Photo credit Sheri Silver

The Best Gluten-Free Rugelach Recipe

Tender, flaky and utterly delicious.

I like to say that my Grandma Fay was “Martha before there was Martha.” She could do it all  — but her baking was pure magic. And it was at her table that I learned to make rugelach, and I have her voice in my ears to this day as I prepare that signature flaky dough.

Rugelach are one of my favorite baked goods to make gluten-free. The dough is high in fat thanks to the butter and cream cheese, which results in a very tender, flaky dough that can sometimes be hard to achieve with gluten-free baking.

The key to that tender, flaky dough – whether traditional or gluten-free – is to avoid overworking it. I find this easiest to do in the food processor, which makes fast work of bringing the ingredients together quickly.

Gluten-free baking has gotten much easier over the years! In addition to the easy access to so many wheat flour alternatives, there are some really excellent 1:1 all-purpose flours on the shelves right now; I particularly like King Arthur and Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 blends. That said, I always roll my dough between sheets of parchment paper. Parchment paper is treated to make it non-stick, so you need little to no flour when rolling out your dough. Adding too much flour can result in a tougher rugelach, especially if you’re using a flour alternative.

I’ve filled these rugelach with brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and raisins, but the sky’s the limit! Here are some of my other favorite fillings:

  • 1 cup Nutella, lemon curd or preserves (avoid jams and jellies which are thinner and tend to leak out during baking)
  • Any dried fruits and nuts in place of the raisins and walnuts; chop up larger dried fruits like apricots or prunes
  • Swap the raisins for ½ cup chocolate chips or swap the raisins and walnuts for 1 cup chocolate chips (but keep the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture)

Note: The rugelach can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

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gluten free rugelach recipe jewish rugelach
photo credit Sheri Silver

The Best Gluten-Free Rugelach

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

Tender, flaky and utterly delicious.

  • Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: 32 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups 1:1 gluten-free flour blend, plus more for dusting worksurface
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + ½ tsp cinnamon, divided
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Cut the butter and cream cheese into cubes and add to the processor with the flour/salt. Pulse till the dough comes together; do not over process.
  2. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape and flatten each half into a disc, wrap in the plastic and chill for 2-4 hours. Clean and dry the food processor bowl and blade.
  3. While the dough is chilling finely chop the walnuts in the food processor and transfer to a bowl. You can chop the raisins if you like or leave them whole. Add to the bowl with the walnuts and toss to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar with 1Tbsp of the cinnamon.
  5. Roll each dough disc between sheets of parchment paper, creating a circle that’s about 12” in diameter and 1/8” thick. As you’re working, occasionally flip the dough and lift off the parchment paper to prevent sticking. If needed, you can sprinkle a little flour over the dough, but try not to use too much for the most tender rugelach.
  6. Working with one circle at a time, remove the top sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the dough with half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, followed by half the walnut/raisin mixture. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut 16 wedges. 
  7. Starting with the outer edge of each wedge, roll up toward the center. Place the rugelach, with the point tucked under, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 15 wedges, then do the same with the remaining ingredients.
  8. Beat the egg till blended and brush over the tops of each rugelach. Combine the granulated sugar with the 1/2 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over the tops. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  10. Bake the rugelach till golden brown. This can take anywhere from 15-25 minutes so start checking at 15 minutes.
  11. Carefully transfer the rugelach to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Note: The rugelach can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for 4-5 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

  • Author: Sheri Silver
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes + 3 hour chill time
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Ashkenazi

12 comments

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  • Leah Zielinski

    If I use regular white flour, would I need to make changes to any of the other ingredients?
    Thank you:)

    • The Nosher

      Hi Leah, 1:1 gluten-free flours typically claim to be just that: a one-to-one swap, so regular flour should work, though we haven’t tested it. We have lots (and lots!) of rugelach recipes calling for regular flour on our site, from classic to strawberries and cream, to guava — and beyond! Rachel at The Nosher.

  • Vicky Mary

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It looks delicious. I have to be gluten-free for health reason a few years ago and have missed rugelach.

  • Janis Rader

    Nice recipe!
    Can you substitute low-fat cream cheese without changing the other ingredients?
    Can butter substitutes (including olive oil) be used for this recipe? In what proportions?
    Thank you.

    • Shannon Sarna

      Unfortunately, this recipe was not tested with either of those and so we cannot say for certain. If you try it this way, let us know how it turns out!

  • Randy Morrow

    I can say definitively that using regular white flour instead of the gluten free works fine. Just made a batch and they turned out great!

  • Erica

    Before Thanksgiving, I prepared the dough exactly following the instructions, but was unable to roll it out – completely crumbled & was unmanageable, would not hold together. It is currently in the freezer. Is there any way to salvage it?

    • Shannon Sarna

      We would suggest adding a little water to moisten the dough. Typically this dough should be on the wetter side, so you may want to consider starting over and perhaps adding less flour this time. When you measure flour, you should always fluff up and then measure – don’t pack it in like brown sugar. Hope this helps.

    • Shannon Sarna

      Hi Jill. I don’t think chickpea or almond flour would work for these, but I cannot say for sure. Gluten-free baking can be specific and tricky, so for this recipe I would suggest following the recipe. If you try it with an alternative flour, let us know how it turns out.

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