Walnut Rugelach Recipe

Walnut Rugelach: A Sweet Tradition

Walnut Rugelach Recipe

Rugelach, a pastry that has woven its way through the tapestry of culinary history, is a testament to the rich heritage of Jewish baking traditions. Originating in Eastern Europe, rugelach has evolved from a simple, homemade treat into a beloved staple in bakeries worldwide.

A Brief History of Rugelach

The journey of rugelach began in the Jewish communities of Poland and Hungary. Initially, these pastries were made with yeast-leavened dough, a humble yet delicious creation. Over time, as rugelach traveled across continents, its recipe transformed, adopting the cream cheese-based dough that is popular in America today.

Popularity and Variations

Rugelach’s popularity soared, not just within Jewish communities but beyond, becoming a cherished part of diverse culinary cultures. Its versatility is evident in the myriad of fillings used, ranging from chocolate and cinnamon to fruit preserves and nuts. Each variation offers a unique flavor profile, making rugelach a versatile treat for various palates and occasions.

Overview of Walnut Rugelach

Among the plethora of variations, Walnut Rugelach stands out for its rich, nutty flavor, complemented by the sweetness of fruit preserves. This version combines the traditional flaky, tender pastry with a filling of walnuts, often paired with apricot or raspberry preserves, creating a delightful contrast of textures and tastes. Walnut Rugelach not only honors its traditional roots but also brings a delightful twist to the classic, making it a favorite in holiday feasts and cozy gatherings.

Ingredients Overview

Creating the perfect Walnut Rugelach begins with gathering high-quality ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (240ml) warm milk (2% or whole)
  • 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 10 ounces (283g) apricot preserves
  • 1 cup (120g) walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (105g) dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

The quality of each ingredient plays a crucial role in the final taste and texture of the rugelach. Fresh, high-grade flour, pure butter, and organic preserves can significantly enhance the flavor of your pastries.

Preparation Steps

  1. Dough Preparation: In a stand mixer, combine the melted butter and warm milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and yeast. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixer, kneading until a soft, non-sticky dough forms. This process requires patience; the dough should be elastic and smooth.
  2. Resting the Dough: Divide the dough into equal portions and cover them with a damp cloth. Let them rest for about 30 minutes. This resting period allows the gluten in the dough to relax, making it easier to roll out later.

Filling Preparation

  1. Making the Filling: In a food processor, pulse the walnuts, dried cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon until coarsely ground. This creates a rich, textured filling that complements the soft dough.
  2. Alternative Fillings: While walnuts and apricot preserves are traditional, feel free to experiment. Almond with raspberry preserves or chocolate chips with orange zest are delightful alternatives.

Baking Process

  1. Shaping and Baking: Roll out the dough and spread the apricot preserves over it. Sprinkle the walnut mixture evenly. Cut into triangles and roll each piece from the wider end. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  2. Achieving the Perfect Texture: The key to perfect rugelach is a hot oven and not overbaking. Keep an eye on the pastries as they bake, looking for a light golden color.

Presentation and Serving

Presenting Walnut Rugelach is as important as baking them. Arrange them on a beautiful platter and dust generously with powdered sugar. Serve them as a standalone treat or alongside a cup of coffee or tea. They are perfect for both casual and formal gatherings.

Storage and Shelf Life

Store the Walnut Rugelach in an airtight container at room temperature. They stay fresh and delicious for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to three months. Thaw and reheat slightly before serving to bring back their fresh-baked taste and texture.


Can I use a different type of nut in my rugelach?

  • Absolutely! While walnuts are traditional, feel free to experiment with almonds, pecans, or even a mix of nuts for a unique twist.

What if my dough is too sticky or too dry?

  • If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour, just enough to make it manageable. If it’s too dry, add a few teaspoons of milk. The key is to achieve a soft, pliable dough.

Can rugelach be made in advance?

  • Yes, you can prepare rugelach ahead of time. Store the unbaked rolls in the refrigerator for up to two days, or freeze them for longer storage. Bake them fresh when needed.

Tips for First-Time Bakers

  • Start with Quality Ingredients: The better the ingredients, the better your rugelach will taste.
  • Don’t Rush the Dough: Allow the dough to rest as this makes it easier to work with.
  • Keep an Eye on the Oven: Baking times may vary, so watch your rugelach closely to prevent over-browning.

Variations and Customization Options

  • Filling Variations: Apart from walnut, try fillings like chocolate chips, various jams, or even a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Shape Variations: While traditionally rolled into crescents, you can also try different shapes like spirals or twists.
  • Dietary Adjustments: For a dairy-free version, use plant-based milk and butter substitutes.

Walnut Rugelach

Walnut Rugelach Recipe

This Walnut Rugelach recipe offers a delightful combination of a flaky, tender pastry filled with a sweet and nutty mixture of walnuts and apricot preserves. Perfect for any occasion, these treats are sure to impress with their balance of flavors and textures.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Eastern European, Jewish
Servings 24 rugelach
Calories 150 kcal


  • Stand mixer or large mixing bowl
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Food processor (for filling)
  • Wire rack for cooling


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup 226g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup 240ml warm milk (2% or whole)
  • 4 cups 500g all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tablespoon active dry yeast

For the Filling:

  • 10 ounces 283g apricot preserves
  • 1 cup 120g walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cup 105g dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons 25g granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Dusting:

  • Powdered sugar


Prepare the Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter and warm milk.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and yeast.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Make the Filling:

  • In a food processor, pulse together the walnuts, dried cranberries, sugar, and cinnamon until coarsely ground.

Assemble the Rugelach:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into smaller portions. Roll out each portion into a thin circle.
  • Spread a layer of apricot preserves over each dough circle.
  • Sprinkle the walnut mixture evenly over the preserves.
  • Cut each circle into wedges (like a pizza).
  • Roll each wedge from the wide end to the point, forming a crescent shape.
  • Place the rugelach on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are not touching.


  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.


  • Once cooled, dust the rugelach with powdered sugar.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Store the Walnut Rugelach in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, they can be frozen for up to three months.


  • Feel free to experiment with different fillings like raspberry preserves or chocolate chips.
  • The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight for convenience.
  • Rugelach can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or frozen for longer storage.
Keyword Walnut Rugelach Recipe

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Karen Elliot

Written by Karen Elliot

Hi, I'm Karen Elliot is a food blogger who founded to make cooking easier. Growing up on a farm in Spain, Karen was inspired by exquisite dishes prepared using simple ingredients. Karen Elliot is particularly known for making anyone can cook.


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  1. 5 stars
    I did make them yesterday and they come up looking and tasting great. I did used marmalade from pitches it worked perfect.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi! Quick question – my oven can’t pre-heat to lower than 175! How do you get it to 100 to let the dough rise??? I just put rogaliki in at the “keep food warm” option but I am not sure what temp it is … Ugh …

  3. 5 stars
    I had a question. Do you think that I will be able to use dulce de leche with walnuts as the filling? And if so will the cookies come out soft as described?

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