Israeli rugelach are quite different from the American version, and so this cake wouldn’t work using American rugelach. Israeli rugelach use a yeasted dough and are pastry-like, making them ideal for a gooey cake; American rugelach typically use a quicker, chilled butter and cream cheese dough that is flaky and sweet.
The method for this indulgent rugelach cake is quite simple: You make your rugelach recipe and then place them tightly inside a small ring or a cake pan so that they proof into one another and bake as one, delicious pull-apart treat.
For the dough:
- 3 tsp (13 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 Tbsp (40 grams) sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 grams) butter, melted
- 4 cups (500 grams) bread flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 egg plus 1 beaten egg, for brushing
For the filling:
- 2/3 cup (160 grams) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup (80 grams) cocoa
- 1 1/3 cups (160 grams) powdered sugar
- 3.5 oz (100 grams) cookie crumbs
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Nutella or hazelnut chocolate spread
For the syrup:
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup plus 4 tsp (100 grams) water
- Place the yeast and milk in the bowl of a stand mixed fitted with the dough hook and mix well. Add the sugar and melted butter, and mix.
- Add the salt and ground cardamom to the flour and mix. Gradually, while continuously kneading, add the flour mixture to the mixer. It’s possible depending on the time of year and the climate where you live that you may not need to use all the flour – the dough shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. Look for a soft and smooth texture.
- Add the egg and knead until the dough separates from the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- For the filling, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use. The filling should have a spreadable consistency; if it is too cold it will tear the dough when spread, and if it’s too soft it will melt.
- To assemble the rugelach, line an 8 or 9 inch round baking pan with parchment paper. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll to a 40×40 cm/16×16 in rectangle, about 5 mm/0.2 in thick. Spread an even layer of the filling all the way to the edges.
- Fold the dough into thirds, as you would fold a letter: Grab the top edge and fold it towards the center, and then grab the bottom edge and fold it over to cover. Roll to a 20×40 cm/8-16 in rectangle, 5 mm/0.2 in thick.
- Using a pizza cutter roller, cut the dough in half, to two long rectangle strips 10×40 cm/4×16 in. Make a notch every 6 cm/2.5 in along one side of each strip and use that marking to cut to triangles.
- Cut a small slit at the wide end of the triangle, then tightly roll up into a crescent shape, making sure the tip is underneath.
- Place the rugelach in the baking pan, overlapping on one another. Cover, and let rise for 45-60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup by placing the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved, then set aside.
- Brush the rugelach cake with the hot syrup as soon as it comes out of the oven. Allow to cool before serving.