Grandma's Rugelach
Yield: 8-10 pieces per roll (30-40 pieces total)
Call it rugelach or call it strudel - either way, this recipe is a traditional European Jewish dessert that's often served during Hanukkah but can be enjoyed any time of year!


  • ½ pound (8oz) cream cheese, well softened
  • ½ pound (8oz) butter, well softened
  • 2 tablespoons (24g) sugar
  • 2 cups (250g) flour
  • 8 tablespoons jam or spread of your choice*; 2 tablespoons per roll
  • 8 tablespoons chopped walnuts; 2 tablespoons per roll
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon; 1 teaspoon per roll


  1. Mix cream cheese, butter, sugar, and flour until well combined. I like to start with an electric mixer to get everything well mixed. After about a minute, I use my hands to bring into a large ball. At this point, the dough should come together fairly easily.
  2. Form the dough into a ball with your hands and wrap in plastic wrap (or tin foil, which is how my grandmother did it) to refrigerate for at least two hours, or ideally overnight**
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.
  4. Cut the dough into quarters. You may use one quarter at a time, depending how many cookies you would like to make.
  5. Roll each piece of dough onto floured surface and into a medium-sized circle, approximately 9 inches in diameter.
  6. Using the back of the spoon, spread jam (or Nutella) in a thin layer over the dough, leaving about half an inch border – similar to saucing a pizza crust.
  7. Sprinkle the nuts over the jam.
  8. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the entire dough, including the edges.
  9. Roll (like a jelly roll) and pinch the ends closed.
  10. Place on a cookie sheet, seam side down, and bake 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  11. Allow to cool, and then transfer to a cutting board.
  12. Cut 8-10 slices, horizontally, using a serrated knife. It may be a little crumbly (this is normal), but you should see a beautiful swirl design on the inside.


*You may use any jam, though our family uses raspberry and apricot. If using apricot, remove large chunks of fruit. You may need to puree to smooth if using a chunkier preserve. We’ve also tried Nutella, which is very good – it does lose some of its richness in the baking process, but when we added chocolate chips it really elevated this to a delicious cookie.

Storage & Freezing: Once baked, the cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for several days or frozen for longer storage.

The dough and the pre-baked cookies may also be frozen for a few weeks before making. Make sure to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before rolling out.

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