Simple Rugelach

Simple Rugelach are the answer to complicated, fussy rugelach.  I have tried a bunch of times to make them, but they never seem to work out…the dough tears when I try to make pretty crescents or the filling all mushes out.  I sometimes find that the pastry unrolls when it bakes.  All that ends with this simple recipe!

First, the cream cheese dough can all be made in the food processor without having to bring the butter and cream cheese to room temperature.  How time-saving is that??!!  Second, there’s no need to make crescent shapes…just roll the dough into rectangles, fill it, roll it into logs, cut and bake. Easy peasy, right?  Finally, fill it however you like!  I used apricot jam, diced apricots and toasted pecans in one batch;  I used Nutella, toasted hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips in another log; raspberry jam, cinnamon sugar and walnuts were divine in a third batch.  Feel free to play around with the fillings.

All-in-all, this is a foolproof method for making rugelach.  Oh happy days!

So how are we making these divine babies??  Start with the dough…combine the flour and salt with the cream cheese in a food processor and pulse until the cream cheese incorporates throughout the flour.  Then add the butter and run the processor until it begins to clump.  Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, form into a disc.  Wrap up and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  

If you don’t have a food processor, I also have instructions for using a stand mixer but in this case, you will need to let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature.

To form the rugelach, divide the chilled dough into 4 pieces and roll out (one at a time) into a 12″ x 7″ rectangle.  

For the jam/nut/dried fruit rugelach, spread the jam all across the dough except for 1/4-inch at the top.  Sprinkle cinnamon sugar and then fruit and nuts over.  Roll up into a tight log, pinching the end together with your fingers to seal.

For the Nutella rugelach, spread a thin layer of Nutella and then sprinkle with hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips.  Roll and seal as described above.  

Freeze all 4 logs for 15 minutes to assist when you try to cleanly cut the logs into cookies.  Trim the ends and cut each log into 10-12 pieces.  Arrange the pieces on baking sheets (I used 2 sheets) and then brush with an egg wash.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar over and then sprinkle coarse sugar over that.

Bake them for 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Let them cool a bit and they are ready to serve.  You can also freeze the unbaked logs for a few months so that you have them ready to go!

Share Your Thoughts...

Lastly, if you make Simple Rugelach, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Simple Rugelach

Makes: 48 rugelach

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Bake Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour plus chill time 2 hours



  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea or table salt
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 (8-ounce or 225-gram) package cream cheese

Jam, Fruit & Nut Filling:

  • 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup toasted nuts, chopped small (I used pecans)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit, chopped small (I used chopped apricots)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup jam (I used apricot but seedless raspberry is great as well)

Nutella Filling:

  • 6 tbsp Nutella
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water or milk
  • Remaining cinnamon-sugar from above plus coarse sugar for dusting the tops


Make the Dough:

In a food processor, place flour and salt in work bowl fitted with standard blade. Pulse to combine. Add cream cheese, chopped into large chunks, and run machine until it is fully dispersed into the flour.

Add butter in large chunks and run machine until dough starts to clump. Dump out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flattish disc.

If you are using a stand mixer, let butter and cream cheese soften at room temperature. Beat both together until light and fluffy. Beat in salt. Add flour, beating until it disappears. Scrape dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a flattish disc.

For both methods, chill dough until totally firm, about 2 hours in the fridge (you can hasten this along in the freezer for about 30 minutes). Dough keeps in fridge for up to a week, and in freezer much longer.

Form the Rugelach:

Heat oven to 350°F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Stir cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Combine coarse mixture of nuts and dried fruit in a second dish.

Divide dough into quarters and roll first quarter out on a floured counter into a rectangle about 12 inches wide and 7 to 8 inches long, with the wider side to you. Thinly spread jam to all but the furthest 1/4 inch from you (which seals better once rolled if bare) with about 2 to 3 tablespoons jam. (With seedless raspberry, 2 tablespoons covers nicely but with thicker jam, you’ll need 3 tablespoons to coat it thinly. If your jam is difficult to spread, you can warm it gently in the microwave for a few seconds first.) Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar mixture, then 4 tablespoons coarse fruit and nut mixture. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

With the remaining two pieces of dough, make hazelnut rugelach. Spread 3 tablespoons Nutella over each rolled out piece of dough, then sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts and mini chocolate chips over and continue to roll as described above.

Roll dough from the 12-inch side in front of you into as tight as a log as you can, using your fingers to lightly seal the ends onto the log. Repeat with remaining logs.

Place log of filled dough in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes; it will cut more cleanly once semi-firm. Trim ends from log so they have a clean shape. Cut log into 10 to 12 even slices. Arrange on prepared baking sheets a couple inches apart from each other.

Brush tops of each rugelach lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a total of 1 teaspoon of the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack.

Do ahead:

Cooled cookies keep in a container at room temperature for a week, and in the freezer for a month. Just not around here! The filled unbaked log of rugelach is also easy to freeze until needed. Wrap well, and you can slice it into cookies straight from the freezer, baking them while still frozen — you’ll just new a few extra minutes in the oven.


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