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Deliciously Easy Rugelach

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!

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Classic Rugelach Recipe

Rugelach cookies are one of those classic pastry recipes that seem difficult to make, but are deceptively easy. The butter and cream cheese dough is soft, but as it bakes it gets buttery, crunchy, and caramelized. And the filling is traditionally a combination of nuts and fruits but you can really fill get creative with what you want to add!

I have simplified my rugelach recipe so it’s approachable, easy and adaptable. Even those of you who think you don’t like rugelach need to give this recipe a try. I’m almost positive that I will change your mind!

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

Rugelach cookies on a plate

Why You’ll Love These Rugelach Cookies

Here are a few reasons why you’ll love this rugelach recipe.

  • 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.
  • 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!

What Is Rugelach?

Rugelach is a filled pastry cookie that I found originated in the Jewish communities of Poland. The word “Rugelach” is Yiddish that means “little twists” and can be filled with a variety of ingredients. They can be made in slices, like I did, or in a more crescent or horn shape.

Rugelach has always been one of those cute pastries that I never gravitated towards if thy were displayed on a cookie tray with other treats. But once I started making my own, that all changed. The dough is rich and delicious, and customizing the fillings is the best part!

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 a pie 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.
  • Sugar
  • Salt – Helps to balance out the sweetness.
  • 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.

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 like strawberry or raspberry + mini chocolate chips
  • 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)
Process shots of how to make rugelach

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.

  • 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.
  • 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 the dough. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and return all except the piece you’re working with to the fridge.
  • Shape and fill the dough. Roll out the dough into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Top with 1/4 of the preserves, raisins, and walnuts, as well as the cinnamon sugar. Roll tightly into a log. Place seam side down on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining logs, place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Bake. Brush each log with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Cut the logs 3/4 through in 1-inch slices. Bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes then slice all the way through and enjoy.
Rugelach Dough Wrapped in Plastic Wrap

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.

I use Reynolds Kitchens Quick Cut Plastic Wrap to wrap the dough before it goes into the refrigerator for a few reasons:

  • Reynolds Kitchens Quick Cut Plastic Wrap with built-in slide cutter which gives you perfectly clean slices, with no jagged edges. You can pull out your plastic wrap, lay it on the counter and then slice the edge to get the exact right size you need, which is what I did above!
  • Also Reynolds Kitchens Quick Cut Plastic Wrap has a long lasting tight seal to keep food fresh and airtight.

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.
Rugelach FIlled with cinnamon sugar and walnuts

Proper Storage

  • Counter. 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.

More Easy Pastry Recipes

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Easy Rugelach Recipe filled with nuts and fruit


  • 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. 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. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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. 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.

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