Easy Rugelach Recipe ~ The Perfect Winter Cookie

Share with friends!

This easy rugelach recipe is one that you will definitely want to add to your collection of holiday desserts.  We’ve included step by step instructions below, you just can’t miss. 

You might want to get your family involved too, since making the cookies is definitely a labor of love.  Just be sure to include about 2 hours of time for chilling the sweet pastry dough into your schedule. 

I love to make them in early December because this is a cookie that freezes beautifully.  Even if you don’t celebrate Hanukkah, they are just too pretty not to bake!

You will need: apricot preserves, walnuts, cinnamon, butter, all purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, cocoa, cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar and powdered sugar. 

This post was originally published December 20, 2017 and updated December 5, 2018.

rugelach cookies on white plate with christmas tree in the background


So here we are on the last night of Hannukah and in a few days celebrate Christmas.  We celebrate both holidays in our family and I feel so blessed to be able to do so.  Some years the calendar determines that Hanukkah falls right in the middle of Christmas and that’s just fine with us!

Raspberry Dream Bars are another classic Holiday Desserts recipe, and we have a great recipe for you to try!

plate of rugelach on white plate with holiday decorations in the background

However even though Mark and I have been married 9 years (where does the time go?) this is the first year I’ve made Rugelach to have at Hanukkah.

Had I known they were so easy to make, and had this easy rugelach recipe to use, they would have made a regular appearance!

And while these sweet morsels of goodness are typically served to celebrate during the eight days of Hanukkah, I plan to bake a batch for Christmas, since I think they are the perfect Winter Cookie, and go really well with a big mug of hot chocolate.  Know what I mean? 🙂

winter rugelach cookies on white plate with white mug of cocoa and mini marshmallows and crocheted snowflake in background

There are lots of different rugelach fillings.  I chose a traditional filling of apricot jam, walnuts, cinnamon and cocoa.  For my next batch I’m going to use mini chocolate chips!  The possibilities include just about any type of preserves or jam that you love, plus cinnamon and of course chocolate.  Yum! Yum!

homemade rugelach cookies with apricot jam on long white plate and snow globe in the background


  • Can Rugelach be frozen after bakingYou sure can!  There are two ways to freeze Rugelach.  You can freeze the discs of pastry dough before you make it into cookies, or you can freeze the baked cookie (much easier I think!) Both for about three months.
Cutting the pastry into 12 slices and rolled rugelach on cookie sheet ready to bake
Cut with pizza cutter into 12 slices

Once the Rugelach has cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy any time of the year at all!

winter rugelach cookies on white plate with white mug of cocoa and mini marshmallows and crocheted snowflake in background


Our other sweet holiday recipes that are just so full of goodness: Raspberry Dream Bars, Butter Tarts, Chocolate Raspberry Tart

We did a search for different types of Hanukah desserts.  I love this roundup from Martha Stewart!


These sweet little morsels of goodness are so perfect with a cup of hot cocoa or tea.  I usually double the recipe, so we can enjoy our rugelach during Hanukkah and then freeze a bunch to take to our daughter’s on Christmas Eve.  You could do that and wrap them up as a hostess gift too!  The sweet pastry, apricot jam and cinnamon sugar filling are just so yummy.  You will get asked for the recipe for sure!

If you like the recipe, please give it a 5 star rating.

apricot jam rugelach cookies on a white plate in front of a white decorative tree with a dreidel ornament

Easy Rugelach Recipe

5 from 3 votes

Click to Rate!

A delicious winter cookie filled with apricot jam, cinnamon and cocoa wrapped in a sweet pastry.  Rugelach cookies also freeze well. 
Add to Shopping List
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 131 kcal


Pastry Dough

  • 2 sticks butter - unsalted room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese - room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • cups all-purpose flour


  • 3/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts - ground
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder - dutch-processed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon - ground
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar - for dusting


  • Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Blend in the vanilla and sugar. Add ½ the flour and mix until almost incorporated. Add the remaining half of flour and mix until it starts to hold together in a dough. Remove the dough to a lightly flour clean surface. Gently form the dough into a ball and divide into three equal parts. Roll each part into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight.
    mixing the rugelach dough
  • Blend the walnuts, sugars, cocoa and cinnamon together in a small mixing bowl until combined. Set aside until its time to build your rugelach.
    the walnut mixture that includes brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove one disc of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it is about ⅛ inch thick and 14 inches in diameter. Spread 3 tablespoons apricot preserves around the dough keeping a clean edge around the outside and a space about the size of a 2 inch circle in the center. Sprinkle ⅓ of the filling on the preserves.
    spreading the fillings of apricot jam, and crushed walnuts and cocoa onto the pastry
  • Once it’s rolled out, cut the dough with a pastry or pizza cutter into quarters. Then cut each quarter into three equal pieces. Starting at the wide end, fold over the corners and about ¼ inch of dough. Roll the Rugelach toward the small end.  Bend the ends to form a crescent shape and place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
    Cutting the pastry into 12 slices and rolled rugelach on cookie sheet ready to bake
  • Once cool sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container and enjoy!
    rugelach cookies with powdered sugar cooling on parchment paper


Adapted from Sarahbeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours  NB: I increased the amounts of preserves and sugar/walnut filling, as I didn’t feel the original recipe made enough.  


Serving: 1g | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 31mg | Sugar: 6g

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment, star rating or post your photo on Instagram and tag @pieladybakes
rugelach cookies on white plate with christmas tree in the background

Share with friends!

Judy Kahansky is an experienced writer and baker, creating delicious desserts (including pie!) for over 40 years. She loves to take classic and vintage recipes and update them to fit the busy lives of her readers. When not baking, Judy and her husband Mark are passionate golfers, travelers and dog lovers, spending as much time as they can with their sweet pup Millie.