Gluten Free Rugelach Cookie Recipe

Gluten Free Rugelach Cookie Recipe

While no doubt the photos of this gluten free Rugelach look enticing, you might be wondering what on earth is a “Rugelach”?

This favorite Jewish sweet actually has its origins in a yeast dough, laminated, kneaded and taking hours to prepare. It may come as no surprise to find that short cuts were apparently taken in its transition to America decades ago, and away from the painstaking process historically used to make this famous pastry.

gluten free rugelach loaves - gfJules

What we find called “Rugelach” most often in the U.S. now is something very different, but equally delicious. Rather than croissant-like, the modern version is more dense, filled with sweet fillings and often a cream cheese, yeast-less dough. You may know it as a nut roll. Easier to pronounce, but no less insanely good.

One can still choose to make Rugelach dough into crescents or mini croissants, or the gorgeous strudel shape I’ve used in my gluten free Rugelach cookie recipe, which also happens to takes less time to prepare (another American short-cut, I’m sure).

This gluten free rugelach will dress up any table this holiday season. While it looks quite impressive, the techniques are happily quite simple! gfJules.com

Traditional fillings range from apricot to date to fig, chocolate, marzipan, Nutella, crushed toasted nuts or even poppy seeds. Choose what suits you – anything soft and tasty that can be rolled up inside these dough will work beautifully.

I’ve used raisins, pecans and preserves in this recipe, just match the proportions if you use alternative fillings.

gluten-free-rugelach on tray gfJules

This gluten free Rugelach will dress up any table this holiday season. And while it looks quite impressive, don’t let that daunt you. There are several steps, but the techniques are happily quite simple, and the results are so worth the effort!

Reader Holly M's Rugelach

Reader Holly M. made this recipe the day I published it, and used sugar-free preserves for her filling!

 

The steps are really simple – a lot like making homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls. Just divide the dough into 4 balls and roll out, spread toppings and roll up into a log:

Preparing-Gluten-Free-Rugelach-Dough-gfJules-1024x1024

Then with each log on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut into cookies before baking:

Gluten Free Rugelach making - gfJulesAnd there you have it! A gorgeous, flavor-filled cookie that looks like it was a lot of work to create, but it really isn’t. The log shapes actually make it easy to make a bunch of these “cookies” all at the same time!

I can’t wait to hear how much you love this traditional recipe with a gluten-free spin!

glutenfree-rugelach-overhead-square

Gluten Free Rugelach Cookie Recipe

Yield: 28 cookies or nut rolls
Prep Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

Pastry:

Rugelach:

  • 2 cups preserves or jam (Bonne Maman® Fig Preserves and Strawberry Preserves pictured)
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Milk for brushing on top (dairy or non-dairy)
  • Demerara sugar for tops after baking (optional)

Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Instructions

Beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and salt, then stir into the cream cheese mixture until dough is formed.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Chilling the dough will help it be less sticky and easier to work with.

Line a large jelly roll or shallow- sided baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon.

Prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by liberally dusting with more gfJules™ flour. Have a rolling pin, bench scraper or spatula and all toppings ready.

Divide the chilled dough into 4 pieces, removing one to your work surface and returning the others, wrapped, to the refrigerator.

Rolling in each direction, gently roll one dough into a rectangle, approximately 10 x 8 inches. Spread enough preserves across the entire top of the dough to cover it with a thin layer. Evenly distribute ¼ cup raisins, then ¼ cup chopped pecans across the top of the preserves, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Using a bench scraper or spatula, begin rolling up the dough into a log, starting with one of the short sides, rolling until the entire dough is rolled onto itself. Gently transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down, then tuck the ends underneath.

Repeat the process with the other three sections of dough. Line the logs up on the baking sheet no more than 1-2 inches apart.

Brush each log with milk, then using a large, sharp knife, make 3/4-inch-deep cuts across each log every one inch. Do not cut all the way through the logs at this time. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and return to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Once preheated, remove the plastic wrap and bake the rugelach logs on the baking sheet for 45 minutes; they will be light golden brown when done. Sprinkle with demerara sugar, if desired, then allow to fully cool on the pan.

Once cooled, mix icing in a small bowl, then drip using a spoon over the logs in a crosswise pattern. Use a large knife or bench scraper to cut the logs all the way through at each one inch cut, then serve.

Yield: approximately 28 rugelach cookies.

What will you use for the filling?

Pin for later!

Gluten Free Rugelach - gfJules

gluten free rugelach strudel cookies collage -gfJules

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13 thoughts on “Gluten Free Rugelach Cookie Recipe

  1. These look delicious, but they are not rugalach. They another Jewish pastry called mandelbread which are similar to biscotti..

  2. What? No eggs in this dough??? I would love to make it but I am afraid I never made a dough without eggs!!!

    Please confirm with me. I have all the ingredients ready and waiting but I want to make sure that no eggs are needed!!

    Thank you for your quick reply.

    • Hi Clara, you’re so funny! I do try to make many of my recipes vegan where I can. This dough works fine without eggs because of the cream cheese ingredient. Enjoy!
      ~jules

  3. Gluten free rugelach this addictive should come with a warning. Unbelievable how awesome, and not ‘gluten free tasting’ this was. Of course we used your gfJules Flour — what WOULD we do without it? Thanks for the great recipe and wonderful flour Jules!

  4. I’m not following the step where you roll the dough into a log. Could you provide approximate dimensions when you roll each section and then what the size is after you make it into a log?

  5. I made this rugelach for the first time this Christmas. Used the recipe you gave and it was DELICIOUS! (followed recipe exactly) Made only one batch and gave some in cookie sharing. NOONE new it was gluten free and raves galore!!! This is a keeper for my holiday cookies and will have to make at least 2 batches new year, maybe even for Easter. Loved them, thanks Jules.

    • Oooh Easter sounds like a great idea, Sharon! SO happy you and everyone else loved this recipe, too. It’s truly oh-so yummy. I’ll be happy to have another occasion to make them, too!
      ~jules

  6. Jules, The flavor turned out great but my rugelach are a mess! The dough keeps breaking into pieces when I try to roll it and when went to fold it it broke apart again. I followed your dough recipe exactly. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

    • Hi Emily, I’m sorry to hear about the breakage in the dough. Did you use my flour? What about your cream cheese and butter – were you using dairy or non-dairy? Low fat? It sounds like there was just too much moisture or not enough flour. Sometimes flour can even be measured wrong and that can be the problem. When most recipes call for flour (mine included), they mean to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, not to use the measuring cup to scoop flour. This can throw a recipe off by up to 25%. The best way to be sure is to weigh flour (1 cup of my flour is 135grams), but it’s still accurate enough to measure by volume if you’re measuring right. If this happens again, try working more of my flour into the dough when it’s on the mat and see if that helps give it more structure. I’m so glad that at least it still tasted yummy!!!
      ~jules

  7. It was super easy! The only thing I did differently was to let the dough warm up a little after I refrigerated it overnight because it crumbled at first. I am sure experienced bakers probably know that already 🙂
    I also used a sugar free blackberry preserve & may try to make the whole thing sugar free next time.
    It is really tasty & you wouldn’t know it is gluten free!
    Merry Christmas!

    • So wonderful to hear, Holly! And thanks for sharing your picture – seriously, your rugelach IS prettier than mine! Good thing it’s not a beauty contest … it’s all about that taste!!!
      Merry Christmas to you, too, and enjoy those treats!
      ~jules