step (2024)


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