Rugelach | An Easy Rugelach Cookie Recipe

Rugelach is a delicious and classic cream cheese 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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Easy Rugelach Recipe filled with nuts and fruit

This Easy Rugelach Recipe Is A Classic!

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!

Rugelach Pastry

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!

Rugelach Dough Wrapped in Plastic Wrap

How To Make Homemade Rugelach Cookies

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.

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.
How To Make Rugelach

The Dough Is Made With Butter AND 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.

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 whenI want to roll it out. It takes the stress of trying to get things done quickly out of the equation.

Rugelach FIlled with cinnamon sugar and walnuts

What Are Some Other Fillings?

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)

Looking For More Easy Pastry Desserts? Try These: